Whether you call it the hand phone, cell phone or mobile phone, can you imagine a world without these gadgets? Better yet, do you even still remember how it was before the advent of cell phones? They have become such a part of our lives that being without it is just like being undressed. You will just feel so naked without your cell phone. With ever-advancing technology, the cell phone has become more than just a gadget to make or receive calls. It is also how we send and receive quick messages, we use it to check the Internet, we need it for our emails, it serves as an organizer and planner, and we can even use it as a camera. Of course, with its ownership come the costs. Service providers are the lifeblood of these phones; otherwise, probably half of its functions would become useless. The problem is that the costs may vary depending on what part of the world you are in. Some people may have the ill luck of being stuck with a service provider that charges by the data byte.
10. Spain – $34 per month
There are three main telephone companies in Spain, namely Movistar, Vodafone and Orange. To help defray expenses, try to get a provider that a majority of your friends in the country also use. Charges for text messages and calls to the same provider are significantly cheaper than messages and calls to another provider. Also, if you want to further save money, keep in mind that calls and messages to you are not charged; only outgoing ones are included in your bill.
9. Belgium – $35 per month
Belgium has three major service providers for cell phones, namely Base, Mobistar and Proximus. All three companies, while providing seemingly similar services, actually offer a variety of service packages. It is advisable to compare tariffs and conditions before signing up for a provider. Cell phone ownership in the country has boomed by more than one thousand percent ever since the mid 90’s.
8. Netherlands – $39 per month
The Netherlands has a number of mobile providers, namely Hi.nl, KPN, Lebara, Online, Ortel Mobile, Telfort, T-mobile, UPC and Vodafone. Prepaid cards may be a better option for cheaper rates. Take note however that providers will charge you for not only outgoing, but also incoming calls. SIM cards are replaceable so long as your phone is not locked.
7. Norway – $43 per month
Cell phone coverage in Norway is generally excellent, with GSM almost close to 100 percent. There are two major providers, namely Telenor Norway and TeliaSonera, or Netcom. Network Norway and Tele2 are alternative providers present in the major cities, but they also utilize the two main ones when outside the coverage area. Prepaid may be an option, but it is actually more expensive than subscriptions. Buyers of prepaid cards also have to register first. If you’ll be surfing the net a lot, Telenor Norway is the best option.
6. France – $44 per month
France has seven cell phone service providers, namely Avenir Telecom, Bouygues Telecom, Orange, Sagem Wireless, SFR, Transatel and Virgin Mobile France, though the major ones are Orange, SFR and Boygues. Prepaid cards are an option, but if you are planning to use the phone for more than three months, then a monthly plan is worth it. Choose a plan over your expected usage, however, as the charges for excess usage tend to be high.
5. Australia – $45 per month
Australia has three major cell phone service providers, namely Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Additionally, there are several mobile virtual network operators to choose from. The companies offer practically all network types and support various frequencies. Despite the country being huge with large areas of sparse habitation, the coverage and service are surprisingly good.
4. Switzerland – $47 per month
Switzerland has three major cell phone service providers, namely Swisscom Mobile, Sunrise and Orange. Each company has their own mobile network. Different packages and services are available from the companies, though subscriptions usually have either 12 or 24 month terms, depending on the offer. These subscriptions are then automatically renewed upon expiry. There are also prepaid offers available that can be used immediately after purchase. These cards can then be topped up at dispensing machines located at train stations or postal offices.
3. United States – $49 per month
The United States has a number of different wireless service providers. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association has listed down around 30 facilities-based providers. Additionally, there are more than 50 virtual operators that make use of the facilities of the top four networks, namely Verizon Wireless, which has 118.194 million subscribers; AT&T Mobility, which has 107.884 million subscribers; Sprint Corporation, which has 53.588 million subscribers; and T-Mobile US, which has 44.016 million subscribers. Take note, however, that while AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM standard, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility utilize CDMA.
2. Japan – $54 per month
Japan has five cell phone service providers, namely NTT DoCoMo with 60 million subsribers, KDDI with 32 million subscribers, Softbank Mobile with 23 million subscribers, Willcom with 3.8 million subscribers, and EMOBILE with 2.6 million subscribers. It is an extremely competitive and saturated market, with the number of mobile phones at 110 percent of the entire population.
1. Canada – $55 per month
Canada has three major service providers, namely Rogers Wireless with 9.4 million subscribers, Bell Wireless with 7.71 million subscribers, and Telus Mobility with 7.7 million subscribers. In addition, it also has several other providers that are only available in specific areas, like SaskTel in Saskatchewan, Videotron in Quebec and Ottawa and MTS Mobility in Manitoba.