Cell Phone Tips: 2007
More and more travelers are using mobile phones in Europe. How does your US phone work in Europe? Have you found any great deals for buying or renting a phone once you arrive?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Mobal Cell Phone Service
Mobal is a good option if you just want a phone for emergencies, short trips, etc. Calls are expensive, but their customer service is good, with Fedex delivery to your home before you go. Buying their phone is cheap, $50 or $100 depending on the phone. Calls went through quickly from Italy and sounded good.
Conifer, CO USA Fri 12/14/2007
I don't know who the previous poster had as their phone company, but when I traveled people were able to call me! They did pay extra to call to a cell phone, true, but anyone who it cost more than 69 cents I just told to use my toll free number and I'd pay for it.
I went to 6 countries, and had no problems at all. The ringback was a little weird, at first. Dialing was tricky from a European phone!! Once I got used to these, I was able ot call my family when I wanted. to each his own, I guess...
Lawrenceville, GA USA Tue 12/11/2007
Don't use Range Roamer
Do NOT use Range Roamer SIM cards. They offer a per minute rate of X amount for each country for incoming calls (in my case it was $.29), but no one from home will ever be able to get through. That means that you are always paying the step price of an outgoing call. Combine that with the fact that the number they give you to pass out to your friends and family to call in to you (assuming they are lucky enough to actually get through) is in Estonia and costs the caller $5 USD per minute and you are looking at a fortune. I learned his the hard way.
San Francisco, CA USA Tue 11/06/2007
Dual SIM card cell phone
Dual SIM card cell phones such as the P-168 (an iphone clone) by CECT (a Chinese cell phone maker) are now available in China and Hong Kong. One can buy them on e-bay for about US$200. These cell phones allow a user to send and receive phone calls from two different cell numbers. Great news for those travel overseas frequently or simply maintaining an active social life. They no longer need to change SIM card or logging two cell phone units around. I am not sure if the phone quality is good.
Santa Monica, CA USA Sun 10/28/2007
I don't have first hand experience with this, but if you have ATT/Cingular service and a quad band phone, all you have to do is call ATT/Cingular, tell them you will be in Europe, and they will make it possible. One of the members of our tour group did this, and I ran into a New York lawyer in London who also said the same thing.
USA Sun 10/14/2007
Skype is a great alternative
Before I traveled to Europe I wanted to make sure that I could communicate with family and friends back home. This was especially important as I planned on proposing and I wanted my girlfriend to be able to call family and friends afterwards. I looked in to several different alternatives. I had my GSM Razr Cell Phone unlocked, I looked into the different calling card options, and I got a Skype account and paid for $10 worth of SkypeOut minutes. (This lets you call regular phone numbers with skype for around 2 to 3 cents per minute). I was always a little nervous about dialing international long distance because of the costs involved and the different codes to call. The Skype application made that easy and I was able enter all of my important numbers into a contact list. If I made a dialing mistake it was only a 2 cent mistake instead of a $2.00 mistake and I quickly figured out how international phone numbers worked. I put in the numbers of most of my family and friends in addition to things like the european hotel phone numbers, the reservation phone numbers for the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence. Being able to call saved me a lot of time from standing in lines and gave me piece of mind for my hotel reservations. Every internet cafe that I went to had Skype already loaded on the machine and most had headsets (I brought my own microphone and headset but didn't have to use it very often). I found that the smaller internet cafes had the better connections and were quieter for phone calls. After I proposed my fiance must have called ten of her friends and I was so happy that it was so easy for her to make those calls. Her family and friends loved to hear from her as well as mine did. My advice would be to get Skype installed in advance and learn how to use it. Once you understand it using it in Europe is easy! I never had to bother with my cell phone (Although I had it with me as a backup plan).
Honolulu, HI USA Fri 09/14/2007
Travel with Cell Phones
I always travel with my home Cell phone in Europe and elsewhere, and find that it's much simpler and less complicated to simply use roaming with my regular (GSM) network as opposed to "SIM swapping".
