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Cell Phone Queston???

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Richmond, Virginia
posts: 344
reviews: 9
Cell Phone Queston???

Supposedly, my phone will work while I am in London. I have Cingular service and Nokia phone. I was told I could pay 5.95+ my regular bill a month to switch my plan to international and then would pay .19 a minute for any calls while in London. This still seemed expensive to me. I am curious as to what others have done. I know I will have to have an adapter to charge it anyway. I read something before in another forum about people taking their phone with them overseas and then getting month to month service while they were there. I may have been confused, but wouldn't I run into the same problem dialing back to the US? Any comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

north-east NJ
posts: 2,577
reviews: 1
1. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

Your phone is locked into Cingular service, so I'm pretty sure you'd have to use their plan. Otherwise, in order to use your phone you'd have to get it "unlocked." Then you would just have to buy a UK sim card.

Or you could just buy an inexpensive world phone for your trip & pay as you go.

If having a phone isn't as important as just being able to make inexpensive calls, then I highly reccommend buying a phone card from the Post Office when you get to London. It works out less expensive to make international calls than local one, even! They are a great deal -- it seems to work out to pennies p/minute to the States (definitely under 10 cents.)

posts: 2,456
reviews: 5
2. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

How's Jan?

posts: 4
3. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

Interesting question. Just returned from London, and while I was there, I turned on my cell, and it searched for a network. Voda phone showed up on the screen. I have cingular, and a motorola phone. Not sure if I could have called, but you could check this out.

london, ontario
posts: 243
4. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

janie (or anyone) if you buy those cards from the post office is it to use with the hotel phone or a pay phone? If it is the hotel phone can you end up incurring other charges from the hotel as well?

lookout, mountain!
posts: 309
5. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

the easiest thing to do would be to get an unlocked quad- or tri-band gsm phone. you can then use your cingular SIM while in the states, and get a local SIM for other places. You can also get a call-back service to give you a dial tone which would be treated as incoming - free on european plans, but not on US ones. But you'd have to see if the total $$ would add up to savings vs. the $5 + 19 cents a minute for however long you are going to be there... that doesn't seem too bad, actually.

Detroit, MI
posts: 266
reviews: 13
6. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

Don't use the hotel phone (the one in your room) even for local calls. Hotels often charge a ridiculous fee for it. Some hotels have pay phones (you should ask at the front desk as they are often hidden around a corner). Or use the pay phones on the street. There's no extra charge for using a pay phone when using a phone card.

Detroit, Michigan
posts: 5,283
reviews: 8
7. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

We wanted two cell phones to use over there basically to keep in touch with each other while in London - when we each went our own way.

We bought 2 cheap pay-as-you-go phones (Siemens) from Virgin. They cost £19.95 each and came with a Virgin SIM card with a £5 credit.

Just went into a Virgin store in London and asked for their cheapest pay-as-you-go phone. :o)

posts: 2,911
reviews: 2
8. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

I also went the Virgin pay as you go route, but the rate is still 20p per minute to the US, which is close to what you will be paying on your existing plan. If you can only pay the additonal 5.95 once or twice to cover your trip, then you may be ahead to just stick with what you have, rather than paying to have your phone unlocked or buying a 20GBP phone when you arrive. I use Verizon, so my phone wouldn't work in the UK.

Riga, Latvia
posts: 2,583
reviews: 125
9. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

fla4fun - for future reference - Verizon will rent you a phone for $2 a day. All incoming calls are free for you (even from the states. I don't remember how much outgoing calls are. Also, FedEx shipping (for both ways) is a flat $20. The thing I like about their plan is that I keep my regular cell phone number so that people don't need to learn a new one.

Glenlyon, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
posts: 4,116
reviews: 34
10. Re: Cell Phone Queston???

I have read before that the US cell phone system can be different from the rest of the world(benefits of private enterprise I suppose - use the cheapest system) - however if your phone is a tri-band one it should work fine in the UK and/or Europe. The same applys for phones from Japan which is also a different format I believe.