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What type of phone/phone card to buy?

Franklin...
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228 posts
9 reviews
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What type of phone/phone card to buy?

Hello,

We will be traveling to Germany, Austria, and Italy for a month. Doing something with our own cell phone company is out, as we would have to add an international line to our plan and buy a new phone. What is the cheapest, best way to keep in contact with our USA family as well as our German family we will be visiting for the 1st half of the trip? I have heard of renting a phone, buying a phone, and just getting phone cards and using them at pay phones/ hotel phones. Help!

Mannheim, Germany
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for Zurich, Mannheim
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1. Re: What type of phone/phone card to buy?

>Doing something with our own cell phone company is out, as we would have to add an international line to our plan and buy a new phone.

But unless your phone is locked to the SIM card you can simply buy a local SIM card and temporarily replace yours - so no need to modify your system. Mind that you might have to buy such card in every country separately - while they work in the respectively other country they incur high roaming fees.

I have heard about the BlauWorld SIM cards (at least in if you buy in Germany) which are supposedly good for cheap calls across a larger range of countries but have no experience with them.

Gambrills, MD
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for Fussen
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2. Re: What type of phone/phone card to buy?

Your current phone is probably "locked" so you can't switch providers. I've used Blauworld sim cards and been pleased with their rates, which are a whopping 9 cents Euro a minute for calls to the US, plus a connection charge of about 15 cents. You can buy Blauworld products at branches of the Reisebank, which are in most major airports. The website says you have to have a German address, but I've never been asked for one.

You have two fairly easy options, in my opinion. First, you could just buy a new phone with simcard when you get to Germany. The website for Blauworld lists a cellphone for 27 Euros - I think that includes the simcard but am not sure. If you don't want to buy a phone there, check to see if you have an old GSM triband or quadband phone, and get it unlocked. Sometimes the provider will do that for you, or you can find someone to unlock it for you, or even get an unlocked phone on Ebay. Then once you have an unlocked GSM triband or quadband, you can buy a simcard when you get to Europe. There are lots of different companies that sell simcards, at various rates.

3. Re: What type of phone/phone card to buy?

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Removed on: 19 December 2010, 07:15