Cell phone use in Europe for dummies

Old Apr 13th, 2011, 05:19 AM
  #41  
 
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XYZ, thank you so much, that does help!

It really isn't important that I keep the number. I just can't always "comprenez" the new number when they talk so fast!

So, since it is locked to Orange, can I jail break it and put in another kind of sim card???
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 05:43 AM
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I bought a quad band phone, unlocked, from ebay for 25.00, including shipping. It came with a charger. I bought sims cards in UK. Be careful, you cannot recharge the phone with a US credit card, at least I could not. I had to walk into a shop and pay cash. That was ok, til I went to France. Orange shop in France and UK are different Companies, and I could not recharge there, so I had to buy a French sims. I do not speak much French and read even less. Phone was in French and I could not respond to questions about setting it up. Stopped 3 teenage girls on the street and they did it in 5 minutes and loved it. I guess they had a great story to tell mom when they got back home. I used the minutes up and went to shop and purchased minutes. Worked fine. I still have the phone and will use it again this summer when traveling. I might activate it in US someday, but for now, it does not work in US. I am afraid that they will lock it and it will be useless in Europe then.
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 06:13 AM
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some pre-pay sim cards cancel out if you do not top them up every 6 months or make a call. If this is the case, then you will need to buy a new sim card.
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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Once your phone has been unlocked, it will stay that way...to my knowledge. We've got an e-kit phone AND an old unlocked Motorola no-frills phone. I prefer using the oldie-but-goody because you just dial and number it rings and you talk vs. dialing a number and having to wait for it to ring you back to talk.

We're planning a month in Italy ending with a weekend in Prague this Fall, and will have an iPad as well. Plan to get a TIM card, possibly for BOTH phone, as well as a TIM data plan for the iPad when we arrive in Rome. I'm trying to KISS so my DH won't go crazy on me.
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Old Mar 27th, 2015, 02:24 PM
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hello guys , I have a smartphone lock with it's own sim that was gift with the phone , I can use MY sim for this , it says "SIM network unlock PIN" so I found the solution by get the NUC (Network Unlock Pin) and I will be able to use any Sim card I want to. BUT I must have 20 pounds of credit in my phone to do this . I have 0 credit and I leave in Greece , does anybody now how can I top up credit balance ? (not online) Thanks!
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 10:59 PM
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Hope someone here can help me. Last year i bought a LeFrench sim card before visiting France. I managed to get it working when I arrived in Paris. It wasn't great at connecting outside Paris so I thought I would buy an Australian Amaysim pay as you go sim and put it in the same phone. If no one knows the number (except me and my daughter) I shouldn't need to worry about roaming rates I think. I just want it to ring to arrange accommodation etc (No data) within France for four weeks. Other than that I can use the laptop and readily available free wifi in France. Also when leaving a call back number, will i just give them the 10 numbers of my Australian mobile? Or do i drop the 0 which is the first numeral of the number? Sorry but this just leaves me confused.
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Old Apr 13th, 2015, 11:57 PM
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Bookmarking, my son is going to europe for six months or so, we are still confused about phones !
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 07:01 AM
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the problem is that once you think you know all about calling in Europe something changes.
LAST year, in Italy, I used my android phone(unlocked)and for my 10 day trip it was about $17. I have the T-Mobile Simple Choice plan.
I will admit that I did have some trouble and thankfully I just posted and kind people here straightened me out.
But I believe that for long term use
hopefully someone from this forum, who lives in the country your son will live in, can help. I think long term usage in a particular country has its own benefits.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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For our trip last year to Europe i had switched carriers to T-Mobile. The totally included data and texting was tremendous and I texted frequently and also used the GPS functions on my phone to help us navigate cities on foot.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 02:06 PM
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We have Verizon and they are doing a data package for us. I have done a package with them before and it was easy and not that expensive. We have android phones.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 10:36 PM
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We have switched to T-Mobile as well. Had data and voice calls in and out of Europe are $.20 minute.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 10:37 PM
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I should mention that the international service with T-Mobile is free, that is no extra charges except the per minute call charges stated in my previous post. We have used this in Peru, Germany, and the UK seamlessly and will use it again in Italy next month.
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Old Apr 14th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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Yes, no data charges with T-Mobile, just calls.
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Old Apr 15th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Schnauzer, I wouldn't bookmark this. Most of the information is from 2011. Some of it was completely wrong even then, and the rest is outdated.

Treadle, if someone in France calls your Australian number, it's going to cost them for an overseas call, and a lot of people won't want to do it, not knowing how much it will cost. Wouldn't it be better to get a French SIM card? Anyway, if someone in Europe calls an Australian number, they need to dial 00 + country code for Australia + the Australian number. I don't know if they need to drop the initial 0 or not; it depends on the country. When dialing UK numbers internationally you need to drop the initial 0, but when dialing Italian numbers internationally, the initial 0 has to be retained.
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 08:29 PM
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Thanks bvienci'
Forgot that call would be routed through international number. Will look to get a local sim card in France just to be prepared.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Follow-up posting for upcoming trip to Italy from US: have purchased a new Motorola/moto g 8GB phone with ports for two micro SIM cards - after this original, very lengthy posting of several years ago, can someone elucidate me about current/ subsequent changes to the 'best management practices' involving cell phone usage in Italy - eg. rate plans, TIM card acquistion, calls/texts to and from US (cost difference)
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 12:47 PM
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Can you navigate with GPS without using cellular data? I had to turn my cellular on to use google maps.

I was using cellular data at an alarming rate my first day despite keeping my phone on airplane mode. I think it was because I found something on my phone called "wifi assist" which says it reverts to cellular when Wi-Fi signals are week. Once I turned that off - and turned off the cellular data for all my apps – I was fine.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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PhillyFan: <i>Can you navigate with GPS without using cellular data? I had to turn my cellular on to use google maps. </i>

Yes, you can, to an extent. I have done this: asked Google Maps for directions to somewhere while on WiFI, then (with mobile data off) navigated successfully by car to my destination, with turn-by-turn directions.

You can also download a section of Google Maps for a particular area ahead of time, while you are on WiFi.

But if you don't have WiFi or mobile data on, and you are out and about somewhere and decided to navigate somewhere, I'm not sure how that might work.
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Old Mar 17th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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What about not really wanting to make calls but using the phone for internet? I can text with Whatsapp but sometimes I just want to be able to quickly look up if a restaurant is any good. In Japan we carry portable wifi. I have an Iphone6
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Old Mar 17th, 2016, 07:20 PM
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You may be able to find a SIM card that is data-only. I bought one in Montenegro last year for 5 Euros - for 1GB of data I think (I was barely there, didn't use nearly all of it).

And if you use a VOIP phone service like Google Hangouts or Skype, you can still use a data-only SIM to make/receive phone calls.
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