When searching for a new phone provider, it’s imperative to conduct market research to find out which phone service offers the best features to suit your needs. If this is your first time owning your own phone or it has been a while since you have assessed your phone service needs, you may need a refresher on which features are essential, which are nice to have, and which are unnecessary.
Phone service providers are constantly changing their offerings to keep up with the latest iPhone and Android updates. It’s important to decide which features and aspects of your phone service provider are a priority for you. For instance, if you live in a remote area, you may value a phone provider that maintains data coverage in areas with fewer people as opposed to providers that provide faster data speeds.
Cost is another important factor in choosing a phone service. A cheap phone service like RedPocket can cost as little as $10 a month while unlimited phone service plans offered by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile can cost over $100 a month.
If Internet speed and entertainment add-ons are important to your lifestyle, you may want to splurge on a more expensive phone service. If you want a cheap phone service, though, you might want to stick to the bare essentials. Read on to find out more about what those essentials are and where you might be able to compromise to save more on your phone bill.
Top phone services like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile can cost anywhere from $80 to $100 a month or more. If you’re not interested in paying for big name brands like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, you may want to seek out a smaller, cheap phone service like RedPocket or Mint Mobile or a reseller like Consumer Cellular or metroPCS. These smaller services provide unlimited talk, text, and data without the extra fees and bundles of larger services.
When choosing a plan, it’s also important to look at payment options. Many phone services allow you to pay annually or monthly. If you’re money-conscious, you will likely want to choose a monthly spending plan that allows you to track exactly how much you’re spending on your phone bill each month. Furthermore, prepaid phone plans—or one-time annual payments—can cost more per month. If you choose a monthly plan, your phone service may charge you more for if you decide to cancel or switch. If you don’t intend to do that, however, a monthly plan is going to save you more in the long run.
2. Data Speed
Whether you use your phone for important work calls with clients, FaceTime or Zoom calls with friends and family, or streaming the latest episode of your favorite show, you’re going to want the fastest Internet speed. Most carriers offer 5G internet speeds, although some may have a deprioritization threshold that goes into effect after a certain period of time. This results in your data slowing to as slow as 2Gs or less. Even a cheap phone service offers 5G internet as an option for its clients.
Data speed isn’t important to all phone users. If you don’t spend a lot of time on social media or you prefer to connect to your home Wi-Fi rather than using data, you may not want to prioritize fast data speeds. If you’re a social media influencer or a world traveler, though, you will.
If you are indeed a world traveler, you might also want to prioritize a mobile hotspot as a perk of your phone’s service. Rather than forcing you to connect to public Wi-Fi, most phone plans provide you with a Wi-Fi hot spot that can be used in emergency situations when you have no access to Wi-Fi. These can not only be helpful when you’re in a remote location or traveling across the country, they can also assist in cases of Wi-Fi outage. If you work from home, staying connected to your teammates via Zoom meetings and chat functions is essential. A Wi-Fi hotspot ensures that you can answer those important phone calls and chats even when you’re running errands or your Wi-Fi stops working.
4. Entertainment Features
The largest US wireless carriers currently are AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. These carriers offer unlimited plans with added benefits that include access to streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN+. If you find yourself paying for these additional streaming platforms anyway, it may be worthwhile to invest in a phone carrier that gives you a discount on these platforms. These carriers may not be worth the extra cost when compared to a cheap phone service, though. All three are still expanding the reach of their 5G networks.
Choosing a phone service isn’t as complicated as it might initially seem. Most phone plans feature talk, text, and Internet data into their monthly cost, and any entertainment features or international calling perks for travelers are just an added bonus.
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