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Old 05-04-2005, 11:21 PM   #1
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Hey people,

I am going to be in France starting in September until June for school then I plan on Backpacking around Europe until October. I was thinking of getting a cell phone while I'm at school and was wondering if anyone knew about prices and usefulness?

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Old 05-04-2005, 11:37 PM   #2
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I have a world-wide capable GSM phone from Cingular. If you are familiar with them, they have a smart card called a SIM card that allows the phones to not only store phone numbers, settings, etc, but if you have the correct phone you can take it to multiple countries (something like 75+ now), purchase a local prepaid SIM card for that country/region, and you are in business.

(most newer GSM phones I've seen are compliant and unlocked for world use. just had to get a new one last month, so i made sure my phone was unlocked and world compliant. its an LG L1400)

I've been wondering, however, if anyone here had actually done this....
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:51 AM   #3
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I just have my own T-Mobile international calling plan, which is expensive ($.99/min) but it works when I'm overseas, so it's good for those calls home or when I need to quickly call a hostel to confirm my reservation before I arrive. 'Course, you're looking at long term, so Joker's advice is far more applicable.

Basically, it's time to do the math. You can buy a phone in Europe, but most likely, it'll cost more than here in the states. So alternately, you can get a phone cheap or free through a US GSM carrier (Cingular or T-Mobile, for the most part), and then buy SIM cards for whatever European country you're in while you're there. Keep in mind, though, that you'll still be paying a monthly phone bill for the US to fulfill your contractual obligations, unless you buy one outright at full price. Then again, you may be able to get a super-cheap plan and still get a free phone, so look at the various offers out there - also, Amazon.com has phones at good prices after rebates/activation.

Now, say you've figured out how you want to obtain your phone.. great. Start looking at rates for carriers in Europe. For France, for example you might go with Orange, as they're a huge operator there and also work in other countries. You might want to check out their web site to see their rates and offers.. (http://www.orange.fr)
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:05 AM   #4
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another alternative is when you get over there buy a cheap crappy phone with prepaid (rechargable) minutes... it is quite easy to do and there are several services and no contract invloved
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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i was able to pick up a second hand phone in hungary including sim on tmobile for £30 and international texts were like 15pence which was a lot different to my 50p a text on o2
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