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#117126 - 09/23/04 08:57 PM Cell Phone For Overseas?
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I'm planning a trip to South America and am super excited. I've never planned a trip like this before and there is sooo much to do and so little time I look forward to visiting Peru and Machu Picchu!

I have a tech question for everyone. I am considering buying a new cell phone specifically for my trip. Moto has a phone called MPx220 I saw on their site that seems like it would be perfect. It has a MP3 player built in which is cool cuz I can download tons of songs and listen to them on my trip It also has a pretty good camera with flash along with video capture. What is selling me though is the global roaming feature and also Windows all in one cell phone.

My question is I would assume its a advantage to have a cell phone along with me on my trip right? It's gonna be five girls total and I guess one of us should have a celly right? Anyone have any advice on overseas cell phones? Thanks!
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#117288 - 09/24/04 03:05 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: hippiechix]
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Hi Hippiechix,

what you need is a so-called tri-band cell phone that works in all three frequency ranges that exist worldwide. For such a tour, I would suggest that you get a rather simple one, without features like camera, MP3 player etc, because that simply uses up the battery very quickly. Depending on where you are, you might not have a chance to recharge the battery. Also keep in mind that mobile phones usually have a very limited memory capacity, i.e. you will need to download pictures/videos/MP3s to a computer quite frequently. Are you planning to take a laptop with you?
Before you get a phone, make sure that your provider has a roaming contract with providers in the countries you wanna visit. The best phone doesn't help you if you don't get a connection.

I use a Siemens S55 and it works perfectly here in the US.

Enjoy your trip!

Take care,

Grau is alle Theorie - Wichtig is auf'm Platz
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#117353 - 09/24/04 09:40 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: hippiechix]
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as far as I know ( my father-in-low works for Simens Mobile )

cellphones cameras are always S.H.I.T. ... belive me !
global roaming depends on your network, not on cell phone
and any way .... who is gonna provide you network in the jungle ? or so ....

... it's all in your mind ...

Edited by acanay (09/24/04 09:44 PM)
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#117484 - 09/25/04 04:38 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: acanay]
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it is not always necessary that the provider offers the roamimg service. In many countries you can buy the prepaid sim cards without extra charge that means for a 30$ sim card you also can call for §30 Dollar, e.g. in New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore. It is much cheaper than roaming. May be someone knows the details in South Africa. The only disadvantage is that your mobile number will change from one sim card to the other.

Bye! Rennrädle
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#117486 - 09/25/04 04:39 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: Rennrädle]
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Originally posted by: Rennrädle

... May be someone knows the details in South Africa. ...

Sorry! small mistake: South America instead of South Africa...
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#120198 - 10/08/04 12:21 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: acanay]
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Hi hippiechix,

I agree with some of what my co-posters wrote but still would like to add my two cents:

1. First of all: yes, by all means do get a cell phone for your trip!
More than just beeing a covenience it, it might save your behind in one situation or another.
I´m so glad that the times are long gone when 2 travellers had to meet "two moons from now by the water fall at dusk". Forget that and top it off by taking TWO mobiles along, so that you girls might opt for splitting up instead on depending on that "radio girl"

2. Yes, forget mp3 and that camera function since it sucks waaaay too much nergy from your battery, plus the camera is crappy. Go for separate items and you´ll benefit from it. Since battery life is definetly an issue, get a second battery and/or a solar battery charger.
Also do check the frequency used in that foreign country. If it is the same as in the US (as it is the case with Bolivia) there will be no need for a new tri-band mobile and you´ll be able to keep your phone.

3. You wanna go cheap?
Then get a local prepaid phone card (SIM). Using that will result cheaper that using your American SIM card.
The down side should you be travelling through several countries is: you never can be sure where to get that next prepaid card and if you´ll be able to use it instantly.
And depending on where you´re hiking: you can´t be sure to have network coverage.

4. You wanna go safe?
Check . They offer that jungle coverage and the matching mobiles that work in most places. And you call use your old SIM card in those phones too. Their downside is clearly their price point.

But no matter what you decide - DO take a mobile with you!

Take care!
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#120204 - 10/08/04 12:38 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: moogley]
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Oops - I just checked, Thuraya does not cover South America -sorry !

