Phones forum


What US carrier is best for travel to Turkey (and Europe)?

by amwehrley / February 7, 2013 6:10 AM PST

I currently have Verizon, which didn't work for me there in the past, but I hear they made changes? Or is it simply phone dependent? Thanks!

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Clarification Request
What he said, and then some
by Pepe7 / February 8, 2013 12:18 AM PST

I'm guessing by your questions that you aren't familiar enough with the entire process(?).

For example, if you wanted to use a Verizon phone in Turkey, you could use the Verizon branded iPhone 5, which is unlocked for use w/ a SIM card on a local GSM network in Europe. This means you get to use prepaid service which would be cheaper for making local calls there. Calling back home is another issue, if that's also a feature you need while abroad. Whatever you do, using Verizon's international rates will set you back for more extensive calling while roaming abroad. Some folks even stick to Skype over wifi to call back home.

The pressing issue is cutting a foreign SIM to fit into the iPhone 5, since it takes a nano SIM. Cutting them down is relatively painless though.

An even easier option would be to find any unlocked, quad-band GSM handset for use while travelling in Europe/Turkey. They normally accommodate the standard sized SIM cards. Just find prepaid service when you are there are talk away...

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(NT) (replied below, thanks)
by amwehrley / February 8, 2013 5:07 AM PST

All Answers

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Keep in mind that....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / February 7, 2013 9:27 AM PST

.....when traveling internationally, your US carrier has little influence on your coverage/usage. It is dependent on who the international carrier is and their coverage as well as the phone you are using. Do you want to use your US cellular phone # or use a foreign cellular phone #. Need more information to help.

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Don't want to use the foreign SIM
by amwehrley / February 8, 2013 5:06 AM PST
In reply to: Keep in mind that....

Thanks guys, I don't want to use the foreign SIM, but rather the US phone. I realize it's pricey to talk from abroad on a US phone.

But last time I traveled to Turkey, my Verizon phone kept resetting and rebooting. I was told it was because of the CDMA network; and I recently heard that Verizon's newer phones were more adaptable to European (i.e. non-CDMA) networks.

Do you know anything about this?


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Yes, the newer handsets work fine abroad
by Pepe7 / February 9, 2013 11:13 PM PST

You won't be using the CDMA side, since it's not used in Europe/Turkey.

Keep in mind you will be paying through the nose to use your Verizon service abroad vs local SIM cards. If you want more clarification on this, feel free to ask. I thought I covered the particulars above, but maybe not(?)

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Sorry, meant to give you more info on tech involved
by Pepe7 / February 11, 2013 3:09 AM PST

The newer Verizon (global) handsets include CDMA technology (for use here), as well as GSM/UMTS, which is generally used by the rest of the world (including your destinations). If you are dead set on *not* using a foreign SIM (maybe because you want to keep your regular cell number for the duration of your trip?), all you do is upgrade your phone to one that also handles GSM/UMTS networks, preferably one with the following frequency bands:


Let Verizon know in advance where you will be roaming with your Verizon based service- they can activate this for you/properly provision your account. That way you are not going to have any 'surprises' when bouncing between Istanbul & Frankfurt ;).

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Verizon vs. AT&T in Europe and Turkey
by amwehrley / February 11, 2013 5:16 AM PST

Thanks a ton Pepe and Birdman, do you think AT&T has better service in Turkey/Europe than Verizon? Or is it the same with the new GSM/UMTS technology you reference?

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Verizon doesn't maintain a network in Europe or Turkey
by Pepe7 / February 11, 2013 5:28 AM PST

They do however have phones that will suffice while roaming over there on foreign partner networks. It's only *marginally* less effort with an ATT phone, since ATT shares the same technologies on their stable of phones. In other words, all Verizon phones are not suited for use abroad, but a much greater portion of the ATT handsets are from the get go.

Does that give you a good enough explanation to help you decide? I guess I am wondering, would you be signing a new contract w/ ATT just so you could use a phone in Turkey(?) Or is that 'plan b'(?)

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Have a Verizon contract already
by amwehrley / February 11, 2013 7:07 AM PST

I have a Verizon contract already, but I can end it with no penalty. Since I'll be spending some additional time over in Turkey/Europe, I was thinking about getting a new contract with ATT&T if the coverage is better. It's only really worth switching away from Verizon if ATT&T is much better.


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But what about coverage back home?
by Pepe7 / February 11, 2013 9:20 AM PST

Why would you switch your home carrier (and currently enjoyed coverage/services) just for a trip abroad?

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Just a safety tip or more than one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 9:31 AM PST

I hope you have a security briefing before you go but many years ago the company cheaped out and didn't follow all the advice. We lost a fellow employee because the company opted out of remote car starters.

So be sure to get the security briefing and if you get your own car there, fit the remote starter. Also, no ground floor apartments.

The others found out fast you want about a week's worth of bottled water on hand.

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by Pepe7 / February 11, 2013 11:53 AM PST

Wrong thread perhaps? Wink

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Right discusssion. A thread in a discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 12:13 AM PST
In reply to: Huh?

As I have a story about overseas safety the OP's mention of certain places and such had me remember this story so I shared.

Some companies do supply security support, some don't. Some ignore advice and you get a story that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

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You've obviously never been to Turkey lately
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2013 12:16 AM PST

A lot has changed since WW2, Bob Wink

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So you'll take your chances.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 12:22 AM PST
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Bob, put your thinking cap on
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2013 2:48 AM PST

Pull up a chair, amigo.

Nobody's touring the Syrian/Turkish border. None of the tour groups are going there (obviously!), nor are the major attractions located there. And the Turkish government is partially restricting who can travel to those areas as well. Istanbul's a long way from the horrible example of violence you have cited above. So now we have to use remote starters to see the Eiffel tower simply because the banlieue (sp.) is full of Muslims(?)

It has been a few years for me, but my in-laws were there twice over the last three years with great experiences. My friends who normally complain about being in arguably less 'western' focused countries had good feedback as well. Another friend who works in concert w/ State Dept. personnel didn't give me 'the look' either when I told him my family members were travelling there again.

What's my point? Anybody can press the 'let's all get into a panic' button. It truly serves no purpose for someone travelling to very typical touristy areas in Turkey.

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I can't share the exact incident.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 2:52 AM PST

Now it's your turn to put on your thinking cap. Why can't I share the date/time/incident details? It's still in litigation.

The story above had me think of the tragedy that happened to a person in the company I was working for. They were in Turkey and not at the border.

See you around?

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I don't choose to live my life in fear
by Pepe7 / February 12, 2013 10:30 AM PST

I'm a little more selective about when I push the panic button, or tell others to 'watch out for the bogeyman'.

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Enough already....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 12:38 PM PST

Let's quit the silly banter and stick to the topic or this thread will be locked.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 12:42 PM PST
In reply to: Enough already....

As this is a discussion forum, we are free to share more than the usual.

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Let's tell the other mod to behave as such in that case
by Pepe7 / February 13, 2013 12:48 AM PST
In reply to: Enough already....

Lock it whenever you're ready

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You get your wish....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / February 13, 2013 3:06 AM PST

Since this thread has spun out of control and the OP's question was answered, thread closed. OP if you have additional questions, please start a new thread.

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