Cover image for Consumer's guide to cell phones & wireless service plans
Consumer's guide to cell phones & wireless service plans
Mclaughlin, Jeff.
Publication Information:
Rockland, MA : Syngress Publishing, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 231 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


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TK6570.M6 C66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Choosing the right mobile phone and service plan can be overwhelming, particularly if you travel abroad - this truly international guide is ideal for the mobile executive
Experts estimate that by 2005 there will be over 1.26 billion wireless phone users around the world. (Source: Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). It's overwhelming to think of the options available to the consumer when it comes to buying mobile phones, phone accessories, and service plans. So many people are confused by the myriad of wireless phone claims, the endless advertised rates and the countless service plans with all their options. The Consumer's Guide to Cell Phones is designed to help consumers choose what program may best suit them. This book helps streamline the wireless-buying process by providing a complete listing of all wireless providers and the details of their plans.
International listings cover USA, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. As an example, in Ireland there is coverage of Digiphone and other plans, in Australia of Telstra, in the UK Cellnet, Orange, etc.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xxiii
Part I General Informationp. 1
Chapter 1 How to Choose a Wireless Phone and Servicep. 3
Introductionp. 4
In the Beginning:
An Introduction to Wirelessp. 5
The Basicsp. 6
The Digital Agep. 6
Getting Startedp. 7
Assessing Your Coverage Needsp. 8
Your Friends Are Your Best Resourcep. 9
Which Comes First, the Phone or the Service?p. 9
What Features Do You Need in a Wireless Phone?p. 10
What about the Technical Side of the Phone?p. 11
Usage Considerationsp. 11
Your Day-to-Day Usep. 12
The Bottom Line: Understanding Costp. 13
How Much to Spend on the Phonep. 13
How Much to Spend on the Rate Planp. 14
Bargain Shopping: Understanding Promotionsp. 14
Bells and Whistles: Looking at Accessoriesp. 15
Making Sense of It All: The Phone and Plan for Mep. 16
Summaryp. 17
Quick Referencep. 18
Chapter 2 Analog, Digital--What's the Difference?p. 21
Introductionp. 22
Evolution of the Wireless Phonep. 22
Exploring Analog Technologyp. 24
Examining Digital Technologyp. 26
The Pros and Cons of Digitalp. 26
Advantages of Digital Phonesp. 27
Disadvantages of Digital Phonesp. 28
Summaryp. 29
Quick Referencesp. 29
Chapter 3 CDMA to TDMA--Digital Terms and Basic Definitionsp. 31
Introductionp. 32
Code Division Multiple Accessp. 33
Benefits of CDMAp. 34
Global Systems for Mobile
Communicationsp. 35
Benefits of GSMp. 35
Time Division Multiple Accessp. 36
Benefits of TDMAp. 37
Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radiop. 37
Benefits of ESMRp. 38
Service Providers and Technologiesp. 38
Summaryp. 40
Quick Referencesp. 40
Chapter 4 Wireless Data and the Wireless Internet--Do I Need It?p. 43
Introductionp. 44
What Is the Wireless Internet?p. 44
How Does It Work?p. 44
What Kind of Phone Do I Need?p. 47
What Services Can I Get from the Wireless Carriers?p. 49
What Services Can I Get from Third Parties?p. 50
Wireless Data and Faxp. 51
Summaryp. 53
Quick Referencesp. 53
Part II Equipmentp. 55
Chapter 5 The Components of a Wireless Phonep. 57
Introductionp. 58
The Basicsp. 58
Display Screenp. 59
Antennap. 59
Menu Selection and Scroll Keysp. 60
Other Keysp. 60
Batteryp. 61
Jacksp. 61
A Beginner's Guide to Phone Featuresp. 62
Standard Featuresp. 62
Features Requiring Servicep. 65
Advanced Features Requiring Servicep. 66
The Cutting Edgep. 67
Summaryp. 69
Quick Referencesp. 69
Chapter 6 Guide to Wireless Phonesp. 71
Introductionp. 72
Size and Weightp. 72
Large Phonesp. 72
Medium-Sized Phonesp. 74
Small or Compact Phonesp. 75
Networks Availablep. 76
Single Modep. 76
Dual Modep. 76
Tri-Modep. 76
Case Designp. 77
Traditional Stylep. 77
Flip Stylep. 78
Colorp. 78
Costp. 80
Talk Time and Standby Timep. 80
Popular Wireless Phonesp. 81
The Ericsson R289LXp. 82
The Kyocera QCP-2035p. 83
The Kyocera QCP-6035p. 84
The Mitsubishi T250p. 85
The Motorola i1000plusp. 86
The Motorola i2000p. 87
The Motorola i550plusp. 88
The Motorola i700plusp. 89
The Motorola V2397p. 90
The Nokia 3360p. 91
The Nokia 5165p. 92
The Nokia 6160p. 93
The Nokia 8260p. 94
The Panasonic Allurep. 95
The Panasonic Versiop. 96
The Samsung N200p. 97
The Samsung Uproar MP3p. 98
The Sanyo SCP-5000p. 99
The Sanyo SCP-6000p. 100
The Sprint Touchpoint 1100p. 101
The Sprint Touchpoint 2100p. 102
Sprint Touchpoint 2200p. 103
The Sprint Touchpoint 5200p. 104
Summaryp. 105
Quick Referencesp. 105
Chapter 7 Accessories for Your Wireless Phonep. 107
Introductionp. 108
Hands-Free Kitsp. 108
