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Cellular Phones - Purchasing Considerations
This article explains the factors you should consider when purchasing a cell phone.
Match your phone and rate plan to your needs.
The procedure for ordering a phone depends on whether you are getting a business phone or a personal phone, and on your specific usage preferences.
- For a business phone, use the Cellular Order Form.
- For a personal phone, you must order through the AT&T Premier Student or AT&T Premier Employee website to receive your University discount. Discounts with Verizon are explained at Discounts By Verizon Wireless.
Match your choice of device to your needs.
Consider how you intend to use the phone and what you need or want from a mobile device. For example:
Do you primarily need a phone for voice communications?
You have a wide choice of phone models, as described on the Phone Models page.
Do you regularly need to send and receive email on 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 classified as PDAs or smartphones.
Do you need something else?
Other features are available:
- Customized Call Restrictions: you may set call screening rules based on phone numbers or the date and time.
- International dialing: this free service allows outgoing calls to international numbers.
- International roaming for voice or data plans: provides you with discounted rates when traveling internationally.
- Tethering: a data plan that allows your phone to serve as a modem.
- Insurance: available only on selected models
- One-Number: a service that allows you to associate your desk phone with your cell phone.
Call us at (773)702-5800, option 2, then option 2 again, and we'll help you choose the best features for your needs.
Choose a rate plan.
Choose a rate plan depending on 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 most often.
- For AT&T coverage, AT&T's interactive Coverage Viewer will show you signal strength at specific addresses for different plans.
- For Verizon Coverage, the Verizon Coverage Map
Note: AT&T and Verizon provide special business rates specifically for UChicago. The rates listed on any of AT&T's or Verizon's external sites are not the rates these vendors provide to The University of Chicago.
- Business Phone: To receive a phone that is charged to your department, you must order the phone using the Cellular Form. An FAS or cost center account number is required, and it must include an approval signature from 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.
- Personal Phone: To receive a discount on your rate plan, you must order through the AT&T Premier Student or AT&T Premier Employee website.