Cell phone service in Ireland

Old Aug 14th, 2010, 05:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3
Cell phone service in Ireland

My wife and I are traveling to Ireland in Oct. and believe it would be a good idea to carry a cell phone while traveling in the country. Our plans are to take many car trips in the countryside and want to be able to call locally for assistance if needed. Won't be making any calls back home with this cell, just in country calls. Have read a bit about unlocked phones and are asking if anyone has any suggestions?
donstiles18 is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2010, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I've researched this ad nauseum for our upcoming trip 12 day trip in October. We have a very close relationship with our son in college and inexpensive communication to the states is essential. I have Verizon service, so taking my phone is out of the question. Besides the roaming charges are prohibitely expensive. An unlocked phone with warranty can be expensive. If you do this, you can buy a SIM card at any mobile phone store. Make sure the phone is unlocked for international use if you are traveling from the US. I have decided to purchase a pre-paid phone when I get to Ireland. I believe a phone can be purchased for about €40.00. They have a special running until the end of year with charges of €.02 per minute to the US and Canada. Calls to Ireland numbers are €.20 per minute. There is a chart with charges on their website. I also looked at Vodaphone for one option. There are many threads on this topic on this website and Tripadvisor. Good luck.
rfische1 is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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Thank you for this advise. It gets me on the right track.
donstiles18 is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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want to be able to call locally for assistance if needed.

Just wave down a passing car and ask for help. For making non-emergency calls buy a phone card. It is good locally and internationally, and cheap.
spaarne is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2010, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Another little known option is that Verizon has a global program. If you have a blackberry they will send you a global BB (assuming yours isn't a world phone ... they might even send you one if you don't have a BB) for just the cost of the shipping. In Europe the calls are still .99. However, you can get their global data plan which is UNLIMITED email and web! I get this everytime I go out of the country, and it works better for keeping in touch than the phone. I find that I don't talk too much on the phone. I use Skype either from my ipod or my laptop when I want to make a landline call (usually back at the room). I just put like 10.00 on the Skype and use it anywhere there is WIFI!
redneck6497 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2010, 09:58 AM
Join Date: May 2009
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A second on the Verizon Global program. I don't have a Blackberry, just a standard phone. But, for my trip to Ireland in June, I took advantage of the Verizon Global program. Very easy, just give them a call. For $20, they sent me a tri-band phone and I was able to transfer my phone number and contacts over to this phone for the duration of my trip. Calls were $0.99/minute, so it wasn't a good solution for long chats, but for a quick call, or emergencies, it was great.

And, another second for redneck6497's suggestion of using Skype. I brought my netbook computer with me (small, cheap and runs for hours on a charge). Finding wi-fi in Ireland was pretty easy (every B&B we stayed at offered it for free). $10 in Skype credit was way more than we needed for the nightly calls back home, etc...
griz_fan is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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If you have AT&T - here is what I have done everytime I have been over there:

1. Go to your carrier and turn on international phone for 5.00 a month, but then turn it off when you get back.
It makes phone calls from your cell .99 cent per minute instead of 1.50-2.00 it is regularly.

2. Also - when you do this international plan, at least with AT&T, your normal text message charges apply too. It may be 10 cents more to receive, but that is it. So you can text relatively freely with anyone.
tarmor1 is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2010, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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You can buy a very simple and inexpensive unlocked quad band GSM phone on Ebay (about 25 dollars) and purchase a sim card when you get to Ireland. To activate it may cost between 10 and 20 Euros and you pay for phone time in advance. We found that 10 Euros time was way more than we needed. (It's really cheap to call the US from Ireland using an Irish sim card. Just make sure yo ask the sales person how to dial the US or Irish numbers). You can use rthe same phone each time you go back to Ireland or elsewhere in Europe as most countries use the same GSM systema dn a lot of the companies are international.
Michael_S is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Another thing about Skype. If your have an Ipod Touch, you can download the Skype app and use it at wifi hot spots. Don't forget to bring the microphone headset with you. I believe this app will also work with the Iphone. However, make sure the wifi is on and the phone is in airplane mode or you may be charged for roaming. I've looked into Skype on my Verizon Droid. Unfortunately, this will not work through wifi. Finally, I ordered a multiband phone through Verizon to take with me to Ireland. This way I can give a local (Maine) number for emergencies that could arise. I do not intend to use this phone for any other purpose.
rfische1 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 81
I'm in Ireland right now, and have been extensively using my data connection and LOVING it. I was able to get out of a few issues, and even save a few bucks for booking things online when in the parking lot ;-)
redneck6497 is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2014, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 18
I too am going to Ireland in Oct. Wondered what you finally decided to do. I need a phone for emergencies and wld like to be able to access the web & send pictures.
OkieLady is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2014, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,963

Do you have a mobile phone now?
Who is your carrier?
What is the model of your handset? (tells if the handset is hardware usable in Ireland)
Is it unlocked?
To whom are you calling for emergencies? to Ireland/USA, etc
To whom are you sending pictures? to Ireland/USA, etc
Web access for what? Look up info, email, navigation, watch video, from hotel on Wifi/away from hotel, etc.

There are many option, but options relevant for your case depend on what you have and want to do with the phone.
greg is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2014, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I will also be in Ireland in October. My plans so far are to use Skype with my smart phone when I have wifi, and purchase a cheap portable phone (from Tesco, Vodaphone or a couple of others) for calling ahead to b&b's. etc. Just about all of the places I will be staying say they have wifi; as was the case when I was in Germany a couple of years ago.
azzure is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2014, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
Without reading all the above.. Tesco Mobile will sell you a Phone for 10 or 15 euro... add to that 15 for credit and you get free local calls and texts within the Island of Ireland for 30 days.. and the 15 euro can be used 10 euro for Data and the remaining 5 euro for 2cent per minute international calls.. That makes sense to me..
Tony2phones is offline  
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