Glossary  >  Carrier



A carrier, short for a wireless carrier, refers to a company that provides cellular connectivity and mobile services to subscribers. Also known as a mobile network operator (MNO), wireless service provider, mobile phone operator, or cellular company.

Carriers manage extensive telecommunications infrastructure across the country and own rights to various radio frequencies. Some of the most popular carriers in the U.S. include:

  • AT&T Mobile
  • Sprint/T-Mobile
  • Verizon Wireless

Carriers may sell access to their radio spectrum to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), which may be their subsidiaries or partners. If you do not see your carrier listed above, it is likely one of the many MVNOs, which are typically regional operators that lease the necessary frequencies, base stations, and infrastructure from major carriers.

Examples of MVNOs include:

  • Cricket Wireless
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Spectrum Mobile
  • Affinity Cellular
  • EasyGo Wireless
  • Virgin Mobile

Example of Carrier in a sentence:

"My carrier does not support 5G in this area, so I may have to switch to a new one."

Synonyms: mobile network operator, wireless service provider, mobile phone operator, cellular company

Related Terms for Carrier: