Nick (oldnick) wrote in little_details,

Mobile 'cellular'? phones in the USA

Over here in Britain, we can pay for mobile phones in two basic ways - with a contract, where we get a bill for service charges and usage every month, or 'pay as you go' where we buy the telephone up front, and pay to top up the usage whenever we like.

Does the same apply in the USA in the current day (OK - to be precise 6 months ago)?

How much would it cost a character to get hold of a very basic phone and how quickly could it be up and running? Are there any paperwork / registration requirements or could someone walk in with a handful of cash, and walk out with a useable phone? What would it cost?

I'm aware of gadgets to bypass waiting for a phone battery to be charged - I'm working on the assumption that they can be found in the USA. What I'm more interested in is any administrative requirements.

Edited - Thanks all - I just needed to check the basic outline that a 'pay-as-you-go' 'pay in advance' type of approach exists over there as well. Any further comments about terminology or costs for that approach would be welcome.

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