Mobile Phones

Discussion on how to equip your boat for European waters
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salwa
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Mobile Phones

Postby salwa » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:41 am

Unless your phone service provider has reasonable roaming charges, there are a couple of options available for avoiding ludicrous roaming charges on your mobile phone:

You can buy a GSM phone for as little as $49 and pay the following rates per call:
Incoming and National calls: 1.25/min
Calls to US or Canada: 1.50/min
http://www.mobalrental.com/gsm/handsets.asp?source=0046G043N&kw=Cell%20Phone%20Rental

Another option is to rent a phone for $25.00/week or $75/month and pay the following rates per call:
Incoming and National calls: 1.25/min
Calls to US or Canada: 2.20/min
http://www.internationalcellular.com/rates/services/gsm/gsm_main.htm

Contact your phone carrier and ask if they have a pre-set package you can switch to while traveling in Europe.
...be adventurous

wake up
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mobile phone in Europe

Postby wake up » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:39 pm

other options. I have a cingular international plan, all European calls in and out are 1.00$/ min with a monthly charge of either 5.99 or 7.99- i can't remember which.

If you have an unlocked phone you can then buy a European pay as you go sim card to use for local calls in that country. Currently 25- 30 cents per minute. If you don't have an unlocked phone (quad band)You can buy a phone with no contract over there pretty cheaply.

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Postby salwa » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:50 am

It seems to me that the best option is to buy a 4-quad, "unlocked" GSM phone (you might already have one if you’re with T-Mobile or Cingular) and buy a multi-country SIM card which will give you a European phone number, free incoming calls and outgoing international calls for an average of .60 to .90 cents per minute.

Here's some more detailed information...

Which cell phones to use:

1. Will only work on “unlocked” GSM phones using SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards. In the US, T-Mobile and Cingular use GSM but check to make sure they are “unlocked” and you can exchange SIM cards. You can get your phone “unlocked” by either your provider or other sources (I’ve found this service at generic cell phone kiosks in the mall). You can search online for “unlock GSM phone” for sites with instructions.

2. Cell phones in the US work at GSM 1900 or 850 frequencies while cell phones in Europe work on GSM 900 or 1800 frequencies. Make sure the phone you have is a Quad Band phone. (A quick review of the majority of the countries we’ll be traveling in shows that the countries use 900 frequencies).

What is a SIM card? The SIM card is a small chip that fits into your phone and contains the telephone number and your account information. It also comes with a certain amount of prepaid time. The telephone number depends on the SIM card, not on the cell phone.

Buying an unlocked GSM phone and multi-country SIM card.

You can buy a SIM card for each country and have cheaper local calls, but you will have to change your SIM card for each country you travel though. This could be a very costly proposition.

You can, however, use a mutli-country SIM card, most often with a UK number. Most SIM cards give you free incoming calls. Alternately, you can purchase a calling card with a long distance access number to make calls to the US – you will still be charged airtime.

Cost of buying an “unlocked” GSM phone compatible with EU frequencies:

You can either buy a package that includes phone and SIM card, or bring your own phone and buy the SIM card separately.

Cellular Abroad: $199 for phone + for multi-country 30 minute pre-paid SIM card with UK phone number – free incoming calls. Average rate for international call is about .90/min.

Website: http://www.cellularabroad.com

Telestial: $159 for phone + Explorer SIM card - $49 = $208 with Estonia phone number cw $10 airtime – free incoming calls. Average rate for outgoing calls: .60/min.

Other SIM cards available like Passport SIM card for $69 with UK number with slightly lower rates.

Website: http://www.telestial.com/

UStronics:
SIM cards for Global Travel prepaid: $59.95 with a Lichtenstein phone number cw $20 airtime. Average rate for outgoing calls: .52/min. Price of phones vary – about $180 with additional cost for travel charger.

Website: http://www.ustronics.com/

Mobal: They have a deal for $49 for phone with UK number – however, the rate per call is slightly higher than others listed above at about $1.50/min with a $1.25/min for incoming calls.

Website: http://www.mobalrental.com/
...be adventurous


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