Wondering About Wireless?
If you've been thinking, "Gee, is it just
me, or is everyone on a portable phone these days?" The answer is, "Yes."
Telecommunications industry officials report that
thousands of folks in the US are signing up for wireless service every day.
With the law of supply and demand working in consumers' favor, competitive
forces in the wireless phone industry are driving the price of portable phones
down and new features continue to become available, some phones even allow you
to access the Internet! So, as we've seen with many modern conveniences, what
many of us considered a luxury is fast becoming a necessity.
If you're considering going wireless,
take a little time to think about how you plan to use the phone and how much
you want spend. Do a little research to learn about what features you might
want when you sign up for service. Service plans and features vary widely.
Knowing ahead of time what your basic needs are and what extras you might want
will help you find the best deal and help keep you from signing up for features
you'll never use. Some folks might simply want the phone for emergencies,
others have busy families and want the convenience of being able to keep in
touch easily, and some may decide that their wireless phone will be their only phone!
Some of us remember a time when
telephones came only in black with a dial (no pushbuttons) and party lines
(kids, ask your parents) were common. Wireless phones were things out of
science fiction. Although selecting the type of wireless phone that's best for
you may seem complicated, it really isn't. In some cases, you might simply opt
to use the phone that is offered with the service plan you choose.
There are basically two types available,
Both have plusses and minuses. Analog service is more widely available across
the continental US and the initial cost is cheaper. Digital service allows more
features and some believe, greater security against "cloning," where
unscrupulous persons actually copy the wireless phone account information from
over the airwaves. A cloned cellular telephone can then be used to make calls
that will be billed to the subscriber of the legitimate cellular
Selecting a Service
- Think about how you'll use the
phone. How many calls will you make each week? When will you make
calls? Will you use it mostly on the weekends?
- When you determine what your calling
patterns will be, shop around for
carriers that offer pricing plans that best match your needs. There usually are
monthly access fees and charges for airtime.
- Compare each carrier's plans, rates,
- Select the plan that best meets your
needs and budget.
While the benefits of owning a portable
phone are significant, several safety issues remain unresolved. Portable phones
emit low levels of microwave radiation. Health advocates have expressed concern
that this may be a potential health
hazard. Research into the health risks is ongoing and has been
In addition, government reports indicate
these and other forms of wireless technologies also create distractions
that increase a driver's risk on the highways. Federal safety regulators advise
that drivers should not talk on the phone while their vehicles are in motion.
This is just a brief overview. For more
information on portable phones, check out these resources on the World Wide
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