Aussie mobiles - not in USA

Old Jul 28th, 2003, 03:54 PM
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Aussie mobiles - not in USA

11 days till we leave and I have just found out that Aussie mobile phones are not usuable in USA. I have used my mobile in England, Bali, Singapore but it is not compatible with USA! Before you all start, I have an elderly father in poor health and want to be able to be reached, just in case. Does not anyone know of an alternative?
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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Check out worldcell.com. Not sure of the costs, but it may be an option.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Some of my son's friends have cell phones that work on phone cards -- you pay per call, rather than per month with a long service contract. Perhaps you could get one of these as a temporary phone. Check with Best Buy, Cingular, and Virgin Mobile, perhaps they have web sites that can provide details.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:24 PM
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Americans, ....gave the contracts to companies with good political contacts.

But, setting aside geopolitics, don't be too sure your phone won't work. There are, for the most part, two technologies, and your will be the less-popular in the USA, but chances are good it will still work, you just need to know what supplier to talk to. Not the bigerst ones, but there are probably ones that do match your sysytem.

Please check again with your Australian cell phone supplier.

And if your particular phone won't work, ask if there's a different phone you could buy in Australia, keeping your same telephone number, that would work in Australia and during your trip to the USA. That might cost a bit of money, but be less than buying a cell phone is the USA to have just for your trip there.

That, however, remains an option. In the USA, some companies will sell you a phone for a reaonable price, and then sell your airtime by the minute. You buy a card, scrape off the silver coating over some numbers, key the numbers into the phone, and everything works.

Make sure you pick a phone that allows long distance.

Then just call home and leave the new phone number. When you leave, the phone is probably useless, but at least you were connected when you needed to be.Again, you might be able to buy a USA phone that would work in Australia, so you can take it home and get it connected to a local service upon your return.

BAK

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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 09:08 PM
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Call your hotel - they may have a rental program for your stay.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 09:42 PM
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My brother comes to the US from Australia all the time and uses his phone, so some work. I'll see if I can track him down and find out which company/phone he uses.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 12:55 AM
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Hi Trish
I'm from Australia too and have been researching this too. The only mobile that will work is a tri band mobile of which there are only a few and they are very expensive. Most of us have a 2 band mobile which is fine to use in Asia and Europe. Unfortunately I don't think there is an easy way for you to be reached, however, there are cheap options for you to get from here so you can ring frequently, I have been looking into using 8000-reverse (like the one Pat Rafter promotes) and then pay when I get home. The cost is actually much cheaper than calling from a USA phone. The other alternative is the phone card that you can buy at news-stands in the USA but making sure you buy one that enables you to ring from everywhere in the US not just the State you bought it in. such as Telstra provides which I am still looking into, but that a friend used, where you buy say $50 worth of calls from Australia and the card enables you to make calls from anywhere in the world back home. The calls are charged at Telstra's rate and so much cheaper than call rates in the USA. Hope this helps. Other wise try and buy a pre-paid mobile. If you search this site you will seek a previous post of mine where some one mentions, Trac (I think). You can buy their phones from just about any shop.

Good luck
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:37 AM
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thanks very much, I think the 1800 reverse or the telstra phone cards are the shot. You would think that if we could put a man on the moon 20 years ago we could get a mobile phone that works everywhere
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 03:44 AM
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Hi Trish, I'm glad to hear that your phone situation is under control.

But . . . not to make you feel old or anything, but we put a man on the moon in 1969 -- which was 34 yars ago this month!

Some say that the reason so many other useful things haven't been accomplished "even though we can put a man on the moon" is BECAUSE we put a man on the moon -- i.e., misplaced priorities and diversion of technical expertise away from more practical applications.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:28 PM
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thanks Anon, I must have missed 14 years somewhere, was it really that long ago? I am looking to borrow a CDMA, and then buy a phone card when I get there, will the one phone card work in LA, Fl,DC, NYC and Hawaii?
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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I'm quite certain about when it occurred, as I have a daughter who was born 9 months later!
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:46 PM
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Pay as you go cell phones (not called mobile phones in the USA) are available. KMart sells Tracphone or Tracfone. Terminal 2 used to have cell phone rentals.

Also consider a cheaper alternative if you only want to be in contact with your father. Consider buying a pager. Even if you have to sign a 6 month contract, pagers are often cheap. I have one for use in America. Local coverage is less than $10 per month. Nationwide coverage is also available.

On the internet, some pager companies include Skypager (Skytel), Arch Wireless. Maybe Sprint, MCI, ATT may have it, but I don't know.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Terminal 2 at LAX Los Angeles Airport, I meant.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 05:14 PM
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Trish, Phonecards are available EVERYWHERE and they will say which regions they are good for accessing. I have three (one purchased and two donated from international visitors) and all 3 call Austrailia. Just check the card before your purchase.

I can relate to travelling far from home leaving an ailing loved one. Don't worry about being able to make easy contact.

What is a CDMA?

Although it's a higher cost solution, satellite phones are available to rent as well as mobiles which will give you direct access to home. Satellites go for $75 to $100 USD per week with mobiles going for less. Rates for incoming/outgoing calls vary per plan. Personally, I think the big drawback to renting this way (domestically or abroad) is the huge chunk of security deposit $ put on your credit card in the interim.

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