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Old 08-19-2004, 10:10 AM   #1
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Ok I am looking for advice on if to do the cell phone "satellite phone" thing while on my backpacking trip, or if to just use calling cards. My buddies dad keeps telling me that the sat. Phones are now so cheap that it is stupid not to use them. Is any one using one now? Or have used one on a trip lately? Please help me out, I need to know if I should even look into these things or not.

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Old 08-19-2004, 10:47 AM   #2
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From my research the phones are a very expensive alternitave to useing a calling card. If your loaded Bill Gates style then get the phone.. if you are livin it up ghetto fab like myself .. stick with the calling cards.

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Old 08-19-2004, 11:12 AM   #3
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That is what I figured!!! I just did not want to put the time into even looking that is why I asked first. I guess I need to look at calling cards again...Any tips on were to look??

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Old 08-20-2004, 01:02 PM   #4
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Hey- My friend and I just went through this ordeal. Most cell phones work over seas now but cost and arm and a leg per min. I was quotes $2.50 and my friend was quoted $3.50 a min. But you can usually take your cell phone into a local mobile phone shop (in whatever country you are in) and just buy a new sim card. Cost to you is like $20 and you get really cheap calls within the country and like .15 back home. Just an idea.
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:06 PM   #5
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Before you do the SIM Card swap, remember that your phone needs to be a GSM unit. Also, most of these need to be unlocked before they'll accept other carriers' SIM cards. If you take it into one of your US mobile carrier's shops, they'll unlock it for you. If not, you can find someone who'll do it (either here or overseas) for around $10.

Getting a SIM card overseas is a good deal if you're staying in one country for a good while, since they're all different in various countries. However, you can get a Europe-wide or whatever account that runs around $.30 a minute. There are tons of web sites that list the rates for various cards - you can do a search for "World phone" and "GSM" to see what comes up.

Personally, I use my T-mobile GSM phone in Europe - sparingly, because it's $.99 a minute, but it's worthwhile for those few calls I need to make. Otherwise, it's email & IM all the way!
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by omisan@Aug 20 2004, 12:06 PM
Personally, I use my T-mobile GSM phone in Europe - sparingly, because it's $.99 a minute, but it's worthwhile for those few calls I need to make. Otherwise, it's email & IM all the way!
I traveled for a bit with a guy who had the same set up as you. I was so jealous. It was so convientant. My phone isn't GSM but next time I go backpacking I'm going to look into a GSM phone.
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your help I am going to the store today to find out what they say. I will post up the rates they give me.

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"Falling off the stupid Great Wall of China......PRICELESS"
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:22 PM   #8
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I've been talking to a buddy of mine who just got back from a 6 month stint, and according to him, the best way to go is to get a gsm phone over there and mostly use it for text messaging. He said that most people he encountered were all about the text messaging and hardly ever actually called people. He spent time in Greece, Italy, and a few other places. Anyway, I'm really grateful becuase he's going to let me borrow the phone and all of the GSM cards. Should make things fairly easy. Hope this helps.
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