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Cell phones in Europe?


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Nov 11, 2003
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Ahwatukee, AZ
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OK, I have a question for our European friends here at TPF:

In July I will be traveling to Romania for 2 weeks and wanted to know what cell phone services do you recommend? For now I can get a SIM card for my current phone (T*Mobile) or I can get a 2 week rental for about $50. Does that seem steep?

What other recommendations might you have? I could probably pick something up in Frankfurt, between planes, because I heard the prices in Romania are steeper.

Thanks in advance.
You can get local prepay SIMs in many countries, from the main outlets of department-
stores/supermarkets (eg HEMA, Albert Heijn in Holland) for about US10-15 and often that
includes a small amount of credit to get started. Certain there will be a similar scene in
Germany and maybe Romania. Would have thought though, if you buy one in Frankfurt, it won't be as useful or cost-effective in Romania as a local SIM. Consider getting your phone unlocked (SIM lock). I expect you can find a little (Turkish) telecoms shop in Frankfurt that will do this for a nominal-fee. I have a UK T-Mobile SIM which is expensive for any 'roaming' in Europe.

Are you needing a local cell-number for hotel and socialising with Romanians during your stay
or will you be communicating mostly with people in the 'States ? As in the US, the national and international calling-cards for payphones are a really good deal in Europe.
Stick with your T-Mobile thingy. They're apparently great for international service. One of my best friends has a T-Mobile phone that works equally well in Richmond, London, and Bombay.
Not sure about Europe but when I was in Chile a few months ago it was way cheaper to use a phone card than my cell phone.
Keep in mind that you would need to have a tri-band phone to use your US phone in Europe because we use different frequencies here than are used there.

I've always just bought a cheap prepaid handy because it ends up being cheaper that way. I'd buy it in Romania because you won't get charged roaming while you're there and any incoming phone calls you get should be free. It has been a while since I've been over there and things could've changed by now. You could always call one of the Romanian telekom companies and see what they say or go to one of the websites.
I'd agree with Hobbes on this one: just buy the cheapest pre-pay available from a shop in the country. It'll work and most likely will be the cheapest way of making and recieving calls (for you!).

Hobbes, that makes a lot of sense! I surely will do that, especially since I wanted to have a way of communicating in emergencies only. I don't think I'll have the time to chat while visiting, anyway...

Thanks to all, I now know what I need to do.

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