Cell phone suggestions?

Old Nov 30, 08, 9:07 pm
  #1  
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Cell phone suggestions?

Anyone have any suggestions for cell phones in Paris? My daughter is doing a semester in Paris and we would like her to have some way to contact us for emegencies and the occasional chat.
Thanks
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Old Dec 1, 08, 1:49 am
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iff
 
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Do you already have an unlocked GSM phone (900/1800 Mhz)? If so, she can buy a SIM card locally. If not, she can buy a phone + SIM for about €30 from any of the three major providers (Orange, SFR, Bouygues). Prepaid minutes can then be purchased at the post office, phone stores, and some tobacconists and grocery stores.

For longer international calls, you might want to set up a time in advance or have her call you and then call her back using something like 10-10-987 which requires no signing up, no contracts, and no prepayment--it's billed on your regular phone bill. From the US to a mobile in France would be 53 cents connection fee plus 18 cents/minute. (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with them in any way but have relatives who use it and have been happy with it.) Otherwise, if she calls you from her French mobile it will cost her upwards of $1/minute.
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Old Dec 1, 08, 3:27 am
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IME the occasional intercontinental chat is much cheaper using a computer with internet connection (VoIP technology).

PM me if you want the name of a company that my colleagues and I use for text-messaging and voice calls between US and France on-the-cheap.

HTH,
benzguy80

PS: having a cell phone in the local network is a good idea as it allows for emergency calls to police, fire, etc.
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Old Dec 1, 08, 3:47 am
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iff
 
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Originally Posted by benzguy80 View Post
PS: having a cell phone in the local network is a good idea as it allows for emergency calls to police, fire, etc.
Not only that, but she will no doubt be using it locally for SMS and calls to other students, etc., so it's good to have a local one.

VOIP is okay if one is sitting around at home but not practical when running around doing daily activities.

By the way, I see that there's a duplicate thread over in Travel Technology...
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Old Dec 1, 08, 4:34 am
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iff: how well would VOIP in an internet cafe from a laptop work out? I haven't tried this but it seems a reasonable substitute to using a cell phone for int'l calls.
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Old Dec 1, 08, 4:53 am
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iff
 
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Originally Posted by benzguy80 View Post
iff: how well would VOIP in an internet cafe from a laptop work out? I haven't tried this but it seems a reasonable substitute to using a cell phone for int'l calls.
I'm sure it works fine if you happen to have your laptop with you (I haven't tried it, either), but I'm guessing the OP's daughter won't be running around with hers all the time. If I were a student here, I'd definitely want to have a local cell phone.
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Old Dec 1, 08, 5:40 am
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agreed on the need for a cell phone. seems to be essential in this day and age.

my point was using VoIP to call home int'l might be worth looking into as opposed to using the cellphone

thanks again for the info
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Old Dec 1, 08, 5:54 am
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voipbuster (and AFAIK the other Finarea companies) have local access numbers, which means she can call from her French mobile phone to a French landline (being charged for a local call) and be able to reach any number in the world at low VOIP rates (e.g. calling the US currently is free).
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Old Dec 1, 08, 10:45 am
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cross posting is frowned upon

also posted here (now closed)

and here:

to the moderators, merge tot he travel technology forum?
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Old Dec 1, 08, 10:50 am
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I heard that yesterday... I just didn't know where to post this.
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Old Dec 1, 08, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by pkerr View Post
I heard that yesterday... I just didn't know where to post this.
no worries . i asked one of the moderators to possibly merge this thread over to the one in travel technology where you should get a better response. also, if her phone is a gsm phone and unlocked, see the sticky "How much is a European SIM card, exactly?" in the travel tech forum. if her phone is not unlocked, inquire with your provider about getting it unlocked so you can use a french sim card.

most french sim cards allow for free incoming calls from anywhere (you only pay for outgoing calls) and the way i did it was to have a french sim with my folks calling me on a pre-paid phone card as it is cheaper than using your regular long distance service)
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