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The best business phone plans: Reliable 5G for work
When I started writing for ZDNet 15 years ago , mobile phones were being used by 74% of the US population, but only 14% of those people were using these basic phones to access the internet. The latest data shows that 97% of Americans own a mobile phone, with 85% of those being smartphones that access the internet multiple times a day.
Smartphones and wireless cellular services are now essential for businesses to compete in today's market and broad coverage is an expectation. After T-Mobile's recent acquisition of Sprint, the US market is dominated by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Each of these carriers offers various plan options for businesses of all sizes.
5G continues to roll out across the US, but reliable LTE service is still essential to getting work done. The pricing for business service is competitive, and as someone who has been in the industry for decades, it is amazing to see the reasonable pricing for such fast service that reaches across the nation.
Verizon phone plans for businesses
Verizon Wireless has the most subscribers in the US and is popular with businesses. Three Business Unlimited plans make it easy to find the perfect option for your business. All three Business Unlimited plans from Verizon include unlimited talk, text, and data. Support for 5G, mobile hotspot, and tablet use differentiate the three plans. Pricing is also for five or more lines, targeted for business and not for family usage.
Business Unlimited Start
$30 per line per month.
While there are no limits on minutes, texts, or data, in times of congestion data may be slower with this Start plan. Nationwide 5G, low-band spectrum 5G, is supported with the Start plan and a compatible smartphone.
Tablet, smartwatch, and hotspot options are available for additional costs on the Business Unlimited Start plan. The price also includes $5 per month savings for paper-free billing and auto pay.
- Nationwide 5G coverage
- Able to add additional devices (watches, tablets) to the account
- No support for mmWave, high-band, 5G
- Data speeds slowed down during times of congestion
Business Unlimited Plus
$40 per line per month.
For $10 more per line per month, Verizon adds 100GB of premium network access, 5G UWB (mmWave) support, and unlimited mobile hotspot service. In addition, Verizon's Business Mobile Secure is included at no additional cost. This enhanced security bundle includes lookout mobile endpoint secure, mobile device management, Wi-Fi protection, and tech support.
- Nationwide 5G coverage, including mmWave spectrum
- Enhanced security bundle included
- Unlimited mobile hotspot service
- 100GB limit during high usage time periods
Business Unlimited Pro
$50 per line per month.
The highest level Verizon Business Unlimited plan provides twice the amount of premium network access, 120GB, along with 50% off on Business Unlimited Pro tablet plans.
This plan may be perfect for businesses using connected tablets out in the field and smartphones that are using data throughout the day away from Wi-Fi service.
- Nationwide 5G coverage with mmWave support
- 50% cost savings on tablet plans
- $50 price per line higher than other tiers
T-Mobile phone plans for businesses
After the purchase of Sprint, T-Mobile is now the second largest (in terms of subscriber count) carrier in the US. While T-Mobile has long been known for its consumer-friendly cellular plans, it also has one of the most extensive libraries of business offerings for small companies, large companies, and government agencies. Its new Business Unlimited plans are presented below, but other options require direct discussions between businesses and T-Mobile.
Business Unlimited Select
$25 to $60 per line per month.
Business Unlimited Select plans are designed for small business customers who need 1 to 12 lines of service. A one line plan is the most expensive, at $60 per month. Two lines are priced at $45 per line per month, four lines are $30 per line per month, and six or more lines are just $25 per line per month.
These plans include 5G network support, 5GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data, as well as unlimited calling/texting/data in Mexico and Canada.
- Very affordable small business plan
- Unlimited service in Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited streaming is limited to SD content
- Included data in Canada and Mexico is 128kbps speed
Business Unlimited Advanced
$30 to $70 per line per month.
If the employees of your small business travel by airplane and need Microsoft apps, then you should consider the T-Mobile Business Unlimited Advanced plan. This service plan includes 40GB of high-speed hotspot data, Microsoft 365, one hour of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi, and 5GB of high-speed data in Canada and Mexico.
- Affordable per line price point
- Microsoft 365 productivity service included
- One hour of in-flight Wi-Fi service
- 40GB of high-speed hotspot
- 100GB of premium data
Business Unlimited Ultimate
$40 to $85 per line per month.
For small businesses that want it all at reasonable per line prices, the new Business Unlimited Ultimate plan is for you. In addition to the unlimited talk, text, and data (with 5G included) small businesses also get unlimited premium data, 100GB of mobile hotspot, and Microsoft 365.
Streaming content is provided with unlimited 4K UHD quality, WiFi on your flight is unlimited, and data in 210 countries is twice as fast (256kbps) as the other T-Mobile small business plans.
- Unlimited premium data
- Unlimited WiFi on your flight
- Microsoft 365 services included
- 5GB of high speed data in Canada and Mexico
AT&T phone plans for businesses
After T-Mobile added Sprint subscribers to its total subscriber base, AT&T dropped to third in total subscriber count. However, AT&T is also well established as an enterprise service provider with four enterprise options available to customers. AT&T also serves as the backbone for the FirstNet network optimized for first responders.
Unlimited Your Way for Business
Starting at $30 per month.
The Unlimited Your Way for Business plans allow up to 10 devices per plan group and are designed for small to medium-sized businesses. The more lines you add, up to 10 lines, the less expensive the starting price is for AT&T Business Unlimited Starter, Business Unlimited Performance, and Business Unlimited Elite. For 10 lines, the starting price is $30, $35, and $40 per line per month, respectively. For just a single line, these prices are $65, $75, and $85 per line per month, respectively.
Hotspot data allotments, priority data transmission, and higher definition streaming are features that improve as you move from the Starter tier to the Elite tier of service. Select the number of lines on the Unlimited Your Way website to view pricing for your company.
- Price per line decreases with additional lines
- Multiple tiers of service are offered
- Limited to 10 lines of service
- Priority data transmission restrictions
- Hotspot data limits
AT&T Mobility Select - Pooled
Starting at $35 per month.
Unlimited calls and text messages in the US, unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada, and unlimited texting from the US to more than 120 countries are included in the AT&T Mobility Select - Pooled plan service. Data is served up to each employee from a single shared pool for each business account.
Plans start at $35 per month, but potential customers need to contact AT&T to discuss specific details and plan pricing.
- Affordable plan pricing
- Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada
- Shared pool requires management to allocate
AT&T Mobile Share Plus for Business
Starting at $50 per month.
The AT&T Mobile Share Plus for Business plan supports from one to 25 smartphone lines with various monthly data caps, ranging from 3GB to 120GB per phone. Pricing per phone starts at $50 per month for 3GB and goes up to $615 for one phone with 120GB of data.
Shareable data, rollover data, unlimited talk and text, mobile hotspot service, and international talk, text, and data are provided with these plans.
- Support for up to 25 lines of service
- Rollover data support
- Mobile hotspot service included
- Data caps allocated by service option
AT&T Business 4GB
Unlimited talk, text, and 4GB of data per line are provided with the AT&T Business 4GB plan. Hotspot data and standard mobile security services are also provided with the plan. Pricing for smartphones starts at $50 per month, but further pricing requires consultation with an AT&T representative.
AT&T Business 4GB is available for tablets for $20 per month and for wearables for $10 per month. AT&T advertises this plan as best for small businesses.
- Unlimited talk and text
- Controlled pricing per each phone
- Service options for tablets and wearables
- 4GB data limit per each line
MVNO options for businesses
While the three major carriers offer focused business plans, there are also a few MVNOs that offer attractive per line plans that may work well for small businesses. MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) are companies that use establish wireless carrier infrastructure to provide no or minimal contract options for customers. The MVNOs do not openly advertise which wireless carrier infrastructure they are using, but as soon as you insert a SIM into your phone, you can see which carrier is connected to which MVNO. MVNOs are optimized for consumers looking for phone service with no contracts and prepaid options, but these same elements may help small businesses control costs and adjust to market demands.
US Mobile for business
$9 per line and $2 per gb per month.
Most MVNOs offer attractive per line prices with each account limited to five or six lines. US Mobile is one MVNO that actually provides shared data plans for companies of any size. Enter the number of lines you need and the amount of shared data to view your total monthly payment.
A couple of examples include 50 lines with 100GB of data for $674 per month or 30 lines with 50GB of data for $385 per month. We had the opportunity to test out the two available US Mobile SIM cards and found the service to be fast and reliable.
- Specific service offering for businesses
- Scalable to your business size and line needs
- Competitive $9 per line base fee
- Verizon and T-Mobile serve as network providers
- Data price per GB may be higher than unlimited plans
$30 per month per line.
Mint Mobile is one of the most popular MVNOs thanks in large part to advertising by one of its owners, Ryan Reynolds. While there are no specific business plans, three/six/twelve month plans for individual phones are available starting as low as $30 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data.
T-Mobile provides the network for Mint Mobile's service so you will need GSM handsets for the service.
- Unlimited talk, text, and data plan options
- Flexibility for less expensive data limit plans
- No specific business service plans
- Limited to T-Mobile coverage area
- Three available contract period options
Starting at $25 per line per month.
Cricket Wireless is an established MVNO, service provided by AT&T, that has retail stores around the country so you can get support and establish service in person if you desire. One to five lines can be setup for each account with measured data or unlimited data. Mobile hotspot data can also be added to each line.
4G LTE and 5G data is provided, along with international support, cloud storage, and more.
- Established, trusted MVNO
- Physical retail stores around the country
- Unlimited and measured data plan options
- No long term contract required
- Service coverage area limited to AT&T network
- Five line limit per account
What steps should a new business take to establish wireless service?
While this buying guide provides current pricing and service options from the three primary US wireless carriers and MVNOs, specific pricing for your business requires a conversation with the carrier to fully define your company needs, available service discounts, and contract lengths.
One of the first things to figure out is where you will need service geographically in the US as all three carriers have slightly different coverage maps. Your geographic operating area may remove one, or more, carriers from your viable candidate list.
