Renaud Guerin <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Hi,
> (sorry for the X-posting, I'm not familiar with the US mobile
> marketplace, and thus which groups deal with what)
> I'm planning a trip to the SF bay area for about 10 days in late january.
> I'm living in France and have a contract there with the carrier Bouygues
> Telecom, including full IP access via GPRS.
> My phone is a nokia n-gage, which supports GSM 900/1800/1900.
> Bouygues' website mentions roaming partnerships with 2 carriers in the
> SF Bay : Nextel and Cingular.

Very interesting, considering that Nextel isn't compatible with GSM
phones- they use the iDen system at 800MHz.

Cingular is 1900Mhz GSM and will work w/the NGage.

> The voice rates either to France or within the SF Bay are quite
> outrageous I think, well over $1 a minute. Above all, there's no mention
> of GPRS roaming at all.

Cingular supports GPRS, but I don't know what I'll cost to roam.

> Does anyone know if Cingular or Nextel offers full IP over GPRS internet
> access to international roaming users, and what's the rate for that ?

No idea, and Cingular's website doesn't have roaming info on it.

> If roaming is not an option, what kind of cheap/prepaid plan would you
> recommend for a 10 day trip (if there's any), and is GPRS access
> available with those plans ?

Cingular offers pre-paid SIMs for $50US that include $30 of airtime.
Cingular charges $0.35/min days, $0.10 nights and weekends for
domestic (US) calling. International is over $1/min.

GPRS is NOT available on prepaid from Cingular.

Important note: unlike in Europe, wireless phone users are charged for
both incoming and outgoing calls, but there is no extra charge for
calling a US mobile telephone.

Another option is AT&T's "GoPhone". It's a prepaid option that
requires a credit card for automatic debiting. They charge $89 for a
phone (I don't think they offer a SIM-only option), $20 for 80 minutes
of airtime, or $30 for 150 minutes plus free nights/weekends (domestic
of course) and offer GPRS at $30/megabyte (ouch!)

For ten days in SF, roaming with your French carrier might be your
best option.

Lastly, you might consider eCallPlus (see It
requires you to use a TDMA phone and offers no dataapability, but they
offer "free" (same rate as domestic) international calls to 50
countries (including France) and a phone plus 100 minutes of time can
be purchased for under $100US.

> Thanks a lot!

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

See More: short trip to the SF Bay Area with a foreign Nokia N-Gage : best voice/GPRS plan ?