international cell phone rentals

Old May 9th, 2005, 11:17 AM
  #21  
 
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Renting a phone carries a risk of getting in a hassle over your deposit and airtime charges. It has happened to a disquietingly large number of people.

Owning a phone and buying pay-as-you-go service completely eliminates that risk. Why gamble on the exposure if you don't have to?

At many outlets, you can even buy a SIM for cash. The seller doesn't know or care whether you have a credit/debit card.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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If you go to mobalrental.com you can get a Nokia 5110, two batteries, charger, and a SIM. There is no cost, except for $10 shipping. The charge for calls in Ireland is $1.25 for incoming and outgoing calls. I think it's close to that for other European countries. I got one that I intend to use only for emergencies.


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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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We rented a Local Phone phone from Phonerentalusa.com. The first wee was free of rental. We, had it for emergencies. The rates were the best we found, incoming calls were free in the UK. They also gave us a 1-800 number from the US, so people could call us from home at no charge. It was shipped to us from California and included a case, wall and car charger, extra battery and a shipping envelope to send it back in when we returned. It was really convenient and easy to use !
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 12:04 PM
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When it was time to upgrade our regular cell phones, we bought unlocked tri-band GSM cell phones from Cingular for about the same price as the locked variety. On our last trips to the UK, France and Italy, I priced getting a local SIM card, and decided to simply use the $1.29 per minute international rate Cingular charges when we use our home cards overseas. Over the past year, the additional fees we paid Cingular for in-country calls totaled much less than the costs of local SIM cards from the local vendors I checked with in the UK and Italy.

As a bonus, it's simpler because the folks at home can call our normal cell phone numbers and reach us almost instantly. And we used our normal text messaging and phone e-mail systems to send messages back to torment our co-workers.

For calling back to the USA, we've both found that buying an international phone card from a local vendor has been the absolute cheapest way to go fo calling home. We call from the hotel and have never exhausted a single 5 pound/10 Euro phone card in 6 years.

Before you consider doing what we did, check your cell phone's reputation and contract costs carefully. I found some companies were not going to be as inexpensive as the one we chose.

I hope this helps.
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I guess I should mention that on one trip using our own phones and our normal SIM cards, we paid less than $10, and the most recent trip we paid less than $18 for local phone service, for BOTH phones, including photo and text messaging. And, of course, there was no rental fee.

If you are going to do a LOT of local calling, reconsider a local SIM card. The cheapest one I found in Rome was about 20-25 Euros.
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I guess a lot of it still has to do with just how much you're going to use it and whether or not you're expecting a lot of incoming calls...do remember the big selling point of local sims is that incoming calls in the country of origin are free...you can team this with say an 800 call forwarding number from a firm such as kall8 and people can easily reach you by dialing a US 800 number which is forwarded to your local sim...

If you're visiting more than one country, as noted in other threads, you might want to look into riiing. A brand new service which allows free incoming calls throughout all of Western and Central Europe as well as many parts of Eastern Europe and Australia and China too.

Coupled with am 800 forwarding number and a callback service which can make calls cost as little as 14/minute US and you're all set.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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Just don't get tricked by your local phone company. Roaming in Europe with Cingular you will pay $1.29 per minute plus taxes (it ends up costing you over $1.45. To that, you have to add the cost of the intenational service (around $70 a year) and the cost of the international calls if you are calling someone in the country you are visiting.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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How is it a trick when the per minute roaming rates are clearly posted on the Cingular website? I have international roaming activated and do not pay any extra monthly fees.

I find that using a US provider's intl roaming in Europe works for me because I don't tend to make enough calls or stay in one country long enough to recover the cost of a SIM purchase (I haven't looked into riiing though). When I travel to Asia or Africa, I purchase a local SIM because the per minute roaming rates are much higher than in Europe.

xyz123,
I'm surprised to hear than incoming calls are free in China with riiing as incoming calls aren't free with a prepaid Chinese SIM.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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Wow...I want to thank all who posted info now or in the past....I forwarded it on to my friend but will save as it is all very useful for anyone who will be traveling soon and needs to keep in touch with elderly relatives, family members or anyone back home.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 04:56 PM
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Check the riiing web site...

China is clearly listed in Riiing's definition of zone 1 which means free reception of calls there...whether coverage is extensive in terms of their roaming agreements is another question for which I have no answer..

Hard to believe, Australia is also in their zone 1 but New Zealand cannot be found anywhere on riiing.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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We looked at Mobal but found their rates to be very expensive. Ended up buying a phone through www.vodafonerental.com
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Old May 10th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Why would anybody resurrect a thread from 5 years ago full of information that is dated? You mean there is no more recent thread on cell phones (a new one starts every other day it seems). I don't get it.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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The person who resurrected this ancient thread has been a member since June 2008, but this is her (?) very first post, and it's to promote a phone rental website. How odd.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:59 AM
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I also think that these cell/ mobile phone "hire companies" are a complete rip off.

If you own a phone that takes simcards, then it'll almost certainly work in Europe. With the exception of the iphone, you can usually get the unlock code for your phone from your phone provider through a quick call or email to them. I have an AT&T blackberry curve, and AT&T were more than happy to give me the unlock code. As soon as I arrived in the UK I bought a "free" sim card, added 15pounds to it and didn't even come close to using up half of the balance. I also had my own UK phone number that UK friends could reach me at and incoming calls were free.

Even if you don't own a European compatible phone, there are some pretty nifty phones over there that are dirt cheap...even on a pay as you go plan. Certainly cheaper than going through these "hire" companies.
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