The next step is to determine how many lines of service you will need and then the data needs of those lines. Calling and text messages are unlimited in all cases, but data speed and amount of data will drive your costs.
Most carriers also offer additional incentives and services, such as hotspot, in-flight coverage, Microsoft 365, and more. Make sure to account for the value of these incentives in your decision-making process.
What are the disadvantages of a MVNO?
Most MVNOs are focused on the consumer market so business plan offerings for more than six lines of service are rare. Pricing can be very competitive and with no contracts these MVNOs may be attractive to businesses just getting started that do not want to lock in long-term contracts.
Account management may require more time from businesses given the consumer focus of MVNOs. MVNOs are also subject to the infrastructure provided by the big three US carriers, but there are several established MVNOs with solid reputation and a record of high-quality service and support.
What is the best business phone plan?
We analyzed reliability, coverage, and price to compile a list of the best phone plans for your business which includes: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Does the choice of my smartphone model limit wireless service?
In the past, the US wireless market was split into GSM and CDMA service technologies with two carriers supporting each of these technologies. Modern smartphones support LTE and 5G service without CDMA technology your choice of smartphone is not as limited.
The most popular smartphones in the US, Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, support all wireless technologies in the US wireless market so there are no limits on using these phones with any US carrier. If you purchase these phones directly from Samsung and Apple, then you can choose to purchase unlocked models.
Some phones are sold in a locked state so they can only be used on one specific carrier. This may be changing soon and there are processes to unlock your phone from your carrier if you decide to switch carriers. There used to be incentives for purchasing locked phones, but in today's world purchasing unlocked phones gives you the most flexibility for choosing your service provider.
The best Android phones that we tested this year
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The 5 Best Business Cell Phone Plans of 2023
Data as of 12/7/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *AutoPay Discount included: -$5/mo. per line. Plus taxes & fees.
We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .
Business.org’s 5 best business cell phone plans
At&t: best full-featured plans.
Looking for a broad choice of bells and whistles? As a telecom behemoth, AT&T has plenty of cell phone features and packages to offer a business—around 20 plan variations, small to large. All plans include free US roaming, unlimited talk, and text messages, as well as unlimited texting outside of the country. Basic features like call forwarding, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and conference calling also come standard with all AT&T business cell phone plans, along with bring-your-own-phone support.
AT&T's business cell phone plans
Data as of 12/7/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Business Unlimited plan prices start at $35 a month per line, and there is a new perk where unlimited data is included in the unlimited talk and text plan. This means there is no need to worry about overages or data caps.
AT&T business plans can also accommodate up to 10 lines per account, and they come fully loaded with perks—like Stream Saver. This feature optimizes streaming video on your phone to 480p so you can watch webinars on-the-go without dealing with a blurry picture.
Each plan also includes a decent array of iOS and Android smartphone options and even a few good ol’ flip phones. A 15% military veteran discount can be applied to the Business Unlimited plans, as well as AT&T-owned DIRECTV services (because, again, telecom behemoth).
Users are eligible for a discount if they elect for autopay and paperless billing but this discount is only applied until after two pay periods. We don't know why the discount cannot be applied earlier in the billing process but we do find it frustrating.
T-Mobile: Best flexible plans
Not sure exactly what you’ll need in a mobile plan besides future adaptability? T-Mobile, the third-largest wireless service in the US, offers four Magenta® for Business plans, all packed with unique features that set T-Mobile apart from the rest. The German-owned company has also earned a reputation for stellar customer service and was the first to eliminate annual contracts (an idea that stuck—none of the plans reviewed on this page require contracts). In April 2018, the company announced its intention to merge with Sprint under the T-Mobile banner.
T-Mobile's business cell phone plans
Data as of 12/7/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *While using AutoPay.
All of T-Mobile’s Business cell phone plans offer the same basic features:
Unlimited talk and text
Unlimited 5G and 4G LTE data on our network
- Unlimited mobile hotspot
- Scam Shield
Unlimited calling and texting to Mexico & Canada
Unlimited video streaming
In addition, all T-Mobile Business plans include DIGITS, which allows you to access up to five phone numbers on a single device. That means you could answer calls to your work number and your personal number on one device—no more packing two phones in your bag every day. DIGITS also lets you share your phone number across multiple devices, so you can answer on your phone, smartwatch, tablet, or computer.
T-Mobile users with a Business plan can also add the PlusUp add-on and get extra features, like Voicemail to Text, HD streaming, 20 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, caller ID, and double the data speed when roaming internationally.
Keep in mind, though, that T-Mobile’s Business plans are available only on plans with two to 13 lines. If you need more than 13 lines, you’ll need to sign up for the 13+ Plan ($285 per month for 13 lines, plus $25 per month for each additional line).
T-Mobile plans also allow bring-your-own-device convenience, or you can buy phones up front with a single payment (there are nearly 40 iOS and Android phones to choose from).
Now that T-Mobile and Sprint have been merged for almost six months, some significant changes have taken effect. T-Mobile’s website is now the only place businesses can sign up for Sprint or T-Mobile business phone accounts.
Sprint still has an active business website for previous users but all new plans will be sold by T-Mobile on its website.
Verizon: Best growing business plans
Serving over 150 million customers, Verizon isn’t just big, it’s BIG. Such a mobile mammoth might not seem like the obvious choice for a small business, but for what it lacks in a personalized customer service reputation, Verizon more than makes up for by offering every cell phone feature there is, as well as dominant US, and near-dominant global, coverage. Like McDonald’s and Marvel movies, Verizon is everywhere.
Verizon's business cell phone plans
Data as of 12/7/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With 4+ lines
While business owners can get business cell phone plans with limited data, we recommend choosing an unlimited plan if you have multiple employees (or do a lot of work via cell phone).
Verizon’s Business Unlimited cell phone plans are scalable from four employees up to and over 40. And with plans starting at just $40 per line, Verizon Business Unlimited plans are an attractive option whether you’re running a tiny company with no expansion plans, a medium-sized business with an eye toward growth, or a large enterprise with heavy cell phone requirements.
Verizon Beyond Unlimited plans also include unlimited mobile hotspot use, though your speeds are limited depending on your plan. Plus, you get unlimited calling and texting to Mexico and Canada—not to mention unlimited calling, texting, and data while in those countries. And naturally, you also get unlimited talk and text as part of your Beyond Unlimited package.
Verizon doesn’t skimp on device choices either. There are nearly 100 iOS and Android phones and tablets available—including the Verizon Jetpack, a mobile hotspot device that can connect 10 devices to its 4G LTE network and an additional five to 3G.
If your company requires truly “unlimited” cell phone service and scalability to grow and is in the position to pay for functionality with frills, Verizon Business Unlimited is the way to go. Bare-bones operations, however, might want to look elsewhere.
Each of our recommendations has its strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the most difficult part about finding a phone system is determining exactly what you need and don't need. The best place to start is separating your needs between installing a new system, replacing a system or expanding system.
If you are having trouble sorting out exactly what your phone needs are, use this tool to help you understand what the best options are for your unique needs.
MintMobile: Most affordable plans
We are sure you’ve seen the commercials with Ryan Reynolds talking about this new phone carrier business with a fox logo called Mint Mobile. In fact, a lot of Mint customers were drawn to Mint because of Ryan Reynolds Hollywood looks, but that’s not the only thing Mint has to offer.
Mint is inexpensive and transparent, compared to other cell phone carriers with hidden fees and seemingly random regulations.
MintMobile's business cell phone plans
Data as of 12/7 /22 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
T hese are the prices for new customers and will last up to three months. After the third month, you are eligible to sign up for a 6- or 12-month contract on one of the tiered plans, all less than $35/mo/user, which is astronomically less than other providers.
MintMobile is no fuss, and you really do feel like you must be tricking the rest of the world with its pricing. The only issue is that MintMobile is fairly new, launched in 2015, coverage is not completely everywhere. There are still a couple of coverage gaps in the West, namely Utah, Nebraska, Idaho and Nevada. If you are east of the Rocky Mountains, you are good to go!
Teltik: Best perks plans
If you’re a strapped startup, New Jersey’s Teltik can get you up and running on the cheap. Teltik is a reseller service operating on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, meaning it can offer the reliability and reach of a giant provider at smaller-company prices. Teltik also has the advantage of being completely US-based, with 24/7 local customer service that’s not outsourced overseas.
Teltik's business cell phone plans
3 more (non-business) cell phone plans reviewed by business.org.
Teltik appears to have a dozen plans, but they’re mostly just variations of the essential plan that offers all the expected basics. Not coincidentally, the features mirror those of T-Mobile, as they’re on the same network.
The most basic plan starts at $20 a month and includes unlimited calling and texting, mobile hotspot service, and unlimited data—with a 2 GB cap on 4G LTE speeds (meaning your speed gets throttled to 128 Kbps if you use more than 2 GB of data in a month). From there, you can upgrade your plan to include more 4G LTE data and more mobile hotspot data. Upgraded plans cost anywhere from $30 to $40 per month, and they all include one cloud-phone VoIP line—perfect for small businesses looking to save on all their telecommunications needs.
One distinctly entertaining feature (pun intended) of Teltik’s business plans? You get unlimited media streaming from over 40 music services (including Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music) and more than 100 video services (including YouTube, Netflix, and any other channel you can think of). That means you can stream as much TV as you want without it eating into your data. It’s almost as if Teltik doesn’t want you to get any work done.
Another thing you need to know: Teltik doesn’t sell phones. Instead, the company operates on a strict bring-your-own-device basis. Any unlocked phone will work with its network, as will any T-Mobile device, of course. However, you will have to spend $10 plus shipping and handling to buy a new SIM card for each of your devices (unless they’ve already got brand-new, unused T-Mobile SIM cards).
Assess your company’s current cell phone usage, and projected future needs, before diving into any plan. What looks like a great deal could turn out to be more than you actually need—or you may have initially underestimated your business’s cell phone requirements. Also, if your company has both cell phone and regular office phone needs, check into bundling. The larger telecom providers offer both types of phone coverage, and bundling services is an easy way to save money in the long run.