The problem with using different SIM cards, is that the number and often the rate structure changes with each one. That means one has to constantly let people back home know what number they can be reached at. It's much easier for family and friends to simply call my regular number, and the network locates my phone (although this method is more expensive for voice calls, as the rate for incoming calls is higher).
My phone handset is unlocked, so I certainly have the option of using other SIM's, but haven't needed to resort to this so far.
In addition, if one buys a Euro SIM in Italy (for example) and then travels with this in France, the roaming rates can be steep! The E.U. and the Euro Cell networks are currently "discussing" the roaming rates, but nothing is settled yet (the E.U. is threatening to regulate these).
Using "travel" SIM cards are certainly another option (Cellular Abroad, Mobal, United Mobile, etc.) but I've looked at their rate structure and don't feel they offer any cost savings in my case.
To those people who mentioned the RAZR line of phones, it's important to make the distinction that one is using a GSM RAZR (T-Mobile,AT&T,Rogers,Fido) as opposed to a CDMA RAZR (Verizon,Sprint,Telus,Bell) which will NOT work in Europe.
I generally use voice calls sparingly and try to limit these to "in-country" calls, which are cheaper. Much of my communication to family back home is via SMS/text, which is very inexpensive. One caution though, make sure one has the correct dialing sequence, or the message will disappear into cyber space!
One final note of caution to those who are using I-Phones, Blackberrys or other models capable of E-mail or web surfing. Call your network provider and be VERY CLEAR on what the roaming rates are for data useage in Europe!!! Otherwise you might get a huge surprise when you see receive your bill. The charges for roaming in Europe will likely be different than those charged at home.
For those who are currently using a quad-band GSM phone (locked or unlocked) in their home area, it's relatively easy to travel and stay in touch with family at home. There may be a few changes coming in the next year or so, as the North American networks roll-out "3G" service to more areas, as this may be slightly different than Euro 3G which uses a fifth frequency band (as usual, the Europeans are ahead of North America!).
Vernon, Canada Fri 09/07/2007
Getting a Cell Phone for Use in Europe
(Also posted in TYechnology Tips)
You can rent phones for use in Europe or even take some active U.S. phones over there and pay roaming charges but if you want to save money, you buy a used phone here that can work over there and buy local country or multi-country SIM cards in Europe. This is 1. The least expensive 2. Safest (no charges for lost phone or if it is used by someone else after being stolen) method of getting a phone for use there. It takes a little work but you have a phone you can use anywhere in Europe and use here for Pay-as-You-go or pre-paid or emergency service in the U.S.
Step 1 – Look for a used phone.
If you have or have had phone service with T-Mobile, AT&T or Cingular and you still have that phone or a friend has an old unused phone lying around from those services, you may be one step ahead. There are other carriers (but not Verizon or Sprint) whose phones may work (see step 2 below). The phone must use GSM communication and Verizon, Sprint and some others do not. GSM phones us a little "SIM" card (under the battery).
If you don't have a qualifying phone: 1. Look in the local paper for people who are selling phones 2. Look on Craigslist (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/, then find nearby cities or states) and search in Electronics for sale 3. Look on Ebay
You need to ask the seller before buying: 1. For the model number of the phone for step 2 below 2. How old the battery is and if they had problems with it. Beware of battery condition (after you buy the phone, you may find that the battery needs replacement 3. If the charger says 110V-240V 50-60Hz (or you will need a different charger or power converter in Europe). Note that if the charger works on 240V, all you will need is an adapter to the U.S. style plug, much cheaper and more convenient than a converter.
Step 2 – Check if the phone is usable.
There are two GSM frequencies used in the U.S. and two different ones in Europe. They are not interchangeable. Some GSM phones are quad-band covering all the frequencies. This is best but those that are tri-band will have at least one European frequency and will work but in buildings and places where one band is weak or blocked, you may lose a connection. (Can you hear me now?)
Go to http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/home.php and put the model number of the phone in the search window and hit enter. It will show that model. Select it and look for the band information (and rating of the phone). If it is a quad or tri band, and the phone has the characteristics and rating you want (beggars can't be choosy), you can then proceed to step 3. Otherwise, keep looking.
