Prepaid Cell Phones Key Terms

Be familiar with prepaid cell phones key terms to make the right choice for your business

If you are thinking of switching to a prepaid cell phone, you should learn prepaid cell phones key terms to avoid mistakes that may cost you in the long run. While most people find they can save money with prepaid cell phones, there are some things you may want to watch out for as you select a plan.

While prepaid cell phones require no credit check, contract, commitment or activation fee, there are other ways prepaid cell phone companies can find to make this system profitable for them. Know what you are getting before you purchase prepaid cell phones.

Wireless service provider

A wireless service provider is a company that offers prepaid cell phone service. Choose a wireless service provider that has good phone coverage in your area. Also select a wireless service provider that has the type of phone extras that you want, such as caller ID or call forwarding.


Your cell phone must be compatible with either a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) or a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network. The two networks are not compatible. If a phone is not compatible with the accepted network of your wireless service provider, then the cell phone won't work.

Data service

Data service includes web access, text messaging and email access. Some prepaid cell phones have this as part of the package, while others only offer extremely limited data service.


Bluetooth capability on a prepaid cell phone allows you to use a small wireless headset to communicate with the phone. You can essentially use the phone without touching it. Radio waves allow the Bluetooth headset and the phone to communicate with each other.


Pay-as-you-go plans allow you to purchase only the number of minutes you need. You should check with your wireless provider to purchase the largest monthly bundle of minutes you use, because it is probably cheaper than buying several smaller bundles of pay-as-you-go minutes.

Anytime minutes

Anytime minutes are the minutes you pay for on a prepaid cell phone plan. Some prepaid cell phones come with free, unlimited night and weekend minutes that don't affect your anytime minute usage. With some plans, data services count as anytime minutes as well.

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