French Cell Phone Advice

Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:15 PM
  #1  
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French Cell Phone Advice

If anyone is interested in long Term French Cell Phone use:
1. For less than 6 months, the french telephone number costs 30 Euros. Telephones are available for 8 Euros and up. The MobiCarte is rechargeable, and starts at about 20 Euros to 100 Euros, with those above 30 Euros available with a free 50% upgrade in time.
NOTE: Calls are approx. 55 Euro cents PER MINUTE, and calls to cell phones are Double that, since French Cellphones are not charged for incoming calls from anywhere.

2) For anything over 5-6 months use, a year contract is better, since it gives you up to 3 hours free a month, free calls after 8:30pm, and on weekends, and free calls to 3-5 gfriends on your list. The monthly rate is 30 euros per month. Even though we wont be here a full year, this worked out best. PS- You need a french checking account for this plan, but not any trouble to get.

Intex is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:20 PM
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...or you use the many far cheaper cellphone alternatives you have. ;-)
logos999 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
  #3  
rex
 
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Generally all the same info as in my recent posting, http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35075398 - - but always good to have independent cooroboration.

Care to elaborate, logos?

Curious minds want to know.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:41 PM
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You options using international cards are endless. 29ct/min is the usual rate. Incoming free. Least expensive are 7.5ct/min to US. More infos here http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum
logos999 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:23 PM
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rex
 
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With what phone?
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Any GSM 900/1800 and unlocked. I'm using the Solomo SIM right now. 29ct outgoing, 10ct incoming in France. (btw. 5ct in Japan) worked like a charm. You get 7.5ct outgoing with 09.is and Enlinea, but audio isn't that good. Check those discussions.
logos999 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 05:07 PM
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Logos, can I buy this Solomo SIM in France and insert it into my Telestial dual band (Europe bands) phone that I just bought for my upcoming trip?
grandmere is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:37 PM
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You can buy online at www.solomo.de
But it's not only Solomo, there are many others! Working nicely. I just prefer Solomo, because the rates in Germany are 9ct/min (that's for Calls to Europe and the US) There are Problems with certain Isle of Man SIMs at the moment. Looks like the US company (www.callkey.com) that operates them has financial problems?
logos999 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:40 PM
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>insert it into my Telestial dual band (Europe bands) phone...
Phone must be unlocked of course.
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Ah logos...

Good to hear from you again....unfortunately for me, solomo site is in German, a language of which I know about 3 words (or as the German conductor on an ICE train told me when I said I couldn't speak German, how can that be, 3 year old children can speak German fluently)...

But to follow up, almost every isle of man prepaid gsm sim card is not working at present with the collapse of callkey...on some of their web sites there's information that they are attempting to make alternate arrangements but everybody who has been relying on these international sim cards right at this moment is up the creek without a paddle.

United Mobile's new Jersey service is up and running and has finally been able to activate voicemail....this service was rushed out the door by United Mobile probably before it was ready because of the actions of other telcoms in raising termination fees to Liechtenstein mobiles to absurdly high rates (for those of you who don't understand, the principle of mobile phone service in Europe is caller pays for the connection and termination fees are charged to the caller to reimburse the mobile operator for allowing the call to go through...some telcoms have raised call rates to Liechtenstein mobiles to as much as $1/minute or even more)....united mobile's Liechtenstein service worked great for a couple of years before this increase in termination fees..right now calls to their Jersey numbers are billed as calls, for the most part, to UK mobiles....how long this will continue is anybody's guess.

There is a new service being discussed over at www.prepaidgsm.net called maxroam; there was even an article in the New York Times about it a couple of days ago.....the author of the article seemed amazed by the fact that you could change the company and phone number of your phone by simply switching the sim card (what amazing technology eh)....you can read up about it over there; the nice thing is that it provides you, if you are from the USA, with a USA number which will forward the call to you wherever you are at varying rates but you do not get the free reception of calls the isle of man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Estonian and Icelandic international cards provide or provided depending on their current status.

Finally, the new eurotariffs might not be such a bad idea after all; especially if you are starting out in the UK. Although there are cheaper alternatives, you can get for free a sim card from Orange UK called call abroad which enables you to call from the UK to countries such as the USA, Canada for 5p/minute. You of course get the free reception of calls in the UK...when travelling within the eu and some European countries not in the eu (Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden), you pay something like 19p/minute to receive a call (caller pays the rate to a regular UK mobile) and you pay something like 30p/minute (I forget the exact amount) to call within the eu (the trick is to get a very cheap ld card such as Bizon, which charges something lie 5/minute to call the USA from Europe)...

