Cell phone coverage in South Africa

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May 31st, 2005, 05:29 PM
  #1
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Cell phone coverage in South Africa

Is there decent cell phone coverage to the US (Wisconsin) in Pretoria South Africa or would it be better to buy phone cards?
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May 31st, 2005, 10:57 PM
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You will have no problem with cell phone coverage, except . . . we operate on a 900 Mhz GSM system here. (With some 1800 Mhz I think.) Even if your phone is GSM, it will probably be using a 1900 Mhz network in the U.S. and so would need to be tri-band.

I think you can rent phones at the airport from cellular service providers or possibly your car rental co. if you're using one.
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Jun 1st, 2005, 01:14 AM
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Hi rbphilly,

I fully agree with the sound advice that Arthursa has passed on to you. In addition you will probably be unsure as to how your phone would react in SA thus I would suggest that you bring your own cell phone with you so as to see if all is ok. If however this is not the case then I would hire a cell phone at the airport. If your phone does not operate then after hiring a phone see if your USA sim card operates in the hired phone(I suspect it might do so). If this does not happen then purchase a SA "pay as you go"
card to put into your own phone or your hired phone. Note that if you do this then whoever is trying to contact you will have to be notified that you have a new telephone number while you are in SA.

Just a personal comment is that I feel that it is important at all times when you are travelling on your own to have a cellphone when in SA be it for information or security reasons.

For more information about renting a cell phone or a "Pay as U go card"
please go to:

http://www.mtn.co.za/?pid=5933

http://www.rentafone.net/

www.cellcrentals.co.za

http://www.mobilesolutions.co.za/

Hope the above helps

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2005, 10:03 AM
  #4
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Thank you so much.
rbphilly is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Thanks for those links, Selwyn. I've bookmarked them for use in planning our next visit.
Celia is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:46 AM
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I happen to ask a question to the Johannesburg Hiking Club that their answer covers your question. They use cellphones for emergency distress calls on trips. Must be pretty good coverage.
luangwablondes is offline  
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Yes, as I said earlier, coverage is not problem, or at least not in urban areas and on major routes. It would usually be oly a comkpatibility issue if there is one.

There are three network operators (one of Selwyn's links above is for MTN, the other two are Vodacom and Cell-C. To get an idea of the extent of coverage, you could look at any of the three, but you'll find Vodacom's at www.vodacom.co.za/phones/rentals/coverage.aspx. (There is some phone rental info on that same page, but I haven't looked at that.)

I haven't given the direct link to the map, because it is 3279kb and if you want to look at it you'll probably prefer to download it rather than open it online.

I've been able to use my cell phone right in the heart of the Drakensberg mountains
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:11 AM
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That posted unintentionally, before I could correct the typo in para 1, it should read "only a compatibility issue".

And to continue my last para, ". . . mountains, quite far from hotels etc. Although the coverage is only in parts there."
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