3 providers? Aren't there 4?. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile. T-mobile even dropped the contracts - sort of.
Also, there are an increasing number of no-contract and prepaid services that are becoming credible contenders.
Metro PCS, Virgin Mobile, Boost mobile, Straight Talk, Net 10. There are MVNOs for every one of the major services so you could stay with AT&T's network if you want.
Personally, I switched my family from AT&T to Ting 4 months ago (yeah, shamelessly putting my referral link in there). AT&T bill for a really pared back plan was $110, the Ting bill has averaged $40 and it's a better plan. But you do have to buy the phones.