A Guide To International Cell Phones
From within the United States, you can only hope for a non GSM phone or rarely a GSM with limited options. If you are a frequent traveler, you can either buy a non-GSM for domestic use and a separate dual band phone or you can purchase one of the new quad band GSM international cell phones. The new quad band international cell phones give the best service options both within the US and internationally. For those who travel international cell phones are a must for convenience.
Dual band GSM international cell phones are truly international cell phones which may be available for as little as $100 and it is advisable you purchase one before you leave home. This gives you time to check the international cell phones, upload your phone directory to it and make sure you know how it works and is ready for use as soon as you land. Alternatively you could also purchase tri band international cell phones that can be used both at home and abroad.
If you happen to travel to several countries, then the biggest challenge is to purchase separate SIM cards at each country and then making sure everybody who needs to contact you has those numbers for the international cell phones. There are two ways you can deal with this with your international cell phones; you could use call forwarding on your home phones so you could still continue receiving all your incoming calls. Since incoming calls are free on international cell phones, money would not be a deterrent either. However, somebody needs to coordinate with you in order to make the call forwarding possible.
The other option is to consider what is called a 'HopAbroad' roaming SIM card for international cell phones. This gives you a low per minute calling rate to anywhere in the world, almost as low as $0.95 to call anywhere and $0.35 for an incoming call with a per second billing so you avoid being billed to the nearest minute on the international cell phones. The best deal is that this gives you one single phone number for anybody to call. About 100 countries participate in this global roaming network and at any time anywhere in these countries you stay connected at one number via the international cell phones.
Through Telestial you could purchase this HopAbroad SIM to use in your international cell phones at about $99 for the registration fee. You are provided with a SIM for your international cell phones, an account and $15 worth of airtime and you can top it off at their website or through the international cell phones. As long as you buy a $65 recharge coupon once a year, you phone remains active and the number unchanged. So you can keep this as a permanent phone number on your international cell phone for as long as you wish to. In case you need to stay put in a country for a longer period of time then it makes sense to purchase a local SIM to save money on local calls. As long as you can provide your family back home a number to reach you, you must switch to a local number for a more profitable rate. International cell phones can take away all your worry when traveling but at the same time they should be reliable and cheap too!
Another advantage on the international cell phones when connected via HopAbroad is the ability to switch between service providers. So if you are in areas where you are not receiving enough signal strength simply switch to another carrier for that area for a stronger signal. However advantageous the HopAbroad SIM is, it does miss out on SMS and Voicemail options. There are a few other options for you to choose from if you are looking for those options as well like the riiing product that is better in all key respects.