Prepaid Wireless Alternative Plans

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Prepaid cellular phones usually offered as pay-as-you-go type plans are the most recent technical developments in communication services. Many people choose to purchase this type of service in order to avoid any kind of lengthy contract, which would lock them into services for a designated amount of time and money. Prepaid wireless also has no credit check, deposit, hidden fees, age limit, monthly bills and most plans won’t make you pay an activation fee. They offer more control over your spending and are a great way to cut down on cell phone costs. You just simply add airtime as you need it, if you stop adding airtime to your prepaid phone then the phone will simply go “inactive”.

You can choose from a number of prepaid cell phone service providers that has jumped on the prepaid cellular phone bandwagon. Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Tracfone, Boost Mobile, and Net10 are the chief prepaid wireless providers.

Cingular wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States. They offer two distinct plan types that give customers flexibility not afforded by many prepaid service providers. They also have great cell phone coverage and have good customer service.

Verizon Wireless enters the prepaid cellphone market by offering their Inpulse and EasyPay plans. This pre paid cell phone service provider also has a large selection of phones and great plans that give you the same quality and customer service of their traditional cellular service without contracts or credit checks.

Virgin Mobile has grown to three million customers in just three years by marketing heavily to teenagers. Virgin Mobile has benefited from cross-promotional ties with MTV. They have lured young hipsters with cheeky humor and goodies that include ring tones, text messaging, downloadable games and celebrity voice-mail greetings. Boost Mobile, which is a prepaid wireless brand owned by Nextel Communications also aims at the youth market but with an urban edge. It has hip-hop-flavored Web site and its phones come loaded with their own assortment of games, ring tones and wallpapers. But what really sets Boost Mobile apart is its walkie-talkie service, courtesy of Nextel.

The 7-Eleven’s Speak Out charges a flat 20 cents a minute (except for roaming charges of 39 cents a minute) and offers a choice of six handsets from Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson priced from $60 to $150. However, unlike services that require activation online or by phone, 7-Eleven’s phones come right out of the box. Net10 is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that is operating on TracFone Wireless’ network. They offer the best per minute rate for prepaid voice service and the prepaid service requires no yearly commitment. Net10 phones start at $20 and include 300 minutes/60 days of service.

Tracfone prepaid has the distinction of being the only prepaid cell phone company to offer a phone in every zip Code in the United States. While tracFone Wireless’s prepaid cellular service may hardly be the envy of most teenagers, it has proved popular among older consumers as an emergency phone. Tracfone is the leader in the prepaid cellular industry in the US and is sold at over 60,000 retailers nationwide, as well as in the Internet. Tracfone wireless prepaid emphasizes affordability and service quality over flashy features. It has established agreements with more than 30 carriers that provide service even in traditionally underserved rural areas and they are using a mix of TDMA, CDMA and GSM technology.

Whether or not to commit to a prepaid wireless service really depends upon your personal needs and preferences. Before deciding on your prepaid service provider, it is important to do some research; look at the various carriers’ Web sites to familiarize yourself with what they have to offer.

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