TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Expensive Cell Phone Rates

Expensive Cell Phone Rates
28 Nov 2005 12:52:54 -0800

I was thinking about upgrading my ancient cell phone, but I am put off
by the high monthly rates. I'd end up paying double for less service.

My present plan is $20/month with 200 free offpeak minutes. Perfect
for me.

A new plan would require buying a new telephone set with many features
I don't need nor want and then paying $40 per month to get about the
same amount of free airtime. The only advtg would be that peak time
and roaming would be cheaper than now, but I don't use the phone
during peak time nor roam now.

Further, their definitions of "roaming" seem very vague. They (all
the carriers) give you a map with a solid color, a pale color and
white. The solid color apparently is full service, but not guaranteed
since it may be through another contracted party. That in itself is
confusing. The pale color is particular confusing.

I was surprised at the many white spots (no service) in reasonably
developed areas.

Apparently one still needs a dual mode phone that can do analog as
well as digital since not areas have working digital and you need
analog. That troubles me since I'm most likely to need my cell phone
work when I'm in an isolated area (ie a car breakdown in a rural
location). I thought by now all reasonably developed areas of the
U.S. were fully digitally served.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I use Cingular Wireless, and am on
the $29.95 per month plan with about 400 daytime minutes and more
than I would ever use nighttime minutes. The important thing is
get the 'rollover' plan where unused minutes keep stacking up until
you use them. If you can find a 'GAIT' style phone, literally the
entire USA is covered with no roaming fees nor long distance fees.

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