Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prepaid Cell Phones: Know Your Options

The list of prepaid cell phone companies is long and constantly changing. Because the wireless industry is fast-paced and aggressive, it's important to stay informed about the various options.
This is a fiercely competitive industry. That's a good thing for consumers. It allows for value and choice!
Prepaid wireless companies compete by continuously raising the standard in expectations for services, plans and devices.

Prepaid cell phone companies fall into three categories:

1. All the National Carriers offer no-contract options of some sort. The advantage of using a national carrier is the coast-to-coast coverage. You'll get the same level of service coverage as post-paid customers.

2. Another viable option is a Regional Carrier. These carriers are commonly known for good service and often ranks high in customer service. They offer similar services that sometimes match or even beat the national carriers on overall value.
It's interesting to note that a regional provider may not be for all users. These providers can be geographically limited and may not work for people who travel a lot. It can be expensive when traveling throughout the country or even from state to state. Fortunately some regional companies now offer nationwide coverage by having roaming agreements with national carriers.

  • Alltel U
  • US Cellular
  • Cricket
  • MetroPCS

3. Now we come to what are referred to as MVNOs. MVNO is an acronym for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. This is a wireless provider that operates on the network platform of a larger MNO(Mobile Network Operator). AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are examples of MNOs.
This type of prepaid wireless company purchases minutes on a wholesale basis from the larger companies and then resell them under its own name.

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