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What SIM Card to Get for my Unlocked Phone?

What SIM Card to Get for my Unlocked Phone?

Old Oct 5th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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tpl
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What SIM Card to Get for my Unlocked Phone?

I got my Motorola cell phone unlocked by AT&T, and now I'm wondering what company to buy a SIM card from. I'll be traveling in France (mainly Paris) for a few weeks next month, and will be calling within France and to the US. 4 -6 hours of talk time should be enough.

Should (can) I order the card in the US before traveling, or pick one up there? Searching the boards led to a lot of posts on bundled phones/SIMS, but I only need the SIM. TIA for your suggestions.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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If you are only going to be in France, then wait until you arrive and pick up a Vodafone or Orange SIM card at one of their stores in Paris (not at the airport).

If you are planning on calling home, then pick up a calling card. It will cost you significantly less. Vodafone offers an excellent calling card for making international calls. One thing you want to remember. All incoming calls are free, so have your friends or family call you after you've given them your French mobile number.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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However, remember WHY they are free - - it's because the caller is paying DOUBLE. So, if you are having your own home call you, you still end up with the same charge, just on your home phone bill, instead of coming out of the credits on your SIM. And if you propose that your friends call you, remember it's like making a collect call to talk to them.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Actually it's not too bad calling a French mobile from the USA...certainly not as cheap of course as calling a landline but my ld carrier charges 28/minute to call a French mobile...it's not like the absurd charges to call mobiles in Liechtenstein, Estonia and Iceland where some of the international mobile carriers are located.

Also, be aware French mobile prices are among the highest in the world...local calls on mobilcarte (Orange FR) can cost as much as 0,40€/minute (you can check out their rate structure over on the operator's page at www.prepaidgsm.net) you can get a calling card and make local French calls to the calling card on the mobile and then use that to call home.

It doesn't pay to get an Orange FR card before arrival as they don't assign the actual phone number until you arrive in France and use the card for the first time.

Also should you leave France for a quick trip during the period you're there, Orange does subscribe to the current eurotariffs which have significantly cut prices on calls to it while within the eu.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the responses. French mobile prices have nothing on US carriers: AT&T would charge $1.29USD/minute + a monthly fee to use a locked phone in Europe.

I assumed I would just pay for a certain number of minutes from the company I purchase the SIM from. Robert2533: were you suggesting I purchase a calling card separately?
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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I have a cell phone bought in Bangkok a few weeks ago...a triband...and will also need to use it in Paris. How much do French SIMM cards cost as I will have to remove the (inexpensive and by then expired) Thai one and insert a French one. And how much are the prepaid calling cards for the least amount of minutes as I won't be using it that much...just to check on an elderly parent here in the States. I've never used a cell phone in Paris. In the past 30-plus years, I always called from a public phone. But, I thought I'd better enter the cell phone era and since phones are cheap in Bangkok...where I spend quite a bit of time...I picked one up there. Happy Travels!
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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The only time I find that the prepaid sims work for my husband and I is when we just use them to call each other when we separate for the day. If you are using a prepaid sim to call anywhere outside of the country you are visiting, it can get really pricey.

Another option that works well is the return call service. Since incoming calls are free, you call this 800 number, plug in the number you want to call and they call you back so it's free and doesn't cost much on the prepaid balance at all since the call to the 800 number is like 10 seconds long then it disconnects. They bill your credit card for a really awesome rate like .10-.25 a minute. It's a great service. I'm probably doing a horrible job explaining it so you can read about it at www.telestial.com.

However, do NOT buy your sim from them, they charge $50 for a sim that's free at the vodafone shop! Just get the return call service and forget about their sims, what a rip off!
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Return call service http://www.telestial.com/return_call_service.php
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Thanks for the info. I figured it would be a small fortune to do this in Europe, but I went on and bought the triband phone in Bangkok anyhow...for the flexibility of using it in various countries.

In Bangkok my SIM card cost me 90 Baht ($2.70) and the prepaid calling card costs either 300 baht($9.02) or 500 baht ($15.04). And for 300 baht, I called the U.S. and talked for well over half an hour. Happy Travels!
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Hi
Are you certain a tri band would work? I currently have an at&t quad band which is now being featured in europe. They have added another band for the phones.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:01 PM
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A triband will work fine - European phones are usually 1800 MHz.
UMTS (which is added to make a quad band,) is also available, but is used mainly for PDAs and smart phones.
The cheapest way to communicate is to use text messaging, rather than phoning if you just want to say you've arrived OK or contact a friend.
Or set up a SKype account and use aninternet cafe if they have microphones available. Or MSM is also an idea.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Bands are 900,1800 for GSM networks in Europe and 1900/2100 for UMTS networks. 1900/2100 is considered one band, since UMTS phones use both frequency bands at the same time. One band for transmitting, one for recieving.
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