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  1. #1
    JohnnyGe
    JohnnyGe is offline
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    I need to buy a phone for Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands that will also allow calls to/from the U.S.A.
    If it would work in Central & South America that would be a significant plus.
    I'm not looking to replace my U.S. phone.
    One phone that works in all foreign locations would be best.
    Is there a single SIM available for all GSM locations?
    Has anyone had experience with a particular phone or plan that worked well in my preferred situation?



    See More: what phone and plan for Europe?




  2. #2
    Cellplanman
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    Re: what phone and plan for Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGe View Post
    I need to buy a phone for Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands that will also allow calls to/from the U.S.A.
    If it would work in Central & South America that would be a significant plus.
    I'm not looking to replace my U.S. phone.
    One phone that works in all foreign locations would be best.
    Is there a single SIM available for all GSM locations?
    Has anyone had experience with a particular phone or plan that worked well in my preferred situation?
    Im not an expert, but I can let you know what you need.

    First off, find out what bands are needed in the places you are travelling. there are 4 common bands. When purchasing a phone it will say in the specs what bands it supports.. usually quadband phones are the way to go.

    Secondly, stick with a GSM phone, not a CDMA.

    All phones should be able to pick up calls from the states, but many people use VoIP for that.. getting a number from that state.

    Hope this helps



  3. #3
    JohnnyGe
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    Re: what phone and plan for Europe?

    cellplanman

    Thanks, Your post was quite helpful. I'v been researching while waiting for replies to this thread. I'm clear on the phone and SIM. I'll buy a quad band GSM phone and SIM that covers Europe so I can use the phone in most or all locations while over there.

    After checking into the VOIP idea I'm not sure it would work for me. BUT thanks for suggestion. I learned something new anyway. (FYI....cell to cell calls in Europe don't appear to be any cheaper with VOIP than non-VOIP but LAN/cell rates are really low)

    Its now down to plans......I need a plan with optimal rates (which are normally listed at each website). The question is: Does the plan shut down when I'm not using the phone (no charges or bills would be optimal) or does it have a basic monthly billing amount that continues as long as I have the plan?( not good) whether or not I use the phone?
    Some vendors address this while others dance all around it but say nothing of significance. (which I take to mean that there is a contract for a specified term that would be greater than I need)
    Prepaid seems to insure that there are no continuing monthly bills (good) but postpaid plans insure that prepaid use doesn't expire at the worst possible moment (also good).
    To bad there isn't a prepaid plan with excess time billing ONLY when time exceeds prepaid minutes (all good/no bad)
    I have not yet found a plan such as this.
    Last edited by JohnnyGe; 08-01-2008 at 07:31 AM.



  4. #4
    Cellplanman
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    Re: what phone and plan for Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGe View Post
    cellplanman

    Thanks, Your post was quite helpful. I'v been researching while waiting for replies to this thread. I'm clear on the phone and SIM. I'll buy a quad band GSM phone and SIM that covers Europe so I can use the phone in most or all locations while over there.

    After checking into the VOIP idea I'm not sure it would work for me. BUT thanks for suggestion. I learned something new anyway. (FYI....cell to cell calls in Europe don't appear to be any cheaper with VOIP than non-VOIP but LAN/cell rates are really low)

    Its now down to plans......I need a plan with optimal rates (which are normally listed at each website). The question is: Does the plan shut down when I'm not using the phone (no charges or bills would be optimal) or does it have a basic monthly billing amount that continues as long as I have the plan?( not good) whether or not I use the phone?
    Some vendors address this while others dance all around it but say nothing of significance. (which I take to mean that there is a contract for a specified term that would be greater than I need)
    Prepaid seems to insure that there are no continuing monthly bills (good) but postpaid plans insure that prepaid use doesn't expire at the worst possible moment (also good).
    To bad there isn't a prepaid plan with excess time billing ONLY when time exceeds prepaid minutes (all good/no bad)
    I have not yet found a plan such as this.
    I dont know the Europe market too well... but same generic rules/guidelines should apply.

    Calling international from a cellphone should be the most expensive option :S.

    With each provider, there should be a few options... Prepaid (which is the worst due to it being extremly expensive)... monthly (which I think your looking for...30day notice to cancel it, no cancellation fee)... or Long term contract (which should give you a phone dirt cheap, and if it is GSM there may be a way of getting out of your contract early... such as cellplandepot.com)



  5. #5
    JohnnyGe
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    Re: what phone and plan for Europe?

    FYI:
    I narrowed down the field and emailed 3 NET based phone/plan vendors and asked if the plans could be active ONLY for the months in which the phone was in use abroad.
    I said in the last mails (to all 3) that I did not want to pay monthly fees when the phone was not in use (for a majority of the year).
    I have not received replies from any of the 3. (all contact abruptly stopped)
    I think I understand what their lack of reply is saying.
    So, while I wasn't a fan of rentals earlier I have come to believe that renting (while apparently more expensive) is the only financially safe option.
    I appreciate your help CP_man...



  6. #6
    JohnnyGe
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    Re: what phone and plan for Europe?

    As for international cell calls being expensive I believe that there are guidelines to minimize expense there as well (based on the users needs).
    IF....calls are to be made abroad only within the country you are visiting then it might not be a bad idea to buy a prepaid SIM in that country so that all in country calls are at the local rate........the down side of this approach is that calls back to the USA could be pricey long distance calls from the local European plan.
    On the other hand using a SIM purchased here in the USA might cause ALL calls ( in country and long distance) abroad to be long distance and higher priced?
    I have no experience with these scenarios but have picked up the info above in recent conversations so it is all speculation on my part.
    Can anyone accurately address this?



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