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  1.    #1  
    I'm planning on taking a Eurail jaunt with my 600 next month, and I'm hoping it'll finally justify its existence by letting me (gulp) leave the notebook at home. I won't need to do *much* communicating while I'm there, but I'd like to be reachable by email and SMS, and I'm thinking of starting a textamerica photoblog to "take friends along" on the trip. (Plus, of course, it'll be my portable music source.)

    So -- what I'm wondering is, as a T-mobile (US) customer, is there anything I can do to maximize the odds of this working out, and perhaps to minimize the cost? I've already activated T-mo's international plan, which seems good enough for low-volume use. Are the "updated carrier settings for roaming to international networks" important enough to make it worthwhile to risk the Other GSM Carriers 1.12 upgrade? (I have an unbranded Handspring phone, bought with T-mo service.) Are there any utilities, services, etc. that people have found especially helpful on this sort of trip? Is there an especially good bit of hardware for charging the 600 throughout Europe? Any other tips?
  2. #2  
    I traveled to Italy a few weeks ago and everything worked fine including the ability to surf the web. This gets expensive quickly so I limited my browsing. Something that is particularly nice is the T600 will automatically switch bands (GSM 800/900/1900). I have always used the standard charger with a plug adapter.

    ...David
  3. #3  
    Try buying prepaid SIM card in the country where you are at. Specially if you intend to make local phone calls.

    Using the T-Mo world service has its cost. Compare and see which cost more.

    Ron
  4. #4  
    Good advice about buying a local SIM card.

    There also threads (somewhere) about a service that you can use to forward all your local (US) calls to the number you get in Europe. I was going to try this when I went to Italy but the trip came up rather suddenly and I didn't have time to get it all set up. For me it is important to get all my local calls while I'm in Europe so I didn't want to rush things and end up completely incommunicato.

    ...David
  5. #5  
    Just got back from London and Amsterdam and the performance was awesome. My boss has a crapberry and had repeated problems with it.

    My T-Mo 600 booted up flawlessly and got right on to the voice and data networks. It is expensive ($0.99 /minute - voice + $15/Mb data) but I was totally reachable. (The pre-paid sim might be a good price alternative, except it would mean a different number - perhaps that would be preferable though compared to friends calling you at 2am local time thinking you are back home)

    In fact, given the almost complete lack of accessible high speed wireless my laptop was useless. There are internet cafes all over Europe where you can use their machines, but Starbucks, Kinkos and my hotels were absent wi-fi or other alternatives. If I hadn't had my 600 I would have been completely out of touch.
  6. #6  
    Re-reading your post made me think of two other things. I did take several pictures with the 600 and e-mail them home and that was a highlight for the kids to get daily pictures of where I was.

    Europe has different power converters. I saw one that was an all in one - it had push buttons that pushed out different prongs for the country you were in . In the UK they usually have at least one outlet that is a EU outlet (round with 2 round prongs), but most are gigantic 3 prong outlets.

    All the power is 240 volt, but the treo charger is rated for that with a converter so you should be OK.

    There are palm apps that have metro maps and schedules. I didn't use any of them but you should be able to find them.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jbiedebach
    .......It is expensive ($0.99 /minute - voice + $15/Mb data) but I was totally reachable. (The pre-paid sim might be a good price alternative, except it would mean a different number - perhaps that would be preferable though compared to friends calling you at 2am local time thinking you are back home).......
    Expensive is a relative term. Compared to the cost and difficulty of making a call from the typical european hotel room, roaming in Europe is cheap and convenient. Compared to the cost of your trip over, the cost of your calls will be trivial.

    It is true that one can buy a prepaid SIM very easily in Europe. I have a whole drawer full of them; most of the minutes never got used so the average cost may have been pretty high. I keep them with the foreign currency and coins that I will never exchange or use. If you are one of those who care more about the rate than the cost, by all means shop around. If you are one of those who thinks that she can get a better rate on foreign exchange than AmEx or Visa, by all means try to get the cheapest rate on your calls.

    I have a GSM phone so that making calls around the world will be easy, simple, cheaper than making calls from my hotel, and transparent. If I was trying to save dimes or even dollars on phone calls, I would not have bought a Treo 600. I will not sacrifice the convenience trying to save a few bucks.

    Go on your trip with confidence that you will be able to make a receive calls easily. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your Treo. Don't complicate it worrying about the cost.
  8. #8  
    Just got back from Europe myself. Was in 4 different countries. The phone always worked great - I could even switch between different carriers. However, I didn't always have GPRS/data. I believe this is due to the fact my provider (Rogers - In Canada) did not have data roaming contracts set up with all European providers. You should check where T-MO has GPRS roaming and where it does not (phone roaming is everywhere but not always so with Data). The calls and roaming data did add up quite quickly from a cost perspective, but the convenience and accessibility was worth it.

    As for charging - the Treo charger is multi-voltage, so you just need a plug converter, not a voltage converter. Have a good trip!
  9. #9  
    I was in Paris in April with my T-Mo SIM card, actually tried to buy a prepaid SIM at CDG and couldn't. It was right after the Madrid bombings where they used Prepaid SIM's to detonate the bombs, and so none were to be found.

