Cell-Phones

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					COMMUNICATION OPTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS/FAMILY WHILE YOU
                    ARE AT W&L
                 By Martin Hristov ’12, Gyung Jeong’14 and Suraj Bajracharya ‘14


The communications market is constantly changing and it is hard to keep up, but some of our
current students have tried to give you some examples of the types of communications that can
be used to communicate with your friends and family in the US and abroad.

CELL PHONES:

The major cell phone companies with the best coverage in the Lexington area and the least
problems are AT&T, T-mobile (in process of being purchased by AT&T), Verizon, and Cingular.
Most wireless companies work with SIM cards and require any type of GSM phone device.
Verizon does not work with SIM cards. In the US, GSM operates on the primary mobile
communication bands 850 MHz and 1900 MHz. That means that any quad band phone device
will definitely work. For dual band devices, you have to check what frequencies they support.
You may purchase phones online.

Martin’s Best Pick:

AT&T (recommended for calls within the US)
Works with SIM card, so you can use your cell phone from home. Best coverage in the
Lexington area. ‘Pick your plan’ is a monthly prepaid plan, which means that at the beginning of
each month your account is automatically filled with the amount you choose. You can use this
amount to place calls and to send texts. Once you use up your balance during the month, you
can add additional funds to your account at any time (you'll pay the same per minute rate as
your plan). If you have money left at the end of the month, they get transferred to next month
(rollover). Sample costs:
Name of     Monthly     Anytime           Cost Per      Night and Weekend     Mobile to Mobile
Plan        Cost        Minutes(up to)*   Minute        Minutes**             Minutes
Pick Your   $29.99      200               $.15          0
Plan 1
Pick Your   $39.99      300               $.133         500                   Unlimited
Plan 2
Pick Your   $49.99      400               $.125         3000                  Unlimited
Plan 3

Most companies offer both plans and prepaid package options. Plans are usually cheaper and
come with huge discounts on phone devices. However, you cannot get a plan if you do not have
credit history in the US unless you pay a $500 one-year deposit.
Prepaid plans work well too. You can get a monthly prepaid plan, where you prepay at the
beginning of the each month, or you can get a prepaid plan where you put money in your
account and can call people until you run out of money. You can top-up your account with
more money at any given time as many times as you want. You can do this online or you can
buy top-up vouchers from electronics stores in Lexington like RadioShack or even Walmart.
Prepaid plans are easiest and quickest to get. You can order it online .


Suraj’s Best Pick:

T-Mobile Pay As You Go: the monthly payment is $15 plus $.10 per minute call or text,
including international incoming. This one uses a SIM card. So, it can be used on any SIM card
supported phone from home. While I know that T-Mobile doesn’t provide the best coverage,
the good price makes up for it and I can talk where I need to. I bought this service with a $20
cell phone. Then I use the SIM card with my ‘better’ cell phone from back home. For further
details see http://www.t-mobile.com/sop/plans/prepaid-plans.aspx . Verizon Pay as You Go is
a bit more expensive : monthly payment $10 and $.10 per minute for calls and $.25 per minute
for text messages (incoming and outgoing). For more info, go to
http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=prepayItem&action=viewPrepayO
verview

Walmart, a grocery chain store in Lexington, is now offering a no-contract cell phone for sale.
They offer a $45 plan for no-contract service and a metered plan for $30. The offer comes with
a condition, however. When there is no contract, the customer is obliged to buy only that cell
phone set which is eligible. The eligible cell phones include flip phone LG 220, LG 290 slide
phone, and Samsung 451 which features a QWERTY keyboard. You can then buy more minutes
as needed. If you are not picky about your phone, this is one of the most economical ways to
have a cell phone and talk to friends within the US.

