Choosing a Wireless Plan? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Posted by: T. Lacoma on Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Choosing a wireless plan is easiest when you look at your own habits. Then, you can find a reliable, cost-effective option that matches. Here are several key questions to ask when you are selecting a new plan.

Where Will You Use the Phone?

Coverage is always important, especially when choosing a national provider such as AT&T or Sprint. In this case, practice is better than theory: Instead of using those filled-in maps that service providers offer, ask your friends and neighbors what services work best for them. Nearby cell towers do not always guarantee reliable cell reception, especially if your work or play regularly takes you through blind spots. Research the current local quality of coverage before making a decision.

Do You Have Favorite Call Times?

Certain providers, such as Verizon, offer free minutes at certain times during the week. For example, you may be able to call at night or on weekends without your calls counting toward your allowed minutes. If you base most of your voice time around late nights or weekends, you can choose a lower monthly minute limit and save money by using these features.

Do You Text?

Many wireless plans require you to choose a certain amount of texts that you can send each month before charging you high fees per text. If you are not an avid texter and you are not buying a plan for anyone else who is, you can often skip this feature altogether to save money. Otherwise, you can choose between several different texting tiers, including 50, 100 or 200 texts. Texting is often easier than calling up friends, so if you find yourself sending many texts, choose a high limit or consider unlimited texting (which costs around $30 per month on its own).

What Phones Do Your Friends Use?

This may seem like a strange question, but friend bonuses are a common feature of modern data plans. Apple allows iPhone users to exchange free texts with each other if they register each other’s iPhone numbers. There are also many apps that offer advantages if your friends can also use them, which makes your Android/Windows/iPhone/Blackberry choice even more important. Choosing a phone can also limit your provider and wireless plan options, so these decisions are closely connected.

Which Type of Services Would You Really Use?

Examine your phone habits carefully and note how many Internet options you would really use. If your job or social life can be neatly handled using texts and phone calls, you may not need a data plan at all. If you use a data plan, you can often survive with a low data cap while still checking all the websites and emails you need. Providers such as Verizon offer very handy data usage calculators to give you an idea of how much data you might need before you add another $30 charge to your phone plan.

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