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Old 09-04-04, 06:29 PM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Need a cell phone recommendation needs to be usable international

Yes that is right I am finally submitting to getting a cell phone, against my wishes.

I hate cell phones, I have never wanted one, but my wife has 2 reasons for waiting us to get 1.

#1 My wife just started the process of interviews for a job/promotion for a different employer and will likely need to do a phone interview while we are on vacation in Japan.

She really wants this job and does not want to chance missing out.

Yup taking a big trip to japan for 2 weeks, starting September 11th (great day to fly eh? )

Reason #2 I have gotten back in cycling and often go for rides of 50+ miles out to the middle of nowhere. She is scared that I will have an accident, get run off the road, or have a mechanical failure and have no way of getting back home or calling for help.

So we are looking for a phone that is small and has the ability to be used from Asia and europe, as well as all across the states. We both travel sometimes for work and like to take big vacations.

Any suggestions?
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Old 09-04-04, 07:50 PM   #2
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http://www.nextel.com/services/world...try_list.shtml

Nextel offers this option. This is what my company uses.

Chris
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Old 09-04-04, 08:05 PM   #3
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I have the Motorola m400 (or something 400). It has a camera on it, and it is international. You just need to get your cell phone company to activate the international feature, then when you go abroad, buy the SIMS card for the country you're in. You're good to go!

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Old 09-04-04, 09:05 PM   #4
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ok looks like my main problem is Japan uses a different cell phone tech then most the rest of the world.

But I did finally find on T-mobil site that I can rent a phone from them that works in Japan and will do what I need while I am there.

Nextal does not offer anything for Japan because of the difference in tech.
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Old 09-04-04, 09:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
ok looks like my main problem is Japan uses a different cell phone tech then most the rest of the world.

But I did finally find on T-mobil site that I can rent a phone from them that works in Japan and will do what I need while I am there.

Nextal does not offer anything for Japan because of the difference in tech.
bolo... the cheapest and most affordable way is to go to japan and buy a GSM Tri-band phone there and set up an phone account there. this way 9 out of 10 times, the phone is free and it has way better functions than any phone here.

don't any any triband or dual band phone here cuz it's crap. reason why i say it's crap is because for AT&T you'll have to pay them to get it unlocked so u can use it abroad.. and the price they charge is not worth it. as for tmobile... u can ask them to unlock it for free after using it for 3 months. but like i said.. it's cheaper to just buy the phone in Japan.. it'll still be cheaper than any phone here, if your not looking to get the BEST cell phone that is.

don't get motorola phone, cuz battery dies out quick.. ok standby time, but talk times just craps. i say that cuz nearly all the motorola phone's components are MIT (made in taiwan) and my friend works for them as a QC manager. i've had 2 phones from him for free.. and i complained about it. u should look into DoKoMo types of Triband phone.. cuz it's pretty cheap in Japan.. and best part is.. if you don't scratch it up.. u can always bring it back to the state and sell it for double the price you bought it for.
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Old 09-04-04, 10:05 PM   #6
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The United States has one of the worst-international support in global traveling (because it isn't exlusviely GSM)...

get a tri-band GSM phone... you can prob get a sim chip at each locality (prepaid) or get one of those global roaming accounts (not cheap).
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Old 09-04-04, 10:11 PM   #7
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yup... just like ruirui said.. you can easily pick up a GSM sim card at a local store like 7-11 in japan. if you don't have the phone.. just go to the local cell phone store and set one up.. its cheap!
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Old 09-05-04, 12:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
I have the Motorola m400 (or something 400). It has a camera on it, and it is international. You just need to get your cell phone company to activate the international feature, then when you go abroad, buy the SIMS card for the country you're in. You're good to go!

Koffee

It's probably a V400. The Motorola V series (V300/V400/V600) phones are pretty reliable, and are dropping in price now that there are a few newer ones out to take their place. Fun fact: If you buy a plan with Cingular, and get a V series phone, they are unlocked and you can take it with you should you ever want to use it with another provider.
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Old 09-05-04, 05:18 AM   #9
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don't buy motorola.

they're annoying and stupidly difficult to use. it took me two days to work out how to change the time and date on it.

