Penn offers bigger discounts on cell service plans

Cell Phone Discount

Penn students, faculty, and staff can now save more money on their cellphone service plans through the University’s Cellular Discount Program.

The discounts, provided by AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, and Verizon to the Penn community for monthly voice/data service plans, have increased.

The Penn discount with AT&T has gone from 12 to 14 percent; Sprint/Nextel’s University-reduced rate has risen from 10 to 18 percent for faculty and staff only; and Verizon’s discount has grown from 17 to 18 percent. (Verizon currently does not offer a student discount.)

The new, higher discounts went into effect earlier this year after Penn’s Office of Information Systems and Computing (ISC) and Penn Purchasing Services negotiated a new contract with the mobile phone companies.

“We changed the type of contract we had from a higher-education contract to the Western States Contracting Alliance [contract],” says Dave Mongeluzi of ISC’s Networking and Telecommunications Group, which oversees cellphone programs for Penn. “WSCA is a larger consortium of entities, both government and higher education, that entitles the Penn community to a larger discount on cellular services.”

Mongeluzi says the discounts should be automatically applied to your phone bills, assuming you already were signed up for the previous discounted rates through the cellular program.

Verizon and Sprint/Nextel customers enrolled in the Cellular Discount Program saw their bills reduced over the summer. The new discount for AT&T customers went into effect in October, so depending on a customer’s billing cycle, he or she may have not yet seen a reduction in his or her bill.

In addition, Mongeluzi says all three cellular service providers have reduced or eliminated activation and termination fees.

For more information about the Cellular Discount Program, contact your cellular provider or visit the Penn Computing website.

Originally published on December 13, 2012