Cell phone service providers set up towers to offer service.
If you have read How Cell Phones Work, you understand the technology that has turned a simple two-way radio into a complex communication tool that millions of people use every day.

If you decide to get a phone, you will need to decide which wireless service provider and plan suits you. There are hundreds of ads on TV, in print and on the Web from different companies promising great deals on cell phones. You hear offers of 2,000 free off-peak minutes, free wireless Internet access and no roaming charges. What does it all mean? How do you navigate through the maze of options available?

In this edition of How Stuff Works, you will find out how cell phone service plans work and what options are available to you. There are hundreds of different cell phone service carriers around the world, but there are basics that you can learn and apply to your decision no matter where you live.

To access all of the different parts of this article, choose from the map below: You may want to start with How They Work, to acquaint yourself with some of the basics.