Cell phone rental in Europe

Nov 4th, 2004, 06:55 AM
Original Poster
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Cell phone rental in Europe

My 18 year old son will be visiting his European friends this Dec-Jan vacattion. We live in USA and as most US teenagers he is constantly on cell phone.

When we go to Europe, we use Mobal phone, with UK number but we pay about 2-3$ per min - do not remember exactly.

I need to get him a rental phone with some fixed rate for 2 weeks with unlimited minutes. He will be going to London and Portugal.

Any advice?
emtravel is offline  
Nov 4th, 2004, 10:28 AM
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I know you can rent cell phones by the week from Autoeurope but I'm not sure if they offer an all inclusive minutes plan. Check out their website.
buongiorno is offline  
Nov 4th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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To emtravel:

Click on my screen name up above and you will find lots of threads on mobile phones to which I have contributed 100% accurate information regarding this.

But to summarize some of it....

1. Renting a mobile phone is almost financial suicide. There are loads of postings from people who have been ripped off by mobile phone companies.

2. You can easily buy a very very good dual band (900 and 1800) or tri band phone (900,1800,1900) phone on the net new for around $100 or even less on ebay. Read up on this frequency business from my posts and read up about making sure the phone is unlocked.

If your home mobile phone company is GSM you may already have such a phone and, especially if you are a T mobile customer, easily get the phone unlocked.

3. Upon arrival in the UK, have your son buy a Virgin Mobile sim pack for £10, put it in his unlocked phone, and he has £5 worth of call credit and you and his friends will easily be able to reach him in the UK 24/7 and he will find almost all his European friends have mobile phones and quickly get into using text messages.

When he goes to Portugal he can either

1. if he will be in Portugal for a couple of days only use his Virgin Mobile sim card for international roaming, fairly expensive but less of a rip off than international fees of rental phone rip off companies or

Buy a SIM pack for use in Portugal. Unfortunately, I am not an expert on Portuguese pay as you go sim packs, you can read up about them at www.prepaidgsm.net.

Do not under any circumstances rent a mobile phone. Just read the horror stories on this board to see why it is usually an idiotic decision.
xyz123 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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BTW do remember that if he gets local prepaid sim packs in the UK and in Portugal he will not pay to receive calls, the caller will pay somewhat more to call him and if you are into text messaging, you and his friends can text message him for very very little.
xyz123 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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very solid advice, xyz123.
repete is offline  
Nov 5th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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xyz123, thank you, I will read all discussions on this topic!
emtravel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 07:10 AM
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>>> more cell phone help ...
FilmNoir is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Hi, I bought a trimode back in August just to use for a two week trip to Germany. It worked out great for me. My husband and kids could call me anytime and no charge on my end. Bought a sim card at Vodafone in Hamburg for 19Euro which inlcluded 10Euro talktime. I'm selling it on Ebay now if anyone is interested. Search on item http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=5731104538 or just item @ 5731104538. Hope your son has a blast!
Patrizia is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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For Portugal the best option is the leading operator TMN (http://www.tmn.pt)
They have a prepaid card with great advantages for tourists and occasional users, it's Passaporte (Passport) card. The cost of calls per minute is .33 euros for Europe/US/Canada, .21 euros for other telephones within the operator and .46 for other Portuguese operators. The incoming calls/text messages are always free.
The cost of text messages is .15 to Portugal and .22 otherwise.
This card costs 25 euros with 15 euros of initial talk time.
As far as the terminal equipment is concerned I opted for Motorola V600, this is a quadriband (working everywhere in the GSM world, including US). Please notice that this is not a low end equipent, it should cost you about 300 euros (with a nice bluetooth earphone for those affraid of frying their brains). This might be worthwhile if you plan to give a regular use to the telephone. For those planing just a occasional use, the lower end terminals should cost about 50 euros (including SIM and airtime) everywhere in Europe.
A word of caution about the prepaid SIM cards: if you don't reload the airtime during a period that goes between 2 and 3 months (depending on the operators), the card is cancelled and the number reassigned to another user.
lobo_mau is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Most of the British operators want you to make or receive one call every 180 days (question...perhaps calling your voice mail and leaving a message and then retrieving it will do the trick), they don't necessarily require a reload to keep the number active.

Vodafone NL is good for 12 months after which it has to be reloaded or the credit and the number is lost. Since it a Vodafone company, you can use any Vodafone voucher in any Vodafone country to accomplish the reload.

Some of the German operators also give you a year so if you go in the direction of Vodafone Germany as above you can use any vodafone voucher in any vodafone country to reload.

France's mobilcarte expires six months after the credit runs out. A credit of €20 gives you 2 months of credit so it is good for 8 months. Unless you buy vouchers before leaving France, there is nothing much you can do to recharge it (for some reason, mobile phone operators do not seem to like to use credit cards to reload; especially credit cards from outside the country of origin; how stupid).

SFR in France is, guess what, a Vodafone company. See above.

Those are the countries and companies I know. For others you have to read their web sites or go to www.prepaidgsm.net which has a lot of the information.
xyz123 is offline  

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