cell phones

May 18th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
If you don't use a phone much, using your American carrier is fine (and probably cheaper than messing with national SIMs).

Say you're on a 2-week trip and you use the phone to touch base with home once a day. If each call is 2 minutes' duration,

T-Mobile costs $27.72

Cingular costs $36.12 if you don't pay the $5.99/month extortion, or $33.71 if you do. If your two weeks overlap a month boundary, your total is $39.70

Compare these prices to the cost of a national SIM (and remember that insofar as the minutes are concerned, you use 'em or lose 'em).
Robespierre is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:35 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
if i am travelling with friends or family, we tend to use our cells to rendevous, so it is much handier to have our regular numbers. Cost? let's see: spending 30 minutes finding each other in a museum or while roaming paris vs a 10 sec call? priceless.
drm1418 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:40 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
As long as you aren't screaming "I'm right here IN FRONT OF THE MONA LISA" it works.

A good memory and a plan might work better, but...
Dukey is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:45 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
i can't imagine yelling over the phone anywhere & there is always texting if one is concerned about not disturbing others. plans help, but if someone wants twenty minutes more in one museum, or gets stuck in traffic on the way to meet, it's a handy option to have one's own cell.
drm1418 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:58 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 14
GS Wireless in San Diego will unlock phones. www.mygswirelss.com
danri92131 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 08:14 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,844
How long do the TIM SIMS last?

Do they expire after a couple of months and you lose unused minutes?

Same question with other National SIMS.

It would make sense to get a National SIM if you can retain the number so you can use it next year or the year after you purchase it. So you can use it across successive trips.
scrb is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
scrb...

Validity periods vary tremendously as well as what has to be done to keep the card valid. You really have to check each carrier's policy separately.

Most UK prepaids require a billable event once a year (some are 180 days)...no problem there. Since they allow roaming, if you live in the USA, turn the phone on and if you're using the internet download something like a ringtone...I did that with a couple of the UK sims my family and I have...cost us 9p and voila validity extended.

Orange FR has one of the most restrictive policicies and indeed is use it or lose it but you can maintain the number by recharging before 6 months are up after the credit is taken from you but French prepaid rates are very high anyway.

United Mobile, what up till now has been the best of the international cards requires a billable event once every 9 months...but they don't have GPRS internet services so a text message for 0,35€ every 8.t months does the trick.

As I remember, TIM requires a top up once every year. Before you leave Italy, take a recharge voucher and if you're going to be close to 1 year, simply top it up and that extends it another year.

One other quick point...do remember that when you roam with T Mobile US or Cingular you pay to both make and receive calls. With local prepaid sims and the international roaming sims, receiving calls is FREE like in NO COST which might skew comparisons a bit.

But it still comes down to what you want to use the phone for to decide what's best for you.
xyz123 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:18 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
x3, what the world needs now is a flowchart for use in deciding how to do international calling.

It would probably go on for sixty pages or so, but it would obviate the burden on you of adding several thousand words a week to Fodor's.
Robespierre is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
I guess so.
xyz123 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 06:41 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,844
You have the put up a web site with the charts!

scrb is offline  

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