Friday, September 11, 2009

Cricket Offers Advantages For Urban Dwellers

Do you like to talk and talk and talk on your cell phone? Or, do you massively text during your waking hours? Do you live in a metropolitan area? How about Internet? Do you spend a lot of time on the Internet away from your home or office? Ah, you might enjoy the cellular service deals that Cricket Wireless has to offer.

Unlimited Talk & Text Plans Starting at $35/monthCricket service is quite different from what you’ve come to expect in a cell phone carrier. First of all there are no contracts to sign. Second, most everything you do is on an unlimited basis. There is one notable exception that we’ll get to in a minute. The service bundles start at an advertised $30 and go up to $60 a month. They’re all for unlimited service. What differentiates them is what kind of services you get.

The cheapest service, $30 a month, gives you talk and Caller ID. This is for people who just can’t bear to have a cell phone and not be using it or those who’ve gone totally wireless and don’t even have a landline. Talk is local, not long distance. If you want unlimited long distance and text messaging you move up to the next tier plan at $35 a month.

As you move up the service plan food chain, features get added. These include call waiting, 3-way calling, voicemail, picture mail, Mexico text, Global text, 411 directory assistance and mobile Web. In the top two tiers you also get nationwide roaming.

What’s different about Cricket’s roaming is that it’s a package of minutes, not unlimited service like the usual talk, text and Web services. For urbanites that never venture out to the hinterlands, roaming is not something they need to worry about. But if you like road trips or live in a city surrounded by countryside, roaming is something you’ll need.

What roaming means is that your carrier doesn’t have any towers nearby. So your phone is set up to find a tower owned by another carrier that has agreed to serve your carrier’s customers. Your phone will tell you when you are roaming. If you don’t have roaming service on your plan, you’ll get no service at all. If you do have roaming you’ll be using minutes from that package, but at least you have service available from Grandma’s place over the river and through the woods.

Check the coverage maps for Cricket and you’ll see that they are focused on serving major population centers, with no service at all in states like Montana. Compare these maps to where you spend your time to decide on which, if any, Cricket service to buy.

Another thing you’ll want to do is enter your zip code to check the plan prices. When I did that, all of a sudden the higher cost packages were available for $5 a month discounts for my location. That’s a nice surprise.

You also need to declare your location to see what phones are available. Compared to other no contract cellular services, Cricket has some nice smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards, Stereo Bluetooth, high resolution cameras, music players with external dedicated controls, and streaming video capability. They also offer an aircard that provides 3G broadband to your laptop computer at a monthly fee lower than competing wireless services.

Are you a urbanite or suburbanite looking for unlimited mobile phone service at decent price with no contracts to sign? You should really take a close look at what Cricket Wireless has to offer.

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