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26 replies
Smartphone for internet use only
banana
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Hi all,

I’ll be in Europe for around 7 weeks this summer and while I’m not super concerned with being able to make calls, I absolutely want to have a phone/device that allows me to get internet access wherever I am. It seems that one option for doing this is to buy an iPhone / other smartphone and use only Wifi mode. Does anyone know how reliable the wifi access will be if I plan to go this route? I plan to use my phone on the fly to get directions, read about restaurants, train schedules, etc. Also, for this to work would the phone need to be unlocked, or will it pick up wifi without being unlocked?

Are there any other ways of approaching this issue where I wouldn’t need to rely on there being a wifi network within reach, and where I could just have constant internet access using a “pay as you go” type plan?

Sorry if a similar question has been asked before; I scrolled back several pages and didn’t see this exact inquiry.

Thanks!

I am leaving from New York City with $6000 for 46 days
Istanbul, Budapest, Zürich, Basel, Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Florence, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul
banana
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Oh, another question. Assuming I use a smartphone on AT&T (or another provider that has compatible service overseas) and I use it for internet/email only, what are the overseas charges going to look like? I keep reading about phone/voice charges being prohibitive, but I’m having trouble finding info on internet costs.

Thanks so much!

I am leaving from New York City with $6000 for 46 days
Istanbul, Budapest, Zürich, Basel, Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Florence, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul
cshrem
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Hey, I just returned home and I traveled 6 countries in 5 weeks and I run a website so I had to be able to answer emails 24/7
Get a blackberry or an iphone and register with at&t or t-mobile.
I used my blackberry with t-mobile and it cost me $19.99 for unlimited email and messenger anywhere in Europe, it always worked. If your looking for a cheap data option, also try mobilitypass

If you have any questions, feel free

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
banana
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Thanks for the info! Do you mind sharing where on the web site you found this plan? Or did you have to call customer service?

I have been looking at AT&T’s plans here: http://www.wireless….

but at $24.99/20MB, this seems awfully expensive. (Given my limited knowledge of technology, it seems that 20MB would be very easy to blow through if I am accessing maps, etc.) Paying $19.99 for unlimited coverage would be ideal…

I am leaving from New York City with $6000 for 46 days
Istanbul, Budapest, Zürich, Basel, Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Florence, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul
cshrem
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I used t-mobile which had the unlimited plan.
20MB is sufficient if you are just doing messenger and email but maps and web browsing can be expensive.
Checkout http://www.mobilityp… if you want to be able to use google maps and browse around the net.

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
Don
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Open wifi is not always available. Consider Boingo.com which gives more coverage in public areas, but doesn’t cover everywhere. I use Boingo mobile and have been generally pleased with it.

OtheRollingStone
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cshrem wrote:
I used t-mobile which had the unlimited plan. 20MB is sufficient if you are just doing messenger and email but maps and web browsing can be expensive. Checkout http://www.mobilityp… if you want to be able to use google maps and browse around the net.

With T-Mobile were you able to get an international data plan? I am on T-Mobile too with the new Nexus One Smart Phone and access to my internet,google earth, gps..etc is going to be an absolute must.

I don’t understand the mobility pass either.. are they going to send me a data card?

Don
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Looks like Mobility is 89 cents per 100k (in Germany, for example). Yikes. For wi-fi, cheapest option I see they offer is $9.99 per day if you have a T-mobile signal.

Seriously — consider Boingo. It’s $6 per month (I pay in GBP so it’s cheaper than the $8 USD or so it says on it’s site). http://mobile.boingo.com/

OtheRollingStone
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Boingo is for wifi, but wouldn’t my phone be able to pick up any wifi as i enter into wifi hot zones anyways?

Don
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Only open—unsecured—wifi. That is difficult, and getting harder, to find.

OtheRollingStone
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Boingo has a. Wifi signal across all of Europe?

Don
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Click the link I made — it won’t bite you! Then click Locations and search by city, or via the map. I moved the map to Europe and thousands of hotspots kept popping up and loading on it. I know from personal experience that it works in Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Koln, Koblenz, Barcelona, Gerona, and Platja D’Aro. I only got it in August.

cshrem
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OK, let me clear a few things up:
Boingo is a hotspot, dont use it. They are only in airports and local cafes are unreliable and its not worth it,
Mobility pass is good for the USB data adapter they send you, its cheaper if you need to use your laptop anywhere.

Best idea- use t-mobile international data plans. When you call t-mobile, DO NOT ask the person who answers, they have NO IDEA about the plans. You need to ask for the SMARTPHONE AND BLACKBERRY DEP’T, they will help you.

Let me know if you have any questions.

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
banana
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cshrem,

What about those of us who aren’t t-mobile subscribers? I am currently on Verizon…

I am leaving from New York City with $6000 for 46 days
Istanbul, Budapest, Zürich, Basel, Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Florence, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul
cshrem
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Hey Banana,
Verizon has a very similar program, although I am unsure about pricing.
Call them up, but make sure to be redirected to the smartphone dep’t as the regular customer service dosent know much on the matter.

