It’s 2018 and the world is undoubtedly based on technology. Cellphones are no longer seen as a luxury tech item but instead are considered "essentials" that are practically attached to a person’s body.
That being said, it can still be overwhelming to choose a phone and a plan, especially as there are so many options on the market. To help you out, here is your ultimate checklist for selecting the best mobile phone plan for personal use.
Step 1: Determine which phone features are non-negotiable
While it is a given that phones make calls, in 2018, most people want their phones to do a little bit more. Your first step in choosing the perfect personal phone plan for you is to determine which phone features are non-negotiable.
Some questions that can help you decide which features your plan should have are:
- Do you need to be able to download and listen to music?
- What about internet browsing speed? Do you want 3.9G internet speed for browsing?
- How often do you take photos and how high quality of a camera do you need?
- How much memory do you need for audiobooks?
- Do you want a phone that easily syncs with your other devices?
If you aren't sure, talk with friends and family about their phones plans and what they like and dislike about the features. By knowing what you certainly need before you start looking, you can be sure that you don't end up purchasing a phone and a plan that doesn't work for your lifestyle.
Step 2: Understand your data needs
After identifying your non-negotiables, it is time to determine your data needs. Take the time to check your phone settings to get an overview of how much data you consume per month as this will guide you in this regard.
Some people need unlimited data plans, while others only need a small limited amount of data.
If you don't use much data (less than 4GB a month) and mostly stream or download while on Wi-Fi, then you most likely will need only a limited amount of data.
On the other hand, if you are a heavy data user (more than 4GB a month) and stream lots of high-quality music or video while not on Wi-Fi, then you probably want to look into an unlimited data plan.
Step 3: Consider prepaid vs. postpaid
As consumers have different needs, many cell phone carriers have a variety of plans to meet those requirements. Two of the most prevalent plans are prepaid and postpaid, both of which have their pros and cons. Usually, prepaid plans are cheaper, but postpaid plans allow you to upgrade to the newest models.
Prepaid cell phone plans mean you purchase call and data credits in advance.
- Flexible plans - Pay for what you use
- Easy sign-up process - No credit checks or deposits needed
- No termination fees - Freedom to switch providers anytime and to cancel
- No risk - It doesn’t require a long-term commitment.
- Higher phone costs - You have to purchase a new phone in full upfront
- The possibility of your phone number being changed - This is because you may fail to renew or pay your contract each month and lead the provider to forfeit your phone number
- Limited coverage - There isn’t always coverage in more remote areas
Postpaid plans mean you pay on a month-to-month basis.
- Upgrade to newest phones when your plan ends
- No manual top up or reloading required - The convenience of auto-renewing
- Never run out of data - Never!
- Excess charges if you exceed your monthly allotment of data
- Slower data if you exceed your monthly allotment of data
- Not as flexible - You can't easily cancel
- You may need a credit check - If you have bad credit, the plan could be more expensive
Step 4: Research providers
Before you commit to any provider, compare and contrast the offerings of at least three different providers. Talk with representatives from each other companies about their plans, their deals, and their range of services.
Additionally, make sure to research network coverage and read reviews about the service providers and their quality of customer service. Find out what security systems they have in place to protect your mobile phone and its data from cybercriminals as well.
While you are researching providers, keep in mind your non-negotiable factors and your realistic data needs. Don't let them sway you away from what you know you want!
Step 5: Check before signing a contract
After the research is done, you should be able to make a decision on which provider is the best and most suited for what you are looking for in a personal phone plan. However, before you sign the contract make sure to negotiate as much as possible.
Whether you are negotiating the duration of your contract, any extra data packages you get, or the accessories you want to be thrown in with the phone, put in the effort to get the best deal possible!
If you want to get the most from your personal phone plan, invest some time and effort in finding the best one first. List down your needs and wants and be diligent in checking out the various plans offered by the different telecom companies.
To know more about the most suitable personal phone plans for your needs, contact Zain Iraq’s friendly support team.