We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

International Cell phones

Which London hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Atlanta, GA USA
posts: 9
International Cell phones

Hey everyone! First just let me say that I am terribly sorry all that you have been through as a country the last few weeks. Know that you are being thought of.

I will be in London the first week in September. This is my second trip. I am looking for an international cell phone. Does anyone know of how I can go about getting one? I have checked out prices for rentals from the US and they are really expensive. I would love to hear any other ideas you may have. Thanks! =D

Los Angels, CA
posts: 55
reviews: 1
1. Re: International Cell phones

we rented one throught autoeurope. Their web site is www.autoeurope.com and they have an 800 number.

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 5,283
reviews: 8
2. Re: International Cell phones

I bought a couple gsm, tri-band, unlocked phones on ebay. They just need a pay-as-you-go UK SIM card and you're good to go.

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 212
reviews: 4
3. Re: International Cell phones

Good morning, Ebert---It might be cheaper and more convenient to buy a cellphone if you travel abroad even once or twice a year. Try Mobal Communications in New York; they have a promotion where you can get a reconditioned Nokia cell free or a new one for $49. You pay only for calls--no rental or activation fees. When you are not using the phone, just keep it in a drawer at home. I have two of them, one for me and one for my son. Call rates are comparable to the rental places I checked out; call quality is excellent. Here is the website:


posts: 475
reviews: 9
4. Re: International Cell phones

Another rental resource is Mobal. Their web address is:


If you expect to have need of a world phone on more than one occasion in the future, buying one outright would probably be more cost effective. Just be sure that you look for a tri-band, unlocked GSM phone. Tri-band is necessary if you want to be able to use it in the U.S. as well as abroad, and it's nice to be able to do this so you can try it out before you travel.

If you Google the phrase "world phone", you will get a number of results for possible places to purchase a phone. Also, try using TA's own search function for more user info. Good luck!

Atlanta, GA USA
posts: 9
5. Re: International Cell phones

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the great advice. I can't wait to go to Londonl.

San Francisco...
posts: 334
reviews: 10
6. Re: International Cell phones

I'm confused about Mobal's website. For the Nokia 1100 model (the $49 one) it says: "Please note: This phone will not operate within the US". So, if I were to buy that one, I couldn't use it at home first to test it out? I must be misreading something.

Scottsdale, AZ
posts: 20
reviews: 1
7. Re: International Cell phones

Hello Pheno,

I would not be concerned with the phone not working. I have purchased one of those phones for the price of 49.00 and I have read other forums that suggest that it works and you don't sound like you are in a tunnel when calling. On another note, if you do decide to buy the phone, you can use it in over 140 countries and I have family that will be calling me while I am in the UK for 2 weeks and got them a calling card plan so that it is no charge to me while I am in the UK and less expensive for them at 1.50 a minute without the calling card. If you need the website address to purchase these card plans, please let me know and I will send it.


posts: 21
reviews: 2
8. Re: International Cell phones

I recently bought a new motorola phone from Cingular and

was informed that for $5.95 they could program my phone to allow international calls for a month; plus 99c a minute.

I just need to contact them a week before I go. I live in Calif.

so I'm not sure if this applies everywhere. It may not work with

older model phones. You need to check with them. Have fun.

posts: 63
reviews: 2
9. Re: International Cell phones

I don't know what carrier you use, but my T-Mobile cell phone from California worked fine in the UK(actually, it worked better than it does here in Sacramento!).

All I did ws call their 800 number and asked them to add international service. There was no additional service charge for this.


posts: 475
reviews: 9
10. Re: International Cell phones

PhenoBarbara - I don't think you're misreading anything. The phone you're looking at is probably a dual-band, not a tri-band. Tri-band is what you need in order to be able to use it in the U.S., even just to try it out before you travel. To be able to use it in U.S. and abroad, check the phone's description and make sure it refers to "900/1800/1900". Those are the bands that allow it to work in the U.S. and in the U.K. (and many other locations worldwide).