FAQ

This information is old I have not updated this page in years. .

WirelessConsultant.net has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about wireless devices and cell phones. Please send me a message through my contact form if you still have any further questions about cell phones or cell phone service providers.

General Cell Phone Questions

* Which cell phone carriers can I choose from?
* What are the cell phone activation and customer service charges?
* What is the difference between the carriers?
* I need a cell phone, but have never used one before. How do I get started?
* What do cell phones cost?
* What are the best rate plans?
* Which carrier provides the best service (coverage)?
* What is the best cellular phone available?
* Which phones and carriers work internationally?
* What additional features are available for my cellular service?
* Is insurance available for cellular phones?
* How is voice mail set up?
* What is a dual mode cellular phone?
* Which carrier offers the cell phone/two-way radio units?
* Do you have some quick, general information about each carrier?
* How can I contact the phone manufacturers or carriers directly?

Urgent Issues: Help!

* What do I do if my cellular phone is not working properly?
* How do I get my cell phone repaired?
* I lost my cell phone, what do I do?

Upgrades | Downgrades | Disconnects | Accessories

* Can I upgrade or downgrade my rate plan anytime?
* Can I upgrade my phone and keep the same number?
* Are accessories available for cellular phones?
* How do I disconnect my cellular phone and what do I do with the phone?

Ordering a Cell Phone

* I ordered a cell phone, when should I expect it?
* How do I order a cell phone?
* What happens after I place my order?
* When can I pick up my cell phone?


Carriers | Phones | Features | Rates

Which cell phone carriers can I choose from?
Various models, features, and rate plans are available from Verizon, Alltel, AT&T, Sprint PCS, Nextel and T-Mobile.

What are the cell phone activation and customer service charges?
Wireless Carriers charge an activation fee anywhere from $35 to $50. WirelessConsultant.net charges no additional fees!

What is the difference between the carriers?
Cellular companies are very much alike in terms of service and products. Their rate plans have different options, such as long distance, nights and weekends, and roaming. The service (coverage) of each carrier differs, because the carriers work on different systems. But coverage depends primarily on location. The phone models are similar in features and functionality, but the phones are not interchangeable because each carrier uses different technologies on different frequencies. For example, AT&T uses TDMA technology, Verizon uses CDMA technology, and AT&T uses GSM technology. What is the difference in GSM and CDMA phones?

I need a cell phone, but have never used one before. How do I get started?
It’s best to have an idea of the phone features you need, your budget limitations, and if you will be traveling a lot, as well as an estimate of how many minutes you might use the phone on a monthly basis. WirelessConsultant.net does business with five carriers that have different cell phone models and rate plans to choose from. Also look at the carriers’ Web sites, talk to their account representatives, and visit local carrier stores. This will help you determine the phone and rate plan that will best fit your needs and your budget.

What do cell phones cost?
You can buy a cell phone for as low as Free or as high as $500 or more. The less expensive phones are mostly simple and bigger models, which have basic features (e.g., Nokia 6010 series or Samsung c207). The mid-range phones, (e.g., Nokia 6230 series or Motorola V551 series) are smaller in size and have more enhanced features. The more expensive phones (e.g., Nokia communicator series or Motorola V3) are either very small and have extensive features or can be used internationally. Some cell phones are also PDAs. Phone prices change rapidly from month to month, due to promotions or the release of new models.

What are the best rate plans?
Rate plans vary with each carrier. The Sprint rate plans have a fair and flexible offer, which overages are $5 for 100 minutes. Verizon offers local and national rates. AT&T plans include options such as Rollover, free nights and weekends or unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls. (Refer to each carrier’s plan page for details on each available rate plans and current promotions.)

Which carrier provides the best service (coverage)?
All cellular carriers have dead spots, where there is very little or no cellular signal (service). Even though carriers provide coverage maps, it is hard to locate the dead spots. Signal strength and dead spots vary for each carrier depending on the location. For example, Sprint does not work well at the Price Center, but works fine everywhere else on campus. And AT&T works well at the Price Center, but does not work well around the Audio Visual building. Some services might work well in your office but not at your home or even certain sections of the freeway. Most dead spots are small areas or even inside some buildings. In general, all major carriers have decent service. AT&T and Verizon have the most nationwide coverage.

What is the best cellular phone available?
Cellular phone models change constantly. Currently Motorola and Nokia have the best phones on the market, and their phones stay on the market longer than most other manufacturers’ phones. Most of the Motorola phones are small, compact, flip phones (e.g., V551 or Razr). The Nokia phones vary in size but are not flip phones. Other manufacturers include Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and LG. Most cell phones work the same way, but might have different features (e.g., voice-activated dialing, vibrating function, calendars, calculators). Please refer to the phone pages for detailed information.

Which phones and carriers work internationally?
Currently AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM, the world standard and are the best for international roaming. Other carriers like Verizon and Sprint do have international roaming limited areas.

What additional features are available for my cellular service?
Most carriers provide basic voice mail and caller id at no additional charge. Other features, including text messaging, e-mail, Web access, and paging, are available for additional charges. The costs for these features vary for each carrier.

Is insurance available for cellular phones?
Yes, you can insure your cellular phone in case of loss or damage through your cellular carrier. The monthly cost can range anywhere from $3.99/mo to $5.99/mo, with a deductible of either $35 or $50. New PDA phones and high end phones may have a higher deductible.

How is voice mail set up?
The instructions are different for each carrier. Check your carrier’s print documentation or Web site for details.

