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Confused about the Cell Phone thing
NickFromJersey
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I’m having a hard time figuring out how and what to do for a phone while traveling in Europe in May.  I’ll be there for about a month, in several different countries for a few days at a time.  A friend of mine who’s traveled before recommends I get one.  He says buy a GSM phone on Ebay.  However, what do I do after that?  How do I activate it?  Which service do I use. How do I pay for minutes? My service at home, Verizon, supposedly is a huge ripoff over there.  Please help!  Thanks.

nomad
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Hey Nick!!!
 
Been there, and done that so hopefully I can help you.  If you buy gsm phone on Ebay you must make sure it’s “unlocked” – this means that isn’t locked on to a particular network form whatever country.  Otherrwise, you have to pay someone to “unlock” it – usually done via a software package.  This could cost anywhere from $20 to $50 or so, depending on the model of phone.  Once that’s done, you simply buy a sim card with phone credit in whatever country your in – you’ll see T Mobile shops, etc, in most countries, so no problems getting one. Basically, it’ll be on a “pay as you go” basis, rather than signing a contract.
 
Hope this helps…

NickFromJersey
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Thanks for the help Smile  So I can just take the “unlcoked” phone to europe and just buy the SIM card for that particular country?  That’s it.  Is it easy to activate once I get the card?  Do they have these cards available in airports? 

nomad
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Any unlocked gsm phone should work…once you plug in the sim card (when buying a foreign one it should have some credit on it, usually 5 euros and up) and turn the phone on, it’s activated.  Oh yeah – once important thing. Make sure (if you don’t buy the phone in Europe) that the charger will work overseas.  Otherwise, you;ll be shelling out some big $ to buy a converter and adapter.

NickFromJersey
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Are there any SIM cards that work in multiple countries? It sounds like it’ll be quite a hassle if you plan on switching countries frequently to buy a new card every few days. 

NickFromJersey
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Thanks alot, that looks like exactly what I need.  I can activate it and add minutes while in Europe anywhere I can get internet access, right??

IrishNed
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Whatever solution you choose, I think you will need a ‘WorldPhone’ (i.e., Four receive/transmit protocols).   They’re a bit more expensive than those that support three protocols).   I have a T-Mobile SDA WorldPhone, but other companies (Cingular, for example) also offer WorldPhones. 

NickFromJersey
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Does that have anything to do with the frequency or Band of the phone?  Cause I was gonna get a Tri-band phone since I won’t be needing it in the US. 

aether1515
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Learn about the cell phone thing by going to this website. That whole site is FULL of useful information & links.
 
http://www.backpackeurope.com/tips/communication/cellphones.html

NickFromJersey
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: ayasaki

Hope this help…
Telestial sell global sim card, and there’s one called Explorer SIM Card ($49 USD)
Some of the feature this card has are:
US toll free access for callers to explorer subscribers 
Free incoming calls at over 40 destinations
International roaming in 100+ countries 
FREE incoming SMS at ALL destinations 
Outgoing SMS are only $.40/msg 
Voicemail 

for more info…
http://www.telestial.com/view_product.php?PRODUCT_ID=MSIM-EX01


I just bought this SIM card for my trip in May.  I bought a used blackberry unlocked GSM phone from ebay real cheap a few months ago which works on the three frequencies mentioned on the above web site.  Along with this card, I should be all set right?  Anything I’m missing?  Thanks.

peterg
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A warning (and a review) for anyone considering buying a Telestial passport SIM card: The service is horrendous. Save yourself some money and frustration by making other plans. I bought one about a year ago and have since used it in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Singapore, Mexico and Peru. It fails in all of these countries. Text messages disappear. Incoming calls go nowhere. Reception is often poor. Telestial acknowledged problems with its service—at one point, their providers just pulled the plug on service altogether in Europe!—and they recalled the old SIM and replaced it. But I just took the new card to Italy and Germany and, despite assurances from Telestial that past troubles were fixed, it was even worse than before. Now, you can’t hang up a call without resetting your phone. You can’t leave a voicemail for some strange reason. Incoming calls are still diecy and text messages still vanish. Telestial is claiming an incompatibility issue with my phone, which is ridiculous: I have a triband GSM and have used it all over the world with prepaid SIM cards purchased locally—always the best and most reliable option. I like the idea of one SIM card that works everywhere so you have a phone as soon as you land. And I like having just the one SIM card so you don’t have to shell out for a local card on a short trip. This product is a very good idea. But Telestial is a terrible company and their service is a disaster.

jonny
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I really like this and I am always looking to buy a Business VoIP phone. Because they are very useful for me and my brother.Because we are businessmen and we always traveling around the world so I think this is the best for us