Cell Phone

Old May 4th, 2002, 11:26 PM
  #1  
John
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Cell Phone

What is the best deal for a cell phone in Europe?
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 12:49 AM
  #2  
Elaine
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From what I've seen in the media recently, it would seem that the best deal in the UK would be to go up to any kid hanging around a city street corner, tell him what you want and give him some cash (not sure of the going rate). However, you should be aware that this is not actually legal!
Seriously though, not all cell phones purchased in one European country necessarily work in other countries, so you might get a more positive response if you say which country(ies) you're visiting.
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #3  
Jayne
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Yes, I have the same question. I will be in the UK for two months.

Does anyone know if it would cheaper to rent the phone from the US or to get a deal in the UK (London)?

I will look into Voicestream, but have no idea how to look for companies in the UK.

Thx.
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 11:19 AM
  #4  
xxxx
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The UK I can talk to....there are several phone stores found all over the place. If you walk down High Street Kensington, you will see stores called the Link, Carphone Warehouse etc. You will also find stores run by the big cellular companies vodafone, orange, BT.

My favorite, after a lot of research, was Virgin but you don't know who will have the sales going on. A good deal can be had for about £50 for the phone including £5 worth of calls. Virgin was the carrier I got. The cost is 15p a minute for the first 5 minutes of call time each day on UK trunk calls. After that it is 5p a minute. Calls are billed by the second so a 30 second call after using the first 5 minutes cost 3p. Calls to the US cost 20p a minute and go into the accumulation of the first 5 minutes.

Some knowledgeable people on this board have said Virgin is not so good but I had no trouble with its coverage in London. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable can give other advise.

The problem with Voicestream is that calls cost 99 cents a minute whether making or receiving.

If you buy a cell phone in the UK, you do not pay to receive calls. So friends can call you ad nauseum from the US and it costs you nothing. You can be reached 24/7.

To me, once you are going to be in Britain for a week or more, it is sort of a no brainer. And it is a piece of cake to do. I was in and out of the store and connected within 5 minutes....
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 12:09 PM
  #5  
xxx
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Elaine wrote: "Seriously though, not all cell phones purchased in one European country necessarily work in other countries, so you might get a more positive response if you say which country(ies) you're visiting."

That is not so. European system is used in all European, African and Asian countries. USA is the only country that has a different system.
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 12:24 PM
  #6  
xxxx
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Well you're both sort of right.

Yes, all GSM phones operating on 900 and/or 1800 are basically good in all European countries but what you have to make sure in buying the phone is whether it is locked i.e. whether it is tied into one particular system. If so, the phone must be unlocked before it can be used with another provider.
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 12:31 PM
  #7  
Alec
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I have answered a lot of questions on European cell (mobile) phones. While it's true to say that all of Europe use GSM system (900 or 1800MHz), not every handset and SIM card you buy can be used outside of the country of purchase. If you want to use the same SIM card (thus the same phone number), your service provider needs to offer international roaming, and not everyone does that with pay-as-you-go phone or with every country. Even if they did, it will cost a lot, typically $1.50 a minute to call and receive (yes, you are charged for receiving when roaming). Alternatively, you can buy separate SIM card for each country you visit. But as almost all pre-pay handsets are locked to the original service provider, they will not accept SIM card from another country/provider. One way around is to get the phone unlocked (at an independent dealer for a fee) or buy an unlocked (sometimes called SIM-free) handset, which costs from around $150 for the most basic. You can of course buy a different 'phone and SIM' set in each country, but it's only worth while when staying there for extended period.
 
Old May 5th, 2002, 12:34 PM
  #8  
Alec
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I have answered a lot of questions on European cell (mobile) phones. While it's true to say that all of Europe use GSM system (900 or 1800MHz), not every handset and SIM card you buy can be used outside of the country of purchase. If you want to use the same SIM card (thus the same phone number), your service provider needs to offer international roaming, and not everyone does that with pay-as-you-go phone or with every country. Even if they did, it will cost a lot, typically $1.50 a minute to call and receive (yes, you are charged for receiving when roaming). Alternatively, you can buy separate SIM card for each country you visit. But as almost all pre-pay handsets are locked to the original service provider, they will not accept SIM card from another country/provider. One way around is to get the phone unlocked (at an independent dealer for a fee) or buy an unlocked (sometimes called SIM-free) handset, which costs from around $150 for the most basic. You can of course buy a different 'phone and SIM' set in each country, but it's only worth while when staying there for extended period.
Finally, Virgin isn't a bad deal and they do offer a good range of (locked) handsets, but use T-Mobile (formerly One2One) network, which has worst coverage in UK (ok in big cities). Other operators have tariffs similar to Virgin's.
 
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