But you still have or . You might want to visit their sites.

Good luck!
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#133773 - 12/04/04 12:09 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: hippiechix]
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It's really better to take a sattelite Phone with ya, because you could be reached at every place (most places) and so you get the chance to call for help if is really needed.

at all a simple cell phone could do the most stuff for you, and ... for camera - take a simple analog camera with ya and a little mp3 walkman/discman combination if you're really looking for listing music at ya trip - instead enying the sound of nature around you.
Wer Lesen Kann ist klar im Vorteil!
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#134021 - 12/05/04 10:46 AM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: hippiechix]
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Hola Amigo!

I've made very good experiences in Peru, Chile, Venezuela and Bolivia with the Nokia 6310i. If you can get it, take this one!
But take into consideration that your provider should also oofer roaming services for that countries.

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#137918 - 12/20/04 10:14 AM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: Sasa]
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Hi Sasa,

a friend of my will travel to peru in 2005 and ask me about a
cellphone. ...and I have looked on the T-Mobile-Webpage,
cause of the GSM coverage.
And my opion is, there is only GSM (1900) in a few towns.
What are your experiences in peru?



(I don't wrote in german, cause the whole thread is english

Edited by olafs_traveltip (12/20/04 10:16 AM)
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#262031 - 07/12/06 11:11 AM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: moogley]
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I have the habit of sometimes getting back on older threads because I feel strongly that an update might make a difference for someone having used the search function.

Here is my recap:

Cycling through the world you might cross areas where your cell phone won´t work due to lack of network coverage.
Should problems arise then, a connection to the world might be worth the extra money for a satellite phone.

Satellite phone services (in declining order by coverage) are offered by:

The global coverage differs VERY much.
For instance South America is not covered by Thuraya, Southern Africa is not covered by Globalstar.
As far as I know Iridium has the best coverage overall .

You can buy the phone (beware , sometimes even a simple charger is an extra) and sell it after your trip through an auction plattform
or rent the equipment.

The prices for one minute can be very reasonable (starting from around 50 ct $) if you take into consideration current roaming prices,
BUT you will also lose those minutes in some calling plans if you don´t use them up in a certain period of time.
The prices vary a lot, so it is imperative to compare!


For German readers a few tidbits:

The German distributors are:

For Iridium

For Thuraya:

For Globalstar:

Some distributors offer also renting their equipment, you might want to ask for their long term conditions.

Mail order resellers I know of:

This should be it for a general overwiew

Take care,

Edited by moogley (07/12/06 11:19 AM)
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#371359 - 09/19/07 04:16 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: moogley]
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Im just back from South America and I dont think a satelite phone is really necessary. Just make sure to bring a QUAD-BAND-MOBILE, because there are several different frequencies for mobile phones. In South America its mainly 1900 and 850. In all the bigger towns you'll have reception which is mainly useful for text messages. Its not really a big deal to recharge your mobile. In South America its hard to avoid sometimes to stay in Hotels, especially for security reasons. On the other hand internet cafes are cheap and you'll always be able to recharge you phone there. Also check beforehand to have a contract that is open for roaming. The other option is to buy a chip locally (only costs a few dollars for a prepaid), but consider that very often you can not send or receive text messages with local SIM cards. It simply doesnt work.
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#371372 - 09/19/07 04:40 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: Ekki]
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Well, as you put it yourself - in l-a-r-g-e-r cities mobile phone coverage more often than not is not an issue. If you wanna go cheap with text messages - knock yourself out, in these cases, by all means, go by GSM....

BUT: should you chose to leave the beaten track (and on your bilke you´re most likely to do so), be assured that in large areas of the southamerican continent, no GSM coverage is available!!

So if you want to go safe ( I mean the safety of making a phone call when a situation really calls for it) there are only satellite phones to provide that kind of service.

It all depends on where you put your emphasis...
Grüße, moogley
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#371666 - 09/20/07 02:30 PM Re: Cell Phone For Overseas? [Re: Alten Sausack]
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tri-band cell phone that works in all three frequency ranges that exist worldwide

that's wrong. In Corea and Japan this won't work. A UMTS cell phone covers these countries.

Neu 21.10.2009: 2. Bericht Projekt Hessen aus dem Jahr 2007
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