Can I use my US cell phone in France?

Old Sep 17th, 2013, 04:10 AM
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Can I use my US cell phone in France?

Hi, we're planning a trip to France over Christmas we'll be staying for 3 weeks in total. If I take my T-Mobile phone with me will it work? If it does work is there a way to reduce my roaming charges?
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 04:24 AM
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If I take my T-Mobile phone with me will it work?

Yes. But be prepared for significant roaming charges.


If it does work is there a way to reduce my roaming charges?

Yes. Just follow these two easy steps:

1. Unlock your phone. If you tell T-Mobile that you are traveling overseas and ask nicely, they will unlock your phone for you. Unlocking the phone lets you use SIM cards from other companies.

2. Buy a SIM in France. Read this for more info: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...im-france.html
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 04:42 AM
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Before people chime in about GSM frequency bands and whatnot, if OP's T-Mobile phone is 3 years old or newer, it will work in Europe. End of story.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...p-to-paris.cfm

Pretty well says it all. Why repeat?
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 05:03 AM
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Because reasons.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 07:48 AM
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First I would check phone specs to determine frequency that your phone operates on. Most new phones are OK but you never know. See http://www.phonescoop.com/phones Then check http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/france.php to see on what frequency main providers use (usually it's GSM 900/1800). Also make sure that your phone is unlocked. I heard that Lebara SIM card is free and service costs are very reasonable.

Another option is purchase some kind of reduced rate travel plan from T-Mobile. I am sure that most US providers offer something in that area. Also last time I went to Europe (this spring) I didn't bother with buying local SIMs and instead used NetTalk app to make calls whenever WIFI was available. NetTalk offers 60 min free and then 2c per min to US & Canada. Quality was decent. For occasional received calls paid expensive roaming rates. Still was cheaper for me than buying SIMs in 4 different countries.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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There are many different kinds of phones one could have with TMobile, as well as plans. I have a prepaid Tmobile plan on a small Samsung phone I've had at least 5 years and no way in the world would it work in Europe nor could I get a plan where it would because it isn't available to prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans. The OP should be asking Tmobile.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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That's because you need your phone unlocked.
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Sparkchaser is absolutely spot-on. I have a Tmobile phone, it is unlocked and less than 3 years old. I can put any SIM card in it I want. Because that is what you can do with unlocked Tmobile phones that are less than 3 years old.

This has worked for me in France, the UK, Sweden, Canada, the US, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Tunisia.

So if the OP takes sparky's very good advice they will be able to use their phone without paying an arm and a leg in roaming charges while they are in France.

Have a great trip lonelyranger!
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Old Sep 17th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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Before anyone decides to obsessively focus on the "3 years old or newer" comment I made, I should let you know that it was purely for illustrative purposes to show people that newer GSM phones from major US carriers will indeed work in Europe. I have a five year old smartphone that works just fine in The Old Country with local SIMs. BUT It must be unlocked.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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>

Not necessarily if you want to have data access.

Highly recommend Lebara.fr
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Explain.
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