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Cellular Phones - Purchasing Considerations
This article explains factors to consider when purchasing a cell phone.
Match your phone and rate plan to your needs
The procedure for getting a phone depends on whether you are getting a business phone or a personal phone. For a business phone, use the Cellular Order Form. For a personal phone, you must order through the AT&T Premier Student or Employee website to receive your University discount. Discounts with Verizon are explained at: https://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/employee/salp.jsp.
Before you order a phone
Consider how you will be using the phone and what you need or want from a mobile device. For example:
- Do you need a phone primarily for voice communications?
You have a wide choice of phone models, as described under Phone Models.
- Do you need to regularly send and receive email via your mobile device, access the Internet, or use a PDA for voice and data?
We offer a variety of internet-enabled mobile devices to suit your needs, including iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. All are described as PDAs and Smartphones.
- Do you need something else?
Other features are available:
- Call restrictions – predefined screening rules based on the phone number and/or date and time
- International dialing – free service that allows outgoing calls to international numbers
- International roaming for voice and/or data plans – discounted rates while traveling internationally
- Tethering – data plan that allows your phone to serve as a modem
- Insurance – available only on selected models
- One-Number – a related service that allows you to associate your desk phone with your cell phone
Call us at 773-702-5800, option 2, then option 2 and we'll help you choose the best features for your needs.
Choose a rate plan
Different price structures exist depending the quantity of airtime included and on whether you need voice only, or voice and data. Please review the comparison charts on the Rate Plans page to choose an appropriate plan.
Before choosing a rate plan, you may want to check the quality of wireless coverage in areas where you will be making or receiving calls. For general AT&T coverage, AT&T’s interactive Coverage Viewer at www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/ will show you, by individual address if you like, signal strength. Coverage maps for different plans are linked from the AT&T Coverage Viewer.
For Verizon Coverage follow this link http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/consumer/explore/why-verizon.html
**Please Note: AT&T and Verizon provide special business rates specifically for UChicago. The rates AT&T provide The University of Chicago do not reflect the rates that are listed on any of AT&T's or Verizon's external sites.
Business Phone: To receive a phone that is charged to your department, you must order the phone using the Cellular Form. You must include an FAS or cost center account number and it must be signed/approved by the Authorized signer for that account number.
Once IT Services has received your order form with complete information and authorization, the phone order has been accepted by AT&T or Verizon.