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How to Find the Best Cell Phone Carriers

An overview of the basics of cell service

The cellular phone has become undoubtedly the most popular invention this century. It has seamlessly fused itself into the core of our lifestyle. Our messaging system has come a long way from the letters and telegrams we once used to communicate. Nothing will ever be the same again, and we have our cell phone carriers to thank for that.

What is a cell phone carrier? It goes by many names. Some people call it an MNO or mobile operator network. Others refer to it as a wireless service provider, a carrier service provider or a cellular company. These names all refer to the telecommunication company that provides service by way of signal to our cellular phones.

A cellular provider must always have a radio spectrum license assigned to them by the government of the country they operate in. The spectrum used depends on the sort of technology they employ to provide service. A provider with a GSM range will only be able to provide their services to phones that use that specific signal. Recently, many telecommunication companies have upgraded their frequencies to service 3g phones and those that require a Wi-fi connection. These are auctioned off and are quite hard to obtain in developing countries.

The cellular phone provider should have the proper equipment to harness the type of frequency they use. The most important are the networks that deal with radio transmission and the core network. They also require separate machinery for the other services they provide. Voicemail, MMS and instant messaging are good examples.

There are many cell phone carriers to choose from. Pick a company that can cater to your communication needs at a reasonable price. Most of them have post-paid plans that come with free cellular phones. This is quite an enticing offer. Remember that you have the signal to consider first. Some mobile service providers offer great gadgets but have weak coverage. This is a common problem in third-world countries. Problems with coverage or range will render the service useless, since the gadgets are often closed and depend upon network access. Some phones do not work when a SIM card from another company is used.

Read reviews about the company you are interested in. Never subscribe to one that has a multitude of bad feedback. Consumers who write reviews are usually very straightforward about their negative experiences with a certain carrier. This should be a major consideration when service providers are concerned. Check brochures for the list of phones and pick one that fits your lifestyle best. Some companies allow you to trade in your old units for newer ones after a minimum of one to two years. This is a smart way to keep your mobile device up-to-date.

Find a plan that has features that you would like. Many companies offer free Wi-fi browsing along with SMS and MMS features. This may cost a bit more than the standard post-paid plan but it still makes sense if you're constantly web-browsing. The plan you pick should fit your budget and the contract should not be lengthy.

Last Update: 7/31/2011
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