March 14, 2008, Newsletter Issue #141: Choosing Local Instant Connect

Tip of the Week

Weighing regional cellular plan options with walkie-talkie phones? Nextel Cellular offers the Nextel Local Instant Connect Plan. This plan is for users in the same area, say Topeka or Tanzania, who do not plan to talk on many long distance calls.

The plan offers consumers unlimited Direct Connect minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, no roaming charges, and long distance at 20 cents per minute. Nextel cell phones Local Instant Connect plans begin around $35.99 per month for 0 anytime minutes to $65.99 per month for 1250 anytime minutes and unlimited walkie-talkie (Group ConneCT is 15 cents per minute) as well as call forwarding and three-way calling--just what you wanted.

Cingular's Push-To-Talk option is a sharp competitor, but Nextel often discounts its phones, and bloggers gripe about Cingular's "Push To Wait." Also, Verizon's reported two to four second delay with its Push-To-Talk feature seems balanced by the vaunted Verizon coverage.

Still, Nextel brought the Direct Connect technology to market first and is a viable plan if you just want to holler at someone in Topeka.

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