Don’t want to carry around separate phones for work and personal calls? With the right VoIP service, you don’t have to. Check out our favorite business VoIP providers to see which ones offer on-the-go business phone capabilities.
Business cell phone plan FAQs
If you have several employees working outside of the office on a regular basis, desk-bound phones obviously aren’t going to work for them. Some may be only calling and texting while others will be checking email, using GPS navigation, and accessing the internet for work, but a cell phone is a must for employees in the field.
If you’re a one-person operation accountable to only yourself, you could get by with a personal cell plan. Keeping track of multiple employees’ hours, data, and providers, however, would be an extra headache you don’t need. For streamlining and collaboration purposes, a business cell phone plan would be the easier route.
Most of the plans we’ve reviewed here offer unlimited data—domestically, at least—so hitting the data ceiling won’t likely be an issue. But if you want to forecast how much data your business uses every month, providers make data plan estimators available on their websites. Or you could use a third-party calculator app.
BYOD stands for bring your own device . Another common term is BYOP for bring your own phone . These can mean that employees are using their personal phones, tablets, or laptops on their own carrier plans for work or that they’ve put those devices on the company’s plan. The upside? Less expensive than buying devices. The downside? Extra security concerns.
In the annoying absence of Wi-Fi, you can use a cell phone signal to connect a wireless device to the internet by switching on the mobile hotspot option and simply treating it like a Wi-Fi router. For multiple device connections, a dedicated hotspot (such as Verizon’s Jetpack) can provide a faster, and more stable, connection.
Business owners weigh in
To find the best business cell phone options, we considered pricing plans, customer support, and data limits. We also looked at the variety of contracts and whether these plans were flexible with discounts.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.
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Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.
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The Top Small Business Cell Phone Plans for 2023
Find out more about the best small business cell phone plans with customer rating, pricing information and frequently asked questions.
Updated on September 21st, 2023
The SMB Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
4.5 out of 5 overall
- Widest U.S. coverage.
- 5G coverage
- Solid network coverage.
- No overages.
- Access to 20M WiFi hotspots.
- Unlimited talk and text.
Business cell phone plans are offered by phone carriers to help small businesses have affordable access to a reliable phone network. Businesses are often eligible for discounts when they add more numbers or opt for additional monthly features.
Best Small Business Phone Systems for 2023
Get information on the top business phone systems, including pricing, reviews, and answers to common questions.
Feb 6, 2023
Why We Chose Verizon, AT&T, and Xfinity Mobile:
Verizon is one of the largest network providers in the United States . With plans for as little as four employees, Verizon offers phone packages suitable for small and large teams. All of Verizon's phone bundles include great unlimited features, including unlimited calling, texting, and data while in Canada and Mexico.
Verizon is ideal for businesses that plan on supplying their employees with handsets . The network provider offers nearly 100 different iOS and Android phones and tablets for teams that are constantly on the go.
All of AT&T's plans offer great unlimited features , including unlimited data and calling in Canada and Mexico, as well as unlimited international texting, domestic calling, and free domestic roaming. AT&T's Business Unlimited Plan comes in three variations: Starter, Performance, and Elite. With all three plans, users also have access to 5G network.
Xfinity Mobile offers a large variety of plans for businesses to choose from , with prices ranging between $30.00 and $240.00 per line. Thanks to its multi-line pricing system, businesses pay less as more lines are added to their plan. Xfinity Mobile also offers 4G LTE and 5G network access, making it great for employees who are always on the move.
Things to Consider When Evaluating Small Business Cell Phone Plans:
- Carefully consider the contract as most plans require business owners to sign up for extended contract periods of one to two years.
- Check coverage and compare it to where your employees live and travel. Some cell companies offer better coverage in rural areas, others offer much less expensive international plans.
- Keeping up with the latest in phone technology could be important to your business, so see how often the contract entitles you to new phones.
Best Business Cell Phone Plans:
How to choose a business cell phone plan:, 1. look at your business's communication needs..
Every business's communication needs will vary. For example, construction companies will require a smartphone with excellent data access for teams that are on the move and working on different sites, while call center teams will only require wireless services and ordinary phones.
International Phone Plans
See our list of top international phone plans, which includes ranking and frequently asked questions.
Sep 19, 2023
2. choose a plan designed for businesses..
Look for plans with multiple lines and unlimited talk, text, or data options. In addition, your plan should be tailored to fit your specific business. If you won't require talk options, look into business text and email plans.
3. Make good network coverage a priority.
Your plan should have excellent coverage in your area, especially if your business requires strong talk capabilities. Consider sound quality, speed, and network coverage. More importantly, your network coverage should be reliable in urban and remote areas.
Best Network Coverage:
T-Mobile provides the widest network coverage, making it the best fit for businesses that operate in urban areas. Since acquiring Sprint's network in 2020, T-Mobile's network coverage has grown exponentially, narrowly surpassing Verizon's coverage in the U.S.
4. Look for strong security features.
Instead of paying for a separate network security service, look into network providers that include VPNs and encryption with their cell phone plans. Your business's private information is a top priority and with so many open networks, you'll want to ensure your and customer's information is secure.
Best Security Features:
5. purchase hardware..
You can either ask employees to use their own smartphones or you can supply them with hardware. This option should only be considered if your business has off-site teams. Look into the hardware and handsets on offer and compare the plans that offer data and hardware bundles.
Common Cell Phone Plan Offers:
- Reduced costs as the number of lines and devices increase.
- Multiple lines and devices free of charge.
- International coverage.
- Data-only plans.
- Unlimited options for talk, data, and/or text.
More Related Articles:
- Best call tracking software .
- Small business VoIP providers .
- Top business phone systems .
- Best Business Internet Providers .
Who has the best small business cell phone plans?
- Xfinity Mobile .
- RingCentral .
- Cricket Wireless .
- Metro PCS .
What is the average cost of small business cell phone plans?
The cheapest business cell phone plans are usually in the $15.00 to $30.00 per month range, while a complete business cell phone package could cost $60.00 or more per line per month.
What carrier has the best small business smartphone plans?
In terms of cost, Republic Wireless has some of the best cheap business phone plans for smartphones. However, Verizon has the best data coverage and features, meaning you can use your smartphone to access emails and business documents almost anywhere.
Who are the best business phone providers?
What is the best business cell phone plan for companies with less than 10 employees.
It really depends on what features your employees need on their phones, but most businesses with 10 employees or less can find an affordable plan that suits them.
How do I know what the best cell phone plan for my small business is?
The best way to find the best small business mobile phone plans is to do a small business cell phone plan comparison. Compare current offers from several providers to find out who can give you the best deal.
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The best small business cell phone plans
Just as one shoe size can’t fit all, there’s no single cell phone plan that will suit every small company. But there are numerous high-quality plans that are worth considering as they strive to meet the needs of different types of businesses. To settle on the best cell phone plan for your business, you first want to figure out what kind of plan best fits your company.
How to choose a plan
Big four basics.
Business owners generally buy and pay for employee cell phones or plans or both when workers spend at least some part of their time off-site. With employees, you may want to track hours and data. In that case, to streamline operation and collaboration, a specialized business cell phone plan might be optimal. Today, more American businesses are accommodating work-at-home schedules that avoid meetings and travel, but note that quarantines and shelter-in-place orders will not last forever, so it’s a good idea to take the entire spectrum of your business activities into account.
There are numerous factors to reflect on when choosing a cell phone plan for your small company. Here are some major issues you’ll want to consider.
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Business design: Is your proposed plan built for businesses and scaled for business customers? If you’re a solopreneur or an extremely small company with just a handful of employees, you may be able to get away with a personal friends-and-family-type plan, as opposed to a bona fide business plan. But once you have more than a couple of employees, start to think bigger about scalabilities such as multiple lines, unlimited options on talk, text, and data, data-only plans for companies that don’t need talk or text, and discounts for more lines or devices.
Network coverage: Consider sound quality, data speeds, coverage, and overall dependability. Make sure the plan you choose has good coverage in the area where your employees are located or are traveling. If your employees travel internationally, choose from plans that have good rates for the target countries. Also, don’t forget about airline coverage and in-flight texting services.
Security: Some cell phone business plans offer virtual private networks, encryption, and other features to protect your company’s data. That could be quite valuable, as it relieves you of having to research, choose, and pay for additional services.
Hardware: If you need to supply employees with handsets, consider the kinds of phones offered with the plans you’re considering, or whether employees prefer to use their own smartphones.
Hot spot: Some business environments just don’t have usable Wi-Fi, but you can use a cell phone signal to connect a wireless device to the internet with a mobile hotspot. For multiple device connections, look for a dedicated hotspot with a fast, stable, secure connection, as well as other services like call forwarding, voicemail, call hold, analytics, and call queuing.
Data: Business plans should be generous with data, but unlimited is best — unless you really do not need data to conduct business.
Customer service: Count on problems arising, and when they do, you or your employees will want someone reliable to call before customers and clients get restless.
Price: Price is always a factor, and sometimes the cheapest plans offer just the service and features you’re looking for. But for something as critical as your business communications, do not buy on price alone.
Just in case you’re also looking for the best all-around mobile cellular deals, have a look at our survey of the best cell phone plans of 2020 and our report on the best prepaid cell phone plans . Meantime, below are some of the business-oriented plans available now.
AT&T offers several variations of its Mobility Rate Plans — Mobile Share Plus, Mobile Select Priority Pooled, and Business Unlimited Elite, plus several in between — tailored to your budget for $50, $55, and $85 per line per month. Designed for small- to medium-sized businesses, the Elite plan offers unlimited data, talk, and text for up to 10 devices. The Pooled plan gives employees a data allowance alongside pooled data within a single account. The Plus plan lets you share data across up to 10 or up to 25 business devices. All plans feature unlimited domestic talk and text and unlimited talk from the U.S. to Mexico and Canada, plus unlimited texts from the U.S. to over 120 countries, along with high definition video streaming. The Elite and Pooled plans also feature 5G . Data speeds may slow down with congestion past certain data points.
