Choosing a cellular package can be overwhelming. Here are some questions to ask yourself about frequency of use and your other needs to determine the best plan for you before going shopping.

Calling Options

  • At what time of day will I be making most of my calls?
  • On average, how long do I expect each call to last?
  • How selective will I be in giving out my cell phone number?
    (Remember: you’re paying for calls you receive as well as those you make.)
  • Will I use my cell phone for long distance calls?
  • How often do I expect to travel outside my home calling area?

Phone Requirements

  1. Will my phone need a clip so I can attach it to a piece of clothing?
  2. Do I need a flip phone (one that has a cover you flip-up to access the phone) to guard against it inadvertently being turned on?
  3. Does my phone need to be designed for use in other countries?

Providers

Where do I go to see who provides coverage in my area?

  • Yellow pages under “Cellular Telephone Service” or keyword phrases

  • Local newspapers

  • Friends and relatives

  • Internet sites: www.point.com or www.wow-com.com

Type of Service
Do I want analog cellular, digital cellular or PCS service? Compare the columns below to find the one most suited for you.

CATEGORY ANALOG CELLULAR DIGITAL CELLULAR PCS
Frequency 800 MHz 800 MHz 1900 MHz
Call Quality Can be poor Very clear Very clear

Coverage
Nationwide Network
Rural Area Access

Complete
Poor
Build-out in progress
Poor
Build-out in progress
Poor, may take a few years to improve
Security Can be intercepted More secure More secure

Cost
Phones
Air Time

Inexpensive
More than digital
Expensive
Less than analog
Expensive
Less than analog
Features Call waiting,
call forwarding
Call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, voicemail, text, messaging, numeric paging, internet access Call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, voicemail, text, messaging, numeric paging, internet access
Battery Life
Talk Time
On, Not Talking
1 1/2 -2 hours
24-40 hours
2-10 hours
3-17 days
2-10 hours
3-17 days
Disability Access Generally HAC & TTY compatible Generally NOT HAC or TTY compatible Generally NOT HAC or TTY compatible