Do cheap pre-paid (almost disposable) Tracfone/Net10 phones exist in Italy?

We're a frugal family and have great success with Net10 phones from Walmart... we pay about $15 a month for a phone which works well for us. They are so cheap now that for 30 bucks you get 300 minutes for two months of airtime and the phone is actually free!

Does such a product exist in Italy/France? We only need a mobile phone solution for two weeks and was hoping something like this might work for us.

My company may need to contact us from the States if there is an emergency and plus it would just be nice to have a cell phone abroad.

I've been reading RS Helpline posts re: cell phones and it seems the consensus is to buy an unlocked phone and a pre-paid SIM card rather than renting.

Pete Robyn

Mid-July Paris/Italy

Posted by Joanne
Atlanta, GA
9 posts

Verizon phones don't work overseas, but they have a deal for people who will be gone for less than a month. For $15, they send you a new phone that uses your regular phone number. You pay about $1 a minute, but if you don't plan to use it much, it could be a cheap alternative for Verizon customers. We're going to try it next month.

Posted by Liz
Seattle, WA
1311 posts

Tracfone only works in U.S., Canada and Mexico. We use Tracfone and this has been an issue for us. We looked into purchasing a Mobal phone for $40. You might consider an option like this, particularly since you don't plan to have many calls. We ended up going without any phone, but that's not ideal for everyone.

Posted by Michelle
Anaheim, CA, USA
1394 posts

Peter

You need to make sure the phone is on the same frequency that's used in Europe. Majority of the US phones are useless in Europe.

If you get an unlocked phone (like on ebay) get a tri or better yet, a quad phone that is unlocked.
When you get to Europe, tobbac / convenience stores will sell the sim, and you can "top up" your minutes there too.

If you do not want to worry about buying online, you can visit a "cellular" store in Italy or France. Those phones will not be unlocked but the phone will be new, it will work in Europe, and the plug will be ready to use there.

A disposable phone in Europe can cost as little as $40.. same as the US.

To add to Joanne's post, the Verizon phone is a rental. People at home call your local cell# and it forwards the call to your international number. You get free incoming calls if you use it in the UK or France, I believe.

Posted by Skip
Cornville, AZ, United States
1 posts

Michelle:
Can you make a call in Italy on the Verizon rental or is it just for incoming calls?
Skip

Posted by PeterLuv5Terre
Wesley Chapel, NC, US
167 posts

Thanks for the advice!

I'll probably shop for a "disposable" phone once we reach Paris.

Pete