Wireless Phone Plans

The Basics of Wireless Phone Plans

Trying to talk about cell phone plans is like trying to fit the description of the 50.000 butterfly species found on Earth into two sentences. The selection is so broad, the items you can choose are so varied I will try to give you a picture of what you should be thinking about.

Basics of a Plan

At the very top level there are two types of plans. You can choose between prepaid plans and the normal cell phone plans. The difference is quite in the name, with the prepaid type you have to pay for your calls beforehand. You can buy "refill" cards that you you can use from then on, but many stores can fill your balance directly. This is actually a good way to control phone costs, you won't get an invoice at the end of the month for $500, you pay as you go along, so there's no surprises.

The normal plan will leave you to call anyone, anywhere but the toll has to be paid though. A the end of the month you will be invoiced for the amount you have telephoned, I don't think this is new to anyone though. 

Digging Deeper

When you choose a prepaid plan you don't really have too much options. If you opt for a normal wireless plan instead you will have a multitude of selections to make. There are usually packages that you choose from, and after you have chosen a package, you can customize it and choose from some other options. The package usually refers to your calling rates.One package might have really very low evening rate, but a high daily rate. A different one could have balanced rates throughout the day, you really have to know of when you make most of your calls. Another popular package is that you get constant rates for each call type (national, international, etc), and you pay a base fee of $30 for example. You pay this rate weather you actually used your phone or not, but if you do make calls you can talk "for free" until you reach the $30. For free because you don't pay the bas $30 plus your bill, just the base. If you go over $30 you get the normal rates for the calls you made above the $30 limit (this is not good).

...And Deeper

Once you picked a package the fun really starts. You can choose from a million different things. These little options usually aim to save you money if you do a specific thing with your phone a lot, they are essentially discounts. An good example would be choosing an SMS 50 package. Whatever they call this where you apply, it will probably be the same. Say the price of one message is $0,1. You can choose to pay $4,5 a month to be able to send 50 messages. You will save $0,5, but you have to pay the $4,5 weather you sent 50 or just 10. If you send above 50, you get the normal rate in most cases.

Another great feature I use is that some wireless plans allow you to choose one number that you can call at a discounted rate. This is also a paying option, ie. you have to pay, say $5 every month, but you can call that number for a 50% rate. If you want to be really mathematical you can go ahead and calculate if this is economical for you or not.

Extended call features may only be available through choosing them when applying. Multiple callers, and some other advanced features may have to be paid for above the basic rate. Overall, you should look into what options you have, if you choose correctly you can probably shave off 20%-50% of your phone bill.
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