Step 3 – The phone must be unlocked
Generally, phones in the U.S. are "locked" to the service provider because they want you to use only their service in return for selling you the $300 phone for $29. This is NOT the locking you can do to prevent others from using your phone but is called a Network Lock. To use a phone in Europe, it must be UNLOCKED. There are four ways of accomplishing this: 1. Buy an unlocked phone. This raises the asking price but is the simplest. 2. Get the service provider to unlock it. If the person who is providing the phone still has a contract with T-Mobile or Cingular/AT&T with another phone or with that phone, ask them to call their provider, tell the provider that they are going to Europe and ask that the provider give them the unlock code. A good site is http://forums.mobiledia.com for searching for unlock information. 3. Find the "secret" unlock code on the internet. Some phones, particularly older Samsung phones can be unlocked with a series of codes. Search the internet for the manufacturer and/or model number and the word "unlock". 4. Pay a third party to unlock the phone. The above search will not only show sites that will tell you whether you can unlock the phone but will list sites that will do it for a fee of $5 to $10. If the phone can't be unlocked or is too expensive to buy and have unlocked, then look for another one instead of buying it.
Step 4 – Buy the phone
Borrow or buy the needed phone, verify it works, get it unlocked and you are ready for the next step.
Step 5 – Get a manual
Go to the manufacturer's web site and search for the user manual and download it if the seller has not provided you one. Read it for information on inserting SIMs as well as how to use the phone.
Step 6 – Verify the phone works in the U.S. and is unlocked.
After getting the phone unlocked, verify it with a U.S. SIM card. Purchase a pre-paid SIM card from T-Mobile, Cingular/AT&T or other provider of prepaid services. You can often find these inexpensively on EBay. However, you only have 90 days to use the minutes after activating the pre-paid SIM and most EBay SIMs are pre-activated and may have unchangeable out-of-state numbers. That shouldn't be a big problem as you can extend the time by buying more minutes and don't care if you don't need them. However, be sure and buy a SIM with sufficient usage time so you can test your SIM and phone and use it before arriving in and after returning from Europe. This way you don't need your regular phone with you to tell people you are returning or in case of problems before leaving the country.
Step 7 – Put in your U.S. Phone Book
The address book is stored on the SIM. Put your needed phone numbers in the phone and they will be stored on that SIM. You will not have them when you put the European SIM in your phone but if you need them to call home from Europe, you can pop out the European SIM and replace it with the U.S. SIM to view the numbers you saved. However, it is far cheaper to use the European SIM to call home than it is to use the U.S. SIM, if indeed it works there at all.
Step 8 – Find Which European SIM(s) you want
Go to http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/operators.html , select where you are going and view the available providers, costs and other information on your choices. Then you know what SIM you will want and understand costs and more. Buy your SIM in that country. For multiple countries, compare the price of buying and USING a SIM in each country vs. buying a multi-country SIM.
Hendersonvlle, NC USA Thu 09/06/2007
International cell phone service
Verizon offers international cell phone roaming for $3.99/month plus $.20 per minute from Spain and Germany. Better than AT&T?
Healdsburg, CA USA Mon 09/03/2007
ATT/Cingular international cell
Just returned from Germany and France and the international plan for my cell worked perfectly. Cost is $5.99 per month plus 99 cents per minute. I was able to send and receive calls with no problem. Best use was calling from the top of the Eiffel Tower:)
Columbus, OH USA Thu 08/23/2007
skype-netgear wifi phone
I use skype at home in the u.s. So I bought a skype/netgear wifi phone that connects to any open wifi system and use it around the house to make skype calls. Does anyone have any experience outside the U.S. for using one of these skype wifi phones (does not require a hookup to any computer, just an open wifi signal)?
USA Tue 08/14/2007
T-Mobile Cell Phone
The SIM card in my T-Mobile garden variety Razr phone is good to go for making calls in Europe. The roaming charge is 99 cents/minute. If you just want a phone for emergencies or short calls, this might be preferable to messing around with different SIM cards. Please note that though T-Mobile phones offer this option for free, you need to activate this feature before you leave. You can do this by logging in to your account at the T-Mobile website.
