The internet can be a great place to buy your next cell phone. How many times have you been in mall and were harassed by some pushy wireless telephone dealer? The internet store is a sharp contrast to this type of environment. On internet, you can take your time, research a particular phone, and search for best deals. In addition to this, internet dealers generally have better cell phone deals than their brick and mortar competitors. But how do you take advantage of these better deals?
In 2004, government approved number portability. Number portability allows you to keep your cell phone number, even if you switch carriers. The implications of this are crucial for taking advantage of internet cell phone deals.
Internet dealers often offer some very innovative and high end cell phones for free after rebate. However, to receive these offers, you must also sign up for a new cell phone plan. If you want to stay with your current carrier, you must sign up for a new phone number along with new phone plan. This is because number portability is carrier to carrier (not inter-carrier). Although you could upgrade your phone and keep your number and carrier, this would not qualify you for most internet offers. The alternative is to keep your cell phone number (through number portability) and switch carriers. However, if you choose this option, make sure that you are not under contract with your current provider or you could stand to face a hefty termination charge.