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
banana
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Thanks. From my understanding, the problem with Verizon is that most of their phones are CDMA only, so their unlimited data plan is helpful only if you have a phone that is also GSM-capable. Is my understanding correct?

I am leaving from New York City with $6000 for 46 days
Istanbul, Budapest, Zürich, Basel, Rome, Naples, Amalfi, Florence, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul
cshrem
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Hey,
That isnt true anymore that Europe is CDMA friendly nowadays.

Basically Verizon’s plans work just like T-Mobile or AT&T’s but you need to make sure your verizon phone is a World Phone. You can find out by calling them but most Blackberrys are.

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
OtheRollingStone
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cshrem wrote:
OK, let me clear a few things up:
Boingo is a hotspot, dont use it. They are only in airports and local cafes are unreliable and its not worth it,
Mobility pass is good for the USB data adapter they send you, its cheaper if you need to use your laptop anywhere.

Best idea- use t-mobile international data plans. When you call t-mobile, DO NOT ask the person who answers, they have NO IDEA about the plans. You need to ask for the SMARTPHONE AND BLACKBERRY DEP’T, they will help you.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for the heads up on Boingo, I looked at the site but something didn’t seem right with them. I would expect WIFI wherever I was in the city on the cities they have starred on their maps not just in certain hotspots.

Now tell me about this mobility pass? You mention being sent a USB adapter, however my main concern would be having WIFI on my Nexus One Smart Phone, not a lap top.

Is Mobility going to help me with that?

Thanks
O

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OtheRollingStone wrote:

I would expect WIFI wherever I was in the city on the cities they have starred on their maps not just in certain hotspots.

O

This just isn’t realistic. No provider is going to have wifi coverage everywhere in a city.

Don
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In hotels and public places, sometimes you do see T-mobile or another provider show up as open in your wifi scan. When you connect, it greets you with an access plan, typically 7 EUR for a day, but I have seen it as high as 20 EUR for a day, and sometimes monthly plans, which I have seen as high as 150 EUR for a month. These, like Boingo, are also not “everywhere” — typically hotels and touristed areas, and maybe some cafes. However, these places are also spots that I have typically found and used Boingo. I mentioned Boingo, because, based on your question, it was the cheapest thing I personally knew that would come close to what you requested.

Another option—if available when you arrive to each country—pre-paid USB dongle service. T-mob in NL is 4,50EUR per day and it throttles from about 200mb. Dongle: 70EUR. You’d need to purchase new sim for each country (and maybe new dongle?), or pay (even more) astronomical data roaming for this. Advantage: better coverage.

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cshrem wrote:
Hey,
That isnt true anymore that Europe is CDMA friendly nowadays.

Basically Verizon’s plans work just like T-Mobile or AT&T’s but you need to make sure your verizon phone is a World Phone. You can find out by calling them but most Blackberrys are.

Ha, this is a lie just in case anyone was wondering.

Europe is CDMA friendly!?!? Geez talk about misinformation.

I am leaving from NYC with $4500 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, Madrid
I am leaving from New York City with $5000 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Paris, Interlaken, Wengen, Venice, Rome, Milan, Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid
cshrem
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iskifree wrote:
cshrem wrote:
Hey,
That isnt true anymore that Europe is CDMA friendly nowadays.

Basically Verizon’s plans work just like T-Mobile or AT&T’s but you need to make sure your verizon phone is a World Phone. You can find out by calling them but most Blackberrys are.

Ha, this is a lie just in case anyone was wondering.

Europe is CDMA friendly!?!? Geez talk about misinformation.

Please dont accuse someone when you have no idea what your talking about
Verizon’s plan works the EXACT same way as t-mobile and at&t’s plan, “pay for MB”
Secondly if you must know- I traveled with my good friend and his phone worked better than mine! Tested in Dublin, Ireland…London, England….Paris, France….Amsterdam, Netherlands….Rome, Italy…Florence, Italy

I think you are highly ill informed

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
iskifree
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cshrem wrote:
iskifree wrote:
cshrem wrote:
Hey,
That isnt true anymore that Europe is CDMA friendly nowadays.

Basically Verizon’s plans work just like T-Mobile or AT&T’s but you need to make sure your verizon phone is a World Phone. You can find out by calling them but most Blackberrys are.

Ha, this is a lie just in case anyone was wondering.

Europe is CDMA friendly!?!? Geez talk about misinformation.

Please dont accuse someone when you have no idea what your talking about
Verizon’s plan works the EXACT same way as t-mobile and at&t’s plan, “pay for MB”
Secondly if you must know- I traveled with my good friend and his phone worked better than mine! Tested in Dublin, Ireland…London, England….Paris, France….Amsterdam, Netherlands….Rome, Italy…Florence, Italy

I think you are highly ill informed

Hahaha… now I am not only going to accuse you of a lie, but I will also call you a hypocrite! Because YOU sir have NO idea what you are talking about.

