How much is the average cellular bill?
Do anytime minutes apply to long distance calls?
What if I want to change my contract?
When will roaming charges show up on my bill?
What about airtime for mobile-to-mobile to calls?
What are the billing increments?
When does the call begin and end?
When will I be charged for long distance?
What is the difference between national and network
Will I be charged for incoming calls?
What is PCS?
What is the difference in a lithiom ion battery
and a nickel metal hydride battery?
Can I use my phone when traveling outside the U.S.?
Which phone will be best?
Should I use a pre-paid service?
Will my bad credit affect my cellular application?
What is Local Number Portability?
What do I do with my old handset/phone?
How much is the average
Different sources estimate the average monthly bill is $48-$61.
According to the FCC, in 2002, the average wireless subscriber used
427 minutes per month.
What are the billing increments?
Full minute billing increments from the time you press the send
button to the time you press end.
anytime minutes apply to long distance calls?
In most cases, anytime minutes only apply to calls in your local
What if I want to
change my contract?
If you make any change in your plan during the first 6 months
with most carriers, there is no change in contract. If you make
a change in the contract after 6 months, they will add more months
to the contract.
When will roaming charges
show up on my bill?
If you use minutes while roaming on another carrier's network,
there may be a delay in reporting. The roaming minutes will apply
against your monthly airtime allowance in the month they appear
on your bill. This may take up to 45 days. You may be charged
for incomplete calls. The taxes and fees are assessed by the carrier
in the market where you roamed.
What about airtime for
mobile-to-mobile to calls?
Unless you have a plan with unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls,
the airtime will be charged to both parties. Even if you have
an unlimited plan, you might be charged minutes if you are out
of your home calling area.
are the billing increments?
Billing is in full minute increments. If your call is 2 minutes
and 1 second long, you will be billed for 3 minutes.
When does the call
begin and end?
The call begins when you press send, not when the call is answered.
It ends when you press the end button.
When will I be charged
for long distance?
You will be charged for long distance when you dial outside of
your local service area. You are also subject to long distance
charges while roaming. In some areas, you may pay roaming charges
even if you have a nationwide plan.
What is the difference
between national and network coverage?
National coverage covers all 50 states. The larger the geographic
area, the higher the rate. However, this could save money over
the per minute/roaming charges. In some areas, you may pay roaming
charges even if you have a nationwide plan. Make sure nationwide
vs. network coverage is clear in your contract. Network coverage
covers only where the carrier has its own locations.
Will I be charged
for incoming calls?
Yes. Incoming calls are charged against your airtime. You will
be billed both for calls that you make and calls that you receive.
Charges will be billed according to the airtime rates in your
monthly service plan or, if you're roaming, at applicable roaming
What is PCS?
Personal Communication Services. It uses a different radio frequency
than cellular plans. Uses digital technology for transmission
and reception. Offers advanced features like call waiting and
What is the difference
in a lithiom ion battery and a nickel metal hydride battery?
The lithium battery is the most expensive with the longest talk
and standby times. The nickel battery is cheaper. It provides
2-5 hours of talk time and 24-48 hours of standby time.
Can I use my phone
when traveling outside the U.S.?
In some cases yes, but it takes some preparation. You phone must
use the network of the country where you are traveling. In Europe
this is the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM). Contact
your provider about additional arrangements needed to use your
phone in another country.
Which phone will be
Start with your budget. There are usually rebates and promotions
that result in a free basic phone with service. You can pay much
more for a phone loaded with features. Features to consider: weight,
size, if you can read the numbers on the screen, paging service,
two-way radio service, customized ring tones.
Should I use a pre-paid
If you have the discipline to use your phone only for emergencies,
then this is your best option for saving money. Keep in mind that
the high rates, fees and roaming charges can quickly use up your
minutes. Your pre-paid minutes also expire. Carriers do not obtain
credit history for pre-paid subscribers.
Will my bad credit
affect my cellular application?
The carrier will investigate your credit history and report your
performance to credit agencies. You may be required to pay a security
deposit. If your score is really low, consider a pre-paid plan.
What do I do with my
Do not throw it away. Donate it to a charity. Shelters that assist
victims of domestic violence currently need cell phones. Here
is a website with donation information: http://www.wirelessfoundation.org/DonateaPhone/index.cfm
What is Local Number
Currently if you switch service, you must drop your current number
and get a new phone number. This is a major inconvenience, preventing
many people from switching carriers. Barring any major obstacles
or challenges, local number portability should be available for
wireless carriers in the top 100 markets starting November 4,
2003. This carries out the FCC mandated first proposed in the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. It was supposed to be implemented
by June of 1999, but it has been given 2 extensions. The second
expires in November 2003.
The delay is a result of the cellular carrier fight against number
portability. They argue that the service will be a financial and
logistical nightmare. They also claim the resources needed for
number portability will take away from expanding network quality
and initiating new products.
Number portability is expected to create a rush of activity.
Estimates predict that up to 1/3 of wireless customers will switch
to another carrier. The portability will be local. If you move
into another wireless area, you will not be able to keep your
Local Number Portability will force many cell phones into retirement
as they are replaced with new phones. Instead of tossing out the
handset, donate it to a charity that assists victims of domestic
violence. Here is a website with donation information: http://www.wirelessfoundation.org/DonateaPhone/index.cfm