Cases and Belt Clipsp. 109
Chargersp. 111
Batteriesp. 113
Faceplatesp. 113
Summaryp. 114
Quick Referencesp. 114
Part III Service Plans and Ratesp. 117
Chapter 8 Understanding Service Plansp. 119
Introductionp. 120
Understanding Basic Plan Structuresp. 121
Local Plansp. 121
Regional Plansp. 123
National Plans without Roaming Chargesp. 123
National Plans with Roaming Chargesp. 124
Breaking Down Wireless Plans and Feesp. 124
Additional Plan Features and Feesp. 127
The Prepaid Optionp. 128
Summaryp. 131
Quick Referencesp. 131
Chapter 9 Service Providers and Service Areasp. 133
Introductionp. 134
What Services Are Available to You?p. 134
Wireless Service Providersp. 134
Finding Service Providers in Your Areap. 135
Service Areasp. 136
Local Coveragep. 136
Regional Coveragep. 139
National Coveragep. 139
Quality of Servicep. 140
Why Is Service Quality Inconsistent?p. 141
Who Has the Best Service?p. 142
Wireless Carrier Directoryp. 144
Verizon Wirelessp. 145
Cingular Wirelessp. 146
ATandT Wirelessp. 147
Sprint PCSp. 148
Nextelp. 149
Alltelp. 150
VoiceStreamp. 151
U.S. Cellularp. 152
Qwestp. 153
Triton PCSp. 154
Western Wirelessp. 155
Dobson Communication Corp.p. 155
Telecorpp. 155
Century Telephonep. 155
Centennial Cellularp. 155
Rural Cellular Corporationp. 155
Cricketp. 156
Cincinnati Bell Wirelessp. 156
Summaryp. 157
Quick Referencep. 157
Chapter 10 Traveling: Your Domestic and International Roaming Optionsp. 159
Introductionp. 160
What Is Roaming?p. 160
Domestic Roaming Optionsp. 161
ATandT Wireless: ATandT Digital One Rate Plansp. 162
Sprint PCS: Real Nationwide Long Distancep. 163
Verizon Wireless: National SingleRatep. 163
International Roaming Optionsp. 164
Nextel Worldwidep. 165
ATandT WorldConnect Servicep. 166
VoiceStreamp. 166
WorldCellp. 166
Guide to International Wireless Carriersp. 167
Summaryp. 169
Quick Referencesp. 169
Chapter 11 Understanding Special Deals and Promotionsp. 171
Introductionp. 172
Types of Promotionsp. 172
Service Creditsp. 172
Rebatesp. 173
More Minutes: "Sign Now and Get 1000 More Minutes!"p. 173
Free Advanced Services: "Get One Year of MusicPlayer Free (A $120 Value)!"p. 173
Contract Length-Based Incentives: "Sign Up for a One-Year Contract and Get Free Long Distance!"p. 174
Free Accessories: "Sign Up Now and Get a Free Headset Kit!"p. 174
Helpful Hintsp. 175
Limited Time Offerp. 175
Plan Restrictionsp. 175
Phone Restrictionsp. 175
Minutesp. 175
Services You'll Never Usep. 176
Summaryp. 177
Quick Referencesp. 177
Part IV Looking Aheadp. 179
Chapter 12 Frequently Asked Questionsp. 181
Introductionp. 182
Frequently Asked Questions about Phonesp. 182
What are the differences between analog and digital phones?p. 182
What is the difference between PCS and cellular?p. 182
What is Third Generation?p. 183
What is a dual-band phone?p. 183
What battery has the longest life, NiMH or Li-Ion?p. 183
What is the difference between talk time and standby time?p. 183
Frequently Asked Questions about
Service Rates and Plansp. 183
Why is the quality of my wireless service sometimes inconsistent?p. 184
Which wireless carrier has the best signal strength?p. 184
What is roaming?p. 184
If it is called a nationwide plan, then why are there roaming charges?p. 184
What plans do not charge for roaming?p. 185
How do I know which mode my phone is in?p. 185
What do peak and off-peak hours indicate?p. 185
How do service providers count anytime minutes versus evening and weekend minutes?p. 185
Do I get charged when people call me?p. 185
Does it use up my minutes when I call other wireless phones?p. 186
When I call my voice mail am I using my minutes?p. 186
What is considered a long distance call?p. 186
Are toll free number calls free?p. 186
What is the farthest I can call from my wireless phone?p. 186
Can all cellular phones be used worldwide?p. 187
More Frequently Asked Questionsp. 187
Can I just keep the phone I have and change plans?p. 187
Can I change my service plan at any time?p. 187
Can I keep my phone number if I move or switch wireless carriers?p. 187
If I don't like my phone number, can I change it?p. 188
Do I have to sign a contract?p. 188
Why do I need a credit card to buy a phone?p. 188
Are rebates for phones instant or mail-in?p. 188
Chapter 13 The Future of Wireless Communicationsp. 189
Introductionp. 190
As Use Increases, Prices Fallp. 190
What to Consider before Throwing Away Your Home Phonep. 191
Wireless as the Only Communications Networkp. 192
Combining All Your Devicesp. 193
3G--The Third Generation of Wirelessp. 194
Summaryp. 195
Quick Referencesp. 195
Appendix A Glossary of Wireless Termsp. 197
Appendix B How to Use the Web Sitep. 209
Introductionp. 210
Home Pagep. 210
Wireless Home Pagep. 211
Haven't Decided Which Plan Is for You? Start Here!p. 212
Picking a Planp. 213
Browsing by Plansp. 213
Picking a Phonep. 215
Browsing by Phonesp. 215
Choosing Accessoriesp. 216
Your Shopping Cartp. 218
Ordering at GetConnected, Inc.p. 218
Checklistp. 219
Indexp. 221