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Unlocked GSM Cell Phones

by rpfree / November 16, 2006 6:31 AM PST

1. Where can I buy an unlocked GSM phone? On line?
2. What should I expect to pay for a SIM card for minor use in Spain and do I need another SIM card for Italy?
3. When one buys a SIM Card does that cover one's complete cost for whatever amount of minutes it uses?
4. Can one buy cards for Spain and Italy in the US or does one need to buy those in each individual country?
5. What is involved in installing a SIM card?
Thanks

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Here are the answers
by hh / November 16, 2006 11:14 AM PST

1. You can buy it online or from cell phone stores. Where do you live? You can google "unlocked gsm cellular phones"
2. You can use a european SIM card anywhere in europe but it will cost more per minute outside its original country. It all depends how long you will be traveling for, and how long you will spend in each country.
3. In europe it is almost all pay as you go plans. You buy a sim card with some minimum initial minutes and then yoy can add more minutes as you need.
4. They can be bought here in the USA but you will pay alot more for the convenience of having it activated from here versus there.
Here are a couple of websites: http://www.telestial.com/
and http://www.cellularabroad.com/index.html I have used cellularabroad in the past for Italy and Spain sim cards.
Some people have had problems with them, i.e. the sim card did not work when they got to the country.
By the way, it is much cheaper to buy it in Spain or Italy than buying it here but if you want the convenience, go for it.
5. Installing a sim card is removing the battery cover and the battery, inserting a stamp size chip in a slot and closing it up.

Here is some information for global cell phones and some vendors, but usually it is much cheaper to get it on ebay.

http://www.thetravelinsider.info/2002/0308.htm
http://goeurope.about.com/cs/stayingconnected/a/cell_phone_buy.htm
http://www.samstores.com/Store.asp?CtgID=26
http://buyersguide.bargainoffers.com/gsm_cell_phone_guide.shtml

As I said earlier, you can probably get a better deal on ebay, after you educate yourself by reading up above.

p.s. I have a spain SIM card with approximately $30 of prepaid minutes, Currently it is in spain with a student, should have it back in early december, if interested.

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Thanks hh
by rpfree / November 22, 2006 7:47 AM PST
In reply to: Here are the answers

I appreciate all of the detailed info - very helpful

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