Quad-band GSM phone for $15 (sort of)

Jul 17th, 2007, 04:40 PM
  #1  
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Quad-band GSM phone for $15 (sort of)

Right now, T-Mobile is offering new Pay-As-You-Go customers a Motorola V195 for $39.95 (free shipping) with a $25 calling credit.

It appears that it can be used in Europe for 99¢ per minute (once International Roaming is enabled), and it appears that T-Mobile will send you the unlock code for your phone (if you ask enough Customer Service reps until you get the right one).

The PAYG agreement only stipulates that you activate the phone within a month and buy $10 worth of airtime, or you "lose" the number (and your $25 credit). But if you only want to acquire it for use in Europe, you might not care.

Here's the deal: tinyurl.com/2el8nm
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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You will not be able to use the T-Mobile Pay-as-you-go service in Europe at any price as there is no international roaming on TMO PrePaid except for Canada and Mexico. The web site is a bit confusing but trust me on this one unless you don't mind spending the money just to find out it doesn't work. (The $0.99 per minute roaming in Europe is for a regular TMO post paid account.)

If you purchase this phone and keep it active, after 90 days TMO will give you the unlock code for free and you would then be able to purchase a pre-paid SIM in Europe to use in it.
carrolldf is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Well, yeah, I hear that.

I also hear that if you get the right CS rep, you can get International Roaming activated on Day One as well as the unlock code emailed to you at the same time.

Given T-Mo's record with keeping their premium services locked down, I don't (automatically) doubt anything I hear - regardless of how their policies read.

No two of their agents appear to be working from the same script.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Phone gurus help me out please. We are not big cell phone users, so we have only one cell phone, the T Mobile pay-as-as-you-go plan with a botton of the line Nokia phone that is not quad band. I have been wondering about getting a different, more expensive, phone so we would have the capability of just insering a SIM card when abroad.

1. This offer wouldn't work out for us unless we got another phone and account. Correct?

2. My idea of upgrading to a different phone with quad band wouldn't work out either because we just want the pay-as-you-go plan rather than being locked into an expensive contract. Correct?

Thanks. I am kind of a technology idiot.
julies is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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I'm not sure. The way I read the T-Mo PAYG "contract," it looks as though the subscriber can cancel it at any time simply by not replenishing minutes once a month. The phone number is dissociated from the SIM, and you're off the hook.

This being the case, there would be nothing to prevent you from getting another phone and a different account. The Terms and Conditions seem to say that a single subscriber can have up to two accounts active simultaneously.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Robespierre,

I just got off the phone with my T Mobile and she definitely stated, after checking with a supervisor, that European roaming is not available to the Pay as You Go plan. Only option is to unlock the phone and purchase a Global or country sim card. I know you stated that the reps are not all on the same page.


Should I try again? How did you get the .99 roaming deal for the Pay as You go Plan?

Captb93 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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When I bought a T-mobile pay as you go the website seemed to suggest you could have international roaming BUT when i called to activate I was told, and I asked them to check with a supervisor) that there was NO internationa roaming for their prepaid customer.

I've been meaning to call them up to unlock it before my August trip to Europe, thanks for reminding me!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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In the course of my research, I probably talked to a half-dozen reps and supes, and no two of them gave me the same story.

I don't have a prepaid contract, so I just went to my.t-mobile.com and turned on International Roaming myself. This was about three years ago.

Every day, there are spirited discussions on howardforums.com regarding what exploits of leaks in T-Mobile's business are possible.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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Julies, if all you want is an unlocked quad-band phone to use in Europe, go to eBay and buy one of the literally dozens you will see there. I've done it twice in the last year and got one for $45 and the other for $60, shipping incuded. If I had wanted to spend the time playing the eBay game I could have spent less.

Once there (France, in my case) go to an Orange phone store (SFR is another possible vendor with lots of locations) and buy a SIM card and some euros of additional credit, which will vary depending on how much you expect to use the phone. The SIM card should run about 40 euros as I recall. This is a pay-as-you-go plan with no longterm contract required.

Then buy a 7 euro calling card from a tabac which allows you to call the US by dialing a local number. While this uses minutes against the phone credit, the long distance charge is something like 6/minute.
shellio is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:35 PM
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There's no way in hell that a pay as you go plan would allow international roaming-that doesn't even make sense, because the company would lose money instantly on such a deal, and cell phone companies NEVER offer a plan where you benefit and they lose money on the deal-really!

