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Mobile Phone Service

London
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Mobile Phone Service

Hi,

I'm off the the Masai Mara, staying at the Karen Blixen camp for 3 nights.

Does anybody know what the mobile phone service (if any) is like ? I am on a UK Vodafone contract.

Thanks a lot in advance,

L x

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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1. Re: Mobile Phone Service

Hi,

Don't know what the signal is like but you would be far better buying a local sim if you are going to be calling or texting the UK or receiving calls from home more than a couple of times.

Colchester, United...
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2. Re: Mobile Phone Service

I am on Orange and had full signal over most of the Mara!!! its very bizarre but worthwhile getting a Kenyan sim if you are going to use it a lot and pay your own phone bills!!

Nairobi, Kenya
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3. Re: Mobile Phone Service

Service depends on network coverage across the Mara. Being with Vodafone, you would *probably* be covered by the Safaricom masts and repeaters. However, Safaricom does not cover all of the Mara. If you are going to be making a lot of calls, buy a Zain sim and a Safaricom sim and load a couple hundred bob (shillings) on each. Then you should have almost 100% coverage. Sim packs are 100/- each.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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4. Re: Mobile Phone Service

just to add - if you do stick with your UK sim, it doesn't really matter which UK Provider you are with as when you are roaming, if the phone can't find a signal from the preferred partner it will automatically switch to another network. In fact if you are attached to the preferred partner but are having trouble with a week signal it can pay to turn off 'automatic netwrok selection off' and let it find and show you all available signals and choose one manually.

But it only takes one or two calls made or received to make a local sim worthwhile.

Nairobi, Kenya
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5. Re: Mobile Phone Service

"if you do stick with your UK sim, it doesn't really matter which UK Provider you are with as when you are roaming, if the phone can't find a signal from the preferred partner it will automatically switch to another network"

Really? Does this apply to PAYG as well as Pay Monthly UK sims? Because I have PAYG sims with two UK networks and one will only partner with Zain and the other only with Safaricom, regardless of whether I try and switch them manually or automatically.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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6. Re: Mobile Phone Service

I’ve always had a contract phone in the UK, I’ve always been able to select from a choice of networks everywhere I’ve been (Europe, Africa, America, Asia) so I hadn’t thought about any difference between contract and pre-paid phones when roaming.

Just had a quick Google - Zain has bi-lateral agreements with O2, T-Mobile, Vodaphone and Orange and doesn’t differentiate between pre-paid and contract.

Safaricom does differentiate between pre-paid and contract, for pre-paid it will only connect to Orange and T-Mobile UK sims, for contract sims it implies no restriction and says it has 260 network operators in 116 countries.

Couldn’t find anything for Orange.

Doff

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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7. Re: Mobile Phone Service

'agreements with 260...'

Nairobi, Kenya
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8. Re: Mobile Phone Service

Cool, thanks for checking Doff

London
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9. Re: Mobile Phone Service

Thanks everybody. It has been a great help. As I am travelling with a friend I think we'll buy a local sim to share which should keep the cost down.

Louise x

Iver Heath, United...
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10. Re: Mobile Phone Service

I see this subject here many times, just a bit confused with the costsaving bit perhaps someone can enlighten me.

I allways use my contract phone (friends/family have the number) if you buy a local payg sim dont you have to txt/ring back home to give them your payg tell no ?

wheres the costsaving ?

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