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Cell phones in Britain and Norway

I am traveling to Britian and Norway this summer. I have an international GSM cell phone that is unlocked. What are my options for SIM cards and is that a cost effective way to go for cell service? My current carrier in the USA is Verizon, but they tend to charge very high rates for international roaming, so I am inclined to explore the SIM card route with my GSM phone.

Posted by
225 posts

There are multiple websites including,, and that all offer international or country SIMs and phones. Or you could buy a SIM card once you get to where you are going.

As an alternative, I upgraded to Verizon's Motorola Z6c which is their CDMA/GSM phone. It has a SIM card which works in most countries (except US). The rates are $1.29 per minute which is a little high relative to some of the above websites (generally less than a $1 per minute). The benefit is that I travel with my own cell number and I don't plan on making many calls.

Posted by
769 posts

i use my cingular/att gsm and its about 1.29-.99 a min - a bit expensive but if you buy a temp phone for 40-euro (60$) - so go figure. If you go often may be cheaper. If its unlocked - you may be ok to buy a 10-euro sim at the first news/tobacco stand in the airport.

Posted by
505 posts


In the UK, you should be able to buy a SimCard at just about any corner shop or one of the phone shops like Carphone Warehouse etc. There are lots of providers - Vodafone, Orange,T-Mobile, and O2 are some of the options.

Just ask at the store. Sim cards usually come with some minutes on them and you can add more minutes by buying a scratch-off card with a special code. You can get those just about everywhere.

Not sure about Norway, but if it's anything like Denmark or the UK, the system is exactly the same, kust with different providers.


Posted by
32238 posts

Todd, could you clarify one point - does Verizon offer international roaming on GSM networks (given that their phones use CDMA technology)?

As you have an "international GSM cell phone", using one of the travel SIM's as mentioned in the first reply would be one option. Something like Cellular Abroad might be a good choice, given that you'll be travelling in two countries.

If you were to buy a SIM in England and then use it in Norway, you'd pay high roaming charges. You could of course buy another SIM in Norway, but your number would change with each SIM, so you'd have to notify family & friends where they could reach you. With a travel SIM, your number will stay the same (some of these are based in Lichtenstein) and your charges would be fairly predicable regardless of which country you were in. Some of them offer convenient top-up via Credit Card.

I always travel with a Cell phone, and find it indispensable (I'm with a GSM network, which helps)!

Happy travels!

Posted by
2 posts

You are CDMA in the UK or Norway. It looks like it is the GSM phone and SIM cards. Thanksfor the advice!

Posted by
1455 posts

If you want to rent the phone, Verizon has a partnership with vodafone. Your family/friends at home just calls your regular US cell, and the calls get forwarded to your rental.

When you are in the UK you get free incoming calls.
It did charge me a buck a minute to call out though, but luckily I didn't use it much except to make a few reservations.