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cell phone

I tried to find where the cell phone topic was covered, but could not. July will be here before we know it. I am looking for an inexpensive way to phone home from Germany and Paris or receive calls from the states. Don't need anything exciting, just so it rings and is cheap to use. My carrier right now is Verizon.

where to buy, when to buy, what to buy. thanks tom

Posted by
3336 posts

We have Verizon as well and just used our phones that we use here in the states. We all have an iPhone 4s but lots of other phones will work internationally as well. You need to contact Verizon to see if the phones you currently have will work and to have them set up international calling for you but the rates were reasonable. Just make sure to put your phone on airplane mode while you are there and turn off cellular data - otherwise your phone will connect to everything as you move around and you'll end up with an astronomical bill!

Posted by
833 posts

Another option than what Anita suggests is to buy a local SIM card. For this you will need an unlocked phone that operates on GSM, which you can get in the US or in Europe from the same place you're buying a phone. You will buy a SIM card from a company in Germany or Paris, whichever is your first destination. The SIM card will probably be 5 or 10€. Because I was there for several months, I bought a plan that made my calls to the US only 12 cents a minute. Even without the plan, the calls to the US would have been very reasonable. However, keep in mind that if anyone from the US wants to call you - it will be to an international number, and therefore expensive. One solution would be to have them text you if they need to talk to you, and you can call them (receiving international calls shouldn't cost anything extra to them). You will load up your SIM card with euros, and when it gets low you can top it off. When you go to your second destination you'll be roaming off of that carrier, so either just throw some extra euros on before you leave or get a local SIM card in your destination.

My first time to Italy I used AT&T's international plan and it was still extremely expensive compared to if I had known to use a local SIM card.

There are other international phone providers you can purchase in advance in the states, but it's not too difficult to do it locally if you'd like to do that instead.

Posted by
6820 posts

T Mobile has a new marketing plan that has unlimited texting and data, with $.20 per minute voice calls--with no yearly contracts.

They're really getting a bunch of new business with this plan.

I use MagicJack Plus for my landline. All I have to do is take the little plug in unit and an old style handset and I can make calls thru my laptop at hotel internets for free.