Assess your Mobile Phone Needs

Assessing your Mobile Phone Needs
When looking at choosing a mobile phone provider and plan there are a few considerations you will need to make. There is nothing worse than being locked into a plan that does not fulfill your mobile phone needs. Some things that you will need to think about before signing on the dotted line include:

Do I want to be locked into a contract?
Prepay plans are always an option for someone who wants the freedom of not having to operate within the confines of a contract. A SIM card can usually be bought from the mobile phone service provider that you choose and usually you choose between having higher call charges during business hours or a plan in which there is one set rate anytime.

The downside to a prepay plan is that the call costs are more expensive than on a plan and you do not (in most cases) receive an itemized account. You could also run out of credit on the phone when you least expect it, however this is alleviated with having the option of recharging credit via credit card straight away.

A number of mobile phone service providers e.g. now offer plans which are ‘no term’ meaning that there is not a fixed term on the contract. These types of plans are cheaper than having a prepay plan but are usually more expensive than going on a fixed term plan.

The other option is to be on a fixed contract. Fixed contracts have advantages including cheaper plan charges, cheaper call charges and better services. Gone are the days where you had to be on contract for 18 months plus so shop around for the plan with the monthly charge and call charge rates that suit your needs whether business or personal.

Will I be making calls in the evening and on the weekends?
If you use your mobile mainly in the evening or on the weekends some providers have contracts especially for you which work out cheaper as you are calling at off-peak times.

How often do I use text messaging?
Are you an avid text message sender with not much use for voice calls? Then look for a plan which gives you a high number of free text messages (or cheaper text messages) and will charge higher call costs.

Will I be making international calls?
If you intend to make international calls remember to contact your provider first, as international calling may be disabled for security reasons. Once it is enabled you will be free to make calls to international locations. If you will be making numerous international calls via mobile, remember to shop around for a plan that gives you the best international call rate.

How often do I travel overseas?
Global roaming is a very useful service to make use of if you are going to be traveling overseas and still want to be contactable at all times. Roaming works by connecting to whatever network is compatible in the country you are traveling within.

For example, if you are a Vodafone New Zealand user, your account will automatically use the Vodafone United Kingdom network whilst traveling in the UK. To switch on global roaming contact your provider.

Remember that roaming charges can be very very expensive, so keep calls to a minimum, have your voice mail on so you can receive messages and return calls using a landline or use text messaging. The added expense comes from you paying for receiving the call from NZ to whatever destination you are visiting.

The caller in NZ to your mobile pays for the normal charge within New Zealand but the international portion of the call is charged to you. Remember, whatever plan you decide on, do your research so that whatever you decide upon suits your needs.