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Help! If I buy a unlocked cell phone and SIM card, what's next?

Help! If I buy a unlocked cell phone and SIM card, what's next?

Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:47 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Namaka
One more item to mention. Make sure that whatever telephone you buy which will have a charger that will work in Europe.

The voltage will be 220 volts in Europe, and American chargers will get indigestion.

Some of the telephone & chargers will work on both voltages but the plugs will change from country to country. Try to find a kit for European plugs.

I know this keeps "mentioning" little items but it will make a happier vacation.

Blackduff
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:59 AM
  #22  
 
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1. In Europe, a phone with 900/1800 mHz GSM is best.

2. You can buy a SIM from someone like http://www.united-mobile.com and use it all over Europe (including local and to the US) for 49¢ per minute, with incoming free.

3. It is not necessary to pay to have a phone unlocked. If you walk into an X store with a phone locked on carrier Y, they will unlock it to get your business.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:16 AM
  #23  
 
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Robespierre. The first four stores that sold SIM cards that I walked into in Portugal told me they could not unlock my phone.
I found a store that sold phones and SIM cards and they offered to unlock it but it was not free.
The cost for the SIM was about .34 per minute and .17 on weekends, incoming free. But of course I couldn't use that SIM all over Europe. It would be worth a little more cost per minute for that.
Sher is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #24  
 
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>could not unlock my phone.
You can have it unlocked in Britain, Poland and Austria without problems. In Germany it's considered a criminal offense. You'll need to inform yourself, if these things are legal, in the country you're visiting.
logos999 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #25  
 
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Oh. I failed to mention that they have to know how to do it. Not all do.

Robespierre's Law: "When anyone tells you something is impossible, all they're really saying is that they don't know how to do it."
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:03 AM
  #26  
 
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Gail's Corollary to Robespierre's Law:
When someone says "they don't make that anymore" it means they don't have it.
gailw is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:08 AM
  #27  
 
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Can I come into this topic late??
I'm sending DD to Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice) with a school group. It is, of course, the week that college acceptance letters are due to arrive at home. She would really like to stay in contact. Also, her BF will also be in Italy, with his parents, the same week.

I'm thinking about buying the Sieman's A70 unlocked phone from mobilee.com (per xyz123's suggestion on another thread). The last time we traveled to Europe, we rented a phone from Verizon. Its advantage was that any one calling me from the US only had to dial my regular cell phone number.

I do think that owning a unlocked gsm phone is now the way to go. We will have it to use whenever we next travel.

What I can't figure out is since DD is only going to be in one country, am I better off buying an Italian TIM card from Cellurabroad.com or an international SIM card from United-Mobile.com The cost per minute of use seems the same. The SIM card, however, is intially more expensive. Yet, I can't quite tell if the free incoming calls apply to the Italian TIM card, or only to the SIM card available at United-Mobile. Any insights?
Liz5959 is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #28  
 
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I have some objections to Robespierre law. There are official shops of the operators (TMN, Vodafone, Optimus in Portugal) and there are independent resellers, who sell everything (except stolen goods, hopefuly). IMHO Robespierre law applies to the later, but not to the former.
Sher most likely asked in the official shops (those with the shining neons). I can't imagine a TMN shop unlocking a Vodaphone phone or vice-versa, due to a question of ethics. Maybe in other countries business ethics operates differently
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
  #29  
 
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I think you're confusing "can't" with "won't."
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #30  
 
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Well, I did go initially into the official shops in Lisbon when we arrived. Yes, the ones with the neon lights. And when each one in turn said "no" I took them at their word and assumed they did not have the know how or the equipment (some kind of cable?). Every one indicated that I had to find a different shop.

The shop in Braga was a general "sell all kinds of phones and all kinds of SIM phone store" He spoke excellent English and when he said no problem and told me the unlocking and SIM price, I just said yes. I didn't feel ripped off. He took a lot of time to explain the topping off and the cost per minute, etc.
Sher is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 01:09 PM
  #31  
 
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Here's a good site for unlocking your telephone.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cgi...24214048,51164,

I have a Nokia and it's simple but most of these telephones can be unlocked.

In our area the techies want about 25€ to unlock the telephones but it's just a minute's worth of work.

Blackduff
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 02:58 PM
  #32  
 
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Here's that link again: http://tinyurl.com/9pz24
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:08 PM
  #33  
 
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Has anyone found good quad-band phones for sale in Europe? Unlocked of course?

Europe gets all these models before they come out in the US, if some of them come out at all.

Would like to get the Nokia N80 if it's not too crazy in price.
wco81 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:10 PM
  #34  
 
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Does it have to be in Europe? http://tinyurl.com/nu65w
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:22 PM
  #35  
 
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Doesn't have to be but like I said, Europe may have phones not yet available here.

T-Mobile charges 99 cents a minute for international roaming in most European countries.

So you definitely want to investigate prepaid SIMs over there.

RAZR is not a bad quad-band phone but it's already been replaced by the RAZR V3i, which isn't widely available in the US yet.

wco81 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
  #36  
 
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If you plan to use the phone in Europe only (which we do, we're happy with Verizon at home, but not their international options), a dual or tri band is just fine.

After much research and comparison, I bought a Sony-Ericsson on E-Bay for $80. We were so thrilled with this phone I bought another on E-Bay for $70 (for my husband), then another for my brother for $60 (got better at waiting and bidding).

There are many SIM card options - all turns on how often and where you plan to be (one or more countries), how often, for how long, and where you plan to call while there. Once you figure that out, selecting a SIM is much easier.

If you plan to phone home frequently for lengthy conversations, a phone card is cheaper than any sort of cell service. But, with a cell phone and callback service, phoning home is still quite reasonable.

<<And can it all transfer to each country I visit?

Yes, but the per minute charges with vary widely with the SIM you select.
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:28 PM
  #37  
 
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I use a Motorola V600 and I'm happy with it.
lobo_mau is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:34 PM
  #38  
 
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Yeah, that V3i is cute. Know how much they're getting for them? And what does the MP3 player do to battery life?
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:41 PM
  #39  
 
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Here's a site which sells this Nokia N90. Ouch, it costs about 600 Euros.

http://www.rueducommerce.fr/Mobilite...4829|5893|5530

I don't know how to make this into a tiny url. Sorry.

Anyway, this is a very expensive telephone.

Blackduff
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:35 PM
  #40  
 
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Thanks.

Actually, N80 is a newer model than the N90. It's due in the US around April.

N90 will be replaced by the N91.
wco81 is offline  

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