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Mobile Phone take or leave behind??

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Mobile Phone take or leave behind??

1. Posted by libby4 (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y

I'm going to ecuador peru bolivia and brazil for 10weeks and was wondering what the connection is like out there and also the band width for mobiles.

People keep saying i should take one for security as i an a lone female traveller but i almost feel its gonna be too much hassle...
advice much appreciated

Thanks

2. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Hello Libby!
You may find this thread helpful :)
http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=11541

3. Posted by Kingwindle (Respected Member 301 posts) 11y

There is no need to take a mobile phone!

Maybe you are worried about security, so dont go to any dodgy areas alone where you are going to feel unsafe and be wise. It will cost you a fortune too, and surprisingly, there are loads of cops about when you are in the centre of these places too.
I so wouldnt take one in my opinion.

Tarik

4. Posted by miket (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

If you already have a cel phone, you may as well take it. Weighs almost nothing, the charger weighs even less and it won't take up any room. Virtually all can function as an alarm clock and many as a calculator. Calls to emergency numbers are free.
Using the phone can be expensive. You obviously aren't phone dependent like a lot of us. If you were there are a ton of suggestions i could give.
Some carriers, by default, block international roaming. Call up your cel carrier and make sure your phone is provisioned for use overseas. Divert all your incoming calls to voice mail. If you turn on the phone overseas you will almost certainly be billed for calls that aren't answered but go to voice mail. Best bet would be to deactivate VM before you leave. Most carriers will do this, some won't.

Important point: You can tell your friends to sent you an SMS (text message) if something important comes up. Incoming test messages cost almost nothing. Outgoing are not expensive. Turn on your phone once a day and see if someone sent you a text if you don't want it on all the time.

...mike

5. Posted by miket (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

Forgot to add that all those countries have cel service. HOWEVER, I notice you are from the U.K.
Unless you have a tri-band phone (one that would work on the 900, 1800 AND 1900 bands) you would only have service in Brazil. Peru and Bolvia work on the 1900 band (same as U.S.) All 3 of those countries have roaming agreements w. the U.K. carriers.
To see coverage and other info in countries around the world, go to:
www.gsmworld.com on the top line click on roaming, on the next page scroll down a little and click on coverage maps.
For the 4th country (Equador) you would need a quad-band phone that works on the 850 band. I am certain you wouldn't have one.

One more thought: If you think you may be using your phone a lot in a particular country, get a prepaid SIM card for your phone. Your phone would need to be "SIM unlocked" in order to do this. If you don't know what the h**l I'm talking about, don't worry<G>. Most, if not all UK cel carriers have roaming agreements, albeit expensive, with all those countries, except, maybe Equador. Service is new there.

...mike

6. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting miket

One more thought: If you think you may be using your phone a lot in a particular country, get a prepaid SIM card for your phone. Your phone would need to be "SIM unlocked" in order to do this. If you don't know what the h**l I'm talking about, don't worry<G>. Most, if not all UK cel carriers have roaming agreements, albeit expensive, with all those countries, except, maybe Equador. Service is new there.

...mike

I was going to suggest this...a lot of foreigners traveling all over the world end up getting SIM cards that are compatible with the country you are in. But your phone has to be compatible with the country (the right band), ck with your cell carrier.

7. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 11y

take it..you have to purchase a chip in each country though. Usually $5 or $10 with a few dollars of "saldo" or credit as most Latin cellphones charge with prepaid cards good for any emergency many cybercafes in Latin America have braodband service to call home message me more info