Verizon markets the Plan for Business, Business Unlimited, the New Verizon Plan, and the Flexible Business Plan specifically for small companies. The Plan for Business starts at $175 per month for up to 25 lines, with data plans ranging from 25GB to 200GB for various prices and topping out at $1,000 per month. All plans include carryover data, safety mode, calling to and from Mexico and Canada, use of your device in Mexico and Canada, and data boost costing $15 per 1GB. With all business plans, you can turn your device into an internet hotspot and send unlimited messages to more than 200 countries worldwide. Additional smartphones cost $15 per month.
Simple Choice for Business by T-Mobile costs $50 per line per month up to $110 per month for up to five lines. You can add $10 per line per month for 6 to 12 lines and up to 2GB of 4G LTE Data. You can call and text from any Wi-Fi connection, as your unused LTE data (up to 20GB) rolls forward for 12 months. The plan features unlimited calling and texting to and from Mexico and Canada, plus you get up to 5GB of data at 4G LTE speeds. If you’re looking for a more streamlined option, T-Mobile Essentials only costs $30 per month per line for four lines. It offers unlimited 3G mobile hotspot data, unlimited talk, text, 2G data in Mexico and Canada, and unlimited texting and flat-rate calling at 20 cents per minute in over 210 countries. An additional 10GB of high-speed 4G LTE mobile hotspot data will cost you $10 a month. For a more robust plan, the Magenta for Business plan is available for two, four, eight, and 12 lines for $60, $40, and $30 per month per line, respectively. It features 5G service, 3GB of 4G LTE hotspot data, plus unlimited 3G data, in-flight texting and data, unlimited data and texting in over 210 countries, and unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico. The included Digits program eliminates the need for separate work and personal phones, allowing you to access up to five numbers on one device and use one number across several devices.
RingCentral is a VoIP system that functions extremely well in an office setting. It supports unlimited calling and conferencing toll-free numbers and a customizable caller ID. Functionality is its primary priority; It supports useful features, like texting, online meetings, and faxing. When you use RingCentral, incoming calls go through the same call-routing system as your office phones. It helps make your office number into a portable communication system. You can call, text, and fax from your business number on any mobile device. The service could be used by two users to 1000 and offers four levels: Essentials, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate for $20, $25, $35, and $50, each with a free trial.
Cricket Wireless is a highly-rated and widely-used prepaid wireless service that prides itself on its affordability. It typically costs users from $30 to $60 per month. With Cricket Wireless, users can build their own custom phone plans. If you prefer a more basic plan with talk and text and no data, that’s manageable. You can build off that basic plan by adding data (2GB, 5GB, or unlimited), unlimited talk and text, picture messages, a mobile hotspot, and SD quality video streaming. If you often travel or need international coverage, that’s also manageable. You can add coverage for Canada and Mexico and unlimited text to 37 countries, HD Voice, and Wi-Fi calling from a compatible phone. Data-only plans of 20GB and 40GB are available for $35 and $50 per month, respectively, with Mexico and Canada coverage in the mix.
Consider Republic Wireless for your business if you don’t exactly need a phone network, but you do use a significant amount of Wi-Fi. This plan functions more like a virtual network than other cellular providers. The vendor relies on T-Mobile and Sprint networks when Wi-Fi is unavailable. The base plan is incredibly affordable, starting at $15 a month or $150 a year for unlimited talk and text. At this level, Republic Wireless charges $5 per gigabyte of data, up to 15GB. Fortunately, Republic won’t let a person’s bill skyrocket if they start to use too much data; Instead, the company disables data before you stretch past your limit. Using their data plan, users can also opt to make their smartphone a hotspot. One feature we enjoy about Republic is their Extend Home service. This feature allows people to connect their cell phones with their home phone to access contacts, receive calls, or make calls from one direct number using either of their phones.
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7 Best Business Cell Phone Plans of 2023
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Between $10/month and $39month
Unlimited texts and calls, free international calling to more than 60 countries, mobile hotspot, 4G LTE/5G network coverage
Uses T-Mobile’s network
Between $15/month and $30 month
Unlimited texts and calls, unlimited calls and texts to Canada and Mexico, mobile hotspot, 4G LTE/5G network coverage, switch without changing phones
Between $30/line/month and $45/line/month
Unlimited text and calls, unlimited international messaging, mobile hotspot, email access, shareable data, spam blocker
CDMA wireless network
Between $22/line/month and $45/line/month
Access to unlimited Wi-Fi hotspots, 5G network coverage
Uses Verizon's network
Between $30/month/line and $45/month/line
Unlimited domestic data, text, and talk, unlimited calls and texts to Canada and Mexico, access to mobile hotspot and 5G network
Between $25/month/line and $40/month/line
Unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, access to Microsoft 365 features, unlimited talk and text, scam shield
Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network
With the continued evolution of mobile technology, business owners have more options than ever to meet their needs. This is true in many cases: whether you’re thinking about how to start a business , if you’re already running a low-scale n, or if you’re expanding an already established enterprise.
In a landscape featuring so many mobile providers, finding the best business cell phone plan to suit your operation can be challenging. That's why we've done the research for you and compiled a list of the most dependable business phone plans on the market.
Our Top Picks for the Best Business Cell Phone Plans
- Verizon Wireless - Best for Business Cell Phone Plan Deals
- Xfinity Mobile - Best for Team Collaboration
- Teltik - Best for International Service
- T-Mobile - Best for Reliable Coverage
- Google Voice - Best for Video Meetings
- AT&T - Best Budget-Friendly Option
- RingCentral - Best Customer Satisfaction
Best Business Cell Phone Plan Reviews
Best for business cell phone deals: verizon wireless.
Why we chose it: Verizon offers business owners a range of deals on mobile devices and solutions. These deals include free 5G phones, speed upgrades and discounts for businesses owned by military members.
- Unlimited data, text and talk
- Unlimited mobile hotspot usage
- 4G LTE and 5G nationwide coverage
- Call filter to automatically block incoming spam calls
- Pricing on plans is higher compared to competitors
- Devices must be compatible with 5G to use the network
With any of Verizon's business cell phone plans, you'll get unlimited mobile hotspot usage so you can share your connectivity to any Wi-Fi-enabled device no matter where you are. These wireless plans also have a shareable data pool for all your devices.
Verizon offers different pricing plans depending on your business’s size and needs. The plans are:
- Business Unlimited Start 2.0: Pricing starts at $30 per line per month when you purchase five or more lines. With this plan, you’ll get 5G nationwide/4G LTE coverage, unlimited talk, data and text as well as unlimited mobile hotspot data. Verizon's call filter will automatically block spam calls for you.
- Business Unlimited Plus 2.0: This plan is $35 per user per month for five or more lines. It includes all the features in the Start pricing plan plus 100 GB of premium network access and 5G ultra-wideband coverage. This pricing tier also gives you better security features through Business Mobile Secure to ensure safe browsing.
- Business Unlimited Pro 2.0: The best (and priciest) business cell phone plan from Verizon is $45 per user per month when you purchase five or more lines of service. It offers everything in the Plus plan and adds unlimited premium network access. You’ll also receive a 50% discount on Business Unlimited Tablet Pro plans.
Verizon also has an intuitive device management system that lets you remotely manage all the mobile devices connected to your network. The system allows you to use a single management portal to maintain security policies across your organization.
Verizon offers 24/7 customer support for its business cell phone plans. You can contact the customer service team via phone, email and live chat, or you can request a store appointment if you need in-person support.
Best for Team Collaboration: Xfinity Mobile
Why we chose it: Xfinity Mobile , a service provided by Comcast, gives you access to a nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots, so you'll enjoy reliable 5G network coverage almost anywhere. If your team is collaborating on a project, members can connect easily to the Xfinity network and access any needed files quickly or have a video chat hassle-free.
- Excellent price points
- Broad coverage area
- 5G network access
- Only available to Xfinity internet users
- Browsing speed reduction when you exceed your data limit
- Only allows limited devices in the BYOD program
Xfinity allows you to connect to its network by subscribing to its Unlimited or By the Gig data options. With By the Gig, all the lines on your account share a chosen data amount, which ranges between 1 GB and 10 GB per month. Exceeding the selected data amount generates a $15 charge per additional gigabyte. To avoid this charge, users can connect to any of the Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots available nationwide. Hotspot data usage is free and won’t count against your monthly total.
You can choose the Unlimited option if you’re a heavy data user or don’t have frequent access to an Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also switch between the two plan options whenever your data usage changes.
Additionally, Xfinity allows you to bring your phone through the BYOD (bring your own device) program. However, only certain devices are eligible, so be sure to check your phone's compatibility with Xfinity if you don't plan on purchasing a new one.
Xfinity Mobile offers two pricing tiers for small businesses:
- Unlimited: This plan costs $45 per user per month or as little as $22 per user per month if you have 20 connected phone lines. The pricing tier gives you unlimited access to 5G and 4G LTE data.
- By the Gig: With this pricing plan, you pay an additional $15 per GB once you exceed your chosen data usage amount.
Xfinity’s user experience is centered around ensuring customers can manage their plans easily, from signing up online to upgrading plans without hassle. For example, if you’re using the unlimited plan and want to upgrade to the latest pricing plan, you can do so through the Xfinity Mobile app.
Xfinity has a 24/7 chatbot if you need to ask questions about accessibility, account management and billing. You can also get answers from helpful guides that address common questions or visit a store to get the help of a consultant.
Best for International Service: Teltik
Why we chose it: For business owners with employees who frequently travel abroad, Teltik offers an excellent cell phone plan with unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada at no additional cost.
