I may be on a 3-4 month visit to Western Europe. Most likely will be buying an unlocked, 3-band GSM (900/1800/1900) handset in the USA, before departing.
Ideally desire a pre-paid ("pay as you go") european cell phone plan, but with the SAME, UNCHANGING Phone #.
I've read many of the excellent posts from xyz123 and others on the subject.
As I understand it, cheapest solution is to buy country specific SIM cards in each country:
1) pros- cheap local calls; usually free incoming calls.
2) cons- phone # changes with every SIM card.
I might be willing to pay somewhat more to have the convenience of an unchanging number, but not the outrageous USA-style rates of $2-3 a minute.
The first country to be visited is the UK, so one possibility is buying a SIM card and prepaid minutes from a UK operator (Vodafone? Virgin?), and then use it in Spain, France, Italy, etc.
Is this a really bad idea?
Are there any recommended providers for a 1-number, "go anywhere" SIM card?
What are the pitfalls to watch out for?
"International" SIM cards for unlocked GSM cell phones
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