The Carphone Warehouse recommends the Nokia 702 (pounds 79.99) on Orange Talk 60 plan. The handset is light and compact and comes with a lithium battery, with an approximate four- day life. In addition, Alison could buy the Nokia 6110 Data Suite (pounds 99.99) which connects mobiles to a PC and allows for fax/data transmission.
Talk 60 time plan - pounds 29.38 line rental per month - gives 60 minutes of inclusive airtime. The tariff allows you to carry unused minutes forward to the next month. Calls between Orange mobiles are always charged at off-peak rate, as low as 5p per minute.
JULIA KAMINSKI works for a publishing company and needs a small, light mobile with a car kit. She wants cheap off-peak and international rates and a mobile that can be used abroad.
The Ericsson 788 (pounds 129.99) on Cellnet, with an Ericsson Personal hands- free unit for pounds 24.49 is recommended. International users should look to GSM (Cellnet/Vodafone) which covers a wide number of countries.
Cellnet offers pounds 5/pounds 15/pounds 20 worth of free calls per month, dependent on the tariff, which can be used on international calls.
For in-car use, there are a variety of handsets available from simple portable hands-free adapters, to fully installed car kits. Right now, Carphone Warehouse is offering up to 50 per cent off to anyone purchasing hands-free equipment.
GLENDA COOPER, journalist, would use a mobile primarily for national calls during the off-peak period but also occasionally for work. She would like long-lasting stand-by batteries and good coverage.
Recommended is the Nortel 2000 (pounds 79.99) on One 2 One. This offers a compact handset with good battery life - up to 120 hours of standby (the handset also has a built-in hands-free facility).
One 2 One offers a choice of tariffs, including One 2 Weekend (free national weekend calls), One 2 Evening (free national evening calls) and Precept Daytime National (a high-user business tariff with free national daytime calls). It also offers some of the cheapest daytime peak-rate calls as well as free voicemail deposit and retrieval.
FRAN ABRAMS, parliamentary correspondent, needs a mobile to return pager messages but also wants a car kit and good coverage between Suffolk and London, particularly for calling 6pm-8pm.
The advice is an Ericsson GH 688 on Vodafone 20, with a hands-free unit at pounds 24.49. Calls between 6pm-8pm cover both peak and off-peak rates but Vodafone offers the cheapest off-peak at 5p per minute. Vodafone gives 98 per cent of UK coverage so there would be no trouble with coverage between London and Suffolk, (if you give Carphone Warehouse your postcode staff will tell you the best network for your area).
All recommendations and prices are from Carphone Warehouse (tel: 0800 424 800). Prices are subject to connection and credit clearance.