- Nationwide 5G network
- No contract
- Inexpensive pricing
Teltik gives you unlimited data, talk and text without requiring a service contract. This means you can easily change your cell phone plan whenever your business needs change.
Teltik offers a vast network of hotspots across the country that provide free Wi-Fi to customers. Teltik’s plans also have a Wi-Fi calling feature, or VoIP, which ensures you can make calls even when traveling internationally.
Teltik allows you to bring your personal phone to the network and keep using your existing number. However, the company does not offer new phones for purchase. If you need to purchase new phones for your business, this may not be the best option for you.
Teltik has three pricing plans for small businesses, including:
- 2 GB for $20 per month
- 6 GB for $30 per month
- Unlimited data for $40 per month
All these price tiers offer similar features, including: 4G and 5G data, unlimited talk and text, hotspots, nationwide coverage and calls to Mexico and Canada.
Creating an account and navigating its intuitive control panel is easy with Teltik. From the control panel, you can manage your account, check data usage, add lines and make payments. As your business grows, you can make necessary changes to your plan, such as adding more lines of service.
Teltik has a team of highly trained customer support representatives who are always available to help you. You can send them a message through Teltik's website or call them. You can also find answers to any burning questions on Teltik's extensive FAQ page.
Best for Reliable Coverage: T-Mobile
Why we chose it: because of the size and scope of its network, T-Mobile provides reliable wireless coverage across the U.S. and parts of Mexico and Canada. It also offers a variety of cell phone business plans for businesses of all sizes.
- Bonus perks like in-flight Wi-Fi
- Strong 5G network
- Service plans that allow for unlimited talk and text for employees in Mexico and Canada
- Anti-scam feature
- Expensive for small businesses that need less than six lines
- The best features are only available in the higher-priced tiers
T-Mobile has features and unique bonuses that set it apart from the standard business cell phone plans. For example, some higher-tier plans allow you to enjoy unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi and subscriptions to Microsoft 365 productivity tools.
No matter your plan, you'll get unlimited talk and text plus 5G and 4G LTE data. T-Mobile plans also feature unlimited text and talk while in Mexico and Canada, and a scam shield feature to identify and block scam callers.
You can choose from the following business plans, each priced per line:
- Business Unlimited Select: This plan starts at $25 per user per month when you buy six lines. You will get 50 GB of premium data, 5 GB of high-speed hotspot data and scam shield.
- Business Unlimited Advanced: This plan costs $30 per user per month when you buy at least six lines. You will enjoy all the features in the Select plan, plus four full-flight Wi-Fi sessions.
- Business Unlimited Ultimate: This tier costs $40 per line. It comes with unlimited premium data, unlimited full-flight Wi-Fi sessions, premium scam shield and 100 GB of hotspot data.
T-Mobile has user-friendly features such as a simple user profile that help you easily manage your account and business. You can also manage your account from any device using a self-service portal.
You can call or text the customer support team anytime. You can also schedule a time when you want to speak with an assistant, and they will call you back.
Best for Video Meetings: Google Voice
Why we chose it: Google Voice supports high-quality audio and video, allowing participants to have a clear, uninterrupted communication experience. Its seamless integration with Google Meet allows users to quickly join any meeting and start communicating right away.
- Starts at just $10
- Unlimited SMS and calls
- Gives you a local phone number for calls, texts and voicemail (unlike most VoIP services)
- Highly scalable
- Must have an existing phone number to use the call-forwarding feature
- Only allows for integration with Google workplace tools
- Lacks advanced capabilities like real-time analytics
Google Voice is a virtual service that requires an existing phone number to send forwarded calls to. With the help of Google AI, Voice will help you block spam calls and transcribe your voicemails automatically. Since it integrates with Google tools, you can easily join video meetings with Google Meet and schedule calls with Google Calendar.
In terms of pricing, Google Voice has cheap business cell phone plans, including:
- Starter: This plan starts at just $10 per user per month. It allows you to make calls between Google Voice numbers, calls to the U.S. from any Google Voice number and calls to Canada from a Canadian or U.S. Google Voice number. Other features in the Starter plan include unlimited texts in the U.S., integration with Google tools, voicemail transcription and call forwarding.
- Standard: The Standard plan costs $20 per user per month and allows unlimited users and domestic locations. It comes with all the features found in the starter plan and more, like desk phone support and records for text messages and voicemails. It also allows for call recording.
- Premier: This top-tier plan comes with all the bells and whistles for $30 per user per month. In addition to all the features in the other plans, this plan allows for unlimited users and international locations.
Google Voice has a simple user interface that will help you manage your assignments, workflows and billing on one platform. You can even customize it to fit your daily workflow. Aspects like billing, porting and number assignment are consolidated neatly in the Google Workspace Admin Console, which you’re likely familiar with if you use Google Workspace.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: AT&T
Why we chose it : AT&T provides features not usually found in other provider’s cheapest plans — such as unlimited text and calls to Canada and Mexico, trade-ins, and discounts on eligible devices — to make its business cell phone plan budget-friendly.
- Unlimited texts to more than 200 countries
- International roaming
- Added security features
- No overage charges
- Data speed slows down during busy periods
- Premium tiers and add-ons can make cell phone plans expensive
New and existing AT&T customers get a free Google Pixel 7 if they have an eligible trade-in device. You can also get the new iPhone 14 Pro with discounts of up to $800 as long as you have the eligible trade-in.
AT&T plans offer unlimited data, text and talk. You’ll also have access to a broad 5G network and a mobile hotspot with up to 5 GB of data.
In addition to domestic coverage, you’ll enjoy unlimited texts and calls from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada. AT&T does not charge roaming fees when using the phone in Canada, Mexico and select Latin American countries. These charges usually apply when you’re outside your home network area and using your phone in the coverage area of another provider.
AT&T’s security features include ActiveArmor, which enhances mobile security by blocking fraud and spam calls. The advanced version has safe browsing and identity monitoring features, too.
You can choose from one of these three AT&T business plans priced monthly and per line. The available plans are:
- Business Unlimited Starter: Starting at $30, this plan offers unlimited domestic text, data and talk. You also have unlimited texts and phone calls to Mexico and Canada, access to 5G and 5G+ services, mobile security and standard streaming.
- Business Unlimited Performance: This plan starts at $35 if you purchase five or more lines. It includes all of the starter plan's features plus high-definition streaming and improved mobile security.
- Business Unlimited Elite: Pricing for this tier starts at $45 per line per month for at least five lines. It offers added features such as the AT&T Business Fast Track which prioritizes your data usage during congestion periods to ensure your business continues running smoothly. The plan also provides 100 GB of hotspot data.
AT&T has a user-friendly website where you can manage your account and view your usage and contact customer support 24/7. The service provider also offers free virtual training sessions where instructors teach you how to manage your wireless business accounts. There’s also a business forum where you can get answers to any questions about the service.
Best Customer Satisfaction: RingCentral
Why we chose it: RingCentral is a VoIP service that offers a wide variety of useful business features for team communication and document sharing.
- Unlimited calls within the U.S. and Canada
- Team messaging
- Document sharing
- Advanced features for call management
- The wide variety of features can be overwhelming
- The basic plan doesn't allow for video calls
RingCentral comes packed with features that increase productivity in your workplace. These include document sharing, team member messaging and unlimited business SMS. The team messaging feature is a collaboration tool that helps you centralize team communication via the RingCentral app.
RingCentral has a number of advanced features such as video and audio conferencing, call recording, multi-level auto attendant and overflow call queues. All these features enhance your customer service while helping your team collaborate. RingCentral also integrates with third-party tools like Zoho CRM, Microsoft 365 and Zendesk.
RingCentral’s pricing depends on the number of users on your plan and the features you want. The four pricing plans are:
- Essential: This plan starts at $20 per user per month and gives you unlimited domestic calls and team messaging.
- Standard: This plan costs $28 per user per month and offers unlimited faxing. With this plan, you can hold video meetings with up to 100 participants. You can also video call up to 100 people.
- Premium: Prices start at $35 per user per month. You get automatic call recording, integration with third-party tools and all the features in the lower tiers.
- Ultimate: This plan will cost you $50 per user per month and includes device status reports plus unlimited file storage.
RingCentral's user-friendliness is affected by the abundance of its features. The features can be overwhelming for new users, and it might take some time to learn how to use them all to the fullest.
However, its customer service compares favorably to that of other providers, especially if you're subscribed to the upper tiers. Nonetheless, if you're using low-priced plans, you might find the customer service less responsive than you'd like, as mentioned by multiple reviewers on TrustPilot.
Other companies we considered
- Third-party integration
- Toll-free numbers
- Video-meeting capabilities even on the cheapest plan
- Expensive international calls
- Limited video meeting durations
- Integrations are only available in high-tier plans
Nextiva is a cloud-based business phone service that combines communication channels such as collaboration, voice, text message and video tools in one place. It didn't make our list because it falls short in overall features compared to other comparable plans.
- Affordable unlimited data plans
- No need for a contract
- No overage fees
- Restrictions on hotspot data
- Poor coverage in rural areas
MetroPCS is a prepaid cell phone service that uses T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE network. While MetroPCS's plans offer flexibility and affordability, the provider didn't make our list because it doesn't clearly distinguish between personal/household and business cell phone plans.
- Coverage on AT&T's nationwide 4G LTE network
- No annual contracts
- Speed caps on the unlimited plan
- Limited phone selection
- The basic plan is overpriced
Cricket Wireless is a prepaid wireless provider that offers affordable cell phone plans. With Cricket Wireless, you get 5G coverage and unlimited data for higher plans. We didn’t include this provider on our list because it may not have the comprehensive features that a business requires from a cell phone plan provider.
- Unlimited text and talk in all plans
- Strong mobile hotspot
- No service contract
- Excellent add-on services, including phone insurance and Boost call screener
- Not compatible with most devices
- Doesn't cover all locations across the nation
Boost Mobile is a prepaid wireless carrier, meaning you pay upfront and get only what you pay for. With Boost Mobile, you can enjoy high data speeds without service contracts. However, Boost is designed more for family and personal use and doesn’t offer the features many businesses are after.
