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Old 07-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
sdgarre1
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Cell Phone/Internet Advice for Europe!

Hello!

I am traveling to Ireland and London and would love some advice on using cell phones while in Europe. I currently do not have a smart phone, but am interested in having something that will upload me to the internet so I can post pictures online, use the gps, and check my e-mail. I would also like for it to have calling capabilities (obviously).

Does anyone have any advice on the best things to take with me? I really want to stay connected through wi fi so my friends can see my trip as it unfolds but don't know how to go about it!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
lizabu
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There's 2 different things we've tried. Once we took a smart phone that was unlocked and bought a SIM card (this was in Egypt) and we could make calls. More recently we went to Europe and my DH brought his iPhone. We turned the roaming off and just used wifi every where. Many cafes, hotels airports and trainstations have free wifi. I could use facebook and post photos check email and look things up on google. I would call home and call friends using tango.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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I had a CDMA phone and wanted something that would work overseas, so before our recent trip to Europe I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S 4g from T-Mobile. The phone was free. Any calls you make using WiFi do not count against your plan minutes. So if you can find a cafe with WiFi (which is usually easy to do) or your hotel has free WiFi, you can make calls for free. Any calls I make from home go through my router, so those don't count against my minutes either. I've only had the phone for about a month, but so far I really like it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
I had a CDMA phone and wanted something that would work overseas, so before our recent trip to Europe I switched to a Samsung Galaxy S 4g from T-Mobile. The phone was free. Any calls you make using WiFi do not count against your plan minutes. So if you can find a cafe with WiFi (which is usually easy to do) or your hotel has free WiFi, you can make calls for free. Any calls I make from home go through my router, so those don't count against my minutes either. I've only had the phone for about a month, but so far I really like it.
That's interesting. Does it have a switch you can change to point it to WiFi vs 4G?

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Old 07-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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That's interesting. Does it have a switch you can change to point it to WiFi vs 4G?

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It's configurable. I just set up the phone to use WiFi first if it's available, so it only uses the T-Mobile network when it can't connect to WiFi. Once it's setup, it's seamless.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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If you have an iPad with 3G, you can go to one of the mobile places in the UK and get a sim card for it. Not too expensive at all. For example, last year, I bought a 3G card from 3 (that's the name of the company ... 3) for 10 GBP and it had more than enough data for my trip.

http://store.three.co.uk/SIM_Only/Mo...iPad_Micro_SIM

Of course, this doesn't help if you want to make a phone call....
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
It's configurable. I just set up the phone to use WiFi first if it's available, so it only uses the T-Mobile network when it can't connect to WiFi. Once it's setup, it's seamless.
Cool! One of these days I'll break down & get a smart phone. This one sounds like a keeper!

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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There are several options, it would depend on what you wanted to be able to do...Text, talk, call back to the states or/and data.

If you have an unlocked phone or get your phone unlocked(most carriers will unlock your phone if you have had it for 2yrs) then you can buy a sim card based for what you need.

If you have any old phones around the house you can call and have them unlocked, then you would just need to buy a sim card. ATT will not unlock your smart phone unless you have had it for 2yrs. I ended up just unlocking one of our older phones for our trip to Aruba. The SIM card for just calling and texting was $20, and my daughter bought one with data and that was $45. We had wifi at the hotel so she kept the data disabled on the phone and used the wifi alot to save the data. When we were away from the hotel she would just turn the data back on. If was really nice being able to get directions etc. while driving around.

When we went to London I just bought 2 phones with minutes already loaded, it was about $35 each with $10 in minutes. We just used it for texting each other and had money still on the sim card when we left. A couple things about Europe, free wifi was much harder to find then in the states. So if you want data, you best bet is to get an unlocked phone and buy a sim card with data. You can turn off your data while not using it.

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Old 08-02-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allforpooh View Post
If you have an unlocked phone or get your phone unlocked(most carriers will unlock your phone if you have had it for 2yrs) then you can buy a sim card based for what you need.

If you have any old phones around the house you can call and have them unlocked, then you would just need to buy a sim card. ATT will not unlock your smart phone unless you have had it for 2yrs. I ended up just unlocking one of our older phones for our trip to Aruba. The SIM card for just calling and texting was $20, and my daughter bought one with data and that was $45. We had wifi at the hotel so she kept the data disabled on the phone and used the wifi alot to save the data. When we were away from the hotel she would just turn the data back on. If was really nice being able to get directions etc. while driving around.

When we went to London I just bought 2 phones with minutes already loaded, it was about $35 each with $10 in minutes. We just used it for texting each other and had money still on the sim card when we left. A couple things about Europe, free wifi was much harder to find then in the states. So if you want data, you best bet is to get an unlocked phone and buy a sim card with data. You can turn off your data while not using it.

Denise
Did you have phones you weren't currently using unlocked? We have old phones that we don't use that are old enough to be unlocked. Does it matter that they don't currently have phone number's assigned?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #10
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In order to use a North American phone in Europe or the UK it needs to be a quad band phone. The rest of the world uses a different frequency than we do. If your phone is old and one of the cheap ones, it may not have the frequency needed. Check the specs of the phone before you go to the trouble of unlocking it.

And old phones won't have a phone number if there's no sim card inserted into it. The sim will give you the phone number.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pxlbarrel View Post
In order to use a North American phone in Europe or the UK it needs to be a quad band phone. The rest of the world uses a different frequency than we do. If your phone is old and one of the cheap ones, it may not have the frequency needed. Check the specs of the phone before you go to the trouble of unlocking it.

And old phones won't have a phone number if there's no sim card inserted into it. The sim will give you the phone number.
Thanks! They are iPhone 3GS so I think they are quad band phones. This never occured to me and it might be a good solution for us.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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Oh yes, the iPhone is perfect!!!
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