The most popular option today for cellular service is a contract plan. The usual contract last 2 years and allows the customer to buy a new phone for a discounted price, or they might even be able to get a phone for free. The major cell phone companies today are Verizon, Cingular, Sprint/Nextel, and T-Mobile. While each one has their own special benefit, most provide special pricing for nights, weekends, and even for calls to other cell phone customers. An option for those who do not wish to be locked into a contract is pre-paid service. With prepaid service you buy your minutes ahead of time so there never are overage charges. Pre-paid service is popular with many people who strictly use their phones for emergency or those who are new to cell-phones and need to budget their time. Popular prepaid companies are TracFone, Virgin Mobile, and Cingular. Most prepaid plans do not require a credit check. For those who travel or just need a temporary phone, there are companies that offer cellphone rental services. Although usually pricey, most offer service worldwide, and activation is usually quick - perfect for those last minute trips. Some companies specialize in travelers to the point where they offer satellite phone service. This service usually means the user will receive service virtually anywhere in the world.