Prepaid cell phone carriers such as Virgin Mobile have a lingering reputation of offering no-frills wireless service. However, Virgin has begun to respond to consumer demand by including more Mobile Web, 3G and Android options on its phones and data plans. Although you can use most new Virgin phones to get on Twitter, you should check the company's coverage map before signing up for service.
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As of 2011, all of Virgin Mobile's basic cell phone service plans include unlimited data access, meaning any phone with Mobile Web capabilities can access the Web for no extra charge. To get to Twitter from a Mobile Web-enabled phone, start up your phone's Web browser and go to Twitter's mobile site, m.twitter.com. The mobile site is smaller and faster than Twitter's standard site, so it'll load on your phone more quickly.
Virgin Mobile also offers cell phones built on Android software, which allow you to access Twitter and other social media tools via downloadable applications. If you have an Android phone, open up the Market and search for "Twitter" to see a list of available apps, such as the official Twitter for Android and unofficial options like TweetDeck, TweetCaster and Plume.
If you prefer not to use Mobile Web or an application to tweet from your phone, you can set up Twitter to function with text messages. Go to your Settings page on Twitter, click the "Mobile" tab and follow the instructions; you'll need to enter your phone number, then send a text message from your phone to the Twitter shortcode (40404 in the United States). On the mobile settings page, you can specify which tweets you want to receive as text messages, and you can post a tweet by sending it to the shortcode.
Although prepaid cell phone services like Virgin Mobile can make using services like Twitter on your phone more affordable, they do have some drawbacks. Because prepaid networks often borrow service from other cell phone towers, coverage can be spotty and is not available in many rural areas. Even if you have voice coverage in your area, you might not have the data coverage required for Twitter applications.
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