cell phone/Mobal

Feb 12th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7
cell phone/Mobal

i have been doing searches at these fodors forums and elsewhere.. i am getting a bit dizzy for all the reading.
i have weighed all the pros and cons i can think of. We do not have US or Canadian cell phone with GSM or international capabilities ( reasonable ones)
We have no account with t mobile, etc..
We do not want to sign up for a years contract,
we do not want dozens ( or even a few hidden charges)..
we are not 'tech minded' or experienced,
we are retired, and will not be having a car to get around in when we travel.We will be taking public transportation.
we want the convenience of a cell phone whilst in England and travel to cyprus.
After reading all the threads on the subject, we think that the best idea for us, considering all our disabilities , and limitations , would be to purchase a $49.00 mobal phone.
before leaving.
Did i understand a my xyz123 to have said that we can
somehow get our Mobal phone unlocked, and purchase a Virgin or O2 SIM card in England, and also use tht for the Mobal phone we purchase prior to use, and thus save our charges which we may make in calls within England?
I am hoping that O2 and/or Virgin cards are really easy to find in local shops in Cheshire, England.
Can/ would anyone be so kind as to fill in the gaps to our understanding.

PS:many thanks for your patient responses, mr xyz123,
i hope this last question does not send you "over the edge, and around the bend".
i apologise for my stupidity.
thank you
alicemagooey is offline  
Feb 12th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,850
Purchase a cheap cell phone before leaving the US. You can actually request that it be unlocked and they should do it for free. If not, they will in Europe, though there are some phones that won't unlock (friend's experience). Be sure to ask if the phone is usable abroad and tell them the countries you will visit.

In England, buy a SIM card. You can go to pretty much any cell store and they will sell you a pre-paid one that you can then recharge when you need to. That will give you a number you can be reached at, but calling out of the country will be extremely expensive.

In Cyprus, take out the English SIM card and purchase a pre-paid one there. Same deal. Keep the English one, though, for when you head back.

I currently have 10 SIM cards and I keep them in a ring box so they don't get hurt. I used to keep them in a credit card holder, though, and it worked fine. I just take the one I need to wherever I am going, and it is really convenient.

laclaire is offline  
Feb 12th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Yes you can buy the phone from mobal and it comes with what is essentially an O2-UK sim card...you will be able to receive calls for free while in the UK although calling North America on this plan is rather expensive.

The phone can be unlocked but won't by Mobal....you can get assistance from a computer geek in downloading the nokia unlocking code calculator and putting in the imei # (serial number so to speak) of the phone as well as the provider it is locked to (O2 - UK) in this case, you can have the phone unlocked. Or you can wait till you get to England, walk down Oxford Street and pay about 8 pounds and they will unlock it in a jiffy...or you can go to an internet site such as www.mobilebee.com and buy a nice unlocked triband sieman's A70 for $80..

Then as suggested you can go into any mobile store in London and buy a prepaid sim...Virgin Mobile is a simple one to get...it lists at £10 with £5 worth of credit. You will get a British phone number (country code 44) and be able to make calls within the UK and receive calls while in the UK for free...calls to North America on Virgin are not pafrticularly expensive, only 20p/minute and they are timed to the nearest second not raised to the next minute as with many other carriers...not all that bad. Recharging is easy, they give you a card about the size of a credit card, you go into Boots or most any other drug store or mobile phone store and use it to top up or recharge the phone with additional time with £5 or more!

There are other simple mobile carriers in England at this time which are even cheaper. One is called Mobile World which charges an incredibly cheap 5p/minute (although raised to the next highest minute) to call North America and that is not a misprint (although they surcharge 2.5 p per minute to call between 7 and 9 PM to North America. This card is only sold at Carphone Warehouse.

When you leave the UK and go to Cyprus, as noted, you can buy a Cypriot prepaid sim.

The phone will always be good, it isyours to keep forever and forever and do with as you please. The Siemens phone I recommended also has 1900 band and will be usable in North America with some prepaid plans too by putting in a North American sim card.

Believe me, you need not be technologically gifted to be able to handle all this.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7

Thank you so much.. This answered all my questions.!! Thank you for answering them in an easy to understand manner.
This gives me plenty of ideas from which to choose.
Thank you again.
The only place where we need to be 'tech minded' is to be able to find someone who will unlock the phone of our choice for us.

many many thanks to BOTH of you..
Each of your responses addressed specific things which we really needed to know...
from people who have had some experience in these matters.

happy travelling to you both
alicemagooey is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Here is a new Siemens with £5 Virgin SIM included: http://tinyurl.com/9zfwd
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,784
Mobal worked fine for us. I got a free phone last year from them and just paid for my outgoing minutes. My bill for a week was aobut $30. I saw they no longer have "preowned" phones for free. Still if you don't want the stress and want to give out your phone number before you leave, it is not a bad deal.

We are looking for an unlocked GSM phone now for my husband to take to Denmark. (Two, two-week trips) I have found new unlocked phones on Amazon and overstocks.com for $45-$80 and I'm toying with getting a used one from Ebay.

Does any one know where I can get a SIM for Denmark?
palmettoprincess is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
You can research the various Danish operators on www.prepaidgsm.net in the operators section.

It is my very very strong advice that he wait till he gets to Denmark to get his Danish sim. It is possible a rip off merchant such as telestial might carry Danish sims but the price will be tripe the price he would pay in Denmark.....and depending on company you don't always get the Danish number in advance.......

Of course there's always united mobile (www.united-mobile.com) which works in all Western European countries, is now denominated in USD if you so desire and you can order directly with them for $49 and get your Liechtenstein number immediately but I don't know how many local calls in Denmark he wishes to make...but he would get the free reception of calls while in Denmark.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7
another alternative.

at and t , i guess with the new merger, has a global card which can be used as long as the traveller has a US address and credit card..

The rates using this card, and any phone in UK, ( using the access code for the card to connect to att)
costs almost exactly what Mobal costs would be..

not the cheapest of the cheap..
but still a possiblitiy, so i have learned.
i have not yet tried this.

alicemagooey is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,850
bump for bonjour voyageur
laclaire is offline  

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