cell phone in Europe

Jan 25th, 2005, 09:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
cell phone in Europe

I know this has been discussed multiple times.

My question : is there ONE phone/carrier that works in the US , Europe and Japan with the least amount of effort every time we travel outside of the US ? Thanks.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
I 'think' that the only carriers in the U.S. that offer GSM are T-Mobile and ATT. I use T-Mobile and have employed my phone in Europe a couple of times (rate is $0.99/minute incoming/outgoing). So you could check with those 2 to see if they also cover Japan.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 91
Hi, Last spring and summer I used my Motorola GSM phone with my Cingular service in London, York, and all through Germany and France, it would not work in Luxembourg though?? I also used it in Mexico a few years ago. I don't know about Japan, it may be worth checking.
MaryPPP is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,772
To use your US home phone in Europe you will need to have a GSM triband or quadband phone activated with a carrier tht provides GSM service. AT&T, Cingular and T-Mobile do offer this, perhaps others. I have used my AT&T phone extensively in Europe without problem.
Japan is, I believe, a different story, and GSM phones will not work there because they use different technology. Check out info at http://euc.jp/misc/cellphones.en.html#tech and most certainly check with your US carrier to verify.
Seamus is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Basically, as of now, Japan is the problem as they don't use GSM although phones are beginning to come out, though very expensive, which use GSM (North America & Europe) & Japan. So we will call Japan no.

Of course the other issues that have been discussed concern frequencies. US GSM frequencies are 850 and 1900; European and most of the rest of the world 900 and 1800 but there are quad band phones and several US GSM carriers allow international roaming but at very high rates and several European carriers allow international roaming but at very high rates.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
Hello all- thank you for your replies.

What is an "unlocked" phone ? Does this allow travel back and phone from US to Europe with the same phone ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,260
"Don't give a man a fish, instead teach him how to fish" (Chinese proverb)

Check http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml

Click in any country of your preference. When it opens, there are displayed the operators active in that country and, in the right side of the screen, the frequencies they operate.
lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 25th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,260
To Okoshi:
A GSM phone to operate needs 2 pieces of equipment:
- a telephone that assures the radio part, screen, keypad, batery, etc...
- a SIM card that gives the telephone number and the assures the parental relation with the telephone operator that issued the card.
A "lock" phone only works with a SIM from a specific operator (like a monogamic relation).
An "unlocked" phone works with all legitimate SIM cards issued by any operator in the world (like a poligamic relation).

lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 26th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 783
I will share what I have learned after a little more research- a quad phone is the easiest way to have one phone and be able to use both in US as well as in most of europe, however, as pointed out above, the cost can be easily a $1-2 a minute .

An unlocked phone will allow you to pick up a SIM card in the country you are travelling in and enjoy the local rates which are much cheaper. The problem is, an unlocked phone is more expensive to buy from Cingulair, AT&T, etc, and there is usually a cost to having it unlocked each time this needs to happen ($40).
I decided to get the Motorola V551 which has a quad band, for $99, locked for now.

okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
I don't know about other countries but I do know that I have walked down oxford Street in London and passed store front after store front claiming they can unlock any phones for as little as £8
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 179
Just do a search with the model of your phone and the word "unlock." There are sites all over the Net that will give you the code for a couple of bucks.
artsfan is offline  
Feb 1st, 2005, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,772
"Locked" phones will work with only one carrier. "Unlocked" phones will work with any carrier. The business model in current use is to sell you a phone way below retail in exchang efor your signing a service contract for 1 or 2 years. Some US companies would unlock your phone after you had been their customer for a certain period of time, but AT&T was notorious for refusing to unlock any of their phones, anytime. Not sure if this is the case now that they have been acquired by Cingular. Cingular does sell some unlocked GSM quad band phones, but you need to verify that before you purchase.
If you have a phone that you want to have unlocked, there are places that will do this for you for a small fee. Try looking on Google for "cell phone unlocking"
If you want to try your luck on eBay (I did and got a good deal on an unlocked GSM phone) just make sure that any product you buy is unlocked. If it does not specifically say so in the description, check with the seller before bidding.
Seamus is offline  
Feb 1st, 2005, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
A more manageable search might be unlock [model], where [model] describes your phone.

"Unlock cell phone" got 491,000 hits, whereas "unlock s46" got only 20,000 - all having to do with my phone.

Also: if the first page or two of hits are paid unlocking services, keep looking. The chances are pretty good that you'll find DIY instructions somewhere.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 1st, 2005, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Nokia phones are the easiest to unlock; the calculator needed to generate an unlocking code is freely available on the web. Depending on the model, you will need either DCT3 or DCT4 calculator; once you have it you enter the phone's serial number, for which there is a code to get, and the company the phone is locked to and voila you have the unlocking code.

Sony Ericsson phones are another story. You need a cable to generate the unlocking code. To the best of my knowledge, no unlocking calculator exists...

Some models of Siemens phones have an unlocking calculator again freely available on the web but not all....
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,602
Spammer on old thread, triangled
Rubicund is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:35 AM.