RealTime IT News

ConsumerReports.org Rates Wireless Calling Plans

Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, has turned to TeleBright Corp. to provide detailed, comparative cellular services data on its Web site, displacing newly established participants such as Getconnected.com.

Visitors to ConsumerReports.org can call up real-time price comparisons of wireless calling plans. Searchable by zip code, the interactive site details cellular service plans in major U.S. markets, provides strategies for buying cell phones and calling plans, and compares plan options. The site additionally offers Consumer Reports' own recommendations and ratings of cell phones and wireless calling schemes.

Telebright's technology combined with ConsumerReport.org's content is a good fit, noted John Sateja, vice president and general manager of Consumer Reports Online.

"Telebright shares our goal of bringing comprehensive, objective information to the consumer," he said. "Additionally, the product's consumer interface is flexible, easy to navigate and offers a wide range of information regarding service plans. To blend this information with our editorial content makes perfect sense."

The interactive data is accessed through ConsumerReports.org.; a link brings buyers to TeleBright.com, where purchases can be made.

The service fulfills a need in a market that is healthy, yet undernourished, noted Chet Thaker, CEO of TeleBright. "The cellular industry recruited its one-hundred-millionth customer last July, which is testimony to the burgeoning popularity of wireless calling," he said.

"Yet, despite this undeniable progress, problems that have plagued the industry since its infancy continue to burden consumers with inflated costs and frequent and frustrating service breakdowns," he said. "Meanwhile, complex pricing schemes and incompatible technologies make choosing a handset and service plan a tough call for consumers."

In tandem with the launch of the service, the February issue of Consumer Reports features a lead article, "Cellular Without Static," that includes a detailed report on cell phones and calling plans.

The article advises buyers how to choose a service plan that fits their needs and budget, reports on the evolving technology, presents the test findings of 13 widely available cell phones, and explains how to select models based on features that matter most.