Choose a cell phone is as important as choosing a phone. The carrier offers the network to make your device work. And since you’ll probably end up paying a healthy amount for that privilege, there is no advantage in choosing a carrier go give you more headaches than benefits.
Fortunately, we’re here to help guide you through the decision process, with basic rules for you to choose your carrier no matter where you live in Brazil.
The Coverage Area is Key
You can’t do much on your phone without a sign. So, make sure that you can get coverage in places where you will need to use your appliance. That means looking beyond slogans and carriers coverage maps (although the latter be a good place to start), doing your own research.
In all seriousness, the best way to evaluate the coverage in your area is to ask your neighbors
See what is the carrier they use, and ask if they are satisfied. You can still ask for the phone of a friend and use it at home and in the workplace to see if you will get the reception that you need. Of course, it’s a very scientific method, but personal experience really is the best tool.
Just remember that no network of mobile operators is perfect
There are gaps, even in urban areas, and the reception can vary depending on your exact location. For example, the operator’s signal cannot penetrate deep into buildings and an underground area, and will vary according to how many people are using a network at a given time. Think about how hard it is to get a signal in a large public event, for example.
Another point to consider is if your carrier uses GSM or CDMA
GSM is the dominant global technology and is used in almost all countries around the world. So, if you want to take the phone on your travels, check whether it supports GSM. Although strong in North America, CDMA is present in only a handful of countries outside the United States. If your phone is CDMA, its international coverage will be limited. Fortunately, the devices that support both technologies are widely available. GSM phones are also easier to unlock, which means that you can take them to a CDMA operator, since the device chosen supports the necessary cellular bands. Important note is that the CDMA in Brazil is being completely replaced by GSM, being a great disadvantage to opt for this technology today.
Speed of the Network Operator
Making calls is just something you do on your phone. If you’re like a lot of owners of smartphones, can be the last thing you do. That’s why you also need to carefully evaluate the data networks. Data networks allow your device to access the Internet, send e-mail, receive music and videos, and download applications that have become so popular.
Most Brazilian operators use 3 g and 2 g networks. Some have adopted the 4 g LTE data network and expansion must be significant in the coming years. As with the voice network, data coverage of a carrier will vary greatly by area. If you want to know which carrier has LTE, 4 g coverage and how fast it is and, as with the calls, make sure you try the operator’s data network before you commit to a line/plan/contract with her. Remember that 3 g coverage is not yet full in Brazil, and evaluate this coverage expansion along with the expansion of the 4 g are basic needs for those who want to choose a good operator.
As a bonus, search if carriers offer points of Wi-Fi for its customers in places where you will use your device. So, you can use the internet without having to spend your data plan for it.
Plans and packages of services of mobile operators
After the coverage, your service plan is the most central component of your experience with an operator. They determine how much time you have to stay with an operator, the amount of data you will get, the speed of access and the price you will pay each month. Make sure you get what you need, but don’t spend too much, too. And remember that taxes and monthly fees will add more considerable amounts on your final bill.
Plans that require a loyalty contract for at least one year are the dominant service model, but that is changing. The signing of a contract gives the right to a heavy discount on a new phone, although the disadvantage is that you will continue to pay for the device in the price of the plan.
With a prepaid plan, you will have to pay the full price for a unit at the time of purchase, but you’ll be able to finish with the support service anytime you want. As you’ll see in a moment, there are operators that make up hybrid plans, giving discounts for devices in prepaid plans. Here, again, just think carefully about what is right for you.
Control plans are falling into disuse, although you will still find some of these models in some carriers. Is best, nowadays, use a prepaid plan than the control.
Although the price of a plan is important, consider also the minutes available for calls and the price of phone calls outside of these minutes. Some carriers offer discounts and differentiated prices when in connections with equipment on the same carrier. Some of them offer unlimited data packages, while others are restricted to a certain amount each month or a significant drop in the speed of data packet when the limit is reached.
On top of that, make sure that when you pass your data limit for charging extra fees, because they can be a lot more expensive than you think. Alternatively, if you are looking for a job for a family or group of friends, shared plans meet voice and data to be used in various devices, and almost an obligation not to charge for extra data or unlimited data.
A Phone at A Good Price
If your heart is set on a special phone that is available at an incredible discount on your carrier, then you may have ignored previous points entirely. But if you have yet to decide which appliance you should buy, do not assume that you can achieve the same device on all carriers. The selection varies widely, so it’s worth thinking about what type of phone you would like and which carrier offers the device at the lowest price.
In Brazil, the practice of subsidizing the price of a smartphone is common, but the prices are much more expensive than when purchased abroad or at electronics stores, independent without exclusivity with a specific carrier. A good example of this case are the iPhones, leaving cheaper when purchased abroad, including the price of a round-trip ticket and stay for three days.
As the operators are obliged to unlock handsets, is now in charge of your search choose whether to buy the smartphone through a subsidized plan worth it or whether it is preferable to buy it separately and choose a cheaper plan.
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict it. For everyone who has a horror story with a carrier, there’s probably a lot of others who have not had a problem. In addition, although the quality of care has improved, there is no guarantee that you will be well attended and will have no problems. So all you can do is make your choice, hope for the best, and be your own lawyer if you are not satisfied.
To help in the search, websites aggregators of complaints and the own Procon their city/region can help with information about carriers that more trouble. Generally, a single operator can be bad in one region and excellent in another. This research will help you filter out this information.
Have suggestions for operators? What is the best in your region?