Best Business Cell Phone Plans Guide
We created this guide for business cell phone plans to answer some of the most common questions related to the topic.
What is a business cell phone plan?
A business cell phone plan is a service that gives businesses access to a mobile network to facilitate communication from customers or among team members. Business cell phone plans typically come with a higher monthly price tag than personal plans, but they also offer more features and support that can benefit businesses. Examples of crucial features include flexibility in the number of lines, enhanced security, conference calling and additional data.
How do business cell phone plans work?
Business cell phone plans work just like any other cell phone plan. You pay a monthly fee in exchange for access to a set number of minutes, texts and data. The best small business cell phone plans come with additional features like unlimited calling or texting to certain numbers and support for international calls.
How to pick a business cell phone plan
Choosing a business cell phone plan provider is just like choosing the best internet provider for your home or business — you need to look at and weigh several factors to determine which plan best fits your budget and needs. These factors include:
Prices differ across different business cell phone plan providers, so be sure to shop around and compare before making your final decision.
The best business cell phone plan providers do not offer across-the-board prices. They organize their prices into different tiers, each with unique features. Consider what features and customer support you need and factor that into your budget. Just like with the best business checking accounts , the best cell phone plan for your business is an investment that will save you money in the long run.
Mobile devices offered
Most business cell phone plan providers also offer mobile devices. If you're looking for a new phone for your business, this can be a great time to get it. When considering this factor, think about what type of phone you (and, potentially, your employees) want and whether you're willing to pay more for a plan that comes with a mobile device.
VoIP services allow you to make calls on Wi-Fi networks so you can work internationally or in areas with low data reception. These services usually integrate with the computer and mobile phone you already own. Some plans will let you transfer your existing phone, but only if it's compatible with the provider's network.
Business cell phone plans come with various features, from basic call and text capabilities to more advanced features like custom integrations and identity monitoring. When choosing a plan, consider what features are most important to your business and ensure the plan you choose offers them.
International calling allows you to make and receive telephone calls to and from other countries. Depending on the provider, international calling may be limited to a certain number of countries or available in all countries around the world. Some providers also offer special rates for international calling, saving you money on long-distance calls.
If your business frequently makes or receives calls from other countries, you'll want to ensure your business cell phone plan offers international calling or fair rates for the countries you need to contact. Otherwise, you'll be paying high per-minute rates for each call, which can quickly add up.
Unlimited plans and unlimited calling
Some business cell phone plans come with unlimited minutes, texts and data, which can be a great option for businesses that make many calls or have many devices connected to the mobile network. Unlimited plans are typically more expensive, so if you're not sure you need unlimited anything, consider a different plan type that offers a set amount of minutes, texts or data at a lower cost.
Best of Business Cell Phone Plans FAQ
How much are taxes on cell phone plans, how do you save money on cell phone data plans, why are cell phone plans so expensive in the u.s., how we chose the best business cell phone plans.
To narrow down our list of the best business cell phone plans, we evaluated different providers based on the following criteria:
We evaluated how providers priced their monthly plans, whether or not the plans were affordable for large, mid-sized and small businesses and how they compared to competitors offering similar features.
We checked whether these service providers had business-friendly features that made them stand out. These included Wi-Fi calling, international calls and unlimited data plans.
We considered whether providers had multiple channels through which customers could reach them. We also evaluated if customers could get thorough answers to common questions from the providers’ websites and apps.
We considered how easy it was to sign up for and use the providers’ services. This included looking at the user interface and whether it was easy to navigate and perform tasks like adding lines.
Summary of Money's Best Business Cell Phone Plans of 2023
Wirefly helps you save on cell phones and plans by offering innovative comparison tools so consumers can make educated choices. Start saving today with Wirefly!
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Compare the Best Business Cell Phone Plans of 2023
Find and compare the best business cell phone plans at Wirefly. To compare business cell phone plans, simply enter the amount of phone lines, minutes, data, and messages that your organization, needs, and Wirefly will analyze existing business plans on the market from major and minor carriers (both contract and no contract) to find the best plans for your business. Then it's up to you to sort by price, feature, or another criteria to choose the plan you want. Click on the plan name to learn more, or click the Buy Now button to select that plan.
Select the amount of total data you need for the entire plan.
For example, if you need 2 lines with 1 GB of data each, you would select 2 GB of data with the data slider below.
What is the Best Business Cell Phone Plan
There's no clear cut winner when it comes to choosing the best business cell phone plan. Instead, it depends on the specific needs of you and your business. The "Big 4" major carriers which include T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, all offer business cell phone plans. Typically, these plans will include unlimited talk and text for every line on the plan, and either a set amount of data per line per month, or a shared data pool that is used by all of the users of that plan each month. Just enter the number of lines, minutes, messages, and data you need in the tool above to see which business cell phone plans will work best for you and your business. You can also compare consumer cell phone plans with Wirefly.
Types of Business Cell Phone Plans
If your company depends on cell phone usage for most or all of its communication needs, then it's a big benefit to have a business wireless plan that suits your organization's needs. You can look up different carriers and plan types with our comparison service and see how much you could save compared to your company's current business wireless plan. There are three types of business wireless plans:
- Shared data plans for small businesses
- Unlimited data plans for business
- Medium to large sized business plans
What Business Wireless Plan Is Best For Your Company?
When choosing the right plan for your business, you should consider how many employees will be on the plan and what types of services you want to include. Most carriers factor these three things into your plan:
- Talk - Minutes
- Text - Text Messaging
- Data - Data Usage in MB or GB
If you are looking for actual business phone service for your office building, check out our business VoIP provider comparison .
Compare Business Cell Phone Carriers
AT&T is one of the larger wireless providers and has multiple types of business cell phone plans. Learn more about AT&T Business .
Verizon Wireless offers individual plans, family sharing plans for small businesses, and larger enterprise business cell phone plans. Learn more about Verizon Business .
Sprint sells a few different type of business cell phone plans including a new plan for small businesses (less than 10 employees) called the Sprint Business Share Plus Plans. Learn more about Sprint Business .
T-Mobile, which calls itself the "uncarrier", boasts plans for business users that are very flexible and offer unlimited data. Learn more about T-Mobile Business .
If you are looking for a cell phone plan with a different number of lines for your company's employees, you can adjust the amount of lines needed in the tool, or check out the following pages:
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 2 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 3 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 4 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 5 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 6 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 7 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 8 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 9 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 10 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 11 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 12 Lines
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- Business Cell Phone Plans with 20 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 21 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 22 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 23 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 24 Lines
- Business Cell Phone Plans with 25 Lines
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.
Pricing & Other Info
Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Requires Comcast Business Internet service. Up to 20 lines. Equip., intl. and roaming charges, taxes, and fees, including reg. recovery fees, and other charges extra, and subj. to change. $25/line/mo. charge applies if one of the following services not maintained: Comcast Business TV, Internet, or Voice. Pricing subject to change. In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic. After monthly threshold included with your data option, speeds reduced to a maximum of 1.5 Mbps download/750 Kbps upload. A minimum $15.00 charge applies per month, per account for By the Gig lines, regardless of data usage. Charges apply to each GB or partial GB of shared data. No rollover data. Actual savings vary and are not guaranteed. For Comcast Business Mobile Disclosures visit:
BIG BENEFITS WITHOUT THE BIG PRICE
Mobile service, just right for business needs, new ways to save.
Get Unlimited with 5G included for $30/mo per line when you get 2 lines.
The most reliable 5G network nationwide included at no extra cost and access to millions of WiFi hotspots.
Flexibility & control
Switch lines between Unlimited and By the Gig data anytime and only pay for what you and your employees need.
Unlimited data options that fit your business
Benefits of Unlimited
Get Unlimited data for yourself and get a great price. Or add lines for your team and take advantage of multi-line pricing.
Match your needs
Mix Unlimited Intro, Unlimited Plus, Unlimited Premium, and shared By the Gig data options based on what your business needs.
Freedom to switch
Collaborating more at work, or traveling less? Visit your account online to switch any line to By the Gig, anytime.
Benefits of By the Gig
For yourself, your team
By the Gig’s shareable data can work for everyone: you or your employees.
It’s okay to go over
No problem if you or your employees use more than your chosen amount. Additional data is $15 per GB, or switch any line to Unlimited.
Data options that grow with your business
Needs can change in an instant. You can adjust your data amount, switch to Unlimited, or mix and match data options.
Compare your options
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Need a New Phone Plan? Consider These Black Friday Carrier Deals
Switch and save with these great deals from phone carriers.
If you've been wanting a new cellphone or if you've looking to switch providers, these early Black Friday deals are for you. Right now, several carriers, including Ultra Mobile , Mint Mobile and others, are offering great deals on phone plans.
Shop 3gb multi-month plans for $10 a month.
With Ultra Mobile, you can save up to $108 with the company's best deal of the season. For just $10 a month, you'll get 3GB of data. You can pay upfront $30 for three months, $60 for six months or cover the entire year for $120. Ultra Mobile plans also include unlimited talk and text to over 90 countries, free Wi-Fi calling and reliably fast 5G speeds.
Get family plans from $15 a month per line.
If you're looking for a family plan, Mint Mobile is the place to go. If you sign up now, you can choose from plans starting at $15 a month, per line. With the base plan for $15, you'll get 5GB of data per month or you can kick things up to the Unlimited plan for $30 a month. Mint gives you the option to customize your plan to suit your needs.
Unlimited talk and text, plus 5gb of data, for $25 a month.
Consumer Cellular is encouraging you to make the switch to its "best plans ever." If you switch today, you can get 5GB of data, unlimited talk and text for just $25 a month. If you don't use a lot of data, you can even switch to a cheaper plan with 1GB of data and still get the unlimited talk and text perks.
New customers get unlimited plans for $40 a month.
