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European Cell Phone Help  
User currently offlineYanksn4 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1404 posts, RR: 11
Posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

what's up everyone. I'm heading over to Amsterdam / Europe for the next six months for study abroad and I need some advice on choosing a cell phone plan to go with. I'm looking to get either a Blackberry 8900 or Bold (determined this is the only phone I'm willing to purchase). The options I'm looking for are firstly calls of course, text messaging (must have and somewhat reasonable plan), media player, email, and finally some kind of broweser. Four of my friends my university in NYC, as well as a friend from here in DEN, will be in Amsterdam / Holland as well so I'll definately be using the texting and calls features, plus checking email for school and friends back in the states. Done some research off hand so far, but still undecided after vodafone's netherlands site doesnt give much. I've got about two weeks left here in DEN and here are my options I'm considering on making in that time frame:

1.) buy the phone here in the states and just stick with att's international plan (extra for roaming, plus the blackberry data plan, and charging for each text message)

2.) buy the phone here in the states, pay the early termination fee with att, get the phone unlocked and buy into a sim card only plan in the uk or netherlands and then pay the termination fee for that when i head back to NY.

3.) when I stop over in london for about a day, buy a phone with vodafone there and get a uk number while there and buy into their plan which would include paying for the roaming as well in the netherlands but get all the features i need. another problem would be the two year contract required and paying the termination fee there as well, but also bringing the phone back to the states and finding a plan here.

4. ) buy the phone in AMS and buy the plan there (same as 3) but agian the problem of early termination fee and getting a plan back in NYC.

so basically, what I am hoping to find out from someone is the early termination fee for vodafone and how difficult it would be to bring a european blackberry back to the states and find a plan for it here. if anyone can help me on this I'd appreciate it. thanks.

Matthew

edit: forgot to add I'll be traveling alot as well throughout europe and possibly Dubai, but I am willing to pay the roaming charges on that since ill be in those places for only a few days top.

[Edited 2009-08-09 13:42:01]


2013 Airports: EWR, JFK, LGA, LIS, AGP, DEN, GIG, RGN, BKK, LHR, FRA, LAX, SYD, PER, MEL, MCO, MIA, PEK, IAH
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineVandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 502 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

Hello,

I don't know if US cellphones work with the same type of simcart as the Europeans. If they do work with the same card, and you have a phone free to use any card with, I recommend you to consider buying a prepaid card. I believe, not sure, the price of a text message is less than 0.10 euro. I know for sure you can buy a new number for like 10 euros at the Albert Heijn stores. I think this is cheaper than using a British or American service.

I don't know anything about the fixed price services offered. I have an Albert Heijn card myself. I just buy a 20 euro card every 6 monts, as the prepaid value is not valid any longer.


User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3369 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

The pre-paid cards require no subscription and therefor have no termination fees either. All you have to do is buy a SIM card, typically a one time only charge of 10 euros though depending on the provider you choose you get 10 to 20 euros worth of phone/text minutes. You will not get a phone though! A phone can be bought seperately for anything between 50 to hundreds of euros.

I would not recommend buying a phone in the UK. They got different power plugs, so you would need to buy a converter on top of your phone. Hardly makes it worth your while. Vodafone is also active on the Dutch market so you can still go for Vodafone here if you specifically want to use their services.

Check below link for a overview with pre-paid rates. The website is independant from the providers so quite fair. The cheapest rates are those that you buy from companies without their own network. They buy "airtime" from the network providers. All the orangy/red stars are providers that piggy-back on third pary networks.

http://www.bellen.com/mobiel/prepaid/vergelijking-tarieven/

And the list with prices for subscription services:

http://www.bellen.com/mobiel/abonnement/vergelijking-tarieven/


The main network providers are:

KPN (aka HI for pre-paid services), formerly state owned. I believe they got best coverage in NL. Having said that, even the smallest operator (Orange) has claims 98,6% coverage. Only parts where you might have difficulties are on the large lakes (IJsselmeer) and in the middle of the "Veluwe" and "Betuwe" nature preserves. This goes for all providers.
Vodafone, needs no introduction I think.
T-Mobile, another big one.
Telfort.
Orange. The smallest one.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2949 times:

Have you checked out 02?

My cellphone provider is 02 and with them I get 200 minutes free every month to call almost any country in the world with one of their plans,which I thought might suit you. I live in England though so I'm not sure what the deals are for the rest of Europe.


I thought I'd mention it though if you wanted to take a look.

http://www.o2.co.uk/

http://shop.o2.co.uk/blackberryhub


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2919 times:

Buy a cheap quad band off of Ebay, you can also find people selling sim cards as well. They usually include a top up card you can take to some places and put a few € on it, and all is well.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineNighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5157 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2849 times:

your best bet is to buy an unlocked Blackberry off of ebay, then get a Dutch Pay-As-You-Go (prepaid) SIM card. You would be stupid to get a UK one - the roaming charges are ridiculous - even more so for calling the US. For this I would recommend you get Skype for your blackberry and use that for calling home.

Dont bother taking a contract then paying the temrination fees, any contract you take will be 18 month, so you will be looking at 12 months worth of fees, which is probably more than the phone is worth!



That'll teach you
User currently offlineJonjonnl From UK - England, joined Dec 2007, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2835 times:



Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 1):
I recommend you to consider buying a prepaid card.

