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Cellphones Abroad: How to Keep the Conversation Going

071015_cellphone_Ferran%20TraiteF.jpgWhether you can’t imagine life without your cellphone or consider the device nothing more than a necessary evil, you’ll probably want to have one handy when traveling.

Of course, traveling abroad with a cellphone isn’t as simple as putting one in your pocket. Most U.S.-based cellphones will not work outside of North America because the rest of the world uses a different communications standard. If your wireless service provider is Verizon, Sprint or Nextel, it’s likely that your cellphone is not a good international traveler. If your provider is Cingular/AT&T or T-Mobile, your phone may work elsewhere but only if it is GSM enabled with tri- or quad-band capabilities, features that allow it to function with international phone systems.

If your phone doesn’t work abroad, you can rent or buy one that does. And even if your U.S.-based phone does work abroad, you may find it less expensive to rent a phone for an international trip than pay your provider’s international roaming rates. And, yes, as you may have suspected, renting phones has its own complexities. Below are some helpful hints for using a cellphone abroad in addition to some recommendations for phones that travel well.

Rent or Buy?

Sample Cellphone Rental Fees Around the Globe

A Few Phones We Love

All About SIM Cards

How Am I Billed for Calls?

Photo credit: ©Istockphoto/ Ferran Traite

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