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Cell Phones

Cell Phone without Contract

No-contract cell phones, often referred to as prepaid or pay as you go phones, are an alternative to traditional wireless plans that require a contract to be signed by the end user. Instead of receiving a monthly bill for usage that occurred in the previous 30 days, users buy blocks of minutes in advance. Once these minutes are used up or expire, new minutes must be added for the phone to function. Little or no personal information is required to purchase and activate a prepaid cell phone.

Cell Phone with Contract

The main principle in a cell phone contract is that you commit to paying a set fee each month for a set period of time. Paying this fee entitles you to a monthly amount of call minutes, which will be outlined within your contract. This allowance may vary for different types of calls; for example, some providers consider landline and cellular calls separately, as well as international calls, which are not included in most standard call minute plans. Text messaging is also included in cell phone contracts.

List of Common Cellphone Companies

Unlike most of the world, some U.S. carriers use CDMA networks, which do not work with international phones. If you want to use an international phone in the U.S., you will probably need to select a GSM carrier.

  • AT&T (GSM)
  • Verizon (CDMA)
  • T-Mobile (GSM)
  • Sprint (CDMA)
  • Cricket (GSM)
  • U.S. Cellular (CDMA)
  • Boost (CDMA)
  • Straight Talk (GSM)