I would recommend exactly the same thing.

If you study in a Dutch University (are you coming to Utrecht? what program?) you'll have plenty of access to internet (also in your room) and having a smart phone won't be essential.
You don't need to buy anything on eBay or the UK either. Just go to a supermarket here and buy a simple phone (a Nokia) which will cost you less than €50,– and go with a prepaid (pay-as-you-go) card.

I wouldn't buy Albert Heijn or Vodafone. We often have foreign colleagues coming over for short periods of time (just like yourself) and there is a company that uses Vodafone's network at extremely reduced prices and which caters specifically to foreigners with prices as low as 12 cent to call to other Western European countries. On Vodafone it'll cost you 50 cent.

If you get into roaming and expensive price plans it'll only make it impossible to communicate for you as you'll start paying more than €100,– pcm.

If you want, I can check the name of the company I mentioned.



joão in ncl
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2802 times:
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I just paid US$50 for a Nokia cellphone and a Swiss SIM card good for 90 days, bought it through Brightroam. It's nothing special -- just a phone -- but incoming text/phone calls are free and I just pay 50c/minute for outgoing calls (you can get a pre-loaded SIM card if you want but I decided that wasn't cost effective.)

Brightroam delivered the phone and card to my home address in less than a week (for an additional $8 delivery charge). The phone does not work in North America, but works everywhere else -- with the right SIM card of course.

They may offer the kind of equipment you're looking for (for a lot more money, no doubt); it's definitely worth checking out.



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineYanksn4 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1404 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2747 times:



Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 2):
Vodafone is also active on the Dutch market so you can still go for Vodafone here if you specifically want to use their services.

have definately been looking into vodafone dutch services. however, i'm finding their website lacking with useful information that the uk website gives. I can always go into a store in amsterdam of course, but they are making it hard to find info beforehand.

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 4):
Buy a cheap quad band off of Ebay, you can also find people selling sim cards as well. They usually include a top up card you can take to some places and put a few € on it, and all is well.

been looking on ebay after going to att and tmobile stores tonight and being told that's the easier option. of course, trying to find the right price is another aspect.

Quoting Jonjonnl (Reply 6):
If you study in a Dutch University (are you coming to Utrecht? what program?) you'll have plenty of access to internet (also in your room) and having a smart phone won't be essential.

actually I'm studying at the Universitite van Amsterdam. specifically in their undergrad economics and business program. i'm sure I'll have great internet service there, but when I travel (will be doing so frequently) I'd like to have something I can check email with or check the web or something in a city. I've managed to so without hte technology before hand in Asia, but if I'm getting the phone I might has well have the capabitlity.

Quoting Jonjonnl (Reply 6):
If you get into roaming and expensive price plans it'll only make it impossible to communicate for you as you'll start paying more than €100,– pcm.

If you want, I can check the name of the company I mentioned.

if you have extra times on your hands and don't mind, I'd appreciate it. thanks.

thanks for the replys so far. as I mentioned above, looking on ebay now for a blackberry and thinking of just getting a sim in amsterdam.

Matthew



2013 Airports: EWR, JFK, LGA, LIS, AGP, DEN, GIG, RGN, BKK, LHR, FRA, LAX, SYD, PER, MEL, MCO, MIA, PEK, IAH
User currently offlineJonjonnl From UK - England, joined Dec 2007, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

Hey Matthew,

I'll check that for you tomorrow and I'll post it here.
You'll find the Universiteit van Amsterdam to be very nice. It's right in the city centre.
Have you found accommodation yet?

I work at the Universiteit Utrecht (Earth Sciences). If you need help you can always contact me.

Cheers
J



joão in ncl
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2628 times:



Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 2):
T-Mobile, another big one.

- If I were on T-Mobile here in The States (I'm not, I use AT&T) would I be able to use my cell phone in Europe?



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineOldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2618 times:



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 10):
If I were on T-Mobile here in The States (I'm not, I use AT&T) would I be able to use my cell phone in Europe?

T-Mobile is actually a German company.



Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1257 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2616 times:



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 10):

- If I were on T-Mobile here in The States (I'm not, I use AT&T) would I be able to use my cell phone in Europe?

As far as I can remember T-Mobile and AT&T are the two companies using GSM technique and thus the two companies whose phones work in Europe.

If you use Sprint or Verizon (the company where Vodafone is a minority owner with 45% of the shares) you can not use your phone in Europe in most cases.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineSwissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2591 times:

Have BB Pearl.... in Canada use a pre paid sim card from Swisscom during our trips to Europe
works fine no issues at all.

Cheerios,


User currently offlineYanksn4 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1404 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2555 times:



Quoting Jonjonnl (Reply 9):
Have you found accommodation yet?

yup. got a private place through one of the housing corporations. expensive as hell, but it'll have to do. i'll be mainly over in Westierpark

Quoting Jonjonnl (Reply 9):
I work at the Universiteit Utrecht (Earth Sciences). If you need help you can always contact me

sounds good. i have to get in touch with some of the spotters over there in AMS. i'll pm you my email.



2013 Airports: EWR, JFK, LGA, LIS, AGP, DEN, GIG, RGN, BKK, LHR, FRA, LAX, SYD, PER, MEL, MCO, MIA, PEK, IAH
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