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Old Jul 31, 12, 11:18 pm   #1
 
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American traveling to London - which phone to take?

I am traveling to London next week and am trying to decide the cheapest way to use a cell phone to call both UK and US cells while in London.

I own both an iPhone 4 and Blackberry Storm 2. My carrier is VERIZON.

Also, what are tips regarding receiving and sending emails, and using social media apps (fbook, twitter, etc)?

I want to keep costs as cheap as possible. Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 5:53 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTbeatsNYC View Post
I am traveling to London next week and am trying to decide the cheapest way to use a cell phone to call both UK and US cells while in London.
Compare mobile phone tariffs from the leading UK retailers: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/mobile-phones/tariffs/
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Old Aug 1, 12, 8:09 am   #3
 
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Definitely not the Verizon iPhone 4. It is CDMA-only, and it will only work as a fancy iPod Touch. You will need either UMTS or GSM to get mobile service in UK.

Storm 2 has the necessary radio interface. Unlock it, and you will be able to use a local SIM to keep the cost down.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 12:17 pm   #4
 
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Agree with the above poster - I was in London last week and walked into a T-Mobile store. Asked for a new SIM card with data and international calls.

They gave me a new SIM for free, and charged me 15 Pounds for 1GB internet for one month, and cheap international calls.

Phone plans are crazy cheap in Europe - I travel to different countries often for business, and always pick up a local SIM card. It's much cheaper than roaming charges from back home!
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Old Aug 1, 12, 12:20 pm   #5
 
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As long as you have an unlocked phone that will work in the UK, justget a local sim from one of the carriers. As mentioned, you can get a tmobile sim. I also heard that 3Uk has reasonable data options.
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Old Aug 1, 12, 12:45 pm   #6
 
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thanks guys. Absolute - a few questions :

1. They gave you the SIM for free. How were charged for incoming and outgoing calls? Was it billed to your US cell phone account? Was it a pay-as-you-go after inserting the sim card?

2. You also mentioned the 15 GBP for 1 GB. Maybe this is for a tech thread, but what does that include? Is that basically receiving and sending emails, texts, etc? Also, what if you exceeding the 1GB? Would the phone just not receive it, or receive it and charge your account?

Lastly, what steps need to be taken to unlock the phone? Is that something Verizon can do here?
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Old Aug 1, 12, 12:57 pm   #7
 
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Others will probably have something to add. But here -

1. Incoming calls are free as long as you are using it in the country that issued it. So, if you are using the sim in the UK, you only pay for outgoing calls. This is totally different from your US cell phone. Once you put another sim in it, you will get a different number. In this case, a UK mobile number. It's payg! You pay for your usage beforehand.

2. Once you sign up for data, it's the full internet. You can even tether with it if you want. I know some carriers may block tethering. I both Virgin UK and tmobile UK sim cards. No problem using them for any kind of data.

3. Verizon should be able to provide the unlock code upon request. First checked if it's locked, by putting another carrier's sim card in it. Otherwise, you should be able to unlock via a 3rd party.

Happy Travels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTbeatsNYC View Post
thanks guys. Absolute - a few questions :

1. They gave you the SIM for free. How were charged for incoming and outgoing calls? Was it billed to your US cell phone account? Was it a pay-as-you-go after inserting the sim card?

2. You also mentioned the 15 GBP for 1 GB. Maybe this is for a tech thread, but what does that include? Is that basically receiving and sending emails, texts, etc? Also, what if you exceeding the 1GB? Would the phone just not receive it, or receive it and charge your account?

Lastly, what steps need to be taken to unlock the phone? Is that something Verizon can do here?
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Old Aug 1, 12, 1:14 pm   #8
 
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American traveling to London - which phone to take?

Thanks! Also - incoming calls are free. Does it cost the person more money calling me or since it's a us cell, it bills like a us call?
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Old Aug 1, 12, 1:18 pm   #9
 
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The person calling you will be calling a UK number of course. They will be charged whatever their carrier charges to call a UK mobile.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JTbeatsNYC View Post
Thanks! Also - incoming calls are free. Does it cost the person more money calling me or since it's a us cell, it bills like a us call?
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Old Aug 1, 12, 4:39 pm   #10
 
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American traveling to London - which phone to take?

Thanks everyone!
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Old Aug 1, 12, 4:54 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcamp View Post
The person calling you will be calling a UK number of course. They will be charged whatever their carrier charges to call a UK mobile.
Which is (hence the reason for free incoming calls) often a fair bit more than a call to a UK landline. Internationally it used to be the same but carriers are wising up to that.

Neil
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Old Aug 1, 12, 6:11 pm   #12
 
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I'll take both, while VZW iPhone4 is useless as a phone in London, the free wifi available in London during the game can still make it viable backup (Skype, FB and getting email, etc...)
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Old Aug 1, 12, 7:35 pm   #13
 
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Find out what the US calling rate is. Many low cost UK voice/data PAYG have a very high US calling rate.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 5:59 am   #14
 
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If you have a smart phone, I have a VOIPCheap account that I love. Their MobileVOIP app works on iOS, Android, BB, and Symbian. I'm not sure about Windows. 10 euros every three months gives me 300 minutes per week included calls to the US, most EU landlines, Oz, and a ton of other places. I get 10 euros of calling credits for other destinations and overages. Those minutes rollover. If I don't renew, my calls deplete my remaining credit.

Their app permits VOIP Over WiFi/3g on most platforms, dial through ("local access"), and callback. I can also text with it. VOIP Cheap will spoof my Mobile Number or any other number which I have control of for verification purposes.

If you need a US number your phone, Callcentric is giving away free US phone numbers which can forward abroad. You, obviously, pay the international long distance. The numbers (last I checked) were out of New York.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 8:20 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
Phone plans are crazy cheap in Europe
Hmmm.... I'd prefer to describe it as "phone plans are crazy expensive in North America" ..... except France which I would describe as remaining difficult due to their relatively closed market.
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