Lake Forest Park, WA USA Mon 08/13/2007
Calling Cheap Back Home
There is a GREAT mobile company "Mobile World" that offers really low per minute rates calling to USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, etc. The phones and packages are avilable from Carephone Warehouse in the UK, I'm not sure where (or if) you can pick them up in continental Eruope. You buy the phone outright (cheap as 20 pounds) and can just top-up with a voucher when you need it.
UK/Canada Sun 08/05/2007
free phone calls
I don't know if anyone else has heard of this service, but its great! Dirt cheap or FREE international phone calls. I had been living in Europe for the last year and moving back soon, and its one of the only reasons I am still in touch with people from home. http://www.rebtel.com/en/Home/
Santa Barbara, CA USA Sat 08/04/2007
International Mobile Calls
Once in Europe, you can make cheap international calls from your cell phone using Global Call Connect.
Delray Beach, FL USA Thu 08/02/2007
Cell Phones in Europe
We use T-Mobile world-wide service. Never had a problem in any country in Europe or the Caribbean. You just have to make sure that the phone you purchase can accommodate this service.
Brentwood, TN USA Fri 07/27/2007
Stop the SIM swapping and go AT+T
I work for a company and we all travel all over the world.
We use Cingular (now AT+T) and never have a problem. Make sure to spend the extra $50 when getting a phone to get a quadband Motorola Razr or Nokia phone. The free phones are dual band and will not work outside the US.
The rates are average but you have YOUR USA number at all times for people to call and text to. And no SIM swapping.
Gloucester, MA USA Sat 07/14/2007
Got an unlocked phone on eBay before trip ($40). Bought a chip (comes with a phone number) in London ($40) and then Paris ($30). Cheap to use locally. Expensive to use long distance. But no charge for receiving calls.
My wife called (on Vonage VoIP) from States, and we talked a long time at a reasonable cost (0.22 cents per minute). High quality sound. Vonage would have been much cheaper for a normal phone (not cell phone).
Vallejo, CA USA Thu 07/12/2007
What happens if your rented phone is lost or stolen?
USA Wed 07/11/2007
Verizon Global Rental
If you already have a Verizon domestic plan, they've recently partnered with Vodaphone to provide "Global Rental" of GSM phones that work in Europe and elsewhere. The best part is, Vodaphone has waived the $4/day rental fee, so you pay shipping ($21) and $1.49/min air time (both incoming and outgoing). We mainly want to be able to connect with one another in Europe so we'll essentially be paying $3/min, but since the phones themselves are free, not a horrid way to go. The nice folks at Verizon charged only one shipping fee for both phones, so that made it even more satisfactory.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 06/18/2007
Verizon Global Rental
Forgot to mention, Verizon customers have to be "distinguished" to have the daily rental fee waived. Not sure what that means, exactly, but we're pretty ordinary Verizon Family Plan folks (4 lines).
San Diego, CA USA Mon 06/18/2007
SIM Cards and Mobile Phones
I have taken an unlocked Nokia to Europe twice in the past, and each year I go shopping for the best deals on roaming SIM cards. I always hope that the major players (Cingular, Verizon, etc.) will start to have pay as you go mobile available for outside the US - to no avail. This year I found a gem after a lot of surfing - you owe it to yourself to check out www.ldpost.com and 1sim.com (same company) for SIM cards, unlocked phones, and European phone cards.
Eugene, OR USA Tue 05/08/2007
World and UK Sim Cards
We are going on a Baltic Cruise and then going to Scotland for a week. I bought an Unlocked new Motorola GSM Quad Band phone for about $90 (a very good phone, not a cheap one.)
Then, I got a World Sim Card from Mobal. It was FREE and I only had to pay for shipping. And, you register the card with your credit card and ONLY pay for the calls you make. I have a UK Phone Number. There is NO expiration. No Minimum usage. And No Monthly Fee. Example: Last month I sent one text message from Los Angeles and my entire monthly bill was 80 cents.
