International Cell Phones
For all international travelers, it can get rather frustrating when their non international cell phones are rendered useless the moment they cross North America. The American cell phone system is largely CDMA network with only Cingular and AT&T merger wireless and T-Mobile just begun working on the GSM network. The world over, GSM is the norm for mobile networks and what we desperately need when traveling are international cell phones. Anyone who frequently travels should look into international cell phones.
GSM or the Global System for Mobile Communications is a network where the service provider's settings are on a SIM card on the international cell phones. So when you travel, you can simply use a local prepaid SIM card on your phone and activate it instantaneously on the international cell phones. With the CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access network, the settings of the cell phone service provider area set onto the phone itself. Due to these settings, the phone can only be used with that particular carrier and is useless outside the coverage area.
Frequent travelers definitely need international cell phones that are useful and not a deep dent in their pockets either. A number of inexpensive international cell phones airtime options are available as you roam the world. Free unlimited incoming calls for the frequent traveler and other low cost options for the infrequent traveler all can be sought with just a little knowledge of international cell phones. For starters the heart of your international cell phones is the SIM card that stores your account information, phone directory and messages among other information. This also allows you to change the services and the service provider by simply swapping the SIM of your international cell phones. Unfortunately in the US, very few carriers offer a SIM card enabled phone and so swapping or changing providers is a major task. Also in order to swap your phone SIM make sure your phone is in an unlocked state or simply put it does not have the proprietary settings of the carrier on the international cell phones. Locked international cell phones can only be used with a particular provider and is useless when the service is deactivated.
A local prepaid service is the best solution to all your calling worries when you travel abroad with international cell phones. When you carry your US GSM international cell phones with you when you travel internationally, you will find that they charge you as much as $3 per minute and sometimes they even route your calls back through a US network. So if you make a local call within Paris, it may be routed through the provider's US network charging you for two international calls instead of one local call! No doubt then the easiest deal is to purchase a local prepaid account with your international cell phones that does not require any kind of deposit or credit checks. You will be provided with a phone number, a SIM card and a balance against which you can make calls, when near finishing you can top off your balance on your international cell phones through Internet charging or through a shop purchased card.
Another advantage to an international local prepaid number is that unlike the United States, internationally people who receive calls do so for free while only those who make the calls pay for it Hence incoming calls are free internationally and those who make the outgoing calls pay the rates one would pay for an incoming call in the US. A trick to saving money through international cell phones if you will be calling back home often is to get a callback service. In order to use this service, you call an assigned number back home and hang up before an answer. The callback system computer then calls you back and gives you a dial tone to call out locally or even internationally at discounted rates. Two companies providing this service are Telestial and Kallback.