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Question

best international cellphone

by Blm58 / July 8, 2012 5:49 PM PDT

Hi, I am in the process of moving to Johannesburg for about 2 yrs. for work. I will be coming back every 3 months to visit. I would like to be able to just carry one phone, instead of a phone for each country. Any suggestions?I'm looking at about 3 wks. departure time.
Thank You.

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Clarification Request
Need more information......
by birdmantd Forum moderator / July 8, 2012 10:05 PM PDT

Which cellular carrier do you use? Will you be using your same cell phone # while is S. Africa or be using a local phone #? What is your budget? Do you need a smart phone or a basic, feature phone?

All Answers

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Answer
Easy way
by Pepe7 / July 9, 2012 2:24 AM PDT

An easy way would be to pick up an unlocked quad-band GSM/UMTS handset from Amazon (etc.) before you go. All you need for minimum service in Jo-burg is the 900/1800 GSM frequency bands. SA now has 2100 UMTS too, so having that one helps as well. Back home you would need the 850/1900 GSM/UMTS frequency bands for ATT if they provide service where you reside in the U.S. In this regard, switching back and forth between a pre-paid SIM card in SA and a plan (post-paid, or pre-paid) with ATT (or one of their MVNOs, such as H20) would make your life really easy. If you went with T-Mobile here, the phone would also have to contain the 1700 AWS frequency band for data on their network. 1700 is not used in SA, so it's moot there.

Also, if you don't require a high-end smartphone finding a phone is easy and less expensive. Otherwise, you are looking at $150-300 ballpark for a basic smartphone that will do the job, include wifi, etc..

A few options to get you started:

Sony ericsson Xperia (suitable for ATT)
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Ericsson-Unlocked-Processor-Display--U-S/dp/B0061JP46O/ref=sr_1_10?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1341715252&sr=1-10

Nokia N8 (better if you need it to work w/ T-Mobile)
http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-Touchscreen-Featuring-Navigation-Camera-U%20S/dp/B003ZX7RL4/ref=wl_it_dp_o_piT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=281WTRCJXSYUR&coliid=I1YY6A7KUFTVL5

Less expensive choice w/ Android (good value if it includes 2100MHz UMTS frequency band- call about this before buying)
Samsung Galaxy Ace
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-S5830-Unlocked-Smartphone-International/dp/tech-data/B004Z207HK/ref=de_a_smtd

Other phones-
Samsung Focus I917
<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-I917-Unlocked-Wi-Fi--No-Warranty/dp/B004H23JXW/ref=sr_1_4?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1341714983&sr=1-4

Less expensive:
Nokia C5-03
http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-C5-03-Unlocked-Navigation-Optimized/dp/B004P8JL7G/ref=sr_1_6?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1341850794&sr=1-6&keywords=nokia+unlocked

Nokia E5-00
http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-Unlocked-E-mail-QWERTY-Navigation/dp/B003X26SLC/ref=sr_1_8?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1341850794&sr=1-8&keywords=nokia+unlocked

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Answer
Mobal = one cell phone for your travels
by stephentrenery / August 15, 2012 9:08 PM PDT

Have you considered Mobal for your travels? They offer either a World SIM card, which works in most GSM phones, for $9 or you can buy a World phone and a SIM for just $29.

Others tend to only do country specific phones or SIM cards, so it's well worth looking in to. Plus, there's no contract, so you only pay for what you use.

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