The phone will work in 160 countries, including the US. The calls run about $1.95 for calls to the US and about $1.50 for local cell calls in most European countries. The Mobal website gives the call rates for each country.
OK: That's pretty expensive for calls.
SO: I also bought a UK Sim Card from 0044. It cost me about $25 for the card, including shipping. This one requires you to buy time on the Sim Card. And, it DOES expire if you don't continue to use it. So, unlike th MOBAL World Sim CARD, it is really only good for a fixed period of time.
But, the good thing is that calls to the US from the UK cost less than 10 cents a minute. That is incredible. So, that means where I would have spent $1.95 per minute using the Mobal Sim Card, I can talk for almost 20 minutes on the 0044 Sim card.
I figured that saving $1.85 per minute paid for the 0044 Sim Card in just about 15 minutes.
So, we will use the World SIM CARD during the cruise, but when we get to Scotland, I will put in the 0044 UK Sim Card and we can call home for what is really less than what it costs to use our regular Verizon cell phone for calls in the US.
Also, on BOTH the MOBAL and 0044 Sim Cards, INCOMING calls in the UK are FREE.
Incidentally, it turns out that the Mobal World Sim Card can be used on the cruise lines that have a new service called CINGULAR AT SEA. Since the Mobal Sim Card uses Cingular in the USA, it will work with Cingular AT SEA on cruise ships.
I am trying to find out how much it will cost per minute on the ship, but am still checking. The cruise line charges $6.95 per minute, so I am SURE that Cingular AT SEA is going to be less expensive, in order to be competitive.
Sherman Oaks, CA USA Wed 05/02/2007
France and GSM
I recently returned from France. While there I purchased a prepaid SIM card from Orange (France Cell phone company) to use in my unlocked gsm phone. I also have an unlocked Blackberry that I purchased a sim card from Locus Mobile. My wife was able to call me at the Hotel in France using the Blackberry. She dialed a special number locus mobile provided then she entered the hotel number. It only cost 0.15 for first 5 minutes then 9 cents a min. She used the Balckberry to text me and I was able to call her aswell. I was also surprised that the SIM card from France worked in Amsterdam as well as in US. I was able to receive calls by using yahoo voice which was only 20 cents/min to call a French mobile phone.
rosemount, MN USA Fri 04/27/2007
Get a Tri/Quad band phone from T-mobile, get it unlocked and buy a SIM card for the country you will be. Then you can add time locally by purchasing at a local shop such as tobacco. Mine worked well in Australia. Buy the SIM card before you go (just Google xx country SIM card and it will come up. You can get voice mail on your US phone and check it while you are gone BUT be sure to get the number to dial in form overseas to check it!
Long Beach, CA USA Mon 04/23/2007
Telestial Customer Service
I've had problems with Telestial customer service as well. My wife is traveling in several countries, and wanted a single SIM card and minutes package to get her through the trip.
When she burned through her original package, I bought another $200 worth of minutes via the Telestial web site. I am now in day three of trying to get those minutes credited. Telestial has not responded to my email nor to my phone messages.
I decided to throw another $25 at the problem, but their online server told me I did not have a secure connection (a problem I have never had before with this connection). I then decided to call them to buy the additional time, and discovered that human beings do answer their sales calls. It took a lot of work, but I finally got them to tell me the reason the minutes have not posted to her account is that they do not yet have the required "codes" from their vendor.
In other words, they are selling air time they do not have. They have promised to call me back, and I now have an extension where I can reach a human being instead of their voice service, but at this moment I am not camping happily.
Washington, DC USA Mon 04/23/2007
That does not work for her
My wife's business will take her to five countries in two weeks. She does not want to look for a new SIM card for each country, or even to learn how to change the card, for that matter. Neither does she want a new phone number every time she changes her SIM card.
The Telestial model makes great sense for someone like her. Unfortunately, if they can't deliver on their promise to recharge her card (they've already taken our $200 and acknowledged the purchase repeatedly), we are going to have to look for alternatives.
