Originally Posted by Hermes
Depends where you are staying…. If you are staying in a major US hotel such as Marriott then laptop connected to the Internet and Skype. You may or may not be able to connect wirelessly. Some international connections are really slow and if that is the case then Skype is useless. I would not rely on your phone working even if your carrier says it will or may. I have a GSM phone that takes SIM cards for each country or region. It is expensive but cheaper per minute than T-Mobile and it always works. Good luck. Do not drink the water and make sure your hepatitis vaccination is up to date.
At home I use Skype with dial-up but my connection is never slower
than 46 kbps. Playing only slightly fast and loose with the facts, if
you consider that a voice line has enough bandwidth for voice then
you can expect it to have bandwidth for compressed voice. When
all the handshaking etc. is added in then I'd guess that you couldn't
work with dial-up slower than 30 kbps. As I recall, if you have ATT
for an ISP you can have international dial-up. If you try that then
expect connector plug hell. In western Europe there is wi-fi everywhere.
Don't know about eastern Europe (which Europeans call central
I'm just about positive that all European cell phones are GSM so
if you currently have T-Mobile or ATT here then you have a GSM
phone. To get local service you would need to buy a SIM card
there but there is a catch: branded phones (T-MO, ATT Cingular)
won't accept alien SIMs without going thru a SIM-unlock. T-MO
will provide the code for customers of standing (can't remember
how many months) and ATT I believe will refuse you. There are
companies which will provide unlock codes for a fee (Google SIM
unlock) but I have never dealt with that. With the new SIM card
you will have a phone number in the local country.
Phone calls from the US to Europe to a landline will be significantly
cheaper than to a mobile phone. Also outside the US only the
caller pays. Last time I was in Europe text messages (SMS) cost
.35 with T-MO and my home SIM but they couldn't bill me right
and it came to .05. There was no important delay.