Educated Wireless Phone Choices for Wisconsin's College Bound

Educated Wireless Phone Choices for Wisconsin's College Bound

August 23, 2001




For many students and their parents, choosing a wireless phone and service package for college can be as challenging as choosing a major.

Different rate plans, phone features and accessories now available make the selection process more difficult than ever before. According to Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless communications provider, the process of selecting a wireless phone and service can be clarified if students and their parents do their homework on the range of available options. Following several basic rules will also help assure that the college-bound student has convenient, cost-effective and customized wireless communications service.

Phone Use and Options

Determining what the phone will be used for will enhance the selection of a handset that meets the college students' needs and budgets. Today's wireless handsets can serve as phones, message centers, Internet connections and calendars.

Convenience is also a major consideration when purchasing a wireless phone. Caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling, speed dialing, a personal phone book and voicemail are just some of the handy handset features to consider.

With a Web-enabled wireless phone and wireless Internet service, students can receive a broad range of information to facilitate travel plans, receive e-mail, comparison shop or stay up-to-date with favorite hometown sports teams. Students can customize the information they want sent to their handsets.

There are phones that can also serve as a personal data assistant (PDA), thus eliminating the need to carry around a phone, appointment calendar and personal organizer.

With two-way text messaging, short messages can be sent and received via the wireless phone. Users can keep in touch without long conversations, simplifying planning and promoting more frequent contact with friends and family.

Popular Rate Plans

A variety of rate plans enable students and parents to structure their wireless phone service to meet a student's needs and budgets. For example, special family plans enable customers to add wireless phones to a primary phone account so family members can share a large bundle of minutes. National plans, such as Verizon Wireless' SingleRate plan, provide free long distance and no roaming charges. Such plans could represent significant savings for students attending school out of state.

Prepaid service - a pay-as-you-go option - has become an increasingly popular way for students to keep in touch, budget time and control costs. Students will benefit from packages that offer lower rates for night and weekend calling, with no additional fees for roaming and long distance.


A broad range of accessories can make wireless phones more versatile and accessible, whether on campus or in the car. Clips secured to a belt or purse help keep phones readily accessible. Carrying cases and power chargers for desktop or vehicle use are inexpensive accessories that simplify phone use and prolong handset performance.

For students with automobiles, earbuds or headsets that permit hands-free use are a fundamental accessory for responsible use of a wireless phone while driving. A variety of styles are available.

Rules for the Road, and Elsewhere

Frank, face-to-face communication between students and parents should precede the use of a wireless phone at college. Among the basics to be covered:

  • Phone Use: Be sure students realize how they are expected to use the phone - for emergencies only, to call home or to keep in touch with friends. Discussion and agreement in advance will help prevent misunderstandings.
  • Service Plan Specifics: Students should understand (and live within the basics of) the selected service plan. Budgeting calls and minutes into daily or weekly segments helps users understand how and when to use the phone.
  • Responsible Driving: Students with automobiles should understand about driving responsibly while using a wireless phone. Parents should emphasize that responsible driving is the students' (or any motorists') first priority when they are behind the wheel. Hands-free devices should be used to full advantage while driving. Lengthy conversations should be made from a rest area or safely off the road. And drivers with other students in the car should assign phone-calling duties to another passenger.
  • By carefully exploring the options and applying the basics of sensible and safe phone use, parents and their college-bound children will earn high marks for wireless phone efficiency, economy and convenience.

    About Verizon Wireless

    Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.