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  • How to Choose a Cell Phone Plan
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > Others > How to Choose a Cell Phone Plan

No cell phone contract should be entered into blindly. Prior to selecting a cell phone, users must determine how often a phone will be used. Further, additional costs, prepaid plans, coverage, and contract details must be thoroughly understood. Many ideal cell phone plans exist that will please users of all ages and types.

Determine Your Usage Amount

Almost all phones come with a standard 2-year contract. Breaking this contract will often result in a costly penalty. The cost of the phone that is chosen is based upon the number of minutes that are used. Thus, the first step towards selecting a phone is figuring out how often a phone will be used.

After estimating monthly minutes, add a few extra minutes to this estimate. It is far better to choose a plan with additional minutes than it is to select a plan that does not have enough minutes. If minute usage is exceeded, a user may be charged for the additional minutes used. Another option is to choose a pay-as-you-go plan, which does not involve a contract.

Prepaid Plans

Casual cell phone users may benefit from prepaid plans. These plans allow users to purchase minutes in clumps. Once minutes have been used, a user can simply purchase additional minutes. Prepaid plans do not involve any contracts, but they are not necessarily a better deal. If a user purchases minutes excessively, these costs can add up quickly. Prepaid plans only work for people who are truly part-time cell phone users.

National and Regional Plans

National plans allow users to call anyone within the nation for one price. Contrastingly, regional plans only include regional calls. Calling someone who is outside of a user’s region is not a good idea if a regional plan has been selected. When this happens, a phone company will charge roaming fees to a user’s account.

Typically, regional plans are much cheaper than national plans. Families can also consider a family plan. A family plan allows family members to contact each other for a certain set amount. Family plan minutes are often shared between family members, so this type of plan may not work for some people.

Texting, Browsing, and Multimedia

Users who plan on texting, browsing, and using multimedia applications on a regular basis should look into plans that cover these needs. All of these actions will result in additional fees unless a plan covers each additional action. As with minute selection, users who text, browse, or use multimedia applications are far better to purchase a more expensive plan than pay additional fees at the end of each month.


When entering into any kind of cell phone contract, read each section carefully. Frequently, users are hit with additional fees, hidden costs, and stringent restrictions. If any portion of a contract is not easily understood, it is best to avoid this type of contract. In the case that over usage (resulting in a monetary penalty) is a concern, most carriers offer phones with limitations. These phones are ideal for younger children and teenagers.