Thursday, January 11, 2007
More Bang for Your Buck: Cell Phones
Cell phones -- most people can't live without them. But for those who want to do more than talk, new companies are starting up offering high-tech services. Tom Haynes has more in tonight's More Bang For Your Buck.
WSVN -- For most of us, a cell phone allows us to make and get quick calls when we need them.
Tony Samaha: "What do you think of the Packers this week against the Vikings?"
But for more and more people their phone is their lifeline to TV, radio, music and the Internet.
Lorraine Dukes: "Cell phones are not only used for communication, but they're also used for a lot of different things. These days, you can use your phone as a digital camera; you can use it as a GPS system."
Lorraine Dukes is looking for a new plan.
Lorraine Dukes: "I have to have a cell phone. I am constantly in contact with clients. Checking my e-mail on-line."
But many of the traditional phone companies charged extra for on-line access and text messaging, and the access was slow.
Lorraine Dukes: "I need to have a phone that can be basically my computer on the go. That's what I need."
Two start-up companies, Helio and Amp'd, both offer internet access as a standard feature.
Lorraine Dukes: "With Amp'd, you have the option of getting like 30 music channels and radio. You can surf the internet, do e-mailing."
Tony Samaha: "Helio targets the people who are into MySpace, which is one of the biggest things these days."
And both companies offer a wide variety of services for video and music access.
Disney is also making a name for itself, targeting families.
Tony Samaha: "With Disney, you are able to control the calls that your kids are spending on the phone. Disney has an option that you know where your kids are."
All the alternative phone companies charge more than traditional plans.
Tony Samaha: "Their plans, they sell for $65, and they come with everything in it, and you get 500 minutes."
But the idea is you save on the more high-tech features.
Tony Samaha: "You have unlimited access to the internet. You have text messaging, e-mailing, voice calling dialing, GPS system now. That's a good thing to have."
Right now, mostly younger cell phone users are going for all the gadgets, but Tony says the word is getting out.
Tony Samaha: "People are asking for it. People want it because with the features they have, people are happy."
One thing you want to check before buying into one of these plans: their coverage area. Some don't have coast to coast coverage yet.
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