I'll be getting a cellular telephone in Guelph, and not getting a landline. I've never owned a cell phone before, so I've started looking at the available options. Apparently, there are five service providers in Southern Ontario, which apparently includes Guelph:
Fido/Rogers (two brands, multiple billing differences, one network)
Telus (possibly having a variety of sub-brands, like "Mike" and "PCS")
I have no bias towards or against any of these providers (yet). It occured to me that the majority of my readership (such as can be judged by commenting) here are cell phone users, and may have valuable insights into this technology.
In checking out the webpages of the various providers, I've noticed that they all seem to really want to sign people up for long term contracts, like 2- or 3-years. While I expect my PhD to take more than three years, I'm not sure I want to be locked into a contract with the first cell phone I'll own. So the trade-offs between pay-as-you-go or pre-paid services vs. long-term contracts are very interesting to me - does anyone have any thoughts?
Additionally, I don't know anything about handsets. Reviews of particular models are abundant and easy to find - but there are so many different options that I don't know where to begin. Getting a phone will probably be the first important thing I do in Guelph - it's likely I'll get a phone before I find a place to live. This raises the possibility of a short decision-making time, in that I probably won't have time for detailed review of the options. So I'm asking for your opinions on various handsets, particularly at the level of brand-reputations - do you like Motorola? Nokia? Sony-Ericsson?
Given that I hate talking on the damn thing, it's unlikely I'll want a package with big discounts for heavy use - I'll probably avoid the stupid thing as much as possible. For that reason, I'm currently leaning towards buying a handset for full price and then setting up some sort of pre-paid or pay-as-you-go package with one of the providers.
Any thoughts you may have are very welcome.