Cell Phones: ATT Prepaid, The ATT Go Phone, Cingular, Cingular Pre Paid, there are lots of choices ant it's all pretty confusing but based on my travels to the rest of the world, I predict that we here in the US are all going to be using prepaid wireless pretty soon. If you get Cingular prepay, ATT Go Phone or any of the other prepaid or pay as you go, it costs about 10 cents per minute but.... rates are dropping.
Currently, I pay about 80 dollars per month for wireless phone service for my wife and myself sharing minutes but not phones, on the same plan. We hardly ever use all the minutes in a given month, and they keep accruing in roll-over minutes...in some account that we will never have the opportunity to use.
Well I recently did an analysis and based on my last year's bills, I would have been better off with PrePaid service. You can do the same...see if prepay makes sense for you.
If you are taking your cell phone abroad there are a few things you need to know. I recently took my Nokia 6591i phone to Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand thinking I could use it....well, I was wrong. Here's the scoop. The Nokia 6591i phone is billed as an "international, dual band phone" which operates at both 850 Mhz and 1900Mhz...it will not work in Cambodia (or much of Asia), because their GSM networks operate at 900Mhz and 1800Mhz. The good news is that since it works at 850 Mhz and 1900Mhz it will work in South America, the Carribean and Europe.
One caveat is that most cell phones are "locked" and only work on the networks of the cell phone provider from whom you purchased the phone. There is a solution....you can pay to get your phone "unlocked" so that it will work on other networks ! After a short Google search I found a helpful site on the Internet, I obtained an unlock code for my Nokia 6591i phone...I followed the instructions and successfully unlocked it...that's the good news.
Here are my sources of info regarding the phones and GSM networks, these links may be helpful to you http://www.phonescoop.com/glossary/term.php?gid=115 and http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml
I just ordered a Motorola Razr V3 in the hopes that I will be able to use this "quad band phone" in Asia and Southeast Asia as well as the rest of the world during my upcoming travels...I'll let you know how it works out !