phone card or cellular?

Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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phone card or cellular?

i am confused with reading these messages on sim card,etc. i would like to be able to call the us from italy frequently for a 2 week trip. presently have verizon cellular, and was told i can't use my phone there.should i just buy a phone card at the nearest tobacco shop?thanks,don't mean to sound so helpless!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:44 AM
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Yes, your Verizon cell phone will not work in Italy. The best and most convenient way to call back is to just buy a local phone card as you're already thinking.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:52 AM
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In the old days we would just buy a telephone card from the tobacco shop / newsstand in the highest denomination possible and use a public phone to call the US. After the 4 or 5 minutes the card would run out; next call - new card. I don't know of any 2-3 hour cards (at 5 euros) that one of the other posts mentioned but have seen phone centers (usually in the seedier parts of town behind train stations) but I am unaware if their rates are cheaper than the public phone. The problem now is to find a phone booth in working order!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Amelia is right about trouble finding phone booths that are working. Since so many Europeans use cell phones these days it seems a lot of the phone booths are disappearing. But you can definitly still find them, just slightly more problematic than it used to be.

If you want to be able to call back to the US frequently then a phone card might be the best option. I was in the same situation and ended up getting a new cell phone (the quadband, GSM type) and that worked for well for me - but - I wanted THEM to be able to call ME. And I wanted to be able to talk for quite a few minutes each call. For that having the cell phone was great as incoming calls are free (if you buy a SIM card once you get there). But if your goal is YOU calling THEM - then the costs would probably work out better buying a phone card.

Sounds like you've already read some of the posts on this subject but if you haven't I suggest you do a search since this has been extensively discussed here (with some very good information).
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:04 AM
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There is yet another alternative you may want to consider: taking a prepaid phone card with you from the US.

I've used the AT+T cards on numerous occasions to call from Europe. You have a preset number of "units" and the number of units per minute of conversation varies from country to country.

One advantage of these cards is that you can use them from any working phone, to include the one in your hotel room, and you usually won't be charged (at least in the hotels I've stayed in) for a phone call because you are calling a toll-free access number first.

Cell phones are EVERYWHERE in Italy..one wonders how they ever got along without them and still managed to build all those long-lasting buildings..but that's "progress" I guess as is having to listen in on somebody else's shouted half of a cell phone conversation.

Have a great trip.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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thanks for the info on the phone cards. now will my son,who will be recieving the call on his cell phone in the U.S. incur enormous rates?
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Your son, if using a US cellphone in the US, will not incur any charges other using his regular airtime. It doesn't matter who's calling him - you in Italy, or his neighbor next door.
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