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How do I use my Canadian cell phone in Europe?

How do I use my Canadian cell phone in Europe?

Old Mar 12th, 2015, 04:19 AM
  #21  
 
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I just looked at Rogers travel packages. The cheapest plan I see for talk and texts in Europe costs $40 (Canadian), and gives only 15 minutes of talk time. That's a lot of money, and the time probably wouldn't be sufficient if 3XMom is going to four different countries. The next plan is $60 for 60 minutes, which is also still very expensive (basically $1 per minute). And it would be multiplied by four people. I don't see anything about whether incoming calls also are counted towards the minutes. (In Europe, incoming calls are free, except if you're outside the country where you bought the SIM card.)

My question about free data was directed to Nanabee. I know about T-Mobile, but it sounded as though she was using something else.

I have a question for Percy. I assume there was a limit on the number of minutes or texts you could use for $30. Do you remember what it was, or could you tell us the name of the provider?
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 09:46 AM
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>

This information is very much out of date. In Canada, Rogers had a GSM 2G network for years. Bell and Telus did use CDMA for their 2G network but it is outmoded and Telus will be shutting down its CDMA network this year. All three major carriers have HSAP+ (3G) and LTE (4G) networks in place and phones compatible with these systems can be used almost anywhere in the world. It's correct that an old CDMA phone would be useless for Europe even if unlocked. I used to have for travel an unlocked quad-band phone in which I put a local SIM card, but eventually gave it away.

For example, I now have an iPhone5 on Telus, and I have used it recently throughout Europe, and in India and South America. Rather than going to the trouble of unlocking it and getting a local SIM card, I have sometimes bought the Telus roaming text and voice package (cost varies according to location and minutes/MB of date, but if I don't expect to use it very much I simply pay the local roaming charge for voice calls and texts. I always turn off the data roaming function, however, as I confine that to locations where I can get wi-fi.
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 01:29 PM
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Data networks (3G or 4G) have nothing to do with this. GSM and CDMA are voice networks. And, I just checked and it's correct to say that the majority of North American carriers offer only CDMA for voice.

I did mention that Rogers had GSM capability.

3XMom wants to use phones only for talk and texts, so data networks and smartphones are irrelevant. My main concern was that if she bought four cheap phones for use in Europe, that she make sure they were not CDMA phones.

Almost all modern smart phones sold in North American now have both CDMA and GSM capability, and they almost all can be used with foreign SIM cards on trips. All of these things are irrelevant, and I left them out so as not to confuse 3XMom further.
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 01:32 PM
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It's true that 2G data networks were introduced on a GSM standard, but, again, data networks are irrelevant to the matter being discussed.
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 03:57 PM
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AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular use CDMA serivice. If you omit U.S. Cellular from the mix, as it has only 1% of the market as of the last quarter of 2014, then the GSM and CDMA carriers are now evenly split.

The new iPhones cover include both GSM and CDMA. Rodgers uses GSM, as does most of the world.
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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Bvlenci -thanks for trying to keep the info relevant to me. The four of us have iPhones: one each of a 4, 4S, 5 and 6. Thanks also for the Rogers info. It does seem expensive, however my kids mostly text-do you think texting and phoning is under the same price umbrella? I really just want them and me to be able to communicate with each other while in the various countries. They can use wifi, I guess, at the hotel to contact their friends etc..
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 07:29 PM
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You will only be able to use WiFi for emails. The app you need is WhatsApp, which you can download from iTunes or off the internet. It's free for the first year and works very well when messaging.

https://www.whatsapp.com
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Old Mar 12th, 2015, 10:37 PM
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You may be able to get European SIM cards for the iPhone 5, and definitely for the iPhone 6. Call your provider. Both phones should be both GSM and CDMA compatible, and they may be unlocked for overseas use. I don't know about the 4s.

If you can use a European SIM card for these, it would probably be a good idea to buy a cheap talk-only phone for the remaining people. They can still use their iPhones for Wifi and as cameras. Just make sure to keep data services turned off.
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Old Mar 13th, 2015, 02:25 AM
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If you decide to get at least a few European SIM cards, make sure you tell them you'll be roaming in other European countries. They may have to set up a plan for that, in order to get cheap rates. You might also want to get a data plan for any iPhones that have European SIM cards. In that case, see if they have reasonable data roaming rates in Europe. If not, turn off your data services when you leave the country where you bought the SIM card.

I live in Italy, and my provider here has reasonable inter-EU data roaming costs, much below the maximum allowed by the EU. I don't know if other countries are really charging the maximum.
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