Boost Mobile is offering a deal that's hard to resist. Right now, new you can get an unlimited phone plan for $40 a month. This includes unlimited talk and text, unlimited mobile data and 12GB of data when you use your phone as a hotspot.
Looking for more discounts? CNET has the best deals from Ultra Mobile , Mint Mobile and many others, along with promo code offers -- all updated and verified daily.
Many retailers start "Black Friday" sales as early as Halloween, or even earlier. The quality of deals can vary early on, but as November progresses, many of the deals are as good as the deep discounts you’ll see during Thanksgiving weekend. See the best Black Friday deals we’ve found, and keep up with all the latest deals with our full Black Friday live blog coverage.
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Best Business Process Management Software in 2023
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BPM software streamlines and automates business processes for improved efficiency and productivity. Check out our top BPM software to find your best fit.
Asana: Best for team insights
Zoho creator: best for customization, clickup: best for data visualization, monday.com: best for project and team management, ntask: best for time management, jira work management: best for both startups and enterprises.
A big part of growth is knowing you need to change and adapt. Teams that take this to heart will know that even if their work gets done it doesn’t mean you can’t improve it or make it easier for employees. Business process management (BPM) software is designed to help you analyze business processes and understand what works, what can be better and what you can add. The software on this list can offer capabilities to help you on your improvement journey.
Top business project management software comparison
- Top business project management software
- Key features of business project management software
- How do I choose the best business project management software for my business?
The table below shows whether the 4 software have some key features for BPM tools. The pricing is of course also a consideration and is based on the first paid plan regardless of whether they have a free plan or not.
Asana is a feature-rich project management solution with advanced features for reporting and security. You can use their detailed progress capabilities to measure performance and determine team needs based on projects. The software can help you gain in-depth insights into workloads and make changes to current business processes from there.
- Basic: Free with unlimited tasks, messages and projects.
- Premium: $10.99 user/month, billed annually, or $13.49 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $24.99 user/month, billed annually, or $30.49 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: See sales.
- Unlimited projects, messages and file storage.
- Multiple work views include list, board, calendar, Gantt and due date views.
- Native time tracking in higher tiers or through other integrations in lower tiers.
- Custom templates, chart template library and workflow builder.
- Reporting for time tracking, progress view, goals and workloads.
- Through the rules and bundles features, you can automate routine tasks and update processes.
- Security features like multi-factor authentication and data loss prevention (DLP).
- Data visualization to track progress, deadlines and overall time of projects.
- Over integrates to help you incorporate your tech stack.
- Great for tracking changes and overall performance.
- Limits on reporting and integrations in lower tiers.
- Only paid plans have full security features and the Business plan has 24/7 support.
- Enterprise Plan is the only one to have advanced data protection and compliance.
If your team is looking for a BPM that allows you to tailor the application to your needs, Zoho Creator is a unique solution. Tech-savvy teams can use the low-code BPM tool to develop their ideal solutions for their business needs. It may not be suited for simple workflows and less technology, but it is awesome for complex data needs in BPM.
- Standard: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $12 user/month, billed monthly.
- Professional: $20 user/month, billed annually, or $30 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: $25 user/month, billed annually, or $37 user/month, billed monthly.
- Flex: Teams can contact sales to customize their subscription.
- One custom app per plan and unlimited custom apps for higher tiers.
- Work views like calendar, kanban, tasks, issues, milestones and Gantt charts.
- Access for mobile, desktop and tablet, as well as personal branding.
- Pre-made and custom AI models along with app templates to get started faster.
- Ability to connect with Zoho business suite and other third-party apps, and even make custom connections with preferred apps.
- Developer tools and advanced data analytics.
- Workflow automation for actions, analytics and approvals.
- Companies can create external user portals for clients, vendors or customers.
- Allows teams to create the missing app in their tech stack and improve current business processes.
- Importing and exporting data in all plan tiers.
- Ability to set workflow rules to ensure business processes run according to instructions.
- Strong learning curve.
- Requires tech-savvy skills and has its own scripting language, Deluge, similar to Python.
- Very expensive and the first tier only allows one custom app.
- The highest plan only has 5GB of storage.
One of the best project management tools for team workloads is ClickUp. Their software offers advanced work views, collaboration, automation and reporting options. Teams can streamline business processes with automation, monitor progress in dynamic views and manage employee resources with workload profiles in reporting.
- Free forever: Free with unlimited tasks, and members.
- Unlimited: $7 user/month, billed annually, or $10 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $12 user/month, billed annually, or $19 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: scaled for large teams, see sales.
- Multiple work views, including Gantt charts, mind maps, workloads, lists, calendars and more.
- Ensure business processes follow through with set task dependencies, basic and advanced automation and custom statuses.
- Reporting for milestones, sprints, workloads and time tracking.
- Over 50 native integrations, along with access to Zapier and Tableau Web Connector.
- Free plan accesses a selection of all ClickUp features and even basic automation.
- More affordable than dedicated BPM tools can still handle complex needs.
- Two-factor authentication for all tiers.
- Limited security and compliance options outside of the Enterprise plan.
- Limits across all tiers for automation, integrations and reporting.
For more information, read the full ClickUp review .
One of the best business management solutions is monday work management. The software offers teams automation, reporting and productivity features to stay on task. You can track task dependencies, monitor activity logs and visualize data in multiple views like charts and graphs.
- Free: Free for 2 seats, 3 boards and unlimited docs.
- Basic: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $24 user/month, billed monthly.
- Standard: $10 user/month, billed annually, or $30 user/month, billed monthly.
- Pro: $16 user/month, billed annually, or $48 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Advanced automation and security, see sales to learn more.
- Multiple work views for kanban, map, timeline, calendar and chart.
- Tools to stay focused, like time tracking, workload reporting, custom notifications and task dependency columns to visualize important relationships between tasks.
- Tools for collaboration like brainstorming whiteboard, guest users and real-time updates.
- Storage from 5GB to 1000GB in paid subscriptions.
- Advanced performance analytics in Enterprise tier.
- All paid plans have 24/7 support and access to live webinars.
- Two-factor authentication in all plans.
- Advanced security and most admin features in Enterprise tier.
- Automation and integrations are limited to Standard plan and up.
For more information, read the full monday review .
nTask is an affordable project management tool with an abundance of features to meet dynamic needs. They offer time management, multiple work views, remote collaboration and unlimited workspaces. You can track a variety of factors around business princesses while ensuring team progress.
- Basic: Free for 5 users with unlimited tasks and workspaces.
- Premium: $3 user/month, billed annually, or $4 user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $8 user/month, billed annually, or $12 user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Offers advanced features and security, see sales for more.
- Multiple work views including list, grid, calendar, kanban and Gantt charts.
- Time tracking, timesheets and time estimates for project insights.
- User management, custom roles and task dependencies to ensure workflows are managed.
- Paid plans start with 5GB storage and go up to 100GB.
- Support features like 24/7 chat, onboarding, training and dedicated account managers depending on the plan.
- Teams can easily manage important processes with budget tracking, issue tracking and risk management.
- 24/7 support for all plans.
- All plans can access integrations, like Microsoft and Google Workspaces, as well as Zapier to extend available connections.
- The Basic and Premium tiers miss out on a lot of advanced features like dependencies and budget tracking.
- Extended onboarding and training are only included in the Enterprise tier.
For more information, read the full nTask review .
Jira Work Management is a great solution for managing projects and complex business processes. You can use it for automation, data visualization, task management and reporting. Teams will absolutely be able to gain insights and manage business processes. Their Free plan has stacked capabilities to effectively use the tool for work or get a taste of the platform before buying.
If you’re looking to buy a paid subscription for less than 10 users, then you need a monthly plan. Annual pricing is for buying a minimum of 10 licenses that you can fill right away or expect to fill that year.
- Free: Allows 3 guests and unlimited customers.
- Standard: $5 user/month, billed annually, or $500 user/month, billed monthly.
- Premium: $10 user/month, billed annually, or $1,000 user/month, billed monthly.
- Work views such as timeline, list, calendar, board and summaries.
- Forms, business project templates and collaborative editing to improve content management.
- Reporting for status, statistics, progress and tasks.
- Automation for recurring tasks and bulk actions.
- Project roles and dependency management.
- Advanced security, like IP listing permissions.
- Storage starts at 2GB for Free which is more than most apps, and goes up to 250 GB in the next plan up.
- Ability to add branding and customize workflows in the Free plan.
- Encryption, disaster recovery and mobile device management in all plan tiers.
- Annual plans require 10 licenses and are very pricey for small teams.
- The learning curve to learn all the software capabilities.
For more information on Jira in general, read the full Jira Software review .
Key features of business process management
Business process management encompasses a variety of factors, but to find a great software, we’ve narrowed down some criteria to get started. Not every feature will be important to you, but most of them are offered by great BPM solutions.
One of the best ways to improve business processes is to streamline repetitive but important tasks by automating them. This way, you also ensure tasks will be completed either through automated alerts, scheduled meetings or reports. If you can sideline it to the conveyor belt, you can spend that time on harder tasks.
You can’t manage business processes if they aren’t completed in the right order. Task dependencies ensure teams know to wait on task delivery before moving on to the next phase. Some tools allow you to look at all dependent tasks in one place, and it can help you gain a deeper understanding of how your team functions.
Another important way to get insight into how your team functions is detailed reporting for progress, performance, time, budget, risks and more. While it sounds obvious, a good part of BPM is analysis. Knowing your work from different perspectives will help you understand critical parts that may not be obvious.
For example, a team might switch to software without color-coded notifications and automated scheduling and suddenly find their team interprets notifications wrong and forgets to schedule important meetings. It’s actually really hard to know which small parts of your workflow are integral. That’s why, through reporting, you can pay attention to changes in progress after switching software or trying a new work style.
We all know that time is everything, but when it comes to BPM it’s an indicator for performance. If you’re able to optimize the time spent on workflow, then you can make room to rearrange your work model and consider new opportunities.
