Apart from finding a job, finding the type of food you like, culture shock and loneliness, one other challenge that new migrants face is knowing the best mobile service plan to hop on. Mobile service plans vary depending on your country of residence. For example, in the past, the British mobile system used the GSM network while the United States used the CDMA network. As time passed and the evolution of technology became broad, it became clear that these networks could not accommodate the wide range of services required by mobile users hence the upgrade to 4G and now 5G. As new migrants, before hopping on a mobile plan, one of the important factors to consider is the Long Term Evolution (LTE) capacity also known as 4G of your mobile phone. The Samsung S20 and its siblings for example are 4G mobile phones and also the first 5G carriers in the United States. The 5G network is gradually being introduced. It is still within its early stage and cannot make voice calls just yet. 4G LTE is what is widely used now, so it is important to be sure that your mobile phone has this capacity.
Choosing a very good cell phone is as important as choosing an appropriate plan for your mobile phone. Your mobile plan will only work on the mobile phone if it is compatible. Before we go over the plans you can choose from, let’s discuss some other factors. One of these is
- Knowing whether to hop on prepaid or postpaid( widely known as bill pay in the US):
A prepaid mobile service is a model that allows you to pay-as-you-go. Choosing this service means that you are to prepay for the mobile services and access to the services paid for is terminated once your voucher expires.
Adopting the bill pay model means that you will be presented with a bill for payment at the end of the month. With post paid, users have to pay the bill after using the service. You have to decide on if it’s going to be prepaid or postpaid for you.
Advantages of prepaid plans
- You gain access to unlimited talk, text and even data for a lower price than you’ll see with traditional postpaid plans. Prepaid plans also come with more features like mobile hotspot.
- Since you don’t get to sign any contracts, you’re able to switch phones at any time
- No phone bills piling up on you. Once you’ve reached your call, text or data limit, prepaid phones simply pause service until you top up.
- Prepaid phone plans are generally cheaper. With prepaid plans like Boost Mobile, you can get deals as low as $9 per month. You’ll still be able to access the same service, even if your data speeds are slower.
You can get prepaid phone plans on major service providers like AT & T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
- Usage pattern:
In order to find the best mobile service plan for you, it is important to know your usage pattern. Some people will require a higher usage while others may require a lower usage depending on what the service is needed for. You need to put into consideration the things that are important to you like international calls and the amount of data you will need in a month as this will determine your level of usage.
According to letstalk.com, Verizon’s 4G LTE network has the best coverage, with 70% nationwide coverage, followed by AT&T with 68%, T-Mobile with 62%, and Sprint with 30%.
According to clark.com, the cheapest prepaid phone plans are Tello Economy (Cheapest Overall Prepaid Plan), Mint Mobile (Best Value for a Prepaid Plan), Twigby (Best Limited Time Cheap Prepaid Phone Plan). Mint Unlimited, T-Mobile Prepaid and Boost Unlimited all fall under the best unlimited prepaid phone plans in the United States. Boost Mobile is the best Unlimited prepaid plan for hotspots.
Now to the disadvantages.
- Unless you keep track of your calls, text and data in an organized manner, you run a risk of running out of minutes when you’re most likely to need them. One can be tempted to just keep calling and texting because, well, it’s been paid for already and so you may get to spend more money for top ups.
- Because prepaid phones are not free, one may need to tender a huge investment upfront.