If shopping for new cellular phone service, the service providers, plans, phone types and jargon all jumble together after awhile. Some providers offer a wide range of plans and features, while other providers offer basic, low cost plans without many features. Whatever your needs and your budget, there is a cell phone provider out there for you. The first step in finding the best provider for you is determining your needs and your budget.
Talk time is one of the most important factors in choosing a cell phone provider and plan, especially for frequent cell phone users. Some providers offer unlimited talk time and some provide a limited number of minutes each month. Typically, plans offering a set amount of minutes offers free nighttime and weekend calling, so if you talk mostly at night and on the weekends, you could save money by choosing a plan with less weekday minutes. If you’ve replaced your home phone with your cell phone, an unlimited plan may be the way to do.
Contract or Prepaid
Many cell phone providers make subscribers sign contracts committing to two years of service. Prepaid services don’t require users to sign contracts, so they can cancel at any time. Service for a prepaid plan is paid up front, whereas contract plans’ fees are due at the end of the month. Another benefit of prepaid service is that taxes and fees are included in the monthly rate, so there are no surprises in your cell phone bill.
Cost will definitely be a factor in choosing a cell phone provider, but it should not be your sole factor. After you’ve reviewed the providers available in your area and selected a few you’re considering using, review the service plans they offer and find the ones that meet your needs. You’ll also want to make sure the cost of the plan you choose fits into your monthly budget. Don’t forget to add in any services you’ll need, such as international texting or insurance.
Each cell phone provider offers many phones ranging from feature-rich smartphones to basic cell phones that can make calls and send texts. Take a look at what your selected providers offer in your price range and see if the available phones meet your needs. For users who want a specific phone, such as an iPhone, you’ll be limited to the networks that offer that phone, which for the iPhone is AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The cost of the phone is the same regardless of the network, so you’re decision will be based on the provider’s features, plans and rates.