Nowadays, even young children already have smartphones. Parents use smartphones as tools to keep in touch with their kids and know where they are through GPS tracking. But with everyone in the house having mobile devices, it can become quite costly.
Good thing most cell phone companies now offer family smartphone plans. They provide discounts when you include everyone in your family under one account. The best smartphone plan for your family should include a reliable Internet package and give you all excellent coverage at a reasonable price.
To help you find the best smartphone plan, consider the following dos and don’ts.
1. Figure out how many lines you need
Having a fully mobile-reliant family can be quite pricey, but if you buy in bulk, you can save yourself some money. The same thing applies to your smartphone plan. The more lines you have, the lower the price will be.
Most smartphone plans have the first line as the most expensive with the rest of the lines coming in much cheaper. Family smartphone plans usually include from 2 to 10 lines, going beyond 10 will classify you under a business plan.
Here are two ways service providers assign data to a family plan.
- Fixed Usage per Line – fixed amount of minutes, data, and texts per family line with an allocated amount that adds to the total bill.
- Shared Usage per Line – shared amount of minutes, data, and texts among family users
If you have a tech-happy teenager, plans with data sharing may be more beneficial for your family. But if you don’t want your Internet speed to go slow, you may also opt for a plan with a fixed amount of data per family line.
2. Know how much data does your family needs.
An average person can use about 5GB of mobile data per month but with the case of teenagers, they can consume more. To gauge your family’s data plan needs, consider how each family member uses his/her phone. A person who simply checks emails will use less data compared to someone who likes to stream videos online.
Any activity that requires the Internet will use up mobile data if not connected to a Wi-Fi network. So before shopping for a smartphone plan, know the monthly data average of each member of your family.
3. Find the best value.
If you want to pay less for your family smartphone plan, you need to know how to find the best value.
- Prepaid Carriers – Some of the best deals are in the prepaid market in which you can get big coverage at a small price. The only difference with post-paid plans is that you pay at the end of the month, while on pre-paid, you pay at the start of the month.
- All-in Pricing – If you don’t want to experience “bill shock”, consider a mobile plan with “all-in pricing”. This way, the price you see on the advertisement will be exactly what you’ll be paying for.
- Cut Back on Data – When at home, you can make it a rule to use the Wi-Fi network instead of mobile data. Using your Wi-Fi will help you save on data.
4. Don’t get unlimited data if there’s no need.
It’s tempting to think about never running out of mobile data. But, you have to stop and ask if that’s something that your family needs. If you’re a simple family with average data usage, you’ll end up paying more if you avail of an unlimited data plan.
5. Beware of buyouts.
There are many mobile carriers who offer to buy out contracts up to a certain amount per data line. These buyouts are only ideal if you have a new phone, otherwise, you’re likely to lose money in the transaction.
6. Don’t forget to consider the following when getting a family smartphone.
If you want to supply your family with smartphones, consider the following.
- Buy a low-cost model if it’s for a younger child.
A lower phone price can save you from buying insurance. Young children don’t have many uses for a smartphone, buying a low-cost model won’t create too much additional stress if it gets broken or lost.
- Skip phone insurance.
If the phone is inexpensive, purchasing phone insurance may not be the best option. You can get the best insurance against damage by buying a high-quality mobile phone case.
To find the best smartphone plan for the entire family, learn to compare plans with other service providers to get a great deal. Also, don’t forget to consider the dos and don’ts above to get the right plan that fits your family’s needs.
Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.