Picking the right cell phone plan can save you $$$ and more

The Washington Post gives an excellent overview of how to shop for cellular phone service and writes Wireless phone service is one of the great bargains of the modern age. When The Post began its annual comparison of cellular calling plans in 1998, $40 bought a lousy 100 minutes of talk time a month. Now that same bill will provide 600 peak minutes, plus unlimited night and weekend minutes — about 24,000 in all, if you must know.
No other telecom service has seen this sort of ballooning value — not Internet access, not landline phones and certainly not cable or satellite TV. But most other telecom markets don’t benefit from the intense competition of the wireless industry, with five strong, nationwide carriers (down from six since Cingular’s purchase of AT&T Wireless) out to eat each other’s lunch.
But wireless phone service can’t be purchased on price alone — first, you need to decide which carrier to go with, since not all offer the same service. It helps to start with the right questions.