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Noah is going to Europe! Buncha questions.

Discussion in 'General' started by NoahFuLing, 28 May 2007.

  1. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    So as the title clearly states, I'm going to Europe for 5 weeks this summer. Ironically, I'm going to be meeting up with some friends from the US I've never met (although we're good friends online), because they're going to be doing stuff there too. I plan to take a still camera, a video camera (HDV), some form of cell phone, and possibly a Pocket PC device. My initial question to you Europe-dwellers is: what cell provider should I purchase from, and what plan should I buy? The tour I'm going on (until I'm a senior in high school, or in college, my parents would rather I go with friends on a tour than alone) heads through the UK, France, Holland/Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and the Italian and French Rivieras, and later in the year, I'm going to be spending 2 weeks as an exchange student in Spain.

    So the question is, what phone should I purchase, from what provider, and at what rate? It needs to make calls to the US for less than Verizon-butt-rape rates, and possibly also able to call other international cells and local numbers for sorta-reasonable rates.

    On another topic, since I will be going back to Europe for longer peiods of time, on my own (just not this year), I'd appreciate suggestions on what I should see that I won't figure out by myself while I'm there.

    Any other questions I have, I'll post up here eventually. I'll also post a quick summary of what I do, plus cool pictures.

    Tour I'm taking: http://www.weissmantours.com/

    Thanks, all!
     
  2. Buzzons

    Buzzons Minimodder

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    (uk)02 offers a deal where you can call a specific number and that then calls where you want to call for local rate charges (so if you get a pay as you go this would be a good option)

    Else, go with skype? will be cheeper in the long run, if you are taking a pocket pc , load it up with skype and search for free wireless using ministumbler ;)

    most contract phones have a 12 or 18month length so it would be a bad call to get one of those.
     
  3. atanum141

    atanum141 I fapped to your post!

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    Also a 15yr old cant get a contract phone.
     
  4. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    One thing i will say is that if you buy a mobile phone here in the UK, and take it to Europe, is that because the mobile networks differ from country to country, we end up piggy backing on these networks, which is why we are charged so much on our Pay as you Go and Pay Monthly tarifs. Orange is availabe in both the UK and France, though im not sure about Spain or Italy. Spain and France are vast countrys and getting coverage is not like that of the UK or the USA. Possibly the better idea is using Skype, especially if you're planning on calling back to the States.

    The second thing to remember about Europe is the currency, here in the UK, we still have our Pound while in France and the rest of Europe, its the mighty Euro. Switzerland i think still use the Swiss Franc so thats 3 currencys to remember.

    I hope this helps a little at least.

    Sam
     
  5. atanum141

    atanum141 I fapped to your post!

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    o2 is avail over in europe.

    Orange call charges are pure rape.
    best bet is either t-mobile or o2.
     
  6. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    I know T-Mobile has an extensive network both in the UK and in Germany. Can't say about other countries, they often have their own networks.
    Piggybacking works though.

    If you want to stay in touch, I find the internet cafes would be good, as they're nice and cheap over in the mainland.
     
  7. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for your responses so far, my parents have been bugging me to get something figured out, but what with a large test coming up, a European History project (don't even say it :D ), and lots of miscellaneous work to complete before the end of the school year, finding a phone keeps getting pushed back.

    atanum, I obviously would be the person USING the phone, not the person to whom the phone is contracted (although it is my credit card and account being charged).

    I don't mind piggybacking, when I went to Italy this spring, I took my uncle's O2 phone and hopped onto TIM. However, his phone is unavailable.

    The problem with Skype is that a cell phone basically provides 24/7 connectivity, and if something happens that my parents NEED to get in touch with me, or vice versa, then I'm available at all times. If I bring a PPC or some similar device, then yes, I will be Skype-ing home when I can, but that's not the issue. The cell phone will basically be used for (A) calling when I get there, (B) being available. I don't mind rape-level charges, as long as it's not something like 10,000 pounds a nanosecond (you get my drift). I'm just looking for a phone/SIM (I might get a good unlocked phone and drop a SIM in, probably not) and plan to use. Seeing as I only need it for 5 weeks this summer, plus 2 weeks in the fall, I will go with a Pay-And-Go style plan. However, I am baffled as to:
    (A) Which provider to go with. I don't know who's out there, really, nor what they offer in terms of price for local and international calling, both on their network and on roaming.
    (B) How to go about buying the plan. Once a plan is found, I don't know how I'd buy a plan local to the UK/Europe while in the US. My uncle did it because he has some form of business there, whereas I do not.

    I appreciate any help, thanks!
     
  8. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Ok, given that I leave in under a month, I'd really appreciate some help on this one, OK? :D I honestly have no idea what I should do, or how I should go about finding/purchasing a phone and plan. I may end up buying a vodafone SIM through Verizon, and buying a cheap unlocked phone (as Verizon's both suck and are ridiculously expensive). However, this has a large problem: Since Verizon forwards all calls to my USA number to that SIM when I'm abroad, if anything decides to call me this summer, I get to pay 1.49 a minute (or more) for the privilege. This is why I'd rather get a cheap SIM and unlocked phone (or a cheap phone/SIM plan) from someone like O2, Orange, or Vodafone directly, that allows me to stick X amount of money on it, and then it's a different number. That would probably be for the best. Would anyone like to suggest some way of going about this?

    Also, I'm attempting to convince my parents to purchase me a Dell Axim x51v. Yes, I realize that they are EOL, and that smartphones are much better. However, I've used PocketPC's for years, and I love them. I'd much rather get an HTC Advantage, but they're obscenely expensive to import. My requirements are a VGA screen, and I love the Axim's look. I'm trying to get one off ebay. My main uses are (A) taking daily notes/log, (B) browsing the internet/checking email/keeping in contact whenever I can find a free hotspot or pay for internet, (C) watching the occasional movie, and (D) Skypeing home. Should I just dig out my old iPaq and take notes on it, or are there enough hotspots to warrant getting a new Axim to keep in touch? Thanks!
     
  9. Lorquis

    Lorquis lorquisSpamCount++;

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    Right I have exactly the solution for you.

    Go to skype, set up a skypein number, you could go the whole hog and set one up for UK, France, Germany.. which isn't too expensive or just have one for the uk...

    then you set up call forwarding to a US number, this will allow you to call back home for dirt cheap, but you'll be limited to one number until you have the chance to change the number on a computer again. It's dirty but effective.

    Now, UK I would say either o2 or (this will probably be contested by others but..) Vodafone.. Voda offer vodaphone passport which allows you to call back to the UK for a nominal fee and if combined with stop the clock you can talk for up to an hour and pay for only 3 minutes (times and conditions apply), so it can help you on your way in other countries.

    Germany again I would say more to go with Voda again as there's greater coverage, and if used with the skype option can be pretty ok.

    Netherlands I would deffinately recommend KPN. EXCELLENT coverage, decent prices.. otherwise Telfort are ok in my opinion.

    If you can get your hands on a wifi device then hotspots are usually easy to come by but you obviously won't get anywhere near as good coverage as a cellphone.

    A cheap pda would be plenty good enough for your needs, as long as you can run skype on it... maybe an old brick like an XDA would be great really, serves two purposes!
     
  10. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    For the Skype side of it, just take a wifi device to a pub...
     

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