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When shopping for cell phone plans, you make the same decisions as buying a car. What features can you live without? Do you message your buddies every five minutes or do you use your phone only when you need to coordinate tonight's business or family dinner?
Cell phone carriers compete to give you all the features for competitive prices. For example, Cingular Wireless offers individual as well as family plans called Cingular Nation plans. If Cingular cell phone service is available in a consumer's service area, then Cingular is definitely worth considering.
The Cingular Nation plan includes nationwide coverage with no long distance or roaming charges. Individual plans vary in price from $39.99 to $199.99 per month and offer anywhere from 200-6000 anytime minutes (depending on the Cingular plan chosen).
With a few exceptions, Cingular Nation plans include:
* unlimited night and weekend minutes
* unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes
* with additional minutes varying from 40 cents to 10 cents per minute.
Most cell phone plans, however, compete to give you unlimited night and weekend minutes. Cingular may not have all the features of, for example, Sprint's nationwide network. Comparison shop when you're buying a mobile phone--if you don't get the best deal right away, you can switch and take your cell phone number with you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|