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shari_624 Feb 27th, 2005 08:52 PM

cell phone purchase?
I need a GSM cell phone for use initially in Italy. Does anyone have a recommendation regarding who to purchase from or where? My first choice is to buy the phone/chip before I leave so I don't waste vacation time doing it. But I'm concerned about what I'd do if it doesn't work when I get there. Any advice? Thanks.

ira Feb 28th, 2005 05:25 AM

Hi shari,

If all you want is a phone for emergency use and won't be using it much, I suggest that you get the $49 phone from

Seamus Feb 28th, 2005 05:32 AM

For the lowdown, check out
You have several options. If your cell provider at home offers GSM you can get a phone from them and sign up for their international plan if the cost is acceptable. Advantages: only one phone to keep track of and learn how to use, no new number to learn, stored phone book goes with you; disadvantgae: usually higher per minute cost.
You can buy a phone and SIM there - $ outlay, new number, no stored phone #'s, others must call an int'l # to reach you (may or may not be an advantage); incoming calls usually free, per minute rates back home usualy less.
The middle ground - if you have a GSM phone already, just buy a SIM in Europe.

shari_624 Feb 28th, 2005 08:00 AM

Actually I need to buy a phone for fairly frequent use. For my carrier, I'd have to purchase their one GSM phone ($400+) and pay about 1.80/minute. I know I can do better. Anyone have experience with purchases?

chrisMLU Feb 28th, 2005 08:12 AM

scroll down through the topics on the left of this board and you will find one titled "and yet another cell phone question..." this should have some answers you are looking for..

ordnce Feb 28th, 2005 08:21 AM


on how to use your US cell phone in Italy.

travelphile Feb 28th, 2005 11:14 AM

Anyone had any experience with ebay or other auction sites to purchase the phone? They are many models cheaper than $49.

Shari - that's what I'm looking into, then purchasing a SIM card through one of the vendors recommended here. Would love to hear from someone who has done this... Trav

jeff49 Feb 28th, 2005 11:46 AM

I purchased a Nokia 6150 last fall on eBay for less than $10 and have used it in the UK and across eastern Europe without any problem. It's a dual band 900/1800 and holds a charge really well. If you are going to the UK email me for some money saving tips.

[email protected]

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