Cell phones are selling like beer at a baseball game. As of August 2005, there were more than two billion cellular phone users around the world. This number is expected to keep growing and growing, setting one record after another. While cell phones may be old hat in industrialized countries, the astonishing fact is that even deep in the inland agricultural regions of developing countries you can see field workers with cellular phones. This is a revolution. Just as the internet is joining every country, the cell phone revolution links people from the hectic streets of New York and Tokyo to the tranquil islands of the Caribbean and the heartland of Brazil.
And it isn’t just the cellular phone companies alone in this success. Cellular phone rental outfits are also capitalizing on this awesome little gadget that has changed the communications landscape radically. Cellular phone giants like Nokia, Seimens, Motorola, and Samsung may be reaping huge rewards from this technology, but cellular phone rental firms are also earning big chunks of money. The cellular phone rental companies could wll hit the big time with consumers who prefer to use this technology everyday but are still conscious of the price they have to pay on every call. Since international roaming charges can cost you big money, cellular phone rental can be the best option whenever you need cheaper phone rates, while not exhausting your own cellphone plan. This can be especially important during out of town and international trips.
Here is some basic guidance you should consider when renting a cellular phone:
1. Like car rental, cellular phone rental can be very convenient, but it does require a reasonable amount of money or a sufficient credit line.
2. Cellular phone rental company rates depend on the service offered, the cellular phone rental duration, and the type of the phone. Insurance can also contribute to the cost of the rented phone.
3. If you want to rent a cellular phone, you need to present valid ID and a major credit card or what can amount to a substantial deposit.
4. Rented cellular phones, which will usually be the latest models (meaning a longer battery life), normally come with a charger, a printed copy of how to use the cellphone, a protective pouch, and a SIM card. Extras offered by some cellular phone rental companies can include an extra battery, cigarette lighter charger, and data or fax modems for specific cellphone units.
5. Be aware that the SIM card may be unblocked and therefore open for intonal calls, which can mean a major phone bill. Some SIM also be open for international roaming. Ask before renting cellular phones. Afterwards is too late.
6. Some cellular phone rental companies add a premium every time the costumer makes calls and/or sends an SMS message. Check on this before closing the deal. You must know exactly what you are going to be paying for – and how much – to make a cell phone rental manageable.
7. Some cellular phone rental companies do “hot billing” which means that as soon as you return the rented mobile phone, you would instantly receive the bill. Note, though that some companies may reserve the right to adjust the final billing. A “hot billing” may not be the full amount. Always verify the cell phome rental companies billing rules.
8. There are cellular phone companies that offer prepaid SIM cards. All you do is to buy prepaid cards to use the rented phone. This can be very convenient if you want to keep one number every time you rent a phone, but not all companies will offer prepaid SIM cards.
9. Some cellular phone rental company offer family package that allow two phone rentals at the same time.
10. If you know you are going to rent a cellular, it may be a good idea to reseve one well in advance. This is particular true during peak periods such as holidays, when rental cellular phones are in heavy demand.
Cellular phone rental is well on the way to becoming an essential traveler’s commodity, much like the rental car. However, it may not last. As the world-wide cellular network matures and becomes ever more tightly integrated with an increasingly high speed world-wide internet, competition should increase, prices should fall and new modes of cellular communication using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) may make the present market structure obsolete. But for now, you can still do your budget a favor by carefully selecting and using a rental cellular phone when it’s appropiate.
Copyright 2006 Richard Keir