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what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

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Paris, France
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what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

Think we need a mobile phone but have been told it is best to buy one with prepaid minutes when we get to Paris. What is the best soluntion

New Hampshire
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1. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

Do you have unlocked GSM phones with European frequencies?

How many phones will you need during your visit.

How much/to whom/where calling do you plan to do?

Best solution depends on many factors.

If you have GSM phones you use at home and plan to use the phone only for emergencies or the occasional call, it's usually much simpler and cheaper to set something up with your home service, particularly if you are not fluent in French.

Even a "cheap" phone with minutes will cost you about €29 (including some minutes) or about $42, so check with your home provider.

Fullerton...
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2. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

I had the same issues in May. I was going to Paris for two weeks and since I was traveling solo, wanted to be able to connect to people back home, just in case. I was also told to buy a burn phone in Paris.

What I found out is that there really wasn't what I would consider a cost effective plan to "talk" on my phone. However, what I could get was an inexpensive internet plan and a "texting" plan. The best I could get to "talk" was $5.99 per mo. + $1.00 per minute, which I got for emergencies only.

Boy, have times changed, when the most expensive thing to do with s phone is actually talk!

Edited: 06 August 2011, 17:44
Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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3. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

You have not really provided sufficient information to adequately answer what might be best. What do you really want to do with the phone: call the USA, make primarily local calls, mostly receive calls, use SMS? Do you have a GSM phone, is it locked to a specific provider, will it operate on 900/1800mHz frequencies? For minimal use have you considered using your US phone with a roaming plan?

If you just want to purchase a phone, Carrefour or Auchan sells them with SIM for around 20€ including some talk time. Phonehouse or Virgin sells phones around 30€ with SIM and minimal talk time.

If you can obtain an unlocked GSM capable of operating on European frequencies, Lebara sells SIMs (actually gives them away if you ask on line) for 10€. Their per minute costs are 0.09€ per minute to the USA, 0.15€ per minute within France, and SMS is .10€ per message.

www.lebara.fr

4. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

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Edited: 06 August 2011, 19:04
NY
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5. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

Sarasto makes good points, and also may depend on future trip plans.

Someone already suggested that if you have a GSM phone with Europe frequencies (check with your carrier) ask if your phone can be set up for international roaming and then use it primarily for text messages.

You can make calls to anywhere, including within France, but people calling you will have to call your US phone number since you can keep your US number and can be OK if you don't make a lot of voice calls .

Or, perhaps your carrier can rent you a GSM phone and set it up for you before you leave.

Another option is www.mobal.com, but I know their per minute cost are not cheap and you will probably get a UK number.

These are just a couple more alternatives to consider.

Perth, Western...
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6. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

<<It's usually much simpler and cheaper to set something up with your home service, particularly if you are not fluent in French.>>

I doubt that any of the US-based options are as cheap and simple as Lebara - its website has an English option and its possible to have all the voice prompts in English too.

This recent thread started by Sarastro shows how much things have changed in a very short time.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187070-i12-k45420…

Paris, France
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7. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions. We talked to our carrier who said they have an international feature but it works off of cell phone towers not satellite so cannot guarantee that it will work everywhere in Europe. How are signals sent in Paris and the UK ?

Florida
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8. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

If your carrier is T-Mobile the international roaming works just fine in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands from my past experience. I'm on Sprint now, so going to try them out next month.

NNJ
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9. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

Search this forum, you may find a recent post about buying a prepaid sim card at CDG's and using it in France and some other places.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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10. Re: what is the best solution to a cell phone in Paris

<<How are signals sent in Paris and the UK ?>>

Exactly the same way they are sent in the USA.

_____

travelnutty - does Sprint have GSM phones? I thought they used CDMA.