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Cherry-pick your mobile plan

WASHINGTON – Just bought a new iPhone 5? Now you’re looking for a service plan that won’t break the bank.

Forbes offers three tips for consumers when shopping for a cellphone plan.

A Norwegian phone app that scrutinizes 12 months of cellphone bills tells users how much they could save if they picked a different plan. And initial results from the app shed some light on consumer missteps, according to Forbes.com.

Forbes’ advice includes making sure you buy enough minutes. Users don’t buy enough minutes to cover peak months, especially around the holidays. Using too many minutes is one of the most common reasons for overage charges, Forbes says.

In contrast, users often overestimate their data usage. Forbes suggests consumers review their usage, especially if they’ve been locked into the same plan for a year or two.

The increased availability of WiFi service at work, restaurants and in airports has reduced the amount of data mobile networks carry, especially for urban consumers, Forbes says.

And third, shop around. Don’t be afraid to switch carriers. Other carriers likely offer the same or similar plans and discounts.

WTOP’s Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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