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Direct Comparison: Fine Print

Cingular Wireless: Contract not required, but only two-year plans are offered at Cingular's Web site; can change plans without penalty. 15-day trial. "Night/weekend" means 9 p.m.-7 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9 p.m. Fri.-7 a.m. Mon. Prepaid "KIC" service available, starting at $10 for 30 days and $15 for 90 days (10 cents/minute).

Nextel: One-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 15-day trial. "Night/weekend" means 9 p.m.-7 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9 p.m. Fri.-7 a.m. Mon. Prepaid "Boost Mobile" service available, stating at $20 for 90 days (25 cents/min. weekdays, 10 cents/minute nights and weekends)

_____Special Report_____
2004 Guide to Wireless Phone Phone Plans Compare rates and coverage for Washington, D.C., area.
_____Headlines_____
What Do You Do With a Broken Phone?
Fast Forward: How to Shop for Service
_____Service Details_____
Cingular Wireless
Nextel
Sprint PCS
T-Mobile
Verizon Wireless
_____Direct Comparisons_____
'Real World' Costs
Fine Print
Messaging and Web Options
Reviewer's Notes

Sprint PCS: One-year contract required ($10 fee otherwise), but can change plans without penalty. 14-day trial. "Night/weekend" means 9 p.m.-7 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9 p.m. Fri.-7 a.m. Mon.

T-Mobile: One-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 14-day trial. "Weekend" means 12:01 a.m. Sat.-11:59 p.m. Sun.; "night" means 9:01 p.m.-6:59 a.m. Prepaid "T-Mobile to Go" service available, starting at $10 for 30 minutes or 30 days and $25 for 90 minutes or 90 days.

Verizon: One-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 15-day trial. "Night/weekend" means 9:01 p.m.-5:59 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9:01 p.m. Fri.-5:59 a.m. Mon. Prepaid "FreeUp" service available, starting at $15 for 30 days and $75 for 90 days (10 cents/minute, plus 25 cents/call).

-- John Breeden II


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