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Taking a phone RTW

Travel Forums North America Taking a phone RTW

1. Posted by pixie1 (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y


I'm from the UK and going round the world in November starting with the North America - south Africa - NZ then OZ. I want to take phone with me as I'll be meeting with people along the way, and as a 'just in case'.

Not sure of the best thing to do. Have had suggestions of a pay as you go SIM card and topping it up with a few hundred pounds, or a roaming SIM (?) but then I was also told that your phone needs to be of a special type to work in the US.

Am a technophobe and have no idea.....

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

A Quad-band GSM phone will work in the USA. Just make sure that the phone you get is GSM and is a QUAD BAND phone. North America and Europe use different bands, so you need to make sure you can use all four. It's more a concern the other way, where certain mobile phones in the USA (CDMA phones) won't work in many places overseas.

I think the biggest problem will be roaming charges. They could be very expensive if you keep the same SIM card and just keep topping it up.

If you are staying in places long enough, then getting a GSM phone and having it unlocked, and then purchasing PAY AS YOU GO SIM cards along the way seems like the best idea, but I believe that means your phone number will be changing to a local number in each new country that you go. If you are wanting your phone to just have local people be able to get in touch with you, then that would work. You'd have to keep updating people back home with new phone numbers if you wanted the phone to talk to them.

[ Edit: Edited at Sep 13, 2006 8:57 AM by GregW ]

3. Posted by pixie1 (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y

Thanks for the info Greg - that's been useful.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Pas de probleme! Enjoy your trip.