Long Distance Phone Depot

Choosing the right cell phone plan

Cell phones are by far the most popular communication means of this new century. Affordable plans, many great features, portability are just a few of the advantages a cell phone plan has to offer. But, which plan is the right one for you? We're gonna try to help you answer this question.

What types of cell phone plans are offered?

Most wireless providers offer 3 main categories of cellular plans:

  • local plans
  • regional plans
  • national plans

A cellular plan has a designated calling area where you can use your bundle of free minutes that come with the plan. When outside of this calling area you may be charged a roaming fee for using your cell phone. Local plans have a calling area that covers a city, or part of a state. Regional plans cover several states, while national plans have a calling area covering the contiguous 48 states.

Peak & off peak minutes

Wireless plans come with a number of peak and off peak minutes included. You can use the peak or anytime minutes whenever you want. Off peak minutes can usually be used at night and during weekends. The off peak hours vary among different providers.

Calls placed or received prior to consuming all your peak and/or off peak minutes will incur additional charges.

Charges for incoming calls

Keep in mind that you will incur the same charges for outgoing as well as incoming cellular calls. Therefore be careful whom you give your cell phone number to - you're the one paying when they decide to call you.

Extra features included

Most cell phone service plans include a number of features such as Caller ID, Voice Mail, Call Waiting, and more. When shopping for cellular you should know what features you need, and make sure they are provided . Also, are these features provided free of charge, or do they come at an extra cost?

Cancellation fees

Choosing a cellular plan is a very important decision. The reason for this? Unless your choice is a prepaid plan, you will have to sign a contract for a certain period of time (usually 1 year). If you decide to cancel your account before the end of this period, you will incur a cancellation fee that is in most cases quite high - $100 or more.

Prepaid wireless

Many companies provide prepaid cellular packages. This type of phone service is very convenient for people who only want to use a cellular phone occasionally. While rates are usually higher for prepaid plans, you are not constrained to pay a monthly bill, therefore you have total control over how much you want to pay for cellular service. Also there is no contract involved with prepaid packages.

Here's how prepaid wireless service works: you purchase a package containing a cell phone and sometimes a number of accessories, and you activate it. You are given a number of minutes. After using these minutes you can buy more airtime.

In conclusion

Here are a number of questions that you should ask yourself before going for one cell phone plan or another:

  • am I gonna use the service mostly for local, regional, or nationwide calls?
  • at what time of day/week do I need to make my most calls?
  • how much am I willing to spend on cellular service, or how often do I wanna use it?
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