Cell Phones

We will provide a Cell Phone Fair during International Undergraduate and Graduate Orientation, but here's some info to get you started. If you would like additional information, please consult with staff in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and view the OISSS page on Utilities

There are a variety of cell phone companies around the Providence area. The four most popular companies are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. All four companies offer coverage throughout the U.S. and if your plan allows for it, international coverage. Wireless plans in the U.S can be very different from plans outside of the U.S. Therefore, make sure you carefully read everything before you sign up for a particular plan; in particular, please be certain to ask specifically about international calling rates, messaging plans, 3G/4G network fees and capabilities (if applicable), contract agreements, and possible overage charges.

To get a cell phone and a plan, there are two main options: 1) a prepaid plan, or 2) a two year contract. The prepaid plan have slightly higher rates on outgoing calls, messaging, ect. However, they are convenient for international students and scholars. Prepaid plans offer the same services and network capabilities as contract plans, but do not require a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or a hefty deposit. Contract plans require a two-year contract commitment as well as a SSN for identity and credit check purposes. A large deposit ($100-$500) is required in lieu of a SSN, but usually, cell phone companies will refund your initial deposit after twelve months of good standing. It is important to note that breaking the contract will result in heavy penalty fees.

Most cell phone companies offer family plans. Family plans allow up to five lines to be on the same contract. Keep in mind that it is difficult to add/ drop lines once the contract is signed without paying a penalty fee. Family plans are inexpensive if you know multiple individuals signing up for a contract plan.

Popular cell phone companies:

Verizon Wireless
216 Thayer Street
401-270-4330 
Prepaid plan information
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

AT&T
Providence Place Mall, 3rd Floor
401-270-4903
Prepaid plan information
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

Sprint
Providence Place Mall, 3rd Floor
401-437-8899
Prepaid plan information
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

T-Mobile
Providence Place Mall, 1st Floor
Prepaid plan information
A deposit is required for a contract plan for individuals without a SSN but will be refunded after 12 months of good standing. You do not need a SSN for prepaid plans.

metroPCS
metroPCS is an option for international students and scholars who are staying less than a year in the U.S. metroPCS does not require a contract or SSN to get a phone and service plan. The plans are month to month. Service in only available in major U.S. cities.
55 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
1-888-863-8768