O9 worked very well for a friend of mine this past August coupled with enlinea as noted. O9 is based in Iceland (he used my sim card), he indeed got the free reception of calls, enlinea provided a US toll free number for $1/month and the call forwarding worked at 16/minute but as noted, sound quality while legible was not as good as a landline call and there was a noticeable delay in the conversation; however quite frankly this is also true of many of the ld cards sold with oodles of minutes throughout Europe...the actual carriage is done over voip lines causing the degradation of the audio quality...it is getting better as technology progresses of course.

The bottom line as noted constantly is that all this is in a state of flux and today's real good deal (which for a long time was UM out of Lechtenstein +423) is tomorrow's nightmare but I'll attempt as things develop to keep everybody current here (incidentally O9 does not have a roaming partner in Switzerland so it's useless there.
xyz123 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:32 PM
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BTW just to clarify when I say UM's new Jersey service, that does not mean it is located in Trenton or Newark or Jersey City.....it is located on one of the offshore Islands called Jersey technically, although somebody has to help me out on this, not quite a part of the United Kingdom and used by many Brits to avoid British taxes (and Americans too) but as far as telphones are concerned, it shares the same +44 country code as the rest of the UK.
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:39 PM
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....one other quickie based on logos' excellent post....if you want to get involved with service to Japan, Japan operates on a different technology than our beloved gsm and you need special phones for it...they are available and are coming down in price a bit (see SE850i I believe which is 900/1800/1900 tri band like many others and 2100 for Japan - you'll have to check the specs to see if I have it right...this phone is loaded and include a 3 megapixel camera, video recorder, flash, mp3 player yada yada yada and costs at a discount on ebay around $350!).
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:51 PM
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All the info you need from xyz123!
BTW. for Japan, I bought a 40€ E770 Motorola on Ebay. (UMTS and 3-band GSM) The V980 is about the same price and works well to.
logos999 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:45 AM
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Please enlighten me: I first purchased the Mobicarte from Orange for France, but found it to be extremely expensive, especially for cell-cell use. Thats why I changed to a one year plan.

I imagine the other prepaid plans you are referring to are "consolidadtors" or VOIP operators. Are there any that are both Cheap, and stable, other than fly-by-nite operators?

The problem is that in my and others here, there is a need for a stable phone number , cant be changing numbers every month if some co goes out of business.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 01:43 AM
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Any 3G phone on UMTS/W-CDMA (European standard, rather than predominantly US and Pacific Rim standard of CDMA2000) will work in Japan with NTTDoCoMo and SoftBank Mobile (roaming may be available with au if you have CDMA2000). Most mobile operators now have roaming agreement with one or more partners in Japan.
Alec is online now  
Oct 4th, 2007, 02:08 AM
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>Any 3G phone on UMTS/W-CDMA
Not any, but many (most) Motorolas. They (DoCoMo) use and old Version of UMTS, which some newer UMTS phones don't "understand". DoCoMo have a list of tested phones, other may or may not work.

>Are there any that are both Cheap, and stable, other than fly-by-nite operators?
Most are, at the moment German SIMs are hard to beat when it comes to price and reliability (Solomo, Vistream, Sunsim, Tuifly etc...) United Mobile works well too. 09.is is "not so good" most of the time, but cheap.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 03:02 AM
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They (DoCoMo) use and old Version of UMTS, which some newer UMTS phones don't "understand".

This was the case a year or so back, but NTT have upgraded their 3G service to be fully compatible with the latest UMTS/WCDMA standard. All UMTS 3G phones will work with NTTDoCoMo, including the newest (tried and tested).
Alec is online now  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:08 AM
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Well, at this day they still state that only one LG phone definitively works, others may or may not. I'm sticking to their official statements in that respect. ;-)
logos999 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Official statement here:
http://roaming.nttdocomo.co.jp/servi...x.html#roaming
logos999 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 03:39 AM
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NTT is playing safe.
I have used three of the phones listed as 'may be incompatible', Moto C975, Nokia N70 and SE W880i extensively in Japan this year and never had a problem.
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