Julie-do as Shellio says, go on ebay and buy yourself a good UNLOCKED quad band phone-if you travel a lot internationally, I tell you it's a godsend-I have a Motorola Razr, and I just change up my SIM card in whatever country I'm in (actually, with my Italian telecom Italia SIM, it automatically changes to Orange when I get to France-didn't know that, but that's what happened).

When I was in Thailand for example, I could call back to the states for like 7 cents a minute, and it was 3 cents a minute inside the country. It's really worth it-plus, getting a phone card saves you even more money-since you can use it with your quad-band phone of course, and get hugely discounted rates to call back to the US.

One thing about getting a SIM card in Italy-they will take your passport and make a copy of it-everyone buying a SIM card in Italy has to have a passport record on file-which is one of their post 9/11 security measures-don't know about France.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Girlspy-Did you buy your SIM in Italy or before you got there? I didn't know you could use an Italian SIM in Thailand. Or is it some kind of Global SIM? I'm looking for a card I can use all over the world too, but I'd prefer not to wait until I get to Italy to activate it.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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No, No. I have different SIMs-one in Italy, the other bought in Thailand. But you can't get a SIM (don't think) until you get to the country in question-and you wouldn't be able to use it from the US. It doesn't take long at all. And then, you SAVE your SIM for when you go back-just take out your TMobile or whatever SIM you have in your quad-band for your plan here in the States, and insert the SIM of your choice.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:53 PM
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Ah, ok, I was confused about your post.

It is possible to buy Italian SIMs in advance online, albeit much more expensive. The upside is that you have a number to give out in advance and (supposedly) a phone that will work on arrival (handy if you are late). However, I've read that sometimes these cards are not actually active on arrival, forcing one to still go to a mobile store. Truely global SIM cards are out there too of course, but no where near as cheap as buying individual ones in country.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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I didn't know that about global SIMs-I'll have to look into that-and as for getting an Italian SIM before leaving-my guess is you would have trouble getting it to activate on arrival-best to go in the shop and make sure it's working by having the seller call you on their phone while you're there to test it.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:09 PM
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If you're interested in global cards, you might look here:
http://www.telestial.com/sim_cards.php
The "passport" cards are global.
However, they're not cheap-you certainly pay for the convenience of being able to have a single (Eastonian!) phone number all over the world. They have other benefits too like free incoming calls in certain countries, voicemail, free incoming text msg. But the per minute charges can be crazy.
Kristina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 11:43 PM
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Although a long time proponent of the use of global cards, you have to be aware that the cost to call these global cards has gone through the roof recently as the telcoms are doing everything in their power to try to discourage their use and to try to force you and me to pay their ridiculously high roaming rates.

Many ld carriers in the United States now charge from 50 to well over $1/minute to call mobile numbers in Liechtenstein, Estonia and Iceland....and even calls to the Isle of Man mobiles in some cases are very high. While you get the free reception of calls, your callers will pay through the nose.

BTW the telestial passport offer is simply a rebranded Estonian offer.

Because of the higher incoming rates, even using callbackworld which used to be a great idea has become asininely expensive.

Hopefully with the eu regs coming in, some of this may be alleviated in the near future.

Incidentally, the only international sim right now which is worthwhile to use with cheap calls to the USA with callbackworld is O9, an Icelandic card where the charge, at least temporarily, remains 16/minute. Using callbackworld with United Mobile which used to be 14/minute until this past April is something like 52/minute. Their business which was built on these cheap calls to Liechtenstein mobiles will probably take a beating now.

You can read about it on www.prepaidgsm.net.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 05:03 AM
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I have a Motorola Razr from Sprint. Can I also buy a SIM card in Italy and use it there?
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 05:10 AM
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Most likely not...sprint is not a gsm carrier.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 05:28 AM
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Right. The key is getting the unlocked, quad-band manufacturer phone that is NOT branded. That's why I bought my Motorola Razr on ebay (I got it a couple of years ago for at least $100.00 less than the going price-it costs more to get the unlocked manufacturer's phone-it's old now, but it works just fine where ever I go in the world).
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 06:16 AM
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I am not an Ebay shopper so excuse this question: do I search on "GSM phone"? also I assume one of the key things to look for is that it's unlocked. Anything else I need to look for when shopping on ebay for one of these phones?
sandi_travelnut is offline  

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