cell phone--head spinning

Old May 25th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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cell phone--head spinning

Please dont kill me for asking a cell phone question that has probably been answered a million times. I have read the Mobal Phone threads over and over....

I just ordered a new phone from Cingular. The guy told me it would work in Europe. It took me a week to master its intricacies. Yesterday I called Cingular to activate the WorldWide calling plan. Of couse he told me the phone will NOT work in Europe. It is too late for an exchange as I bought it online and I am leaving Sunday.

I can get a MobalPhone delivered it I order it today. It all seems so complicated....how do I know what my new phone number is? The per minute prices seem very high. It seems nebulous whether or not the phone is un-lockable.

I guess my question is this: Is it terribly inconvenient to travel without a cell phone? I rarely use mine at home. However it does seem like it would be handy for calling the landlords upon arrival and making daily rendez-vous plans with my daughter. My daughter will be in Europe all summer, I am thinking I can leave the phone with her for emergencies when I depart. (However I shudder to think of the bill if she uses it to "chat.")

Augh! I am having last minute angst about my impending trip...I will be totally alone (in Belgium) the first 5 days! It's going to rain! I have visions of me fumbling in a phone booth trying to call the landlord while pickpockets swarm me, LOL.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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What is the make and model of your phone?
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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If you state the exact make/model of your new phone, someone can tell you if it is 'useable' in Europe.

It is very possible to get by in Europe without a cell phone, especially since you get by without one (almost) at home.

If you order a Mobal phone, the phone arrives with your phone number printed in the paperwork. The per-minute rates ARE high, so you'd only want it for emergencies.

If you want to leave it with your daughter, then take it to an electronics / cell phone store in Belgium, get it unlocked and buy a local SIM card at that store. (for much cheaper rates). When your daughter eats up those minutes, she can go back to a store and buy more minutes.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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p.s. if you get it unlocked and buy a new SIM, that will change the phone number. Buying additional minutes thereafter will NOT change the phone number.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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My new phone is a Samsung x427m. GSM compatible. But now Cingular says it wont work in Europe!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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One more question: Lots of people mention the $29 deal on Mobal Phone but I can only find the $49 phone. Where is the $29 deal??
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Ok, THANK YOU for being indulgent and letting me prattle.

I just went ahead and ordered the Mobal as I only had one more hour to be able to get it shipped in time! My new Samsung operates on 850/1900 MHz. It is my understanding that Europe operates on 1800.

I am hoping I can get it unlocked and loaded with a cheaper SIM upon arrival.
If not I shall be very stingy with my minutes.

While I was having this little mental debate my daughter called from Paris. We decided it would be good for me to have a phone so she can leave daily messages on where I am to meet her after class instead of me traipsing back to my apartment every day to await a call.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Hi vivi,

You will get an email from mobal telling you your phone no.

You will get a setup kit. It also has your number.

You have to insert the SIM card and charge the battery.

If you will be making only one call per day, you will still be ahead compared to buying a new SIM card in Europe.

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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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vivi. If you do not have the energy to unlock the Mobal phone before the trip, just take it to a phone store when you arrive and they will do it for you for a fee. Buy a SIM at the same time.
Are you only going to be in Belgium, buy a SIM for that country. You can top it off and not change numbers, like Travelnut says. The per minute fee is very reasonable. The unlocking fee isn't terribly expensive either. The total investment is a lot less than the per minute charges from Mobal.

For the first time this year we took a cell phone along to Europe. We could have gotten along without it, but it was so nice to have it.

If you want to leave the phone with your daughter you may want to buy a SIM card that she can use if she plans to travel around Europe. Or she can buy a country specific card in every country. But then the number would change.

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Old May 25th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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OK, thanks SO MUCH everybody. You all answered my questions with such clarity. I must be very, very dense but this is the first time I have comprehended that a new SIM in Europe will change the Mobal number I have been assigned and that it is possible to top off that new SIM with additional minutes without changing phone numbers.

So yes, I will pay to have it unlocked, get a new SIM, and then give the phone to my daughter when I leave.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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vivi. I don't know how much you will pay. But just recently (in Portugal-so may be a different price) I paid 25E to have my phone unlocked and I got 10E worth of calls. All incoming calls free and outgoing were .39E during the week and .20E on the weekend. That was to the US, we didn't make any local calls on it. That beats Mobal hands down
It would have been nice if I could have unlocked my phone ahead of time (not a Mobal) but I couldn't.
Lots of people would help you do that, but you are short on time.
Have a wonderful trip.
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