Cutting the Cord

McCarthy, Ed
May 1999
Journal of Financial Planning;May99, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p44
Academic Journal
This article offers advice on buying wireless communication equipment. The most important features to consider before signing up with a mobile phone company are coverage, services and cost; the phone's physical characteristics are secondary. Find a provider whose coverage, services and price plans meet your needs. If you can get digital service in your area, that's the best option for business users. The same logic used in selecting a cell phone service applies to pagers: Decide what you need in a service, then find the right provider and pager to meet those needs. The use of wireless data access is also very appealing. However, there are still a few problems associated with this technology, these are: (1) Wireless access is still slow; (2) There are several competing wireless data networks, and data coverage is not as extensive as voice coverage; and (3) Wireless modems cost several hundred dollars. An all-in-one device that serves as a phone, personal data assistant (PDA) and wireless modem is available. The Nokia 9000il Communicator phone combines digital phone, fax and PDA in one unit that also gives you e-mail and Web capabilities. Qualcomm will be releasing the pdQ smart phone, and it will combine the PalmPilot technology into a cell phone. Nextel and Motorola have also announced plans to produce Internet-ready phones, making it easier to stay in touch on all fronts.


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