What is a dual mode cellular phone?
Dual mode means that the phone works both in analog and digital modes, which are two different frequencies. The very old phones are analog only phones. Most of the new phones are either digital or dual mode. A cell phone is usually in digital mode unless the digital signal is very weak or not available, then the phone automatically switches to analog mode. Mostly near the metropolitan areas, the phone will remain in digital mode. When you get further away from the city, you will need analog service. Digital sound is much clearer than analog.

Which carrier offers the cell phone/ two-way radio units?
Nextel offers cell phones that also work like walkie-talkies. These phones are manufactured by Motorola and function in cellular mode for cellular calls and in radio mode for direct-connect radio talk. Nextel phones are beneficial for individuals within a group who need to maintain communication throughout their work day. A group of people communicating via the direct connect rather than calling each other on their cell phones saves money and time. Verizon and Sprint are now offering two-way radios but not as quick as Nextel.

Do you have some quick, general information about each carrier?

  • Verizon Wireless
    Monthly rate plans are currently available on WirelessConsultant.net. 1 or 2 year contracts needed. Verizon is rated best in overall satifaction.
  • AT&T
    Monthly rate plans are available on WirelessConsultant.net. One and two-year contracts. Rollover is exclusive to AT&T.
  • Sprint PCS
    Monthly rate plans available on WirelessConsultant.net. .One and two-year contracts. Sprint has a low deposit for the credit challenged. Sprint has plans with nights starting at 7pm and 6pm optional. Sprint also has plans with unlimited incoming calls
  • Nextel
    Monthly rate plans are currently available on WirelessConsultant.net. One and two-year contracts. Nextel has the best two way radio. Nextel is now Sprint.
  • T-Mobile
    Monthly rate plans available on WirelessConsultant.net. T-Mobile gives you more minutes to use during the nationally. T-Mobile has the best customer service.

How can I contact the phone manufacturers or carriers directly?

Wireless Service Providers

Cell Phone Manufacturers

AT&T
800.888.7600Boingo
800.880.4117

Boost Mobile
888.BOOST.4.U

Cellular One
800.635.0304

Cingular
800.331.0500

Cricket
866.CRICKET

Edge Wireless
866.221.EDGE

Einstein PCS
888.687.1130

Liberty Wireless
800.383.9254

Metro PCS
888.863.8768

Net 10
877.836.2368

Nextel
800.639.6111

NTELOS
877.4.NTELOS

Suncom
800.SUN.SERV

SureWest
866.787.3937

T-Mobile
800.937.8997

U.S. Cellular
888.944.9400

Verizon
800.922.0204

Yes Wireless
877.4.YES.NOW

Audiovox
800.229.1235Blackberry
877.255.2377

Handspring
888.565.9393

Kyocera
800.349.4478

LG
800.793.8896

Motorola
800.668.6765

NEC
800.637.5917

Nextel
800.639.6111

Nokia
800.666.5553

Panasonic
888.275.2595

Samsung
888.987.4357

Sanyo
818.998.7322

Siemens
888.777.0211

Sony Ericsson
800.374.2776

Urgent Issues: Help!

What do I do if my cellular phone is not working properly?
First, determine if the problem is with the phone or the battery by replacing the battery. If you can’t hear callers, make sure the volume is turned up, the ringer turned on, or the battery is charged. If these strategies don’t work, take your cell phone to a service center. All cellular phones have a one-year manufacturers warranty. The service centers will repair or replace phones under warranty as long as the user did not cause physical damage. If the warranty has expired, the service center might charge for repairs. Sometimes its best to just purchase a new phone, because repair costs can be as high as the cost of a new phone.

How do I get my cellular phone repaired?
The carriers are responsible for repairs of defective phones that are still under warranty. Warranty on all phones is one year from purchased date.

I lost my cell phone, what do I do?
Immediately contact your carrier and suspend your cellular number to prevent it from being used fraudulently. You then have a few options. You can permanently disconnect your cellular number if it’s not on a contract, you can wait to see if the lost phone turns up, or you can order a new phone to replace the lost one.

Upgrades | Downgrades | Disconnects | Accessories

Can I upgrade or downgrade my rate plan anytime?
Yes, there are no penalties for upgrading or downgrading rate plans with most carriers, except they will renew your contract for one year.

Can I upgrade my phone and keep the same number?
Yes. Now you can port your number to other carriers or a landline.

Are accessories available for cellular phones?
The standard phone package includes the phone itself, a battery, and a charger. Some phones also come with holsters. Optional accessories that can be ordered from WirelessConsultant.net for cellular phones include car chargers (cigarette lighter adapters), desktop chargers, leather cases, holsters, swivel belt clips, hands-free headsets, earpieces, extended batteries, car kits, and face plates.

How do I disconnect my cellular phone and what do I do with the phone?
To disconnect your cellular number/ account, submit a Cell Phone and Service Request Form. If your cell number is still in a contract agreement, there will be an early disconnect fee, usually $175 and up, but the phone itself always belongs to you. Please check with your provider before canceling.

Ordering a Cell Phone

I ordered a cellular phone, when should I expect it?
Most orders take just 4 working days via FedEx 2nd Day Air, UPS Blue, or USPS Express Mail service.  All orders are shipped immediately.

How do I order a cell phone?
After determining the cell phone and service plan that best suits your needs, place your order with the using the Cell Phone and Service Request Form or contact me for assistance.

What happens after I place my order?
WirelessConsultant.net submits an order for your requested items with the account representative and an order notification is sent for billing. The items, once shipped will be sent to your address.