Cell Phone Carrier Recommendations/Virtual Office?

I live in the South Suburbs of Chicago and want to have a dedicated cell phone for business marketing. I currently have TMobile for my personal phone, which I am not thrilled about. US Cellular was recommended to me by a business person, who also has a virtual office. They recommend it because inbound calls are free and don’t count towards my minutes (My TMobile bill was higher last month than normal) and evening hours begin at 7pm. I also don’t want any of my calls to be dropped, which I am having problems with using TMobile. Your recommendations will be much appreciated.

Also, does anyone have a virtual office? In my letters I normally say I live in “X”, but my post office box is in the neighboring city of “X”. I think that this is o.k. However, if I have a North Michigan Avenue address in downtown Chicago on my letters and business cards, will this be a turnoff? Is a virtual office necessary when you are getting started, like receiving mail from the Secretary of State and other agencies or receiving and sending faxes and forwarding phone calls? I work downtown so during the week the virtual office might be helpful since I don’t want to fax things from my full-time job’s fax machine.

Thanks in advance,


I would suggest Nextel if you want free incoming calls.

As far as a Vitural office. Kinkos or Staples is going to be your best bet.


Ericka, do not use Nextel. My spouse had nextel, and I couldn’t speak with him within a 2 mile radius. I have sprint. I’ve had it for years. It’s done great things. (like give me reliable service.)

They have a new plan where nights start at 7 pm. included in the monthly plan. (I had this service and had to pay $5 extra a couple of years ago)

Also, do yourself a favor and get the mobile to mobile service. All calls from Spring and Nextel customers are free - i.e. don’t use your minutes. Previously, you had to pay $5 a month for this, but if you get lots of calls and/or your family incoming etc… it pays for itself on 1 successful business calll.

Then again, all of these expenses are tax deductible.

Happy Business,


That advice is only valid in your area (maybe I missed that he’s from there as well). There are always better / worse carriers in any given area; nextel works in some regions near me, not in others. Consider your area.

Also, realnew, the 2 mile radius is meaningless. The cell phone signal doesn’t go from one phone to another, it goes from phone to tower to phone. The physical location of the two handsets, relative to each other, isn’t what makes them have better service.

Well, you’re right. But we’re in a major city, so I expect it to work. I am sharing with her my experience, your mileage may vary. When we drove down I-95 on a trip, he would lose the signal, I had service. Whether conducting business or travelling and needing a reliable phone, I’m going to go with Sprint. That is my preference, and the experience I had. … and thanks, I’m well aware how cell phones work vis-a-vis towers.

Oh I’m sorry I just got the impression from your post that you thought it was relevant how far the two of you were apart, when you couldn’t get through to him.

BTW I’m with you on Sprint, I’ve been with them for years and years. Oddly enough I’m eating dinner on Sprint this Sunday, but that’s just an extremely weird coincidence…

actually i just got T-Mobile because they offer the 5 free friends numbers

i make one of them a voicestick number and get absolutely unlimited call time for no extra cell phone charges-

just use the voicestick i2bridge to cell phone feature it is like having to dial a calling card but incoming callers dont know it


and you can choose your cell phone number from a limited number available or forward your 800 number to voicestick so if you want a different phone number from a different part of the country or just so that you can have a dedicated business number without a dedicated cell phone you can do it.