now i'm just using my old nokia.
www.nokia.com

fsnl
sparky
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Old 09-05-04, 06:25 AM   #10
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Having relatives that have been to Japan, your best option here in the US is T-Mobile. Or like someone else suggested, pick up a phone in Japan, but I don't know that you will be able to switch it to a carrier when you get back here.
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Old 09-05-04, 07:29 AM   #11
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I hate to be a killjoy but why are you asking about cellphones on the roadcycling forum? Go to google and find a buying site with all kinds of info.
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Old 09-05-04, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrims Pro
Having relatives that have been to Japan, your best option here in the US is T-Mobile. Or like someone else suggested, pick up a phone in Japan, but I don't know that you will be able to switch it to a carrier when you get back here.
you will be able to use it when you get back cuz in Asia, all the triband GSM phones there are unlocked! so when u get back, u can just plug in ur GSM sim card here and use it. plus all their phones overseas have multiple language, so u can easily use it here.
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Old 09-05-04, 01:35 PM   #13
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The lack of globally adopted cellphone standards (or maybe make the the plethora of standards) can make your head spin just trying to figure out what will work where. You've got four different frequency ranges (800/900/1800/1900 MHz... there's also an 850MHz subrange) and a variety of different transport encodings (CDMA, WCDMA, CDMA2000, TDMA, GSM/EGSM, iDen, D-AMPS... the list goes on) and different providers mix and match to their heart's content. And then if you want to enable extra features, there's a variety of those too such as 1xRTT, GPRS, UMTS, etc... So let's say you hedge your bets and buy a quadband GSM "worldphone" that operates on the four major bands. If you happen to find yourself in the middle of Seoul, it still won't work because the entire country is on CDMA2000. In Japan, they use a modified version of iDen I believe and no phone bought here will work there nor the other way around. Your best bet is to make sure that:
  1. Your provider here has roaming agreements with the provider(s) there. for Japan, NTT is the one to look for.
  2. Sign up with a GSM service provider here or one that utilises a handset technology that uses SIMs.
  3. Pick up/rent a handset appropriate for the destination and pop your SIM in. The roaming agreements may also apply to lower rental rates too.

Alternatively, you can rent the entire phone and service at your destination but that can get expensive. Another option is to just buy a pre-paid phone service over there.
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Old 09-05-04, 06:21 PM   #14
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Satelite phones work everywhere I believe, but they are way expensive.
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Old 09-05-04, 07:55 PM   #15
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Satelite phones work everywhere I believe
Except from inside a building. Or anyplace where you don't have a nice clear view of the sky.

Globalstar is starting to deploy a hybrid network with a key feature which they call ATC (Ancillary Terrestrial Component). It's essentially all the comm guts of the satelite that's been redeployed onto ground stations so that there's a better chance of getting a signal in an area where you can't see the sats.


Quote:
Originally Posted by millermagic
but they are way expensive.
Actually, it's not too bad when you consider some of the carriers' international roaming charges. Yipes! And that's on top of LD.
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Old 09-06-04, 09:40 PM   #16
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bro, sprint is your ticket. i have it, and i dont like it. because i never leave town lol. but if i traveled, it would be great.
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Old 09-15-04, 10:31 AM   #17
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It needs to be GSM. My Cingular Motorola V400 is by far the best phone I've had -- far better than my last two Nokias. In Europe you can easily by a SIMM for it.
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Old 09-15-04, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
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It needs to be GSM. My Cingular Motorola V400 is by far the best phone I've had -- far better than my last two Nokias. In Europe you can easily by a SIMM for it.
Not all GSM are created the same... or even equal. GSM for the most part is a functional spec and not an implementation spec. A GSM phone system in the US can be quite different than one for Europe. Additionally, while GSM as a technology is widely deployed, there are many parts of the world in which they are not. Korea and Japan are just two examples. This is what I was attempting to get at in my previous posts. I would concentrate on picking a provider with good roaming agreements and one that uses a SIM-based handset technology and if need be rent the handset locally. The other option is to rent the whole service and handset locally which you can do at most airports. I rented a phone in Korea because none of my handsets work (I don't have a CDMA2000 handset) and didn't want to pay exorbant international roaming and international calling rates from the US carriers... especially if I was going to be making local calls. The total cost for the week including all the calls (some back to the US) came out to about $70. Friends who rented just the handset and roamed internationally ended up paying just $30 for the handset rental for the week but their roaming and calling charges from their US providers came out to close to $150 later on and they made approximately the same number of calls as I did. It definately pays to check the local rates and then make your decision based on that. Also, it makes a difference as to whether or not you want to have people back in the US dial you internationally. If you want to be reachable via your US number then choose to roam using your US-based provider. If you don't care and can put up with them having to dial an international number then it might be cheaper to source the service locally.
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