Any US cell phones work in Paris?

Feb 14th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Any US cell phones work in Paris?

We have Nextel. Can get ahold of Verizon if needed. Have you had any experience with this? Thanks in advance...
Heavens is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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I have no experience; although I called Sprint today to find out about Belgium and Netherlands. I know with Sprint I can get an International roaming plan for $4 a month, plus a whopping $1.50 per minute to make calls. NO THANKS! You can get international calling cards at Costco for good prices. There are plenty pay phones and hotel phones to use those on.
TamaraEden is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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I have a phone that I got with my T-Mobile plan. When I signed up, I made a point of telling them I will be using the phone in Europe. This way I was sure to get a phone which can be used overseas. There's no extra charge per month to have this plan. I haven't used it in France, but when I was in the UK all calls cost 99c/minute. I realize the calling cards might be cheaper, but you can't beat the convenience of a cell phone.
P_M is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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I have a Motorola "world phone" from T- Mobile that has a SIM card and is usable in Paris. We have international roaming that costs $.99 to use in Paris. It's definitely worth it for us as my in-laws are 90 & 91 and feel better if they can call us when they think it is necessary.

There has been a lot written on this sit about using cell phones in Europe.
parisonmymind2 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Sorry for the typos, but I hit the post reply button instead of the edit one.
parisonmymind2 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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T-Mobile will unlock your phone after you've paid 3 months' bills, so you can use it with foreign SIMs (Virgin, Orange, whatever) for really cheap.

You can buy a "Joining Pack" from Virgin for £10 with £5 airtime on it.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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To answer the OP's question, neither Nextel/Sprint nor Verizon uses the GSM technology in the US; so unless the phones are the rare "dual-mode" ones with GSM, they can't use it in Europe or most of the world outside N. America.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Basically, no. You need a tri-band or quad-band unlocked phone and will need to purchase a French (or global) SIM card.

It's not that hard. You can buy a tri-band or quad-band phone on e-bay and when you get to France go to an Orange store (or FNAC) and purchase the SIM card and a télécarte and off you go for a lot less than .99 cents a minute.

If you buy a quad-band phone and a global SIM card that phone and card will work for you forever in just about any country in the world. If you do a lot of traveling, it's well worth the cost.

And then there's SKYPE, if you're on the internet a lot while abroad. Major money-saver for overseas calls through the internet.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 04:51 AM
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In the US Cingular phones are GSM and are supposed to work in Europe the same as T-Mobile. Just make sure they set it so it can be used. cingular was supposed to set it up for europe but messed it up for us last fall.
aeiger is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:36 AM
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My mom and I have both successfully used our Cingular phones in France. My sister, however, did not find out until we got there (and after she signed up with them for use in Europe) that her phone would not work. Just make sure you get the right phone with Cingular and it works just fine.
lisaindc is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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We will be on VACATION so no phones or emails the whole time we are gone! If you need to get ahold of us between Sept 11 and sept 29 tough luck.
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Requirements for a US mobile phone to work in Europe

1. Must be GSM...Cingular and T Mobile US are the biggest GSM carriers in the US as well as some smaller regional carriers. Nextel/ Spring and Verizon are most assuredly not.
2. Must have at least one of the European frequencies...900 and 1800. Almost all f the Cingular phones and many of the newer T mobile phones lack 900 and have only 1800 on their tri band phones as they need 2 US frequencies. Lacking 900 may be a problem in some countries but not in Paris and most of the big cities. Rural areas are another story.

3. Your carrier must support international roaming...they can help you with that. T mobile lets you sign up for international roaming after a couple of months with them as does Cingular. T mobile charges 99/minute rounded up to the next minute for making and receiving calls while roaming in Europe. Cingular charges $1.29/minute for this privlege. For another $4/month Cingular will lower this rip off rate to 99/minute.

What happens if you have international roaming and if your phone has the proper European frequency or frequencies when you turn the phone on it will search for a network with which your carrier has a roaming agreement. When it finds on, you will see the name of the company on your phone along probably with 5 bars as European mobile coverage is outstanding. Go ahead and dial away remembering to press the + button which serves as the international long distance indicator followed by 1 (the country code for the US and Canada) and the number and you will find yourself with a most excellent connection, the person talking to you will hardly know you're on a mobile phone and the clock running at 99 (or $1.29) per minute rounded for 4 minutes and 2 seconds and pay for 5 minutes.

Now for emergencies and occasional use, this is fine. However, if you're gong to be in a country for a while or make repeated trips to Europe or whatever, you can do much better by reading up on local prepaid sim cards or an international sim card such as United Mobile. To use these carriers, the phone besides the above requirements must be unlocked. T mobile will unlock the phone for you for free after I believe 90 days of service, Cingular has been a lot tighter with unlocking phones although it is, for the most part, easy to do.

The advantage of local prepaid sims and/or international sims, you don't pay a red cent to receive calls.

So many can read about Mobal too.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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I have a Motorola Razor Quad-Band phone which I got from Cingular. One reason I bought it is the fact that it works just about everywhere in the world. I've used it all over Western Europe without any difficulties, changing cards, etc., which makes it extremely convenient. Phones like these are easily obtained in the US.

If you don't do that much traveling out of the US a rental or other strategy might suit your needs better
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Hi, xyz123:

I have a Cingular TRI-band phone. When I travel, I use this phone just for emergencies.

Is there a way to find out which countries of the world work on the 1800 band and don't need the 900 band?

suntravler is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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Do you have any detail on where to go for the T-Mobile unlock deal? Local or is there a HQ number to call? We've been customers for several years and are just in the process of possibly replacing some older tri-band phones for some newer bells and whistles and quad. Had just been shopping unlocked versions of the phone I want online last night vs a more limited selection at the T-Mobile shop where we stopped by. Unlocked from online 3rd parties are more expensive though and while researching, my wife found your post through Google.

What's a good place to start if you don't mind?

Heavens, for what it's worth... it's not ultra-cheap, but for emergencies, even without a replacement sim, T-Mobile worked ok in Ireland, UK, Romania and rural Cambodia.
Clifton is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, and you are concerned about cellphones?

It is generational but on the way to the office at 7 a.m. this morning I had to put up with a typical cellphoner near me speaking very loudly, giggling.

Her rights ended where mine began. I do not want to know details of cellphoners' boring lives here or, God forbid, in Paris.
Powell is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Call T mobile customer service and they will run through what has to be done to unlock the might wish to unlock the old phone and use that one while in Europe with a prepaid sim where it is probably not all that important to have the extra bells and whistles.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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You will find throughout Europe that every 10 year old kid and older walks around with a mobile phone and quite frankly the same problems you alluded to are present just about everywhere in the world a matter of fact I have found that my mobile phone works in the metro very well...
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Thanks all. Just need occasional communication with the kids who will be left at home to carry on with their school/work/sports schedules for almost two weeks. We have never done this before. So, obviously, we would like a way to communicate.

Sounds to me like the international phone card is the best way to go? Simplest, anyway. They can't get a hold of us, but if they have the number of the hotel, that is one way...right?

Is there a special place to get the international phone card. Thanks all for your help.
Heavens is offline  
Feb 15th, 2006, 06:42 AM
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In Paris, go to any tabac...
xyz123 is offline  

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