In today's day and age, having a cell phone is practically a necessity. Many people are foregoing landlines altogether and opting to only have a mobile phone. While only having a mobile phone can help save you money over time, many cell phones and their respective plans can still be quite pricey. And if you want to get out of your contract? Forget about it.
Luckily there are a few options that can help you have flexibility with your cell phones. Enter bring your own device plans (BYOD) and prepaid cell phone plans. There is some overlap between the two, but they are a bit different.
What is a Bring Your Own Device Plan?
The concept behind BYOD is that if you are looking for a new cell phone plan, that you can bring your own device - in this case, your phone - and keep your phone number, current phone, all while saving money by not being stuck in an expensive contract.
You used to be stuck in a contract or be forced to upgrade phones, but with bring your own device plans, you can keep what you like, while getting a better contract.
Originally, BYOD programs started as part of IT measures in the workplace. Many companies were looking to save money on expenses, while keeping their employees happy and productive. So instead of having their employees manage a personal phone and a business phone, companies are streamlining the process and having their employees bring their own device. In this case, it could be their own mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.
BYOD plans have become such a hit in the IT world for business, that even the White House has a great toolkit for companies looking to implement this process.
What is a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan?
Another flexible option for mobile phone users is a prepaid cell phone plan. Prepaid cell phone plans don't have monthly contracts, which is great for people that like to upgrade their phone often or change plans. Mobile phone users that have a prepaid cell phone plan purchase a certain amount of minutes each month - hence the name, prepay. Users can then use their phone as normal - but once the phone runs out of minutes, mobile phone users will need to purchase more minutes.
A prepaid cell phone plan is a good money saving option for those that don't use their cell phone that often, or for parents wanting to monitor their children's monthly phone bill. Conversely, this is not a very affordable option if you use your cell phone a lot to make calls.
The Main Difference Between BYOD and a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan
You can bring your own device for a prepaid cell phone plan, but you can also choose a new phone for a prepaid cell phone plan, though there might be limited options. The main difference with BYOD plans and prepaid cell phone plans is that BYOD is about having the flexibility to keep your phone, while prepaid cell phone plans are about flexibility with payment and using minutes.
Both plans can be cost effective if you use them right.