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  1. #1
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Using internet phone overseas

    So, I have no idea how phones work. I just punch numbers and talk to people. I know diddly about any features beyond the send button.

    I will be going to Europe for 3 months next summer. I will need internet access while there. Don't need it here, though. I will be backpacking around and want something light. Someone suggested getting a fancy phone. I have Verizon right now and talked to a guy there about a Blackberry phone. It fits my budget (<$300). Seems to fit my needs. But...

    What I am wondering is if there is anyone out there with an alternative suggestion? Experience with this?

    Any help would be super. Oh, and I thought of this because I am desperately in need of a new phone but was going to get a cheapy until this came up. What to do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Europe isn't going to be much different from the Americas from a service point of view. Better to find a device that works easily for you and achieves your needs while you are still at home, and then buy a similar device but with multi-bands so it will be able to receive service in Europe. Borrow a Blackberry or a Palm or any of the other data devices from a friend for an hour and practice doing what you think you'll need to do in Europe, then buy. Since you're backpacking, be sure to look for larger batteries and judge the battery life with some local users, many of these data devices use a huge amount of power (depending on features enabled) so you may need to carry a small generator or several batteries if you can't plug in twice a day (unless you will be up on two wheels with a generator hub that you can adapt to your charger).
    Longbikes Slipstream

  3. #3
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    I personally like HTC Windows Mobile devices, although you will be paying a premium for an unlocked one... though they are probably a lot cheaper in Europe and have decent features, as opposed to the stuff sold in the US.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirona View Post
    So, I have no idea how phones work. I just punch numbers and talk to people. I know diddly about any features beyond the send button.

    I will be going to Europe for 3 months next summer. I will need internet access while there. Don't need it here, though. I will be backpacking around and want something light. Someone suggested getting a fancy phone. I have Verizon right now and talked to a guy there about a Blackberry phone. It fits my budget (<$300). Seems to fit my needs. But...

    What I am wondering is if there is anyone out there with an alternative suggestion? Experience with this?

    Any help would be super. Oh, and I thought of this because I am desperately in need of a new phone but was going to get a cheapy until this came up. What to do?
    Just buy a pay as you go local SIM card while you are there. For international calls use Skype.

    Europe and the US use different mobile standards, so if you do buy a phone make sure it is GSM capable.

  5. #5
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Just buy a pay as you go local SIM card while you are there. For international calls use Skype.

    Europe and the US use different mobile standards, so if you do buy a phone make sure it is GSM capable.
    +1

  6. #6
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Yeah, a SIM card you can recharge plus Skype is the way to go. I'm not sure how the "locking" thing works in North America, though. In my limited understanding, most phones are locked into a specific service provider, making a simple SIM card swap difficult. Might it be easier and/or cheaper to just wait and buy a basic GSM phone once you get to Europe?

  7. #7
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Might it be easier and/or cheaper to just wait and buy a basic GSM phone once you get to Europe?
    +1. As for internet access, could you get by with libraries, Internet cafes and such, i.e. sporadic access? If not, and depending on your exact location, you might be able to use free wireless Internet connections provided by some municipalities, restaurants etc. You'll need a WLAN enabled laptop or PDA such as Palm to access those.

    If neither of those approaches fits the bill, then get a fancy "data" phone (Blackberry, Palm, Nokia N95) before you come over. Be sure to check the data transfer rates though. Roaming phone and SMS charges have come down, but charges for transferring data in other service provider's network can be insane. That's why it may be cheaper for you to buy the SIM card from wherever in Europe you're heading. To be able to use that, you need to make sure your phone is not locked to your service provider's SIM at home.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  8. #8
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    +1. As for internet access, could you get by with libraries, Internet cafes and such, i.e. sporadic access? If not, and depending on your exact location, you might be able to use free wireless Internet connections provided by some municipalities, restaurants etc. You'll need a WLAN enabled laptop or PDA such as Palm to access those.

    If neither of those approaches fits the bill, then get a fancy "data" phone (Blackberry, Palm, Nokia N95) before you come over. Be sure to check the data transfer rates though. Roaming phone and SMS charges have come down, but charges for transferring data in other service provider's network can be insane. That's why it may be cheaper for you to buy the SIM card from wherever in Europe you're heading.
    To be able to use that, you need to make sure your phone is not locked to your service provider's SIM at home.

    --J
    or find a shop that can 'crack' the lock the phone.

  9. #9
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    ... or just wait until you get to Europe and buy a phone there, so you don't have to pay some guy to unlock it for you.

  10. #10
    austropithicus
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    I thought Verizon did not work in Europe because they don't use GSM phones. If that's wrong then check out the new Samsung SCH-i760 that Verizon offers.

    This is the Smartphone for people who are on the fast track to success. The new Samsung SCH–i760 with Windows Mobile® 6 Professional makes any space a workspace. Create documents in Word and Excel®, view PowerPoint® files, filter your inbox, and stay connected – securely – with your office via Wireless Sync or ActiveSync®. Communicate with a QWERTY keyboard or the stylus, or make calls using the separate numeric keypad or voice commands. Connect with Wi–Fi or Bluetooth® Wireless Technology – or use it as a tethered modem through BroadbandAccess Connect. You can also just escape for a while with the built–in digital music player.

    No matter what you do, talk to your carrier before you leave so they can get you set up.

  11. #11
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Okay, it sounds like getting a phone over there will be my best bet. I don't want to bother with locked phones and whatnot. I will just have to find internet access whenever I can get it at an internet cafe or the like. Bringing a laptop doesn't sound like fun because I will be carrying it around on my back for 3 months.

  12. #12
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirona View Post
    Okay, it sounds like getting a phone over there will be my best bet. I don't want to bother with locked phones and whatnot. I will just have to find internet access whenever I can get it at an internet cafe or the like. Bringing a laptop doesn't sound like fun because I will be carrying it around on my back for 3 months.
    this can give you an idea as to the prices on prepays in the netherlands:

    as low as 30 € (phone/sim card/token amount of money on card.

    http://www.phonehouse.nl/index.php?a...es=0&netwerk=3

  13. #13
    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    The things you can do on the Internet with phones are limited.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

  14. #14
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    Just to through this out there if you only want to get on the the internet when you are in wifi area you could buy a ipod touch. It has wifi internet access and you get a ipod along with it. Just a suggestion. They are like $300 though.
    http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/

  15. #15
    Your imaginary friend. fuzzbox's Avatar
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    The iPod Touch is horrible.

    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

  16. #16
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    I had a lot of fun in Europe without the internet, believe it or not.

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