Mobile phones, or cell phones as they are commonly known in the USA, are a communications solution that is available to students if you do not already have a compatible mobile phone that you can take with you. There are now hundreds of mobile phone options available to you, however they can range from very cheap to the very expensive so you need to shop around and find the best deal for you.
There are two main types of mobile phones that you can get, contract mobile phones and prepaid mobile phones which are also known as "pay as you go" phones. Contract phone are attractive as they generally provide the phone for free, and give you good calling rates, however unless you have a good credit history and permanent residency in that country you are not going to be able to get a contract phone. Prepaid phones are therefore your best option and although you have to buy the phone, this will be yours for life.
Mobile Phone Providers
Like with sim cards, the main providers across the globe include Vodafone, T-Moble, O2, Three and many more. Your best option is to find a third party that can provide you with the phone and sim card service and added benefits for purchasing with them such as extra call credit and added features. If you need a phone for the USA, please check out the InternationalStudent.com Prepaid Phones.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Phones
- Cut Roaming - with a mobile phone you will no longer have roaming charges when you travel.
- Local Country Number - mobile phones provide you with a local number in the country you are visiting.
- Easy Access - mobile phones allows you to keep in touch with friends and family all the time, no matter where you are
- Expensive for people to call you - mobiles are not cheap to call, whether in country or for international calls to you.
- Network coverage - you are reliant on network coverage, which may be poor in some areas.
- Expensive - mobile phones are not a cheap option, and calling credit can be used up very quickly.
If you do not have a compatible mobile phone that you can take with you and simply purchase a sim card, a prepaid mobile phone package is the next best thing if you want permanent connectivity to your friends and family. They are a more expensive option, however the convenience can sometimes outweigh the cost here. As with sim cards, if you need to call internationally you should make sure you have a good international calling to lower your international calls.