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Cellphone Advice

Have been reading alot of tidbits regarding Cellphone service pros and cons and am more confused than ever! Example: buy a "TomTom here or in Rome". "TomTom vs. Cingular", etc..."Use and buy international calling cards when you arrive". Are the cities just loaded with easy payphones access? Where I live they are few. I have Verizon here and they offer little if any options. I need some guidance from your experiences as to the most sensible way to have Cellphone service. I understand that it is very costly and more costly for someone to call you from the USA to your Cellphone in Italy.
Thank you for your help to me!

Posted by
831 posts

It is no longer costly. A cellphone complete with SIM card and 5 euro calling time can be had in Italy for 39 euro. I got mine at TIM but I believe Wind and Vodahone offer similar deals. The cost to you will be about .10 euro a minute for local calls and about .50 to call the U.S. In coming calls are free. If a caller from the U.S. uses a 1010 number they can call you for around $.10 a minute.

Posted by
35 posts

I took my Cingular phone and paid 5.99 a month for the service. The calls were .99 a minute. I never had long conversations...just checking in, etc. It was perfect and the phone worked fabulously everywhere. I just pressed the + 1 and the area code and number; it worked. My family called me by just calling my regular number!!

Posted by
4 posts

I also took my Cingular phone and the service was fine. You can go on your service provider's website to see if your phone is compatible. If you do use your cell phone in Europe, make sure you sign up for the international plan before you go. You can drop it from your plan when you get back to the states. I had excellent coverage all over Italy, from Rome north to the lake region.

Posted by
1127 posts

The big cities in Italy have pay phones and some of them actually work! Most hotels in Italy do not charge outrageous prices to use room phones or phones located in the lobby - but check your hotels policy before you pick up the phone! The calling cards that you purchase in Italy have a toll free number to connect you. These calls are usually free at hotels. However a calling card will only allow you to call people. If you have a cell phone that works in Italy you can receive calls easily.

Posted by
59 posts

I believe a TOMTOM is a navigation system and has nothing to do with a cell phone.

My home phone rates to Italy landline or cell phone is $0.12/minute so I guess it depends on your provider's international rates. Using a calling card from US to Italian cell phone changes the rate from $0.06/minute to $0.68/minute (Verizon CC from Costco).

I have a quad band phone and just bought an TIM SIM chip with an Italian phone number. It came with €5 credit and recharge cards are easy to come by. Incoming calls were free to me. My rate to call the US was €0.70/minute, local calls were about €0.20/minute.

Cities have plenty of internet cafes which also have phone booths to make international calls. Internet Train is a chain of internet cafes.