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Katy Mom wants to know what age is appropriate

I have a 6yr old  and 11yr old and they both been asking me when will they get their own cell phones. I have been debating what age should I start giving them cell phones. I didn’t give my 15 yr old a cell phone until he was 13yrs. Did I start too early or too late? I decided to give him one because of all the extra curricular activities he was in. The one thing that I am concerned about is too much phone usage. Are we ready to hear those rings and what about those text messages? What cell phone plan would benefit them? Should I get them on a texting plan? Also what phone would be best? These are some of many questions that come to mind.
I have seen children as young as 9yrs of age with cell phones in their hands. A cell phone can always be handy in an emergency when needed especially if they have to stay after school or attend extra curricular activities. This has came in very handy for me with my 15yr old. 
 I love the family plans that some cell phone carriers have. Have any of you taken advantage of them? Or should we limit them on how much they can talk on the phone, like prepaid? Oh lets not forget that we need to educate them on how they need to use the cell phone too. Can a 6yr old understand how to use a cell phone?  I never knew shopping for that right cell phone or phone plan could be so hard. It’s almost as hard as shopping for shoes for me by selecting the right ones that fit comfortably. So my Katy parents have you encountered my issue? What have been your past experiences?
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