Cell phone for 2 weeks in Italy?

Sep 11th, 2008, 09:22 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Cell phone for 2 weeks in Italy?

I hate the idea of buying a phone to only use it for 2 weeks. Are there any shops at the airports where I could pick one up on arrival in Venice then return it on departing Rome 2 weeks later?

TIA - R.
Rooster99 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 07:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I just placed an order with callineurope, for a rental phone in Italy for 2 weeks. The order placement was easy, prices very resonable etc. They ship the phone to you, prior to your trip, and include a return label for sending the phone back. All said, less than $50.00, all we do while in Italy is pay for the phone calls, which will be sent to us as an invoice upon return from our trip!
welike2bike is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 07:25 AM
  #3  
 
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I'm not sure what kind of cell phone you have, but if it uses a SIM card, check out www.voyportmobile.com. You could order a SIM through them that is for Italy (they offer many other countries as well) that you just pop in your phone. I think there's a savings calculator on the site too to tell you how much you would save using them versus others.
er77 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 07:30 AM
  #4  
dmlove
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er, the problem is that "other" sim cards work only in unlocked phones. Most US cell phones are locked, meaning they are tied to the carrier from which you get your cell phone service.
 
Sep 17th, 2008, 08:54 AM
  #5  
 
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well, not really.

U.S. carriers that use SIMs, including AT&T, will generally unlock or give you the unlock code thru customer service.

The key is you have to have a trip or quad band phone that includes the Euro bands.

As for the U.S. SIM resellers, you pay a lot for the convenience .... but whether it's worth it to you or not is completely up to you.

I've bought SIMs all over the world after arrival -- including recently buying 30 for our crew in Beijing -- and it really wasn't that big of a deal. You can certainly rent abroad but rental might be as much as buying a cheap phone in the U.S.

BTW, a very cheap way we communicate from Europe is through our home Vonage. Calls from the U.S. to parts of Western Europe (France, Italy, Spain, UK and Ireland) are free. If you buy a SIM in Europe, incoming calls are generally free.

So what's better than O cents/minute? Also, it was a penny a minute to China phones.

Be carefully, though, some SIM resellers will charge for incoming minutes.
repete is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #6  
dmlove
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will generally unlock or give you the unlock code thru customer service.

They will do so only if you have been a long-standing customer. Each has its own definition of "long-standing".
 
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,021
But Call in Europe charges .39$ for outgoing calls within Italy. Isn't that kind of pricey??

How would that compare with just buying a used phone on EBay and then buying the card?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:34 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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You can probably use your own phone - I'm with T-Mobile and my phone worked just fine. They have an free international plan that you need in advance, but it's easier than messing with phones there.
sheri_lp is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:40 AM
  #9  
dmlove
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with T-Mobile and my phone worked just fine.

Depends how much you plan to use the phone. Calls on T-Mobile to the US are $.99 a minute (and on AT&T, $1.29 a minute). I just enabled my AT&T phone for international calling for a recent trip, but I intended to use it very little, and was true to my plans. In the past, when we've gone on longer trips and needed to be in touch more, we did the cheap unlocked ebay phone route, and bought local SIM cards.
 
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:44 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Could you tell me which plan would be best for someone like myself: I would not use the phone to call the US but, rather, like to have it for the convenience of phoning ahead to a local restaurant or hotel in case I get lost, or to request a reservation. And the like...
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:48 AM
  #11  
 
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They will do so only if you have been a long-standing customer.

All ATT and TMobile wanted were active account numbers.

We had several of folks were relatively new customers -- less than three months -- and had no trouble whatsoever.

I think carriers have changed their tunes on this in the past year or so.
repete is offline  
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