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Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Christchurch
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Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

My hubby is going to Samoa for 2 weeks with Habitat for Humanity - staying in Lepa.

I am trying to research info about whether or not the kids and I will be able to call him and for how much.

I am tyring to contact Digicel to confirm prices but no luck... Does anyone know IF international calls can be made from a prepaid digicel cell phone. I saw that calls to NZ are nearly a $1 for one minute on a post pay plan which seems very expensive and not very cheap as I read on an old post from March last year.

what is coverage like in Lepa?

Can you really buy a cheap cell phone for under $20 NZ?

Huge Thanks in advance for advice :-)

kurrajong
Destination Expert
for Samoa
Level Contributor
845 posts
64 reviews
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1. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

we took our own phones and just brought a sim card in samoa, we got go mobile but there are others.

we were calling australia and sending text messages. we found the calls very cheap. a $20tala credit lasted 2 weeks ( i text alot ! and 2 4 minute calls to aus , so not bad)

we saw lots of habitat for humanity people helping just out of lalomanu, they all looked very busy, but seemed to be enjoying there afternoon swims!!

hope your husband enjoys his time, has he been to samoa before?

sue

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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4,089 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Malo lava

I've had a Go Mobile phone for years and my hubby uses Digicel. From our experience calls are cheaper and coverage much better with Go Mobile.

Similar to what Sue does, I get 30 tala credit (about $NZ18) which lasts me more than 2 weeks. Calls to Oz and NZ are very cheap on a mobile because in many cases it is the only way Samoans have of keeping in touch with family overseas. Get your hubby to talk to someone at Habitat and see what other people working for them are saying about calling from Lepa. I know that some communications (mainly landlines) are still down in the areas that were affected by the tsunami but I really can't see that there will be much of a problem.

Depending on what type of phone you have you can get a Samoan SIM but they won't work in quite a few brands of phone. What brand was yours Sue? I tried with an LG and they wouldn't work.

Go Mobile often have specials and you can pick up a phone for around 49-59 tala ($NZ30-40). Google GoMobile or SamoaTel (the main telecommunications provider) and see if they have any specials.

Hope that helps.

Manuia le aso (have a great day)

Deb

Edited: 24 March 2010, 23:52
Christchurch
3 posts
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3. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Thanks Sue, no he hasnt been to Samoa before. He is really looking fwd to it! :-)

Christchurch
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4. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Thanks Deb, he has a vodafone cell, but battery isnt very good! So he'll probably get one from Samoa and then he can give it away when he leaves. Am hoping to talk to someone from Habitat soon to find out about coverage.

:-) Gill

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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5. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Your welcome Gill

When you do find out about coverage would you please let us know, there are probably a few people in the same situation and it would be great to have a definite answer.

Tai tele (thanks very much)

Deb

Sydney
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354 posts
25 reviews
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6. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

You can use any mobile phone so long as it is UNLOCKED by your service provider in whichever country you reside and it is NOT 3G capable(like an i-Phone) samoa is still on a GSM network. Unless you have bought your mobile/cell phone OUTRIGHT chances are it is stil locked to the vodafone network. If you live in new zealand any vodafone mobile purchased prior to 2008 should be unlocked. HOWEVER if you dont want to put out for a new mobile in Samoa then double check that your current mobile is unlocked before you go. A sim starter pack from Digicel costs $10 Tala the cheapest handset is $99 tala. GoMobile would have the same or similar deal. If your staying way outside of Apia, then finding credit for a prepay is easiest if you have a digicel sim. To check how much your dollar is worth in Samoa just go to the Western Union website they have a handy calculator

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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4,089 posts
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7. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

Malo

Sorry to differ, both Digicel and GoMobile have monthly week long special where phone prices can range from 29 tala to 59 tala. You will now find that GoMobile outlets are available more widely than before.

Fa soifua

Deb

Auckland
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30 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

The main reasons some phones don't work in Samoa or any other country with a GSM network are:

1) the phone isn't compatible with the GSM network. I googled the network in Samoa and they are on GSM900 so any phone that can connect to this. Most phones these days can connect to a number of different networks so check you phone's manual for this info.

2) the phone has been blocked by the phone company in the home country to prevent people from using foreign sim cards thereby forcing them to roam and be charged an arm and a leg.

Calling to NZ from Samoa is cheap as the others have said and the phone companies there have promotions all the time at even cheaper rates.

Hope that helps.

9. Re: Phoning New Zealand using Samoan cell phones....

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