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Thread: europe travel sim

  1. #1
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    europe travel sim

    Im going to be travelling in europe this summer and i need to find a way to bring a phone with me. i know i can buy a sim card when i get there for an unlocked phone but will it only work in the country i bought it? ill be travelling around most of western europe (england,france, germany, switz, italy, greece). is there a service that will accomodate "most" of the areas im going?

    side note: would an unlocked blackberry work over there with a new sim?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    http://www.prepaidgsm.net
    http://nordicgroup.us/intlrate
    http://www.thetravelinsider.info

    The blackberry would need to have GSM-900 and/or 1800.
    Donald Newcomb

  3. #3
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    I would go with a Virgin Mobile SIM card from the UK. Roams in other countries, plus the prompts are in English!

  4. #4
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    Your best bet would be to purchase a Riiing SIM as it has free incoming in most European countries, excellent prepaid rates to the US, and the ability to travel with one number.

  5. #5
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    Born/Raised: Redwood City, CA, USA
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    German (Fluent) and English (Fluent)

    Nokia Series 40 and Series 60 Reset Codes:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=640135

    Prepaid Options for Abroad:
    http://www.prepaidgsm.net
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=622551

    Worldwide GPRS settings:

    http://www.access-sys-eu.com/GPRS_Settings.95.0.html

  6. #6
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    You can also try www.telestial.com ... they sell phones and SIMs for most countries of the world. If I'm not mistaken, they have a multi-country SIM that works in a number of places in Europe.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

  7. #7
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    It may be more convenient to get it before leaving the US but the prices are quite high compared to getting the SIM in Europe.

    Taking one look at the Operator page will tell you this:

    http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/operators.html

  8. #8
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    Basic definition..international roaming means using a prepaid gsm sim account outside the country of issue..

    Thus you can use a US contract (non prepaid) such as T mobile throughout Western Europe but you would be roaming. You pay outrageouslyhigh rates.

    Similarly, with most European prepaid sim accounts, you will pay even higher rates when you are roaming although most now allow international roaming. The big catch is that in the home country of the sim, receiving calls on your end is free (the caller pays a surcharge)...so you could get a new sim in each country you visit but then there is the added expense and the necessity of contacting people with your new local phone number.

    Today, and it changes frequently, the answer is riiing (note 3 i's). You have to work a bit to get the sim card (go through e bay) but it is available in the US. You can also get one at telestial but they jack up the prices on all their sims to an outrageous degree. Anyway, the sim card costs something like €40 with €15 worth of call credit.

    You will have a number in Liechtenstein; country code 423 but you will know your number as soon as you get the sim. Throughout Western Europe, the following will hold:

    1. Outgoing calls to anywhere in the world cost €0,39/minute billing at 1 minute intervals (talk for 61 seconds and you pay for 2 minutes) with each call subject to a €0,25 set up fee....HOWEVER

    2. Incoming calls are free (like in free) to you..the caller pays a surcharge which is very very highly variable. AT&T charges a surcharge of $0.01 for calls to Liechtenstein mobiles, others can charge as much as $0.75.

    Now those are the basics but there are ways around some of these still high outrageously high fees.

    3. You can open up a callback account with enlinea.com. Now to explain, to get the cheap calling out rates, riiing uses a callback system itself. You dial the number and the phone says unauthorized so you hang up. A few deconds later, you get a call back and will hear the phone ringing on the other end. Now callback systems such as enlinea and callbackworld work the same way...you are given a number in the US to call, you dial that number, wait for the ringing tone (after the riiing callback) and hang up. Seconds later, your phone rings and you hear a voice saying, "Please enter the number including the country code you wish to dial followed by the number sign key now"; you enter the number and you are connected. Callbackworld has a bit of a problem with riiing but enlinea works well. Cost of a call, well you don't pay for the triggering call (never completed), you don't pay for the reception of the call on riiing, you pay enlinea $0.14/minute timed in 6 second intervals...reception is very good.

    4. You can open up an account with kall8.com. For $2/month and a $2 set up fee they will give you an 800 number in the US. You then program the number to ring on your riiing phone (or any number you wish)...Calls to Liechtenstein on kall8 are 20 cents/minute so if you give people your kall8 number, they can call the 800 number and the call will go through to Liechtenstein and you will pay the fee (20 cents/minute, don't remember time interval but you can check)...you can even program your US mobile to callforward to the kall8 800 number so people can call your regular mobile phone and it will go through to your riiing phone!

    Lots of threads on www.prepaidgsm.net forum about some perceived problems with riiing but they are all manageable.

    Now apparently riiing's success or perhaps EU pressure has begun to have an effect on international roaming outrageously high fees and vodafone is beginning to set up reduced roaming packages but nowehre as good as riiing, at least at this point in time.

    Any questions, ask.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the detailed post, Jeff .

  10. #10
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    An up and coming alternative to having a different sim in every country would be to use the new Vodafone Passport service, which drastically cuts the price of international roaming calls as it is progressively rolled out across it's European and European partner networks through the summer. Look on the main Vodafone group website for the press release.

  11. #11
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    The vodafone plan, it is not clear if it will apply to prepaids in the various countries. It seems that in some countries it is just going to be for contract customers; besides a surcharge of €1 is still quite a hit, even if the euro (hopefully) continues to fall against the USD (hopeful for us Americans travelling to Europe that is).

    I still think riiing, as it stands today, is a much much better deal.

  12. #12
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    Agreed. From a prepaid standpoint, this is where Vodafone and other providers make their money: Off roaming charges for when their customers roam outside of their native networks in other countries.

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