What do I Need to
Know About Purchasing a Phone?
Likely if you are visiting this site and don't own a cellular phone
yet, you are investigating what facts that you should know before
making a purchase: In most cases, you cannot just buy a cell phone --
you need to buy the phone with some sort of service package from a
Cell phone service packages come in two different forms: Pre-paid and
Post-paid. Pre-paid is a more expensive service, but there is no
monthly bill and is offered more as a convenience service. Post-paid
or Monthly service has a monthly bill, but the rates and services are
generally less expensive than pre-paid.
Many providers like you to sign contracts or term rate plans of 1-3
years in duration. You generally are tied to that contract period and
not allowed to cancel or downgrade.
There are two different major technologies that cell phones use. GSM
is a European standard that is found all over the world. CDMA is a
North American standard that is found in North and South America,
Asia, and Australia. Phones on one technology are incompatible with
the other. (There are also iDEN, TDMA, AMPS, and other technologies
available, but these are either more specialized or being phased out).
Most phones are locked to their service provider. This means that if
you are unhappy with your service provider and want to switch to
another service provider then you will need to purchase a new phone.
Which Wireless Service Provider?
If you live in a large urban area, then wireless services may be
available from one of several service providers whereas in smaller
areas, choice of providers might be limited to only a few. Personally
I think that one should choose the service provider first and then the
phone second -- not the other way around. When shopping for a service
provider, consider asking the following questions:
What sort of areas does their service cover? Will you be inside their
service coverage area for all of the time you plan to use your cell
When you leave your provider's service area you likely will be able to
use your phone on a different network (this is referred to as
Roaming). What types of charges are there for roaming?
What sort of contract or agreement is needed when purchasing a cell
phone with a particular provider? What contracts are available? What
are their limitations?
What are the prices for different plans? What optional add-ons are
available and how much do they cost?
Are there any other fees involved with the purchase of a phone, such
as an activation fee.
And finally, make sure to ask about the return policy on the phone if
you do purchase it. This policy may even vary between stores that sell
phones for the same provider.
Never make a purchase on your first visit to any store. A typical
purchase of a cell phone with a two year contract could easily cost
you close to $1000 over the contract period plus the initial price of
the phone and all the accessories to go with it.
One of the best and unbiased resources of service providers (besides
this site) is people that you know with cell phones. Talk to them and
find out who their service provider is and if they are happy with
them. Ask if they are on a post-paid or pre-paid plan and if it suits
their present needs. Have they ever had any problems with their
service provider, and if so, what were they and how were they
Related Sites :-
Most wireless carriers offer new deals every month; using the
Internet you have easy access to these deals. Maybe in the past
you relied on the Sunday paper to find out what was on sale.
Today many phone service providers are making offers that are
exclusive to the Internet that beat anything you can find in
your local newspaper