[UFO Chicago] Cell phones

Jordan Bettis jordanb at hafd.org
Sat Aug 20 22:11:01 CDT 2005

Jesse Becker said:
> --- Brian Sobolak <brian at planetshwoop.com> wrote:
>> Your requirement about "free" long distance affects
>> things somewhat.  But
> I should have said "nation-wide plan" instead.  A large
> portion of the calls I make are to numbers that are not
> "local" (e.g. in other states).

"Nation-wide" generally implies no roaming. Cingular at first came out
with such a plan but then scaled it back to "no roaming in Cingular's
network," a few years later they came out with another plan called "True
Nation" that is exactly what "Nation-wide" was originally.

The email thing you mentioned works with SMS. I know with cingular you can
use it with any phone that can do SMS. WAP is another cookie. I was paying
for it on my phone for about a year but then dumped it because I'd try to
use it maybe once a month and then it didn't work more often than it did.

I don't know about prepaid but basically every cell phone plan I've seen
has free domestic long-distance. If pre-paid /doesn't/ provide that, you
might want to look into Ameritech's long distance plans for your land
line. I got a plan on mine that's 60 minutes of free long-distance for
$3/mo. I can't remember what it costs per-minute after that but it's
something reasonable.

Remember though that cell phone service, especially in this city, is often
astonishingly bad. There's a good possibility that you *won't* be able to
get a good signal sitting in your living room, so using the cell phone to
replace long-distance on your land-line could end up being a very painful

> I've looked a bit at the pre-paid stuff as well.  I'll look
> some more.

I've recently dumped my cell phone after having one for more than three
years. I just finally decided, like Brian, that it's just a big, expensive
PITA. If I decide later that I really need one again though, I'll be
getting pre-paid. Unfortunatly you can't keep your phone number switching
from a montly plan to pre-paid, so it'll be best to decide *before* you
get the phone.

Jordan Bettis -- Chicago Il.
    Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago

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