Wireless Wisdom: Which plan is best for you?

By Rosemarie Gonzalez
October 31, 2002

Harold William Halbert

Cell phones have become very much a part of daily life. In actuality, there are over 160 cell phone carriers, but there are six main ones that own about 80 percent of the cell phone business. The six big carriers consist of AT&T, Verizon, Nextel, T-Mobile, Cingular and Sprint. It is important to take a look at a plan before deciding on buying a phone.

The AT&T carrier is used for more personal calls and allows you to go wireless with prepaid phones, have a shared minute account, or a local, regional or national plan and have additional services such as instant messaging, text messaging, mobile-to-mobile, ring tones and graphics and international calling.

Shantae Ockimey, junior computer information science major, said, “I have an AT&T plan with 250 anytime minutes and 1,000 night and weekend minutes. I am not charged for long distance or roaming for $29.99. I like it because I don’t talk on my phone much. It’s only used for emergencies and I never go over my minutes so it is good for me. I would only recommend it if you are like me and don’t talk on your cell phone as your main phone source. If not, then I would recommend something else.”

Verizon can be used for personal or business concerns. It consists of DSL and Internet connection, local, regional and long distance plans, and wireless services.

“I used Verizon. It was okay. The plan didn’t fit my budget. The bill was like $1,200. I had to cut it loose,” Khalif Watkins, senior communications major, said.

Nextel has become widely used in all aspects. This is a personal and business phone like Verizon, but it has more features. There is national as well as international coverage, instant access through direct connection, which is like talking on a walkie-talkie, mobile messaging, email services and java applications.

T-Mobile offers Internet and mobile-to-mobile capabilities that are great for businesses, regional, national and international coverage.

Mike Sitiriche, sophomore exercise and science promotion major, said, “I had Voice stream which is T-Mobile now. I had the $59.99 a month plan and it consists of 900 any time minutes and unlimited weekends. I personally didn’t like it in a matter of three months. I went over my bill and had to pay a bill of $2,000 plus. I now have AT&T unlimited service and so far it sounds good.” Cingular offers local, regional and national services, text messaging, wireless Internet capabilities and its one and only feature that no other carrier has, which is that of rollover minutes. Any minutes that you do not use within a month can be added and used in your next month of service.

Sprint also used for business and personal calls provides wireless and Internet data services, local calling and nationwide voice and long distance plans.

“I have Sprint and it is okay. Not the best. I don’t like that you have to pay for all of the extras like the wireless web. I think that students should get a plan that they like, no matter what the carrier,” Annette Musloski, sophomore graphic design major, said.

Amy Chan, junior graphic design and studio art double major, said, “My cellular phone company is Sprint. I heard people say that that company is good, but then I also heard it was bad, so I didn’t know what to think. One day I saw a phone that was really cool looking and I bought it and it happened to be a Sprint one. Since I have had this service for a while, I know from personal experience that it sucks. It totally sucks because most of the time, I have low or no reception and one day I couldn’t even check my voicemail, which really pissed me off.”

Every cell carrier’s plans are similar in pricing and have some different select features, but for the most part, they are the same. There is really no best plan out there. It all depends on how much an individual talks and whom they talk to. Once you decide on a carrier, then you can decide on what phone you would like that is compatible with your service.

If you would like more feedback and information on cell phones and their uses, go to http://www.wirelessadvisor.com.

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Rosemarie Gonzalez

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