Theres so much to consider when choosing a prepaid or no contract cell phone plan provider. How do you go about it? Do you only look at price? Do you need a family plan? Who offers them?

Dont you wish all of the information were in one place?

Now, it is! Weve broken down these considerations for you and compared them across other prepaid & no contract cell phone plan companies. With our MVNO Guide, you can compare no contract phone plan providers and see what MVNO is the best fit for you.

Browse the guide and make an informed decision about your new service provider.

Updated MVNO guide

Breaking Down Network Type

The first tab you see on the MVNO Guide is Network Type. What does it mean?

When choosing a cell phone provider, youre also choosing a particular network technology -- and its important to know that network technologies arent one size fits all. Carriers who use second generation (2G) GSM technology allow you to swap SIM cards as you migrate between unlocked phones, so you can easily keep the same phone number and transfer data between devices. As long as youre switching to another carrier that uses GSM, you can even change carriers and often keep everything on your phone. UMTS is based on the same technologies but offers users access to 3G speeds.

Phones and carriers that utilize 3G CDMA technology offer smoother transitions between cell towers (fewer dropped calls and data lapses than UMTS), but make it more difficult to transfer data between devices, as much of the data is stored in the phone itself. You can use back-up assistant applications to save contacts, but anything saved to the phone itself will be lost if its not manually transferred. 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next step up in terms of speed and has essentially eclipsed all other cellular network technologies. Its incredibly fast and agile, and is quickly overtaking WiMAX as the nations most popular 4G network.

Other Considerations

Once youve decided which network technology is right for you, there are still dozens of other features and provider benefits to consider. Dont immediately fall for the lowest price without considering your needs as a mobile user and researching each providers level of customer service. Weve researched some of the most popular options in an effort to help you make an informed decision:

Unlimited Data for One Price Will you pay for your data piecemeal or via one flat rate? Your individual needs will determine whether a flat rate is the better deal.

Fees & Taxes Included Is the quoted price of the plan what shows up on your bill? Or are there surcharges that appear after signing up?

Family Plan Does the provider offer a package deal to help you save on multiple devices?

Messaging Included Are talk and text billed as separate services? Again, consider your personal needs when deciding on the best service.

BYO Phone Are you able to bring a device you already own into your new plan? How difficult will it be to set up?

Claim to Fame What is each providers biggest differentiator?

Customize Budget Can you choose to pay for only the minutes and data that you use? Or are you stuck with a one price, monthly plan?

Rollover Data/Minutes With providers that offer pay as you go services, do your data and minutes expire at the end of each billing period?

Free SIM Card + Free Minutes Does the provider require you to pay extra for your SIM card, and does your SIM card come with free bonus minutes?

Have more questions about no contract service providers? Give @puretalkusa a shout on Twitter- wed love to hear from you!