Mobal phone for Tuscany?

Apr 5th, 2006, 10:35 AM
  #1  
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Mobal phone for Tuscany?

Hi, I've been busy reading all the cell phone posts and I think I've come up with my solution but need a little more advice.

I'm travelling to Florence for three days and Tuscany for a week in May and I need to phone home : ) We will be going to France in Sept. for 18 days so I thought purchasing a Mobal phone for $49.00 and paying for calls might be a good way to go. Any comments?
Thanks!!!!!!! My head is aching
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 10:43 AM
  #2  
 
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I have a Mobal phone that I've had for a while and it works great. We go to Europe about once a year. All my friends that go to Europe borrow the phone as well. I don't use it for chit chat but it is really helpful. They send you an itemized bill of all your calls and charge your credit card. The phone came with a charger and adapters for the various plugs in the EU. I just didn't want to deal with getting to Europe, buying a phone, dealing with the SIM cards etc. I know it can be cheaper but convenience was first for me. I think my highest bill might have been $100 and that was when I thought I used it quite a bit.
buongiorno is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 10:52 AM
  #3  
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Buongiorno,
thanks for your reply. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am all for the convenience factor especially as I won't be using the phone for chit chat, just to let my husband know I'm fine and yes, I've eaten 10 gelato.
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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As many of us have stated before, purchasing an international telephone card in whatever country you are in is FAR CHEAPER than anything else. You can purchase one right at the airport at any newstand after you've gotten off the plane. When you get to France in September, do the same thing. Trust me, it is much cheaper in the long run!!!!
csroe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Lauricelli, especially if you are only going to call to say the gelato is to die for, pay a couple euro's for the phone card and be done with it.
csroe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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I also have a Mobal phone that I use when I go to France often. It is great. I like it. I will be taking it when I return to France in September.
Joan
gracejoan3 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 11:40 AM
  #7  
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csroe, forgive my ignorance but when you say buy a phone card and be done with it, Does that mean use the phone card with the Mobal phone or use hotel phone, phone booth?? where I'm staying in Tuscany, at a villa for a conference with 100 other people, getting to a phone may be hard.
thanks
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Just FYI: If you have a Cingular phone in the states, you can get international roaming for $5/month and 99 cents/min. Other providers probably have a similar deal.
Seems ideal if you're not going to chit chat.
j_999_9 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Lauricelli, no, you would not use the phone card with your mobile phone. They look just like your pre-paid telephone cards here in the states, credit card size, with dialing instructions and a scratch-off code on the back. You can use them with ANY touch-tone phone, not just at your villa or hotel. I'd be somewhat shocked if your villa doesn't have phones in each room. I know the couple that I've stayed in did. IF that IS the case and you will not have convenient access to a phone than yes, perhaps your mobile phone idea would work better for you. The other nice thing about the phone cards is no packing of phones, cords, converters, battery chargers, etc.
csroe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 12:14 PM
  #10  
ira
 
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HI L,

Before using a phone card to dial from a hotel, find out if and how much the hotel charges you for a local call.

They often charge by the minute.

ira is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 12:37 PM
  #11  
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Good feedback. Thanks. off for a little more investigation.
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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ira, I've never been charged for calling international with the phone card from a hotel. I HAVE been charged a surcharge (nominal) for calling a local number directly from the room (the same as here in the states), but in that instance using a long distance phone card was not necessary. I'm sure there will be a first time, but so far, so good!
csroe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 02:55 PM
  #13  
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Ok, the villa says, phone in courtyard so, it could present a problem with the many people.
I can totally see Ira's point because I've stayed in hotels where they charge you just to use the phone, local or calling card.
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Lauricelli,
Use your existing phone carrier and if your phone isn't already, upgrade to a world phone. The convenience is unbeatable. Call from your car or train to the next hotel or restaurant. Call home from almost anywhere. You could even buy a local phone card for your mobile phone for ultra cheap local calls (only).
Phone cards are cheap but very inconvenient.
My carrier is T-Mobile and I have phoned from all over Italy, France, England, and Ireland with no problems. Contact your local cell phone carrier. They can give you the details and the cost per minute.
gcotten1 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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gcotten1..

It has to be a GSM carrier which eliminates verizon although they have an ultra expensive phone which will work on GSM systems as well as their CDMA system..

You also need a phone with at least one although preferably both of the European frequencies (900 and 1800), Cingular and T Mobile use 850 and 1900.

xyz123 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 07:06 PM
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First;
Do you have a GSM quad band here in the US?
If yes, ask your carrier for the Subsidy Unlock Code so you can get a European SIM ( Subscriber Identity Module) when you are traveling in Europe.

If NO, get a UNLOCKED European Triband on Ebay or somewhere. (European Triband have the two European frequencies, 900 and 1800, and one of the North American frequencies either 850 or 1900.

American triband hav both North American frequencies 850/1900 but only one of the European frequencies.

When you get to Europe, go to a Vodafone location and buy a SIM for 10 euros with 5 euros credit (YOu have to take your passport to acquire a Codice Fiscale #) Ask for the EASY DAY plan which has 1 second billing.

Other alternatives in Italy are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) also very good but a little more expensive, and WIND (the lowest cost but you need a really new phone that has EGSM capability)

www.prepaidgsm.net is a great place to find out information about prepaid SIM cards worldwide.
Fibonacci2358 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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If calling home is your main reason for a cell phone, You might want to invest in a unlocked EGSM phone and get a WIND SIM card for the cell phone and a WIND international calling card for the oversees calls. That's the lowest cost way to make international calls from Italy back to the US with a cell phone, according to www.prepaidgsm.net
Fibonacci2358 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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I have read that there are companies that will rent you a phone that's already set up for the country that you plan to visit. It's sent to you by overnight express and you simply drop it in their bag when you return and send it back. Anybody have any names of companies that do this? Then you could compare it with the other options.
trbarton is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #19  
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Sorry, I forgot to mention I do have Verizon servie here. They don't offer internationl but referred me to Globalphone. I remembered posts saying it was difficult having Verizon whereas T Mobile or Cingular were easier to work with.

Fibonacci, I will check out that website.
Lauricelli is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Lauricelli
Verizon uses CDMA technology which is not compatible with the TDMA technology used on GSM systems.

I actually like the idea of CDMA over TDMA and it may be technically a better technology even though it's older. (It was developed during WWII for the military and stands for Code Division Mutiple Access. TDMA is Time Division Mutiple Access) GSM, which became the de-facto European standard, uses TDMA and Cingular and T-Mobile use TDMA here in the US

Buying a quad band cell phone or a european tri-band cell phone is the best way to go in my opinion. If you do, MAKE SURE it is unlocked.
Fibonacci2358 is offline  

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