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-   -   Cell phone in Belgium, Netherlands, France, England, Italy & Greece (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/cell-phone-in-belgium-netherlands-france-england-italy-and-greece-838671/)

tex13 May 4th, 2010 09:35 AM

Cell phone in Belgium, Netherlands, France, England, Italy & Greece
 
I need help deciding to bring a Verizon phone to Europe or getting one there. This is for my son who will be traveling throughout Europe for 8 weeks. Verizon doesn't offer any discounts & roaming charges are expensive. Thanks for your help.

pookymimi May 4th, 2010 09:46 AM

Have you called Verizon?

I pay $69 for the Global feature per month, prorrated if less time traveled.
c99 a min/calls and unlimited IM and email data for the global feature.

I pay that flat fee whenever I travel overseas and I will be covered in June and July in Europe.
My son will have his Blackberry data turned off, but his global calls will be for a flat fee of $4.99 + each call $1.29 mins and 99cents/min

greg May 4th, 2010 10:50 AM

The phone plan selection depends greatly on the usage model.

You have to identify the key features you must have to come up with a set up. Putting too many features will certainly push up the cost.

Do you need to have a U.S. number?

If you get a phone that works in Europe, whether bought in the U.S. or there and get a local SIM, the cellphone user does not pay for incoming calls. The caller pays.

If the calls, both incoming and outgoing, are predominantly local, then there is even more motivation to get a local SIM.

tex13 May 4th, 2010 05:07 PM

I already contacted Verizon & they have roaming charges of about $2 a minute. I would also have to purchase a global phone which would be a very basic phone. The benefit of going through Verizon is that he would have his US cell number.The phone would be for the occasional calls home so we know that he is OK. If there was an unlimited calling plan in Europe it would be a little easier to keep in touch. Thanks for you help.

xyz123 May 4th, 2010 05:55 PM

The US number should never be a deal killer and I'll explain why. I have found a firm called local phone (www.localphone.com)....for a nominal fee of $3 plus 99¢/month they can provide a number in just about any US or Canadian area code imaginable or in many other foreign country and you can then program via the internet to ring through to any number you select worldwide at very reasonable rates (for example 12.3¢/minute to ring to a British mobile as opposed to the usual 30¢) and you can program your verizon phone to forward to that number.

Verizon's rates (as well as T Mobile USA and AT&T are rip offs pure and simple and why anyhbody would fall for them is beyond me with so many alternatives out there. At least T Mo and AT&T use gsm so their phones might work provided they are unlocked and have at least one but preferably both of the European frequencies...that being said gsm unlocked quad band phones are very readilly available on ebay for as little as $20 to $30....so why would you or anybody want to rent a bulky verizon world phone?

As far as local sim cards, well I really don't suggest you buy 5 or 6 different ones obviously. A good alternative right now seems to be e-kit....a sim card by e-kit is readilly available on ebay for $3 with $3 shipping but it comes with $10 worth of credit....they will give you both a UK and a USA number which, if you go in this direction would make localphone unnecessary. Again you can easily program your verizon phone to forward to the ebay USA number (I assume you have unlimited roaming within the USA)....calls to the USA number received anywhere in the countries noted above is 19¢/minute (if people call on the UK number, you pay nothing to receive but they pay whatever their ld carrier charges for a call to a UK mobile, generally about 30¢/minute. Calls from any of the countries in this thread back to the USA are relatively inexpensive, 49¢/minute with a 35¢ set up fee for a call...not dirt cheap but sure as help far cheaper than what the rip off artists at Verizon (or T Mo or AT&T want)....

The Verizon solution would be the last one I would choose and what we're talking about here is not brain surgery...none of the solutions require a great deal of effort.

There are other solutions too but this seems the neatest and quickest without language problems.

xyz123 May 4th, 2010 05:57 PM

Ooops that should be an ekit US simple sim card is available on ebay for $9 with $3 shipping...sorry.

tex13 May 5th, 2010 05:03 PM

Thanks so much xyz for this info. I also like solutions simple. I feel the same way about Verizon & do not want to give them any more of my money.


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