Cellphone companies today often give you an ability to connect to the Internet with your phone wirelessly via 3G or 4G networks. Each company has its advantages and disadvantages and choosing the best one depends on your personal needs. There are several factors to consider when trying to find the best wireless internet phone Internet service including function and cost.
The speed of your wireless Internet service can be a decisive factor in choosing a plan. A company's speed is measured in megabits per second, which indicates how much data is transferred per second. Companies that offer 4G service will have faster speeds than those that just offer 3G service, but it may cost more. According to a June 2010 article in PC Magazine, AT&T offers speeds between 1.5Mbps and 2Mbps, T-mobile between 1Mbps and 1.7Mbps and Verizon and Sprint offer speeds around 1Mbps.
Coverage is also very important when considering which cellphone Internet service to use. Coverage describes your ability to access the Internet and connect to a wireless signal. AT&T has the most international coverage. Verizon and T-mobile have extensive coverage all over the United States but aren't as spread out internationally. The best way to find your carrier's coverage is to visit its online coverage map and check to see if they're available in your area.
There are two main kinds of plans to choose from, either prepaid or contract. Prepaid means that you pay a certain amount and you can use your phone's Internet until that runs out; usually this is paid month to month. You may cancel this service at any time. A contract means that you're obligated to a service for a certain amount of time, a year or two, and you must pay a fee to cancel the service. Big companies like Verizon and T-mobile offer both plans. AT&T can only be purchased with a contract, and companies such as Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are only prepaid.
Each data plan will give you a certain amount of data that you can use in a month for a certain cost. If you go over this amount, you must pay significantly higher fees. Verizon offers the cheapest 4G service, at around $40 a month, but this has a cap at about 2GB a month, as of June 2011. Virgin Mobile offers a plan for $50 a month that includes unlimited data transfer.
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