PHOENIX, Arizona — In a few weeks, students will again be rushing from class to after school activities while parents try to juggle work and their kids' hectic schedules. A growing number of American families will be staying in touch and secure this Fall by equipping each family member with a cellular phone, relying on wireless communication to manage the busy months ahead, to keep connected with family and friends, and to call for help in an emergency. In fact, a recent survey by Teenage Research Unlimited reportedly found that 20 percent of the nation's teens use wireless phones.
"A wireless phone offers parents and children convenience, safety and added peace of mind," said Verizon Wireless Regional President Jerry Gallegos. "As prices for wireless phones and service drop, many families are turning to wireless to help them balance their busy lives, placing cellular phones at the top of their back-to-school shopping lists."
To meet the growing demand for simple, affordable wireless service, Verizon Wireless is offering special calling plans to make it more affordable for families in Arizona and New Mexico to stay in touch. Verizon Wireless' new Family SharePlan program provides up to four lines of service, and includes calling plans that provide 400 anytime digital minutes and 2,000 mobile-to-mobile minutes for $50 per month or 800 anytime digital minutes, free national long distance and 4,000 mobile-to-mobile minutes for $80 per month on the first two lines of service. Up to two additional lines of service can be added to an account for an extra $20 per month for each phone.
The local mobile-to-mobile minutes may be used for calls by eligible Verizon Wireless customers placing a call to, or receiving a call from, a member of their family when calling within their local calling area (typically a geographic area where families live and work). The anytime minutes included in the package are designed for calls to non-family members and are in addition to the local mobile-to-mobile minutes for use among family members. Customers can sign up at Verizon Wireless Communications stores throughout Arizona and New Mexico, or by calling 1-888-466-4646.
If you've decided to equip your son or daughter with a wireless phone, the following tips, offered by other "wireless" parents, may be helpful:
- Be sure your student knows how you expect the phone to be used: for emergencies only, to call home or to keep in touch with friends.
- Explain the calling plan you've selected and how wireless billing works. Dividing the included monthly minutes into minutes-per-day often helps a student understand how to use the phone and stay within the plan's minutes.
- Remind your son or daughter to keep the phone's battery charged.
- Teach your student about driving safely and using a wireless phone. Emphasize that safe driving is their first responsibility. Verizon Wireless has a variety of hands-free headsets to enable drivers, students and parents alike-- to keep their hands on the wheels when using their wireless phones. The company offers free shipping for hands-free accessories when purchased via the online store at www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp --now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (LSE: VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.