    My T-Mobile card worked flawlessly, I received all my business calls as if I were stateside, and got all my emails on the phone too.

    My bill was a little inder $200 for that week in France, but it was worth it.

    In a nutshell:
    If you're doing business as usual, stick with your T-Mobile SIM.
    If you're just travelling and don't care about receiveing calls from USA, and don't care about data service, get a prepaid card.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by treo-mike
    ...........However, I didn't always have GPRS/data. I believe this is due to the fact my provider (Rogers - In Canada) did not have data roaming contracts set up with all European providers.............
    My experience w/ T-Mobile is simply that my phone often prefers carriers that do not have GPRS. For example, Hong Kong has 8 networks. Four have agreements with T-Mo; the phone will pick the strongest or first without regard to whether or not it supports GPRS.

    Therefore, I go to the GSM site, http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml , so that I know which carrier has an agreement with T-Mobile and supports GPRS. Then I select that carrier.

    Incidentally, T-Mobile has been very supportive. They gave me a special number so that I can bypass first level support and reach wireless data support directly.
    Last edited by whmurray; 05/31/2004 at 08:50 PM.
  11. #11  
  12.    #12  
    I don't think the prepaid SIM would be an option for me, since I'll be making the most of my Eurail pass (i.e. not staying in any one country for more than a few days). Unless there are Europe-wide SIMs ... and even then, it'd probably be overkill for the amount of usage I'm anticipating. For reachableness + simplicity + the reasons several of you described, the T-Mo int'l plan should be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Therefore, I go to the GSM site, http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml , so that I know which carrier has an agreement with T-Mobile and supports GPRS. Then I select that carrier.
    Thanks for the ref! T-Mo does have a list of int'l partners here:
    http://www.t-mobile.com/internationa...geInternet.asp
    ... but they only list one per country, so I imagine the gsmworld list will come in handy in some locations.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Margolis
    It was right after the Madrid bombings where they used Prepaid SIM's to detonate the bombs, and so none were to be found.

    Somehow I managed to miss that little news detail!
  14. #14  
    Can anyone provide any more info on the service you can use to forward all your US calls to the number you get in Europe? Thanks.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Margolis
    I was in Paris in April with my T-Mo SIM card, actually tried to buy a prepaid SIM at CDG and couldn't. It was right after the Madrid bombings where they used Prepaid SIM's to detonate the bombs, and so none were to be found.
    The US government is resisting cash, pre-paid, and all anonymous transactions. The famous trial lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, has argued that most cash transactions over $700 are illegitimate, or at least anti-social, and should all be illegal.

    These are freedoms to be cherished but which will be rationed.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by lplplpx3
    Can anyone provide any more info on the service you can use to forward all your US calls to the number you get in Europe? Thanks.
    Well, the most fundamental is your home service. Generally, you must be there to set it up.

    Most mobile phones permit you to forward your phone. You must use the phone itself. Mostly one uses *72 but the Treo 600 has a Phone menu option to set it.

    I am a Vonage subscriber. I can set up call forwarding from the www, even using my Treo 600.

    My home phone is normally forwarded to my cell phone when I travel. I may then further forward calls from my cell phone. Of course, when in Asia this results in some calls in the middle of the night. Keep in mind that if one forwards a call to a destination number, one will pay international/destination rates to accept the call.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by lplplpx3
    Can anyone provide any more info on the service you can use to forward all your US calls to the number you get in Europe? Thanks.
    With T-mobile, you can forward all your calls using your US SIM card in your Treo, but this is an expensive option.

    Another option (someone else gave me) is to have this 800 # setup in the US and setup your Europe number to forward all the calls to the 800 to your European SIM number. You can find more information here:

    http://www.aitelephone.com/followme.html

    I haven't personally tried it out, but someone else said they like it.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhygadon
    I don't think the prepaid SIM would be an option for me, since I'll be making the most of my Eurail pass (i.e. not staying in any one country for more than a few days).
    See: http://www.planet3000.com/SIM_INTL_orange_DTL.shtml
  19. jcourche's Avatar
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    #19  
    perhaps a red herring, but...

    When I bought my E-plus prepaid card (in Germany) during 2002, I had to provide a local address. Luckily, I have a friend who trusts me well enough to let me use his address.

    ...have things changed ?
  20.    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Hmm, good to know. Doesn't look like it beats T-Mo's international service for most of Europe, though -- they're both about $1/minute, and T-Mo has no setup cost.

    Incidentally, I just found out an interesting little tidbit while talking with T-Mo support about international wireless rates ... at present, there is NO surcharge for Picture Mail (MMS) sent while roaming! Since I have the $20 unlimited internet plan, which comes with 100 free MMS messages, this means I should be able to send 100 pictures back from Europe for free. Even if you have to pay for them, you only pay the same .40 or whatever that you'd pay for a domestic MMS.

    The catch: He also said that the size limit for Picture Mail is 65k. Bleah. (So much for Qset!) Has anyone else confirmed this? What happens if the picture's too big?

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