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willyvv (Offline)
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Default 27-04-2006, 21:56

Hi! I hope I've posted this correctly, this is my "first time"! I am also inexperienced in international phone use, so please be patient!

I will be travelling in Europe for almost 3 weeks, first week in Switzerkand, then a week in Italy then back to Switzerland (small time in Austria & Lichtenstein). I have an unlocked quad band GSM phone and don't know if I should purchase some sort of SIM card in the US before I leave or one once I arrive. Also, do I need to consider one for each country (Switz & Italy), or just one?

Thanks for any help...
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 28-04-2006, 04:05

Look at some of the other posts of others travelling.............

If you are travelling in multiple countries, you would PROBABLY do well with one of the international SIM cards -- United Mobile, Travel Sim, 09, Callblue, etc. You probably want FREE INBOUND (watch Liechtenstein or wait to make calls when you are not longer registered on any of its networks). You will have ONE #. You will have to get the international card in advance. You should probably purchase at least ONE refill in advance IF YOU PLAN ON CALLING OUT LOTS. Check the rates and estimate your usage.

You might want to look into a callback service like Callbackworld (CBW) if you use the UM or 09 card. If you do the CBW thing, then you might postpone a refill purchase. I have not checked the rates on the Isle of Man (IOM) cards -- whether CBW or Enlinea (another callback provider) are worth it.

Pablo has some UM cards for sale -- see buy and sell forum. There are new links on the forum to some of the international cards that will benefit the web site. You can try Ebay. One seller is offering lots of Callbue cards and I bet they go begging for buyers.

Please note the disadvantages:

1. for your friends and family to call YOU, they may have to pay higher rates (all calls to European cell phones have saucy rates). You might be able to avoid this with the Travel SIM, 0044 or other brands with IOM origination. This will be true even if you buy a SIM for CH and one for IT. Check it out in advance -- rates they will have to pay to call you, especially if that is your plan of attack -- ie., FREE INBOUND.

2. reports of spotty service -- phone incompatibilities.

3. callback and double-callback procedures are an inconvenience.

4. reports that CBW is sporadic.

5. NOTE - you will have free inbound if you use Swiss or Italian SIMs, but only in the country of origin. Why invest in 2 cards when 1 will do?


================================

I have two United Mobile knock-off SIMs and am so far pleased with their service. I will be travelling with 3 family members and we also have local SIMs for Germany and Malta. Overkill.

I ALWAYS recommend taking US calling cards that will work from foreign countries (ATT, MCI, Onesuite, Enjoyprepaid are just a few that work). I also recommend purchasing one such card of modest value (say 5 euros) in country in case the US card does not work. In Europe it is almost always cheaper calling from and to landline phones -- you may have one in the hotel or home where you are staying. That would be my first choice rather than a cell.

Remember, most folks here want to save money. I don't know how many calls you will be making or receiving, if you need SMS service, etc. You'll have to check the details as to what suits your needs best.

Have a nice trip.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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powerlifter (Offline)
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Default 28-04-2006, 13:07

Let me start out to say Snimon makes some very good points. A International card may be what you need. There is a swiss local card that is called Orange click. It has free roaming in the countries you are going to be in. You have to pick the cross border option. The only drawback is it has to be sent to you in Switzerland. I think they will send it to your hotel they do have to have Your passport information when you receive it. You have to order it online that is the only way you can get it. AndreA may be able to shed more light than I on this. This is of course another option for you to consider.
Have a great trip.


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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 28-04-2006, 15:26

Yes Orangeclick would be great but it's a bit complicated to get it... I'm sure AndreA can tell a lot of stories about it!


Working Prepaids: IT: Wind, Vodafone IT, UNO Mobile; SM: Prima; UK: 3, Virgin; INT: TravelSIM, Truphone.
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 28-04-2006, 17:49

I went to the Orangeclick site...and it has an English option, got all the way to the order form and on the drop down menu for country of residence they only allowed responses of Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy.....what a bummer.

Why in this age of globalism do companies pull garbage like that...isn't my money good enough for them?
   
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willyvv (Offline)
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Default 29-04-2006, 19:00

Thanks for all the info so far, still learning about the call back thing...

Just a little more info on my potential usage: Really need it primarily to be reached, to make the occasional call to the US while we're away, and have the ability to make both local calls and calls to our friends in Switzerland while we're travelling.

Was also wondering if anyone knows about call forwarding: USA cell number to an international one (if I get an international SIM)?

   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 29-04-2006, 20:45

Using UM and CBW.....

Rates per minute are

$0.142 for Liechtenstein (UM) to Swiss landline and
$0.445 for Liechtenstein (UM) to Swiss mobile

Using 09 rates are a bit more expensive (1 cent) to both land & mobiles

I am not quite sure how to calculate rates for the Isle of Man phones -- if I use UK cell, the rates are much higher. Than may not be correct, however.

Others will have to inform you about call-forward. Someone said Verizon had a service, but I have no personal experience, desire or need. I plan to call my voicemails -- home, work, mobile.

Stan




Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 29-04-2006, 21:39

I think I answered the question about call forwarding in another thread but here goes again...

My landline company, verizon, allows callforwarding but even more importantly remote call forwarding for $6/month...remote call forwarding means you can set the call forwarding from any other remote phone. At home, when I travel in the US, I always call forward from my landline to my mobile phone (T mobile USA)...charge of course is a local call as both my landline and my t mobile phone have nyc area codes.

Although it is only recently, verizon allows me to remote call forward to world wide (011) numbers...the charges are those of my ld carrier. AT&T ld has a $1/month plan which drastically slashes international rates...in this case calls to Liechtenstein mobiles as of this writing are $0.11/minute so if I am in, say Poland, and I have call forwarding set to my united mobile number, the caller pays for a call to nyc and then it is seamlessly and I mean seamlessly forwarded to the united mobile sim and I pay the 11?/minute which one would have to admit is pretty cheap. Calls to Liechtenstein mobiles on this plan are by far the cheapest of any other country; calls to UK mobiles are about 40?/minute as to France, Germany, Holland.
And another good thing about this is that AT&T connections are quick, reliable and clear as a bell.

Until 2 years ago, T Mobile USA used to allow call forwarding to foreign number but for some reason, which they have never given me, they stopped that.

As an alternative you can use an 800 service such as kall8 but their connections and prices to Liechtenstein are high and unreliable.

Of course, one has to hold one's breath as we have seen what has happened to rates to Liechtenstein mobiles with lots of other carriers.
   
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