Washington, DC USA Mon 04/23/2007
Resolved, sort of
Telestial has finally delivered the minutes they sold me last Friday. I still don't appreciate the runaround I received, nor their willingness to sell something they did not have, but the problem is resolved, for now.
Washington, DC USA Mon 04/23/2007
I am Canadian and live in Spain for past 10 years. I am in the telephone and internet business and my advice is dont use your mobile unless you absolutly have to. In europe you can pay a lot for calls and recieving is almost as much. There are many shops near most hotels you can call from land line not internet based for very cheap. €1 will get more than 5 min in most. Even cheaper than sending an email.I have seen many people from all over the world here at various time of year and there foreign mobiles are expensive. If you have to get a spanish sim card some can recieve free even with out credit. Remember Mobiles are a convienience and you pay for that no matter where you go.
Torremolinos, Spain Sat 04/21/2007
I used a Range Roamer rental last year & it worked fine. They have several packages or you can buy a phone or a sim card. You get a toll free number for stateside folks to call you, and they give you cards you can pass out to family or friends. I had to call with a question and got a human to answer and help me out.
jacksonville, FL USA Thu 04/19/2007
I bought a Vodafone in Amsterdam, The International Cell Phone and not one Vodafone office in the rest of Europe, including the UK, could add new time to it. The instructions were in Dutch and I could not even get the Dutch to change it. Canadians use Call Canada Direct instead for calls home.
PETER K. MACLEOD - Travel Agent
OTTAWA, ON CANADA Sun 04/15/2007
global mobile cell phone cards
Interesting thread on global cell phone calls. If you have a GSM phone, you shouldn't have a problem getting service globally. The only issue is that your current telecom provider will try to get you for doing something outside of your monthly plan. You can try to change your plan for a month while your traveling OR consider getting a virtual mobile prepaid phone card that works on your cell phone. Pingo.com offers this with an offer for five dollars in free calls when you sign up. Here is the page that explains using it for mobile calls http://www.pingo.com/en/mobileusers.do
hope this was helpful. enjoy your trip!
Boston, MA USA Tue 04/10/2007
I am going to London and have no idea what is teh best way to get cellular while there. I really only want to ber able to call back to the US and around London. Any great experience or ideas out there?
raleigh, nc USA Fri 03/30/2007
Although this discussion is primarily about U.S. cell phones, I'm hoping someone out there will have some suggestions for Canadian cell phone customers heading to Europe. I own a Motorola Razr V3 on the Telus Mobility network, and my European travels this summer include the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria and Italy. Any ideas?
Victoria, BC Canada Sat 03/24/2007
Free Cell Calls in Europe - Outgoing (sort of)and Incoming (not overseas call for friends)
Ok! I haven't done this, but it should work. Step 1. Set up an account with Grandcentral.com. Using this service, you can route calls to any number you choose. Your friends back in the U.S. will only have to remember 1 number as you change Sim Cards throughout your trip. Step 2. Set up an account on Jaxtr.com. This service allows calls to anywhere in the world. Free for Jaxtr to Jaxtr users. This is not computer based per se. You have to initiate the call via computer, but the calls go to whatever phone you choose, anywhere in the world. (See what I am getting at here?) 3. If you place calls (outgoing) you must initiate call through the web, but both parties receive "incoming phone calls" 4. To receive calls (incoming) your friends will call your grandcentral.com number that you forward to your Jaxtr.com number that is forwarded to whatever number you choose. 5. You could do this I suppose by using Jaxtr only, however it is not as robust and you can have friends leave voicemails via the web on Grandcentral.com.
Let me know if this works,
Napa, CA USA Sat 03/17/2007
FYI T-mobile is owned by Duetch Telecom, sorry for the misspell, but in plain english, T-mobile is owned by a the German Telephone Company, so the european service is wonderful. Just remember to be using a tri or quad band phone. A basic quad band phone cost less than $25.00, and you just call T-mobile before you leave the USA and they activate your international service. The best thing, my mom-in-law lives in the UK and since she and I have the same cell phone carrier, the UK calls between us were free.
