January 8, 2010, Newsletter Issue #235: What Questions Should I Ask When Choosing a Mobile Data Plan for My Smartphone or PDA?

Tip of the Week

When you're choosing a Smartphone, ask some important questions and you'll get the right carrier and mobile data plan. Does the carrier use CDMA or GSM to support their mobile data plans? EV-DO is a new CDMA development providing speeds of 300-400 kilobytes per second. GSM has EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), with speeds of around 100-200 kilobytes per second.

When you are considering the value of the available mobile data plans, consider the speed provided as well as the cost of the plan. Mobile data plans offered to Smartphone or PDA users may be different than mobile data plans for other WAP (Wireless Access Protocol), capable phones, so ask specifically about mobile data plans for Smartphones.

Don't assume email access includes full Internet access, some mobile data plans bill these separately. Some mobile data usage plans offer unlimited access, other plans give you a certain amount of usage per month, and bill for overage. Most carriers provide a tool for customers to track their usage. If you think you'll exceed your monthly limit more than once or twice a year, consider the unlimited option instead.

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