Boost Mobile: Monthly unlimited : Boost Mobile® Monthly Unlimited is just $50/month for
unlimited nationwide talk, text, web, 411, IM & email with no contracts. Voicemail, long
distance and call waiting included. All backed by a dependable nationwide network. Activate on
Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage and shrink from $50 to as low as $35/month. International
connect : Pay 5 dollars and international rate finder:
http://plans.boostmobile.com/international-connect.aspx

Also check: http://www.allworldcellphones.com/

A Note about SIM Cards
SIM Cards are not typically available at retail stores or kiosks. There are lots of websites where
       you can buy SIM cards good in the US. Below are a couple of the many sites:
http://www.telestial.com/view_product.php?ID=LSIM-US02
http://www.myworldphone.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=SIM%2DPREP%2DAT100
VoIP/Skype
Another good and recommended option is to make calls, especially international ones, over the
internet. There are numerous programs and services that provide this. All you need is a
computer with a microphone and speakers/headset. You can also use a cell phone device that
has internet access. However, you need a newer phone model so you can install the required
application.
Skype is the most popular VoIP application. When you are calling an another computer with
Skype, calls are free. For calling land lines you have two options. You can subscribe for only $3
per month and get unlimited calls to US and Canada landlines and cell phones. You can also get
unlimited world calls for $13.99 per month. In this case, you also get a phone number, so other
people can call you at anytime when you are logged in. The other option is to put money in
your account and call anyone in the US, for example, for as low as 2 cents per minute. Call rates
to other countries vary, but are still very cheap. As with any other prepaid service, you can buy
more credit for your account at any given time. However, you do not have a phone number and
people cannot call you.
        http://buy.skype.com/paymonthly


Google Voice

Google Voice is similar to Skype.
        -When you register, you can choose your number. Calling through internet is free but if
you want to call a landline, then you have to pay, which is a reasonable amount (it is usually
from 2 cents to 30 cents per min). Basically, you have to purchase credits (minutes) in order to
make phone calls.
        - How to make international calls, go to:
http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=141922
https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=grandcentral&passive=1209600&cont
inue=https://www.google.com/voice&followup=https://www.google.com/voice&ltmpl=opent
requires the same kind of hardware as Skype but seems to be a bit cheaper:
http://lifehacker.com/5349506/make-free-voip-calls-from-google-voice .


Magic Jack

The magicJack device allows you to receive free in-bound communications from other
magicJack device users anywhere in the world while connected to the magicJack service
How: To enable your use of the magicJack device, or magicTalk you must first download the
magicJack Software and/or magicTalk software. Some enhanced features also require you to
purchase the magicJack device or magicTalk Preferred plan.

    Incoming Calls: When you first register, as part of the available features, you may elect
     to choose a unique phone number, which will allow you to receive free phone calls over
     the Internet. Outgoing Calls: You can make free calls to other magicJack device users
     located anywhere in the world, and to subscribers on traditional telephone networks or
     wireless networks in the United States.
    The MagicJack device allows you to receive for free incoming calls using the phone
     number you have chosen. If you choose outgoing service, the magicJack device allows
     you to make free outgoing calls to other magicJack/magicTalk device users located
     anywhere in the world, and to subscribers on traditional telephone networks or cellular
     networks in the United States.
                 Payment: Your purchase of the magicJack device or download of
                   magicTalk and registration of the magicJack device and/or magicTalk
                   gives you a license to use the magicJack and the Software and/or
                   magicTalk for one year. magicJack costs $39.95 plus shipping and
                   handling for one year of free local and long distance calling to the United
                   States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. You can purchase
                   an additional year of service for $19.95.

       Making calls to countries outside the US and Canada on magicJack:

      Call from your magicJack from any country to the U.S. and Canada and the call is free.
      Call from a magicJack to a magicJack in any country and the call is free.
      Call from the U.S. or Canada to the U.S. or Canada and the call is free.
      Call from your magicJack to another country, other than the U.S. or Canada, and you
       must prepay for international minutes--- for the international rates go to:
       http://www.magicjack.com/international/
      All these info are from http://www.magicjack.com/5/index.aspCall from a magicJack to
       a magicJack in any country and the call is free.
      Call from the U.S. or Canada to the U.S. or Canada and the call is free.
      Call from your magicJack to another country, other than the U.S. or Canada, and you
       must prepay for international minutes--- for the international rates go to:
       http://www.magicjack.com/international/
      All these info are from http://www.magicjack.com/5/index.asp


Discounted Calls

www.Discall.com It is basically a ‘call back service’. It offers discounted calls to many
countries at varying rates. Some countries are 2 cents a minute and some cost as much as $1 a
minute.

www.PennyTalk.com Another discounted phone service for as little as 2 cents a minute. A 49
cent connection fee per call.

				
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posted:8/10/2011
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