Let me explain this so you can understand.

Europe is in NO WAY CDMA friendly. Verizon offers phones that are capable of communication over two network types, CDMA and GSM.

If you have one of these phones, then yes… it will work in Europe, through a Verizon plan.

BUT NOT ON CDMA! On GSM.

90 percent of Verizon phones are CDMA only.

So again, I will say… Claiming Europe is CDMA friendly, is a LIE.

I am leaving from NYC with $4500 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, Madrid
I am leaving from New York City with $5000 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Paris, Interlaken, Wengen, Venice, Rome, Milan, Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid
cshrem
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iskifree wrote:
cshrem wrote:
iskifree wrote:
cshrem wrote:
Hey,
That isnt true anymore that Europe is CDMA friendly nowadays.

Basically Verizon’s plans work just like T-Mobile or AT&T’s but you need to make sure your verizon phone is a World Phone. You can find out by calling them but most Blackberrys are.

Ha, this is a lie just in case anyone was wondering.

Europe is CDMA friendly!?!? Geez talk about misinformation.

Please dont accuse someone when you have no idea what your talking about
Verizon’s plan works the EXACT same way as t-mobile and at&t’s plan, “pay for MB”
Secondly if you must know- I traveled with my good friend and his phone worked better than mine! Tested in Dublin, Ireland…London, England….Paris, France….Amsterdam, Netherlands….Rome, Italy…Florence, Italy

I think you are highly ill informed

Hahaha… now I am not only going to accuse you of a lie, but I will also call you a hypocrite! Because YOU sir have NO idea what you are talking about.

Let me explain this so you can understand.

Europe is in NO WAY CDMA friendly. Verizon offers phones that are capable of communication over two network types, CDMA and GSM.

If you have one of these phones, then yes… it will work in Europe, through a Verizon plan.

BUT NOT ON CDMA! On GSM.

90 percent of Verizon phones are CDMA only.

So again, I will say… Claiming Europe is CDMA friendly, is a LIE.

First of all, your an idiot. Secondly, you really have no life then to spam my inbox to make your sorry ass feel good about yourself.
Instead of spending your time bashing my point, you should actually try and help people in this forum which I have been doing.

Secondly, NO HE WASNT. He was using a Verizon phone with NO SIM card.

Whoever is interested, here is a CDMA Map of Europe
http://www.cdg.org/w…

I am leaving from NYC with $5000 for 28 days
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Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food
augustin25
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cshrem][quote=iskifree wrote:
Whoever is interested, here is a CDMA Map of Europe http://www.cdg.org/worldwide/index.asp

You’re right that you can get CDMA coverage in some places, but if you look closely at that map you’ll see that a significant chunk of Europe has no CDMA. GMS on the other hand is rather ubiquitous.

iskifree
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Spamming your inbox?? hahaha, I was actually just keeping the personal stuff in PM so that hundreds of people didn’t have to read how much of a moron you are.

Looks like you defeated my purpose by taking it back to the forum.

I hate how I have to keep explaining this and am so surprised others have not jumped in on this topic. Can I get a hand please forum members? I am sure at least one of you is aware that Europe is in no way “CDMA friendly”!!!

YOUR FRIEND WAS NOT USING CDMA. He was using GSM.

Here are Verizon’s global phones, aka the ONLY phones that can be used in Europe through Verizon:
http://b2b.vzw.com/i…

Notice how they are all ether labeled GSM or UMTS (UMTS supports CDMA and GSM).

OK, so what is the one thing that all of these phones have in common???? They can all be used over GSM.

Now, please explain to me why I can’t use my Motorola Droid over in Europe if Europe is CDMA friendly? Why isn’t my phone on that list? Furthermore, why aren’t ALL of Verizon’s phones on that list????! Since Europe is so “CDMA friendly” and all of Verizon’s phones run on CDMA, it would only make sense that every phone would work in Europe that works on Verizon’s network.

I will tell you why, because the US version of the droid has no technology in it that supports GSM.

You are in no way helping people in the forum by giving them misinformation. Stop it.

Hahaha, can’t wait to see your next reply!

I am leaving from NYC with $4500 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, Madrid
I am leaving from New York City with $5000 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Paris, Interlaken, Wengen, Venice, Rome, Milan, Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid
iskifree
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cshrem wrote:

Whoever is interested, here is a CDMA Map of Europe
http://www.cdg.org/worldwide/index.asp

This has to be one of the most misleading coverage representations I have ever seen. I like how they have all of Europe covered with their map, but when you actually look at the places covered down below, Italy, Spain, France, England, etc, etc, etc are not on the list.

Another GREAT post by cshrem!

I am leaving from NYC with $4500 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Monte-Carlo, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, Madrid
I am leaving from New York City with $5000 for 24 days
Amsterdam, Paris, Interlaken, Wengen, Venice, Rome, Milan, Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid