GADGETS

Important Facts to Note before Settling on a Phone Plan

For beginners, the decision on which mobile phone plan to settle on can be difficult. There are many offers and deals from carriers and all the advertisements seem alluring. Some options come with the latest mobile handset, whereas others offer you bundled data and SMS options that are difficult to ignore. Seasoned mobile plan users can easily navigate through these offers and settle on one easily. However for beginners, some things may go beyond what is on offer and this guide will take you through some of the considerations you have to make before making a decision.

What Offers to Look for in a Mobile Plan

So you are reading the discounts and offers and don’t know what to look for. Well, the most important factors to consider are whether you get a locked or unlocked mobile phone, taxes, coverage and roaming charges. These are the most important factors because they directly affect your monthly payments. Your bill will reflect taxes, fees, fines and premium payments. Most discounted offers have a time limit and you should check whether the discounts are permanent or short lived and what they revert back to after they expire. Most people have noted a significant decrease in their monthly bills after they changed carriers and this basically means they were roped in with cheap offers and discounts which soon expired without their knowledge.

Service Optimized for Travelers

Call charges will increase when travelling because roaming charges will apply. This is because carriers have network coverage in some areas but not in all areas. When you move from one carrier’s coverage to another, then you will have to pay roaming charges and these can be almost thrice your normal charges. However, if your carrier has an agreement in place with another carrier to share coverage, then the roaming charges will decrease significantly. Also check if you carrier can allow you to switch your SIM card to another phone or use a different carrier’s SIM on the contract phone. Most mobile plans come with locked phones and you cannot unlock them unless your carrier allows you too, and at a high charge. Overall, it’s better to have an unlocked phone when travelling than a locked one because you might need to make a crucial call and a locked phone might require a lot of backtracking.

How to Mitigate High Costs

Data is becoming the main feature in most phones because there are many online solutions for calls and texting. In urban areas there are free Wi-Fi services which can help to offset data costs and by extension will reduce your call and SMS costs. Wi-Fi is significantly cheaper, and you can use it to mitigate higher data costs, even as you keep to a low cost call and SMS bundle. When travelling, ensure you know whether there is a strong and reliable Wi-Fi connection to help offset some calling and messaging functions. Some online messaging services such as WhatsApp are banned in some countries and therefore you need to plan your communication well before travelling.

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