Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Overview of Cellular Phone Carriers

By: Declan Tobin

How many times have you heard of people spending hundreds of dollars on the latest and greatest cell phone only to be disappointed by the bad signal? Dropping calls is another very annoying occurrence with cell phones. You need to look very carefully into the cell phone carrier that you wish to sign up with. You will be signing a contract usually for one year so make sure it's money well spent.

Who are the main cell phone carrier?

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Cingular
  • Nextel
  • Sprint PCS

The above carriers are only a hand full in and every expanding mobile world. All will approach with special offers and incentives with camera cell phones etc to sign you up. The positives are obvious. You get a free cell phone and maybe some extra minutes talk time but they get a customer for a year. Most carriers have good coverage but it is worth your while looking at your options.

If you rely on your cell phone for work such as sales reps or drivers etc you need to look into the roaming charges. Some people think the charges may only vary slightly from one carrier to another so why bother. This is a lazy approach and untrue. You could save yourself hundreds of dollars per year simply by looking around. You can check the rates out online on most of the carrier's websites. Roaming rates can be expensive so look long and hard before you decide.

I don't need to travel so roaming charges are not a worry to me:

If you are happy enough using your phone mainly from the house or just plodding around you are not going to have any concern of high charges for roaming, but there are other ways to save money and lots of it. Many people never think too much about the SMS Text messages they send. Yes it saves money rather than calling and it is fast and generally reliable, however, different carriers have different text rates. You might not think that one-cent saving in not much and rightly so but if you are a regular Text user you need look at the overall yearly saving. Most cell phone carrier companies will offer special saving incentives on SMS Text so look into it.

Where else can I save money?

The latest and the greatest, the camera phone is as popular as a DVD. Everywhere you look people seem to have them. Great fun and very handy for that special moment for when you only wished you had a camera but very I repeat very expensive you decide to send many pictures to friends and family. Here by looking at your different options you can save plenty of you hard earned dollars. All it takes is a quick look around the web or a phone call; most of the carriers have free toll numbers. Monthly service rental will also vary from one company to another.

Another Tip

With so many cellular phone stores around you will be spoiled for choice. Remember stores make commission so if you are in a large shopping mall the chances are that there are a number of different cell stores. Check out the different rates and you will see a difference. Money is not everything, going back to the start of this article you need to make sure that you have an exceptional signal. If you are going to be a loyal customer for a year or so you should expect nothing but the best back in service.

What if I already have my own cell phone?

This is not a problem. If you are out of contract with one of the cell phone carriers you are free to look around just like from the beginning. You can either use your own cell or take them up on their offers, as most will offer you a free cell phone as a new user to the network.

What if I want to terminate my contract before it has officially ended?

Look long and hard at your contract before you sign, especially the smaller print. All carriers have different clauses in their contract but if you want to terminate early there usually is a penalty charge of some sort. One way out of this is to get a prepaid cell phone where you have no contract. You are free to swap from one carrier to another as you please. Be aware prepaid cell phones are more expensive pre minute talk time and Text than if you where on a monthly fee.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


10 Questions About Cellular Phones Answered

1. What's the difference between analog and digital phones?

Analog phones operate on an older and less effective technology. This technology doesn't scale well and is more costly. Analog service is not compatible with numerous new features. Digital phones are lighter and more compact and have a longer battery life. When you are inside of a calling area the quality is better than analog. Digital phones support new features like caller ID, text messaging or wireless internet services.

2. What is a Dual Band Phone?

A Dual band phone is a phone that can operate on an analog and digital service.

3. What type of battery has the longest life?

Lithium-Ion or Li-Ion batteries have the longest life. They also happen to be the lightest in weight. The two pluses means there is minus attached, which is price. A li-ion battery will always be the most expensive type of battery available.

4. What's the difference between the Stand-by time and Talk time?

Your phone is in standby mode when your phone is on but you aren't talking. The power consumption is minimal and the phone can stay in this mode for a longer period of time. When you are using the phone you are using talk time. This consumes battery power at a much quicker rate. Your battery life will be somewhere between talk time and standby time

5. What is a roaming charge?

A roaming charge is when you make a call from outside of your calling area. Your calling area is defined by plan local, regional or national.

6. What are peak and off peak hours?

Peak hours are during the day when the cellular networks are very busy. These minutes are at premium and your plan will typically include the smallest amount of these. If you use more than your allotted peak minutes they will be billed at a much higher rate than off peak minutes. Off peak is the exact opposite of peak time. Each cellular provider has their own definition of off peak.

7. What are anytime minutes?

Anytime minutes are simply put minutes you can use anytime, peak or off peak. On most plans you will use anytime minutes first.

8. Do I pay for the call when someone calls me?

Usually yes. You are billed for the airtime when you receive a call. However some service providers are offering unlimited in network calls.

9. Should I buy a cell phone or look for a free cellular phone?

Free phones generally speaking don't have the latest features, they are anywhere from 6 to 12 months behind. Also, free cell phones generally come with longer contracts. But, it is still possible to get a great deal on a free cell phone.

10. What to do if you want to upgrade/downgrade or cancel your service plan?

You can usually upgrade to higher plan without any cost. Some may force you to extend your contract for 1 to 2 years from that point. Downgrading your plan is often times not an option and when it is there is usually a penalty or fine.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Protect Yourself from Cell Phone Bugs

Do you have conversations over the phone that you do not want others to hear? If so, then it may be necessary to protect yourself from cell phone bugs. Cell phone bugs are just as high tech as many other bugs, and can pose even more of a threat, since they are harder to detect. Depending on the bug that is used to listen to your conversation, you might not even realize that someone nearby can hear every word crystal clear.

Even if most of your conversations are of little importance, it is a good idea to make sure that you are well protected against cell phone bugs when you make a vital phone call. It is possible to decrease your chances of being listened to if you follow a few simple steps to avoid eavesdroppers.

Go somewhere where you know you’ll be alone. Some cell phone bugs intercept signals being sent. A person who looks like she or he is speaking on a cell phone has a special device that allows him or her to hear what you are saying on the phone. Additionally, make sure you are in a place where you can watch for newcomers.

Beware the charging or forgotten phone. Many cell phone bugs look just like they are charging or like their owner forgot them. If see a cell phone charging or lying nearby unattended, go someplace else. Someone may be listening in via the innocent looking phone.

Don’t accept new cell phones as gifts. The latest in cell phone bugs is a phone that works like a regular phone, but has a secret access number. If someone gives you a cell phone as a gift, be aware that he or she may be able to dial the phone and not only listen to what you saying while you are on the phone, but activate the cell phone’s microphone in order to hear anything that is going on inside the room.

With a little vigilance, you can avoid eavesdroppers through cell phone bugs. Best of all, if you use ingenuity you can “plant” false information for eager ears. You can outsmart surveillance and the use of cell phone bugs.