In 2008, the last time I went to Europe, I bought a Vodaphone with prepaid minutes that I could buy minutes for as I needed them. I still have the phone and charger and I'm going to France, Italy and Germany this summer for 3 weeks. I don't own a smart phone. Is there a way to reactivate this phone? I don't plan to use it much but would like to have a phone for emergencies.
Yes. I've been using the same simple Nokia bought in France phone since 2006. Every summer I activate a new number and buy some minutes. Just go into a phone store to activate and get some minutes.
Does anyone know if this will work with a phone I bought in London since I will be in Paris this time? Is there a place to buy minutes in DeGaul Airport?
Kimberly, It's likely that the phone is unlocked, so you should be able to just visit a French mobile store and buy a new SIM card. That will provide you with a French number and calling features. It would be a good idea to get everything set up before you leave the store, as some of the menus may be in French. I don't have any information on purchasing a SIM in France, as it's not something I ever do. It's highly doubtful that you'll be able to re-activate your previous U.K. number as it's probably been re-assigned since 2008. That wouldn't be a good idea anyway, as you'd be "roaming" in France so your costs would be higher. One point to clarify. Does the charger for the phone have the large U.K. Plug? If so, you'll need a Plug Adapter to use in France. Happy travels!
To test if your phone is locked or unlocked, borrow someone's T-Mobile or AT&T SIM card, and ins-ert it into your phone. If it almost immediately asks for a "SIM PIN 2" and will not go any further, your phone is locked. If it boots up normally, then says "searching for network" for a while, it is unlocked. If your phone is quad band, it will find the network of the US SIM you ed. If it is only dual band, it will keep saying "searching for network" for a long time, then say it was unable to register on a network. But don't worry, if it is able to search for a network (even if it doesn't find one), it is unlocked. I don't think you can get a phone unlocked in CDG, but you will see small shops advertising "deblockage" all over town, that will do it for about €20. Lebara is a French provider often mentioned as having inexpensive rates; I don't know what their rates are for roaming in Italy or Germany. Here's their website (you can choose English at the upper right): http://www.lebara.fr/. I don't know if their SIM's are sold in CDG, but there is a way to get one mailed to you in advance (I forget how, but search either this forum or others, and you'll see details). If you really only intend to use it for emergencies, and are already a T-Mobile or AT&T customer, you could just use this overseas. It isn't cheap ($1-1.50 per minute, with texts substantially less), but it's certainly easy, and you don't have to buy a new SIM.