Tips for Choosing a Mobile Provider

Finding the best mobile provider can be a time-consuming and confusing process. With four major providers these days, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, there are many choices. Each provider offers a different set of plans and oftentimes offers different phones. Choosing the right mobile provider requires looking at one’s needs and at what each provider offers.

Decide on a Budget

First, of course, one must decide how much he or she can spend each month. There should be a bit of wiggle room in this amount because taxes on mobile plans can change without notice, and there may be months when one uses more services than are included in the plan. However, shopping for a provider with a budget in hand means that the individual cannot be talked into a more expensive plan.

Decide between Contract and No-Contract Providers.

The majority of people these days choose to go with one of the four mainstream providers, all of which provide 2-year contracts with most of their plans. This allows them to sell their phones at lower prices. However, some people are turning to other providers, such as Cricket, Virgin and Boost, which offer no-contract service plans. However, the no-contract plans may not have as many customer service centers or offer the desired phones.

Choose a Plan That Does Not Have More Than Is Needed

It seems as if every provider these days is trying to outdo the competition. There are larger and more impressive plans being offered all the time. However, most individuals do not need such large plans. Many people do not need unlimited talk, texting or data usage. Those who are looking for a new cell phone provider should find a plan that does not offer more than they need. This can save a great deal of money. Oftentimes, these smaller plans may not be advertised; instead the customer will have to ask specifically for them.

Consider a Family Plan

However, families should definitely consider a provider that offers excellent family plans. Having various members of a family on plans with different providers can cost a small fortune. Most providers offer plans that can add another line for only a small fee each month. A family plan may be best as an unlimited plan.

Look at the Provider’s Cell Phone Coverage

Almost every major cell phone provider offers great coverage in all major U.S. cities. However, those who often travel outside the country or in sparsely populated areas of the country should look carefully at a coverage map. T-Mobile typically has the smallest coverage areas while AT&T and Verizon vie for the top spot. Making the best choice is up to the individual. Sometimes, asking people who live in the area about which provider works best for them is a wise step. An example of a coverage map can be seen at http://www.htcinc.net/media/images/ATT_Coverage_Map_10-2011.jpg.

Choose a Carrier That Has the Desired Phone

This is not as big of a problem as it once was. Today, most of the major providers carry the same phones, particularly iPhones, Androids and other coveted smartphones. However, while AT&T and Verizon carry mostly the same phones, the smaller carriers may not always have these same choices. This is particularly true for individuals who are looking for the cheaper and easier-to-use flip phones.

Customer Service Is More Important Than It May Initially Seem

Most people do not think to choose their cell phone provider based on the level of customer service that is there. However, this can become a major feature of any plan. If there are ever problems with billing or with the phone, individuals will definitely prefer having a provider that responds quickly to their needs and is sincere in their help.

This is another time when the best way to learn more about customer service is to ask friends, relative and coworkers who have experience with a particular provider.

Because most mobile phone providers require at least a two-year contract, one’s relationship with that provider can be a long-term process. Therefore, it is vital to choose the best provider for one’s needs. An individual or family should thoroughly investigate each of the above options before making a final decision.

About the author:
Mandy Waters is a freelance writer who contributes on behalf of Scratch Wireless; the only smartphone plan with free wireless for your smartphone and unlimited texting whether on Wi-Fi or cellular.

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