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Do I purchase a cell phone in Europe?

I was told by a sales person at AT&T that it would be cheaper for me to purchase a cell phone in Europe than to upgrade my existing phone for international calls. I will be in Europe for 6.5 weeks.
Thanks for your insight.
Sharon

Posted by
225 posts

You need to decide how much you'll use the phone and compare that against the ATT rate. You can purchase fairly inexpensive "Go Phones" in Europe. There is also the benefit of having your own phone number with you in Europe.

Posted by
6288 posts

For moderate use over that period of time it may well be cheaper, maybe $50 to $100? by the time you get a cheap phone and a SIM card. For us, it was cheaper to use our ATT phones, but ours are already GSM phones and have International roaming at $1.26 a minute. We only used the phone to connect when separated, so limited use.

Posted by
1455 posts

Sharon,
I have done both, brought my phone and purchased one in Europe. The first time I took mine, I figured it was to get a hold of my other party, or for emergencies (ie: calling home). I never thought that I'd be going back to Europe for the 6th time next month and in less than a 3 year period.

2 years ago I forgot my cell and went to those "Cellular Super stores" and got a pay as you go one. The phone with 20 min pay time cost me around $90. Its a great phone, I have a permanent Euro number (which is great for making reservations), and its not that expensive to make international calls. I can top up my minutes at any "top up" shop.

Posted by
486 posts

BUY IT HERE! Cheaper than there.

You need an unlocked phone. I found a deal on AT&T for $30 for a refurbished quad band phone and found a web page that says how to unlock it. I did it myself.

Search Rick for my Technology tip on Cell Phones in Europe or PM me for a copy.

I'll also answer any questions.

Posted by
1158 posts

I think you can buy it here cheaper. Look on ebay for an unlocked phone, tri or quad band. Then buy a SIM card in Europe. Incoming calls on European SIM cards are free. You will have to see how much would cost you to call US or other countries. maybe some Eurpeans on this site can give you some ideas.
I have a T-mobile tri band phone I can use anywhere in the world, but it's very expensive to call US. $.99 from western Europe, $1.99 from Eastern Europe, plus I get charged the same rate for incoming calls.

Posted by
1455 posts

Bea, my original phone I did buy here before I left. I got it on ebay for a decent price of $40. I had to replace it because it was a used phone and there was a glitch.

Many times you can get lucky and get a good phone. I'd say 99% of the time. But if Sharon wanted to be sure it works in Europe for the almost 7 weeks she'll be there.. I'd suggest getting it over there where she knows the phone is new and working.

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you sooo much, everyone. The info was most helpful.

Posted by
875 posts

I bought an unlocked GSM phone (European model) here on the Internet & got a SIM card through a different site. I was having problems making calls in France, so I stopped in at The Phone House (there are many in Europe) to buy another SIM card. They had a good deal on a cell phone, so I bought another phone (29 euros). Turns out it was just opeator error with the 1st phone.....however, my husband & I got separated in the Louvre, and it was very nice to call and ask him where he was! I think we will always travel with 2 phones from now on. I will just get new SIM cards in Europe.

Posted by
154 posts

Actually I have been researching this for a while. I went with an iphone. You can email from any wifi hotspot without using any minutes. With a google email account you can IM . That's like a free cell phone.

Verizon has the next best deal with the blackberry
Tricia

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks for the info!
How did we ever manage in the olden days of travel???

Posted by
26 posts

Now that's a novel thought - NO cell phone!!!

Posted by
1455 posts

Tricia, you sure your iPhone won't get charged roaming?? Sure you get free wifi but if you're using a non Euro carrier, you may get dinged using the wifi (even if the service is free)

Posted by
225 posts

Wi Fi is a local connection to the internet and unless there is a fee to access a particular Wi Fi location, then it is free.

Posted by
225 posts

Wi Fi is a local connection to the internet and unless there is a fee to access a particular Wi Fi location, then it is free.