Chicago, il USA Sun 03/11/2007
Ireland cell phones
has anyone used a prepaid phone in Ireland. We fly in and out of Dublin. Staying for 2 weeks. TQ
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA Sun 03/11/2007
I had Tmobile a couple of years ago and had no problems roaming in several countries. The cost was less than Cingular which I now use.
USA Thu 03/01/2007
To find which cell phone services are available at your destination, try www.gsmworld.com/roaming. It has coverage maps for each service in each country.
Conway, AR USA Thu 03/01/2007
Sim Card Rental in Europe
Beware. In 2006, I rented a SIM card from a Rent-A-Cell representative operating in the Frankfurt Airport car rental area. Without being told by the representative and without my authorization, Rent-A-Cell used the VISA authorization for the rental to bill me another 800 euros for a security deposite. Also, When I finally received a detailed invoice from Rent-A-Cell, I learned they had charged me 250 euros for calls made from Italy after I had returned the SIM card to Rent-a-Cell. P.S. We were not anywhere close to Italy during our visit. Calling cards for me from now on!
Anchorage, AK USA Wed 02/28/2007
Do I have to activate it anyway??
I had a cingular motorola Pay-As-You-Go phone. My lab got hold of it yesterday and completely rendered it useless. I saved the SIM card, and made sure it worked. But I was wondering if I could buy a phone from Cingular without having to activate the account and put my SIM card back into that one? I don't want to have to activate the stupid thing just because my dog thought it was a poisonous chew toy.
some place in, La. USA Tue 02/27/2007
I have service through T-mobile. I will be in France and would like some info as to where I can purchase a SIM card. Does T-mobile exist in France?
La Verne, CA USA Fri 02/23/2007
My husband is a Brit and after several trips to England I found the best advice is to just buy a UK sim card. The first time I went I had my GSM phone unlocked at a local phone store (1 that offers several different types of vendors); I got a sim card and a ten pound credit for around $20. The best thing is, as long as I send a text message every 6 months (just pop card in and send message to yourself) my number stays valid. You can also buy a VERY inexpensive prepay phone just about anywhere, the Brits are text messaging fanatics. Oh, and it can be used anywhere in western Europe as well.
Columbus, OH USA Wed 02/14/2007
re: Keeping contact by cell phone
I used a United Mobile card in four countries last summer. There are a couple of tricks to dialing out, but overall, it is a very good option. Before, I had a German sim card, but the UM card roams almost anywhere including in the US.
Ala USA Sun 02/11/2007
Keeping contact by cell phone
I have a quad band, unlocked cellphone I will be taking to Europe. We will be travelling in vehicles with another couple who have a similar cellphone. We want to be able to contact each other in Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Rep, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. Can I get 1 sim to do all? or 1 SIM per country or??? Thanks
North vancouver, BC Canada Mon 02/05/2007
Do Not but SIM cards fromt the USA
Do not by a SIM card before going to Italy. Wait until you get there. In the US, they are sold for $49 to $69. I purchased a SIM card at a Vodaphone store in Venice for € 10, and this included € 5 of outgoing airtime. All incoming calls are free. You get to keep the telephone number as long as you keep the SIM card active. The salesman tested my GSM phone before getting a SIM card to be sure it would work. He then got a new SIM, inserted it in my phone, while carefully saving my USA SIM card, and explained how to use the phone in Italy.
I would, however recommend that a Quad Band phone be used. I used my USA Tri Band phone (850, 1800, & 1900 MHz) and found it wanting. By not having the 900 MHz frequency, I was truly limited in where I could use the phone. I had thought that I might experience loss of signal as I went between cell towers. Instead what I found is that as long as I was in a city or town, I had a signal. As soon as I went into the country, I had no signal. Get either a Quad Band phone or a European Tri Band (900, 1800, & 1900 MHz) before you leave or buy a cheap European Tri-Band phone when you get there
Denver, CO USA Sun 01/21/2007