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HELP...international cell phone illiterate

HELP...international cell phone illiterate

Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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HELP...international cell phone illiterate

We will be traveling in Sigapore, Phuket, Bangkok and Maldives ina few weeks. My husband will ned to have a cell phone with him so work associates can contact him from US.

Questions:
1. Could we just add international rate to his current cell phone plan?
2. Are there cell phones we can get here in US that woukd work there? He would love a plan that gave free incoming calls.

Please help as I am clueless about all this stuff (i.e. sim cards, locked phones etc.)
travelmom13 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2008, 03:19 PM
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We have a triband phone that works fine in most of US/Europe/Singapore. Haven't tried in Thailand so no comments.

Maldives have ABSOLUTELY NO mobile coverage. The country is too widely spread across various atolls. The best your husband can get is a fixed line at the hotel and internet at the hotel (if any).
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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A tri-band phone will work in Thailand as well as Singapore. When it comes to mobile phones, there's no such thing as a free call when roaming.

I would also suggest that your husband ask people to SMS him rather than calling. Americans aren't used to 'texting' like Asians, but it's cheaper and the caller doesn't have to figure out the time difference.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:23 PM
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If he uses AT&T or T-Mobile and the phone is a quad-band one, then he can just keep using the phone with the carrier.

If he uses other carriers, then unless his is a special "dual mode" phone with GSM900/1800 coverage, then he needs to buy one or rent one first.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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I just dealt with this issue for a trip to Europe. I use a prepaid plan in the US, with a US-only phone. I bought an unlocked quad-band phone from Motorola, and an Italian SIM card from Telestial, which allows free incoming calls. They have Thai SIMs that charge 9 THB for outgoing international calls.

telestial.com has a good "getting started" section that explains what you need, although you don't have to buy from them. This article - www.frommers.com/articles/4045.html - is also useful.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Well, let's start over and do it this way.

travelmom13, please answer these:

1. What phone does your husband has?

2. What carrier does he uses?

3. You mentioned your husband's work associates need to contact him. Does that mean contacting him on his current US cell number? Will these people call various long distances numbers to find him?

4. And like Michael says, does he uses text messaging? Do his associates use text messaging?

5. How long of a trip are you talking about? How many minutes of talk time in each place you're expecting?

6. Is cost most important? Or convenience?
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Just wanted to add that in the Maldives the mobile phones does work at the Soneva Gili and the Soneva Fushi(two different resorts miles apart).
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Answers to the questions:

1. What phone does your husband has?
He has the Moto Q

2. What carrier does he uses?
Sprint

3. You mentioned your husband's work associates need to contact him. Does that mean contacting him on his current US cell number? Will these people call various long distances numbers to find him?

Yes, they can call him on an international number---doesn't have to be his current number.

4. And like Michael says, does he uses text messaging? Do his associates use text messaging?

Yes he text messages and some of his associates do a well...but not all.

5. How long of a trip are you talking about? How many minutes of talk time in each place you're expecting?

It is a 15 day trip...but 7 of the 15 days will be in the Maldives. The other days will be mostly in Thailand with a quick stop in Singapore

6. Is cost most important? Or convenience?

Cost is probably more important...but not esential.

I looked into a place called Cellular Abroad. http://www.cellularabroad.com/thailandRcell.php
You get a phone that will work in Thailand with free incoming minutes. But it won't work in Maldives. Maybe this won't be an issue if nothing works in the Maldives other than the hotel phone.

Thoughts...

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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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From the Motorola website it looks like the Sprint Moto Q won't support the 900 band you'll need for the countries you're visiting, so we don't even need to go into whether a Sprint phone can be unlocked to take a foreign SIM.

Is this the only foreign trip you will make for a while? If so, renting is a good option. Otherwise, buying an unlocked tri- or quad-band phone will mean you can use the same phone for future trips - or in the US. You can buy a used phone from eBay, if you don't want to buy from Telestial or Motorola.

Telestial's Explorer SIM card will let you use the phone in Singapore, Thailand and the Maldives, in cooperation with a local company. Of course, I have no idea what coverage the local company has in the Maldives. (I don't work for Telestial, honest! But this will be the second time I've used them.)
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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Check into <mobal.com> - an international wireless service provider based in UK. They do cover Maldives, Thailand and Singapore. But the per minute call from Maldive to US is $8 and incoming call is $2. For Thailand, $2 to US and $1.25 for incoming. It's about the same for Singapore.
You can buy a phone from them for $49, but it's locked to Mobal. Or you can have you own unlocked quad band phone. The sim card (only one is needed) is free for life without monthly charge or other fees. The only charges are for per minute incoming or outgoing calls. It's post paid, charged to your pre-arranged credit card. For short calls, my son was very satisfied with their service for his 5-country tour on a cruise last year. Only you can evaluate whether this is it for you.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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We spent 5 weeks in Thailand, so can only speak to that. My husband has a Blackberry on the Cingular (AT&T) network. He added their International plan for "data". The cost was $65 per month for unlimited data transfer. That meant that the whole time we were in Thailand he could send and receive emails from his Blackberry at no additional charge. It worked everywhere -- even sitting in the ocean on a sailboat.

We also took an old "unlocked" quad-band phone, purchased a Thai SIM card in Bangkok so that we had a "local" phone for the entire trip. We got the SIM card at an AT&T store at one of the big malls and happily the young men there were able to install it and set up all the coding before we departed. I would never have gotten it accomplished on my own.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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For Most countries put in a local sim card, cheaper to make local calls & recieve SMS from anywhwere or incoming calls.
Maldives check out from my friend [email protected] ,his mob is +9871711444 Mr R Arora. or site
www.wataniya.mv

Most islands have connectivity, depends where u are staying, the airport is on a island , everywhere else are islands. Main island is 3km long... nothing great to get onto and spend $20 for a ride, one way.

Resorts are fun.
Hv fun
Bindi
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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 01:19 AM
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I visited Thailand in summer 2006 and took my T-Mobile phone with their international plan. By the time I returned to the U.S. after passing through so many screenings, my phone was so fried I had to buy a new one.
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 02:13 AM
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Could not agree less that there is no moblie coverage in the Maldives. I am in Male now, and travel here often and never have a problem. Most good resorts have their own set-up for coverage (even wireless internet in the rooms)and coverage in Male and Gan (the two major towns) is excellent.

Coverage in Thailand and Singapore is generally excellent and better than many places I have found in the US (i.e. in Singapore you can use your phone on the subway).

Just remember when "work associates" need to contact your husband that you are talking about 12-15 hour time differences, so he needs to make clear when he should (and should not) be called. He may be better off with a Blackberry and then he can call back only when necessary. There is lots of wifi access in various areas if he wants to bring a lap top, again as for the Maldives most good resorts will have this (even the little airport hotel here in Male has it, that's waht I'm using now). People in the US often do not understand the time difference, and you can get calls in the middle of the night.
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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Check out this web site, they have a lot of information on gsm phones and the coverage in most countries throughout the world. They are a great source of information including carriers and the cost of calls. The web site www.prepaidgsm.net/en/operators.html
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