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  1.    #1  
    I have a sprint treo and I will be travelling to france for a month in the summer. I know that I will not be able to use my sprint treo, but can I rent one, or even use a treo (with web and data access) in france...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    cj
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by cjbell
    I have a sprint treo and I will be travelling to france for a month in the summer. I know that I will not be able to use my sprint treo, but can I rent one, or even use a treo (with web and data access) in france...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    cj
    Hi,

    I'm afraid you won't find any Treo to rent in France.

    The best thing to do is to find some cheapo unlocked GSM phone and buy prepaid cards. You will be able to communicate (phone calls). I don't know if there exist prepaid card with GPRS data access.

    If you have a portable computer with WiFi, this is developping rather quickly overhere and you see more and more "hot spots". In bigger hotels they will sell you cards to access WiFi (either limited in hours or traffic) - last week I had unlimited access from 7pm until 9am for something like 8 Euros (about $ 10)

    Have a nice stay

    Ton
  3. #3  
    Actually, you may be able to do slightly better than that. Call (888) 226-7212, which is Sprint's international roaming department. There you will be able to get a SIM card that will go into any GSM phone. The way this card works is that someone calls your US phone number and, if your US phone is turned off, it will ring on your GSM phone. Of course, the transatlantic long distance rates are enormous (not a problem for me when I travel on business) but so is the convenience of being able to get calls on your US number. One caveat: if someone calls and you don't answer, the call will go to voicemail, but whether or not you get notified of the voicemail or can retrieve it by dialing your own number varies from carrier to carrier (and mostly it doesn't work). There is a number you can call to retrieve mail, but I don't remember what it is (all I can remember is that it is xxx-xxx-yyyy, where xxx-xxx is the area code and first three digits of your SPCS phone number).

    So what I am currently doing is turning wireless off on my Treo and taking it with me and using my Sprint SIM card in a cheap Nokia phone I bought in Europe. I'm considering trying to find an unlocked GSM Treo and putting my Sprint SIM card in it and also putting in my SD card with most of my applications and data and seeing what happens.
    Regards,

    Robert
  4. #4  
    Robert,

    Thanks for the ideas. I too will be going to Europe for a couple of weeks. I called the Sprint number and learned the following:

    They'll send you a SIM card that you can put in a cheap GSM phone but:
    1) They don't guarantee it will work in any phones but their own.
    2) No way to test it in the US, you have to wait til you get to Europe.
    3) They'll rent you a phone that it will work in for $60.
    4) The charge to set up the SIM is $36 plus $6.
    5) Calls are $1.50/min in or out.

    So, it's over $100 to get set up, before you make any calls. If I want to use the cheap GSM phone that I bought on my last trip... I'm on my own as to whether it will work. The good news is that Sprint has coverage in all the cities I'd visit and I'd keep my number... but I'm not sure I want to get business calls on vacation in Europe :-)

    The tour company can rent me a phone for under $100 with free incoming calls.

    My cheap GSM phone is Orange serviced from UK. Roaming will be expensive in Europe, but I'd only be paying for service (it's a pay-as-you-go plan).

    Thanks,
    Bill Petro
    www.billpetro.com
  5. mbb
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    #5  
    Bill, if you already have a GSM phone, why not buy a SIM card in Europe? I have never tried it but I have heard that it is easy to do. It is true that you wouldn't have the same number, but for me that is an advantage -- I wouldn't want to receive "junk" calls when I am traveling in Europe.

    Another approach is rent a phone for Europe. My wife has travelled to Israel a number of times and rented a phone from Travel Cell ( http://www.travelcell.com/ ). They are much cheaper than the competitors.

    Mike
  6. #6  
    I just got back from a trip to Italy and I had full use of my Treo while there. In fact, the customer I was visiting was very impressed with my ability to surf the web. My carrier is T-Mobile so I was able to use my own phone (obviously) but if you can determine how to rent one it should work OK for you.

    BTW, isn't Orange a french company and of I would think that Treo's would be plentiful in France.

    ...David
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mbb
    Bill, if you already have a GSM phone, why not buy a SIM card in Europe? I have never tried it but I have heard that it is easy to do.
    Actually it is next to impossible. I have tried. Buying a SIM card (other than a prepaid one) means opening up a wireless account and no carrier will do that unless you reside in the country that you're trying to open the account in.
    Regards,

    Robert
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by BillPetro
    They'll send you a SIM card that you can put in a cheap GSM phone but:
    1) They don't guarantee it will work in any phones but their own.
    2) No way to test it in the US, you have to wait til you get to Europe.
    3) They'll rent you a phone that it will work in for $60.
    4) The charge to set up the SIM is $36 plus $6.
    5) Calls are $1.50/min in or out.
    Well I think that that's just their way of protecting themselves in case you get a locked phone. Otherwise, a SIM card is a SIM card, and they are all interchangable. I got my Nokia after I had rented one of theirs (theirs are StarTacs, BTW) and both of the supplied batteries refused to charge. It is true that you have to pay a setup fee. I think that the second charge is that once you get the card, you could, in theory, turn it off when you're in the US, and then they charge you $6 to turn it back on. I keep mine activated all the time. I'm sorry to say that calls are a lot more than $1.50 in or out. That's just the airtime charge. If you call or get calls crom the US, there's a long distance charge on top of that. There's also one more point that you should be aware of: the Sprint card is actually some kind of complex call forwarding scheme, because when I make a call on my phone, a number in Germany shows up on the CallerID of the phone I'm calling. It seems weird, but it is actually helpful, because if you are in France and call a french telephone, you don't get charged as if you made a transatlantic long distance call, but it shows up as a local call on your bill.
    Regards,

    Robert
  9. #9  
    It is very likely that the cheap GSM phone I bought in the UK (Sagem from Orange) is locked and won't accept a SIM card from elsewhere. However, I've found a vendor who will rent me a phone and supply me with SIMs for each country I'll be visiting, with free incoming minutes. All for less than Sprint will.

    Regards,
    Bill Petro
    www.billpetro.com
  10. #10  
    While in Italy & Spain last summer I bought sim cards from each country and used them both while travelling. The cost ranged anywhere from 20 to 40 Euros per card. It was great. I called home only once to give my local phone number. All incoming calls either locally or from North America were free to me and I had the phone for emergencies and to make local arrangements. Sim's are not that cheap in Europe but if you are planning to be there a while it sure beats the roaming & long distance charges if you use your home carrier. I understand that there are now European sim cards that work in almost every country. One card & one number does all, although it is more expensive.

    It boils down to how much you intend to use the phone. if it is a little it's cheaper to use your home sim if not, it is definitely cheaper to use a local one.

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