Time tracking and estimations can help you predict, measure and analyze your team from all sorts of perspectives. For example, if approvals average one to three months but the time it takes to actually do them is an hour, it means your managers are overbooked.
While work visualizations are one of the more common project management features, they are for a big reason. With in-depth views like Gantt charts for timelines and due dates, management teams can stay on track. Filtering through work progress, employee status, milestones and deadlines is also important for decision-making. Your team can’t operate cohesively if they can’t take each other’s needs into account.
How do I choose the best business process management software for my business?
When looking for a BPM solution, you need to know exactly what you want to manage. You can choose a solution advertised for business process management systems or find project management and work management tools with advanced automation, reporting and data visualization.
Maybe you don’t know what processes you want to analyze, monitor, improve or streamline. Software with advanced reporting can give you a macro view of your business workflow and future needs.
Tools like Asana, monday, ClickUp and Jira all have great reporting options. You can also use them for project management while you take your time to look for points of improvement in your team. It’s a huge benefit to ask your team about any issues or processes that feel outdated.
You may find you need something you can personalize, so Zoho Creator will be worth considering, but it’s very expensive. nTask will also be great for testing out for time, budget and risk processes you want to dive into.
Many of the business process management systems on this list have free plans you can test out before making a big purchase. We highly recommend taking advantage of that before committing to several months of onboarding.
The software were chosen according to whether or not they had important features for BPM such as tools for monitoring, tracking and reporting. Anything to give businesses a deeper understanding of how they operate. From there, having features to help make changes and improve current workflows is important. Each software on this list has tools to learn and make needed changes.
Cost and whether or not they had free plans were also considered. BPM features tend to be advanced and can get very costly, but most of the solutions listed have a free version. Popularity with users and intuitive learning were also considered, but with the understanding that feature-rich solutions will all have some sort of a learning curve.
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Exxon Mobil Plans to Produce Lithium in Arkansas
The move is the oil giant’s first foray in the production of a metal vital for electric vehicle batteries.
By Clifford Krauss
Clifford Krauss has covered energy at home and abroad since 2007. He has been a Times correspondent since 1990.
Exxon Mobil said on Monday that it planned to set up a facility in Arkansas to produce lithium, a critical raw material for electric vehicles, which pose one of the biggest challenges to the company’s oil business.
Coming just a month after Exxon said it would spend $60 billion to buy Pioneer Natural Resources, the announcement signals that the large oil company intends to hedge its big bets on conventional fossil fuels with at least some investments in cleaner forms of energy that are needed to combat climate change.
The announcement does not represent a fundamental shift in corporate strategy, but it is an acknowledgment that battery-powered vehicles will increasingly compete with cars and trucks fueled by gasoline and diesel. It could also open the door for southern Arkansas to emerge as a major source of lithium. Most of the metal today comes from Australia and South America, and much of it is processed in China.
“Electrification is going to be a major component of the energy transition, and we bring highly relevant experience to the production of lithium,” Dan Ammann, president of Exxon Mobil Low Carbon Solutions and a former top executive at General Motors, said in an interview. “We see an opportunity to deploy that will be highly profitable.”
He said the project would “enable the continued reduction of emissions associated with transportation.”
Exxon announced that it would begin lithium production in 2027, with the goal of producing enough metal to supply more than a million electric vehicles a year by 2030. The company did not say how much it would invest in the project, but Mr. Ammann said the company was ready to spend “hundreds of millions” as a start and would look for “more opportunities” to expand lithium production.
An essential component of lithium-ion batteries, lithium has become a prize in a global race between American companies and businesses in China, Russia and elsewhere. The United States produces only a small amount of lithium, though mining companies are hoping to produce a lot more of it, including in California, Nevada and North Carolina .
Exxon executives say the company’s expertise in geology, drilling, hydraulic fracturing and chemical production will allow it to economically extract lithium from the soup of saltwater and minerals known as the “Smackover brine” found underground in Arkansas. Exxon added that thousands of depleted oil wells drilled over the last century could eventually be rehabilitated to produce lithium.
In recent years, Exxon has doubled down on oil and natural gas production in the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico, and in the deep waters off Guyana. Arkansas fits into its plans of concentrating its production close to home and away from the Middle East and Russia, where Western oil companies previously tried and largely failed to establish sustainable businesses.
Some other oil companies like BP, Eni and Equinor have invested in other forms of energy like solar, nuclear and wind, but Exxon has sought to increase its investments in fossil fuels while trying to ramp up efforts at capturing and burying carbon emissions from industry and producing hydrogen as a clean fuel.
In Arkansas, Exxon plans to use a process known as “direct lithium extraction,” a new technology that uses solvents or membranes and filters to produce lithium from brine. Engineers and executives that are pushing this method have said it is superior to open pit mines or evaporation ponds because it is faster and wastes less water. But nobody has successfully proved that the approach can produce enough lithium for millions of cars or stationary batteries.
Exxon, which purchased drilling rights on 120,000 acres in Arkansas this year, said it would pump leftover brine back underground, and convert the lithium it mined to battery-grade material nearby. China dominates the difficult business of turning lithium found in the earth into the concentrated material battery factories need.
Some energy experts are skeptical that direct extraction will work at large scales and have said Exxon’s effort may not increase the supply of lithium by much. Mr. Ammann said he was confident the technology would work.
Some environmentalists expressed halfhearted praise for Exxon’s lithium efforts.
“It’s an infinitesimal fraction of what Exxon does, and most of what it does is dreadful,” said Dan Becker, director of the safe climate transport campaign at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But we do need lithium, and it’s better that it comes from a spoiled industrial site where oil drilling used to take place than from a pristine place.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden last year, has helped spur efforts to produce lithium, make batteries and assemble electric cars with generous tax credits and other incentives.
Still, little new lithium production has come on line in the United States in recent years, and experts note that setting up mines and processing plants here could take many years. Some companies have been working for years to produce lithium from brine under the Salton Sea in California.
“It’s helpful, but it’s not going to be enough for critical metal independence to get away from China,” said Benny Freeman, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin who is active in lithium research. “But this, plus the Salton Sea, is a good start.”
Mining experts said Exxon had the expertise to find lithium but might need outside help to separate the metal through filtration or purification from the salty liquids.
Exxon has held discussions with Tesla, Ford Motor and other car companies to supply them with lithium. Other oil companies, including Chevron and Occidental, have also said they are looking at investing in lithium mining.
In a way, Exxon’s new venture in lithium is a return to its past. In the 1970s, an Exxon chemist played a leading role in developing the lithium-ion battery. Exxon even began manufacturing the batteries in 1976 but gave up after concluding that the market for the batteries was too small.
The price of lithium has been falling in recent months as new supplies have become available in various countries and the growth rate of electric vehicles has slowed in China, Europe and the United States. But many energy experts expect a shortage of the metal by the end of the decade, which could result in higher prices.
Clifford Krauss reports on the energy industry, focusing on the transition to renewable resources in a warming world. More about Clifford Krauss
Exxon to start lithium production for EVs in the US by 2027
[1/2] Exxon Mobil logo and stock graph are seen through a magnifier displayed in this illustration taken September 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
- U.S. oil firm sees global market for lithium from brine
- China is the main supplier of refined lithium for EVs
- Exxon to begin output with services provider Tetra Technologies
HOUSTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) said on Monday it plans to start producing lithium from subsurface wells by 2027 to provide supplies of the key metal used in electric-car batteries and advanced electronics.
Oil majors are investing in the electrification sector as governments in the United States and Europe set programs to promote wider use of electric vehicles and reduce fossil-fuel consumption.
Exxon said it will start production from briny waters pumped out of the ground in an area in the state of Arkansas known to hold significant lithium deposits to help develop a domestic source of the metal.
"In the long term, lithium really is a global opportunity," said Dan Ammann, president of Exxon's Low Carbon business unit. "We are starting here because there is an urgent need to ramp up domestic production of these critical materials."
Exxon plans to supply lithium for well over 1 million EVs per year and become a leading supplier of the metal by 2030. Analysts at financial firm TD Cowen estimate its goal would require some $2 billion in capital expenditures to provide 50,000 tonnes, a volume that could generate $800 million in potential cash.
Ammann did not disclose how much Exxon intends to invest in the lithium business, or when it might become profitable.
The largest U.S. oil company said it would use conventional oil and gas drilling methods to access lithium-rich saltwater from reservoirs about 10,000 feet underground and then use direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology to separate lithium from the saltwater.
The company's majority-owned Canadian affiliate, Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) , also has invested in a lithium-extraction pilot project in Alberta, Canada.
Exxon plans to begin production with partner Tetra Technologies (TTI.N) , Reuters exclusively reported on Saturday. It will produce the metal onsite and sell it under the brand name Mobil Lithium, the company said on Monday.
Exxon had acquired the rights to 120,000 gross acres of the Smackover Formation in Arkansas, a potential hub of activity for lithium brine aspirants, earlier this year.
European oil rivals BP (BP.L) and Shell (SHEL.L) have invested in EV charging stations as part of their energy transition strategy. A Deloitte study released earlier this year showed investors would like to see more spending on such technologies.
Exxon, which invented the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the 1970s, but stepped away from the technology, has no plans to invest in EV charging stations, Exxon's Ammann said.
It wants to supply lithium for EV batteries, consumer electronics and energy storage systems that can hold electricity generated from intermittent solar and wind power.
There are about 280 million vehicles in the United States today, and fewer than 3 million are EVs, or about 1% of the total, Ammann said.
"There is still 99% to go, which suggests it is a very, very big opportunity," he said.
Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston and Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru Editing by Gary McWilliams, Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
U.S. Energy correspondent focused in covering global operations of oil majors out of Houston. Sabrina previously worked at Bloomberg and Business Week in Rio de Janeiro, and The Washington Post in D.C., among other publications. Speaks English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. Contact: [email protected]
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