A mobile network provider, also sometimes referred to as a mobile phone operator or carrier service provider, is a type of company which specialises in offering services to cell phone users. Typically, the user signs a contract with the provider, and receives a cell phone handset with a number of features and extras as part of the deal. Different network providers offer varying types of handsets, coverage and price plans.
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Verizon Wireless covers over 200 countries worldwide as of November 2010, and prides itself on the reliability of its network coverage. The provider offers a service called "Mobile to Mobile" in which any two individuals using Verizon Wireless as their provider can call each other for free.
Virgin Mobile U.S.A.
Part of the global and diverse Virgin brand, Virgin Mobile U.S.A. offers no-contract deals to its users. Customers get a range of features on their cell phones such as unlimited messaging and e-mail capabilities, without being tied to a set price and number of minutes over a long period of time. In 2010, the range of handsets offered as part of Virgin Mobile U.S.A.'s deals include the BlackBerry Curve 8530 and the Samsung Intercept.
T-Mobile U.S.A. in Bellevue, Washington, employs some 42,000 employees as of November 2010. It is part of Deutsche Telekom A.G, a huge international telecommunications brand. According to the company's website, the T-Mobile U.S.A. network is capable of reaching 96 per cent of the population of the U.S. T-Mobile U.S.A. also offers Wi-Fi Calling, which gives users coverage even in low-signal indoor areas when they connect their cell phone to a router.
AT&T is a huge global communications and networking company, the largest communications brand across the world in regard to revenue, according to the AT&T website. The company offers mobile networking capabilities across many countries, with data roaming features available to users in 200 countries and 3G services available in 125 countries. In June 2010, AT&T became the carrier for Apple's iPhone 4. AT&T also offer broadband and Wi-Fi services.
Sprint Nextel serves 48.8 million users, as of November 2010, according to the company's website, and its services include wireless 4G services and mobile data capabilities. According to Newsweek magazine, Sprint Nextel is one of the most environmentally-conscious companies in the United States, ranking sixth in the publication's Green Rankings for 2010.
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