Monday, January 7, 2008

Billing Calculations on Various Wireless Phone Contracts part. One

Do you how your wireless carrier calculates your bills? I think this is important because the amount you pay every month relies on the minutes your carrier deemed you spent.

Knowing how major mobile phone carries calculate phone usage will also give you an idea of the best possible deal. This information is also useful if you want to keep track of how much minutes you have used. It would also be important for you to know the other charges that you may incur while making calls on your mobile phone such as roaming or long distance charges. So let me give you some info on how carriers calculate your bills. Let us begin with Alltel.

According to Alltel's Terms and Conditions,
Airtime usage on each call is billed in full minute increments, with a minimum charge of one minute per call. Partial minutes of use are rounded up to the next full minute. Access charges are billed in advance and will not be deducted from your bill or refunded in the event of termination. Unused plan minutes are not carried over to subsequent monthly billing cycles. In some instances, information regarding airtime usage, including roaming or long distance charges, is not available to be included in the bill for the month that the Service is used, and will be billed to you in a subsequent bill. The Service will be charged, and deducted from your plan minutes, in the month it is billed. The length of a call will be measured from when you initiate it (typically, when you press the "Send" key) until you terminate it (typically, when you press the "End" key). You may incur additional charges for roaming or long distance calls. Rates and charges while roaming outside of your local Alltel service area may be different from your Alltel service area rates. We reserve the right to select the carrier you will use while roaming. Rates during peak hours may be higher than rates during off-peak hours. Use of custom calling features (such as voicemail or three-way calling) will be billed like any other call. To be eligible for Service, we may require you to reside in our Service area and to use most of your Service on a network owned or operated by Alltel.
If you subscribe to Alltell's mobile phone services, then you need to remember that each of the calls you made will be billed in full minute increments, with a minimum charge of one minute per call. The partial minutes you used will also rounded up to the next full minute. Alltel's terms and conditions also inform you that additional charges for roaming and long distance may be added to your bill. Let's move on to AT&T's billing calculation.

AT&T's Terms and Conditions for Nation GSM plan states that,
Airtime and other measured usage are billed in full-minute increments, and actual airtime and usage are rounded up to the next full increment at the end of each call for billing purposes. AT&T charges a full-minute increment of usage for every fraction of the last minute used on each wireless call. Minutes will be depleted according to usage in the following order: Night and Weekend Minutes, Mobile to Mobile Minutes, Anytime Minutes and Rollover® Minutes . Calls placed on networks served by other carriers may take longer to be processed, and billing for these calls may be delayed. Those minutes will be applied against your Anytime monthly minutes in the month in which the calls appear on your bill. Unanswered outgoing calls of 30 seconds or longer incur airtime. You may obtain usage information by calling customer service or using one of our automated systems.
AT&T's billing calculation is similar with Altell's because calls will be billed in full-minute increments and will be rounded up to the next full increment at the end of the calls you make. However, minutes spent in roaming calls will be applied yo your monthly Anytime minutes and unanswered call s that last for half a minute or longer will be counted as spent minutes. Let's us end with Spint Nextel's calculation of used minutes.

According to Sprint Nextel's Terms and Condition regular voiced calls are billed,
We round up partial minutes of use to the next full minute. Time starts when you press "Talk" or your Device connects to the network and stops when you press "End" or the network connection otherwise breaks. You're charged for all calls that connect, even to answering machines. You won't be charged for unanswered calls or if you get a busy signal. For incoming calls answered, you're charged from the time shortly before the Device starts ringing until you press END or the network connection otherwise breaks. If charges vary depending on the time of day that you place or receive calls (e.g., Nights and Weekend plans), you're charged for the entire call based on the rate that applies to the time period in which the call starts.

Sprint users should know that the partial minutes they use will be rounded up to the next minute. It is also important to remember that Sprint Nextel will charge for all calls that connect but they will not charge unanswered calls. This is different from AT&T who will charged for unanswered calls that last half a minute and more.

I hope the info provided here will help you understand how carrier's charge the minutes they spend. if you haven't subscribed to any network, then I hope this post will help you compare them. I will feature three more carriers in the next part of this post.

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