Major Phone Carrier Information
There are several major phone carrier companies in existence today, with each providing different featured services and products. Depending upon the type of service you require, you may want to research companies which specialize in landline, cellular or VOIP service.
Landline Service Providers
Landline phone service is that which uses traditional phone lines and is immobile. You may be able to transfer your number in the event you should move in the future, but usually only if you remain in the same area code. This option of transferability also varies among providers, so be sure and ask about the service to research your options.
Major service providers of landline phone numbers include AT&T, Ameritech and Verizon. These are the most common companies found in most residential and business areas throughout the U.S., though you may be able to request service from a local or another provider. When you need to open a new account, these companies, barring transferring an old number for you, will assign a phone number in accordance with the area code of the city or region you are moving to or living in.
Cellular Service Providers
Cellular phone service is growing in popularity as the general population's main phone service. This is largely due to the portability of service and equipment, and attractive rate plans that include long distance calls. No matter where someone moves, they may keep the same number so that friends and family may continue making calls to their cell phone at local rates. Also, cellular service providers often offer family or group plans that allow unlimited free calls to selected numbers or other phones in the same network.
The major cellular providers include TMobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Nextel and Virgin Mobile. However, there are several others that may offer flat rate service as well. Some of these companies may not require credit checks, making their service more attractive to certain parties.
VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol service, allows users to utilize voice communications with an account attached to their IP addresses. Downloading a program or using a special piece of equipment will allow most computers to enable the service from any location. Vonage, AT&T, Verizon and Skype are the most commonly used options for communicating using the Internet. Skype is a little different, as this allows webcam users to communicate via video at no cost. The other major providers, however, will provide a phone number that is attached to your IP address and thus telephone that you may use just you would with any other phone.
Many of the above mentioned service providers also allow the option of choosing several different services for a lower monthly package rate. These may include any number of choices in cellular, landline, VOIP, Internet or even cable television service.