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  1.    #1  
    Hi

    I have a question regarding phone plans in the United States. I currently live in the Netherlands, but have recently been asked to move to the US for my employer as of 2011 for a period of three 3 years. We are currently in the process of finding out what we will be taking with us and what we will leave behind. My German Palm Pre Qwertz will stay behind for instance .

    My wife will try to find a job there, but will start without a job. Therefore I want here to be able to contact home easily and not to expensive (skype for instance). My work will pay for my internet connection at home, from which it will be easy and cheap to contact home. That leaves us with contact on the go with the following in mind.

    My wife needs a phone with an unlimited internet plan for e-mailing
    She will be making calls from and to New York/New Jersey
    She will call about 400 minutes a month with New York/New Jersey
    About 50 SMS, half to the Netherlands and half to New York/New Jersey
    She will need perfect coverage
    We will also be travelling back to the Netherlands, where we want to use our phones (with internet) as well (at additional costs of course)
    We are currently thinking on a Samsung Galaxy S, but that would have been if she stayed in the Netherlands

    Does anybody have an advice on a provider and what to look for in a phone plan. I'm pretty good in comparing in the netherlands, but could really use some help on what to look for in the US and what system is better for us (CDMA/GSM)?
    Last edited by Torpedojager; 09/27/2010 at 02:44 PM.
  2. #2  
    verizon and sprint both have unlimited plans for the pre.
  3. #3  
    with lte coming over the next 12 months, the diff between gsm and cdma become less critical.

    to me the diff is that gsm requires at&t who has a crappy network. But it lets you talk and surf at the same time.

    with cdma you can only do that when you have a wifi connection.
  4. #4  
    Given your requirements for usability while in Europe AT&T or Tmobile are your only options. At that AT&T phones will not give you 3G network speeds in Europe.
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  5. #5  
    and at&t doesn't offer unlimited plans in the us.

    have you checked in to at&t europe to see if you can back into unlimited there?

    the requirements combination you have it a tough one.
  6. #6  
    And no company can guarantee you perfect coverage.
    Sent from my favorite gadget!
  7. #7  
    Take note, however, that GSM frequencies allow higher building penetration than CDMA. What that translates to: a CDMA and a GSM phone have 5 bars standing outside. Once inside (say about 2 walls deep from the outside, or even underground in the basement), the GSM phone may drop down to 2 or 3 bars, the CDMA phone will have 0.

    I suffer from this daily, while my iPhone toting (crappy AT&T using) coworker enjoys using his phone indoors. : /.

    Food for thought.
  8.    #8  
    Thanks guys, i'll let you know what it will be.
  9. #9  
    This is sort of similar to a situation I’ve dealt with, but in reverse! My daughter has gone on school trips to Europe for the last two years, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how we could stay in touch. (She, on the other hand, spent Zero time on that !)
    We live in central NJ, have Verizon service, I have the Pre Plus. I’ve have not run into any significant “no coverage areas”’ including a few trips to NYC.
    I have friends who use AT&T, have not heard of any service complaints from them (including iPhone.)
    My solution for calling to Europe was purchasing a locked quad-band pre-paid GSM phone from AT&T then unlocking it, and then purchasing a prepaid sim from the travel company based in UK. The first sim could not send sms to cdma networks. So I bought a second unlocked quad-band and a pre-paid sim from T-Mobile, so I could receive sms. Pretty complicated, and remember, my daughter could not have cared less, and my wife thinks I’m nuts!
    Another thing that I found out late last trip was “Skype to Go”. From the US, I called a local US number from cell or landline, connected to a SKYPE gateway, and then called a pre-programmed (my daughter’s European sim card/phone number) at SKYPE rates (approximately two cents per minute US, plus cell phone minutes.)
    Also remember that you will be charged minutes for incoming calls on US plans (it seemed that most European sims had free incoming calls.)
    Do you have a quad-band phone? Get it unlocked prior to moving, you could purchase a pre-paid sim from T-Mobile or AT&T for a mininum cost, and evaluate the service. It’s very easy to purchase extra minutes, either online or in stores. I don’t know if you could maintain your home number/service while you are here, but if you could, you could just change sim cards when you go home for visits. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have roaming in Netherlands, not sure if it would be cheaper to purchase a sim for trips back home. It looks like Verizon does not support roaming in Netherlands.
    Also remember that most plans in the US are “post-paid”, but it’s easy to keep track of usage during the billing cycle. They generally require a two year contract to get a low cost phone. Currently, the Pre Plus is $49 US on Verizon & AT&T. Verizon still has unlimited data, AT& T has switched to a tiered pricing plan.
    Google gsm dot world technology to find out about everything you would ever need to know about GSM roaming
    Sorry for the lengthy reply, it’s just the experience of a father of a teenage daughter!
    Best of luck on your stay, and welcome to the US!
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by SirataXero View Post
    Take note, however, that GSM frequencies allow higher building penetration than CDMA. What that translates to: a CDMA and a GSM phone have 5 bars standing outside. Once inside (say about 2 walls deep from the outside, or even underground in the basement), the GSM phone may drop down to 2 or 3 bars, the CDMA phone will have 0.

    I suffer from this daily, while my iPhone toting (crappy AT&T using) coworker enjoys using his phone indoors. : /.

    Food for thought.
    I dont think this is a true statment, its more of where your located. I work insided a corporate building and in my section those people with Iphones dont get ANY BARS, ANY SERVICE AT ALL, while on my sprint pre I have 3 to 4 bars and sometimes have to turn on my mytether if they need to do something. Though in other parts of the building they get 2 to 3 bars and I may have 1 or none, so it really depends where you are, because penetration is the same when considering GSM and CDMA, the only penetration problems right now are only with Wimax, because on 4G when I had a EVO i got no signal anywhere in the building.
  11. #11  
    Still very happy with Sprint (13 years now)
  12.    #12  
    Still on my quest i'm concluding the following.

    In the Netherlands we have GSM 900/1800 and UMTS 2100 frequencies
    The US has GSM 850/1900 and UMTS 850/1900 frequencies

    In order to have best working phone in both the netherlands/Europe and the US a GSM phone is the best way to go. This means i'm looking at T-Mobile or AT&T in combination with a quad band gsm (850/900/1800/1900) phone with tri band umts (850/1900/2100). So this will also restrict phone plans.

    T-Mobile has a $60 plan with 500 minutes and unlimited text + internet
    AT&T has no unlimited data plan, which is not really an option

    So I think we'll have to with T-Mobile. Is there a good site somewhere for checking coverage of all operators? I'll also check with colleagues on their experiences, but currently I'm still in the Netherlands planning our departure.

    Now I have to start looking for phones which have quad band GSM and tri band UMTS. One for my wife for personal use and one I want my company to buy for me.

    I'll keep you posted
    Last edited by Torpedojager; 10/14/2010 at 08:36 AM.
  13.    #13  
    So the plot thickens. Even within the US GSM carriers they use different UMTS frequencies. 1700 for T-Mobile and 1900 for AT&T. Since the combinatiopn of the two is quite rare i'll probably have to do something I didn't want to do and get an iPhone. I hope the new palm device will have all freqencies as well and debut beginning of january.

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