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TRAVEL PHONES & SIM's
Using a special phone or SIM for foreign calls to keep you from paying big roaming charges.


    Getting a "Travel" Phone:


MAKING YOUR PHONE A "TRAVEL" PHONE:
  • SET UP A T-MOBILE ACCOUNT
    You get a new SIM and a new number and you'll be able to use your Data allotment in most countries in the world, including the US, Free Text Messages and calls made outside the US are .20 each. You can use Call Forwarding to this new phone from your regular phone and still get incoming calls.

  • GET AN INTERNATIONAL ROAMING SIM
    You can choose from options that including Talk, Text and Data plans, or country- and continent-specific SIM's. Some assign an incoming US number and calls from US numbers can be Free.

  • LOCAL SIM's
    There are available at stores and kiosks near train stations and airports in your destination country that can sell you a SIM that will work locally. Have the store make sure their SIM works in your phone before you leave. A "local" SIM may also work in a neighboring country, sometimes at the same rate, sometimes a higher rate, and sometimes just for a short period of time. If you can use a calling app you only broadband access with this SIM which can save you money.


  • SET UP A PREPAID PHONE FOR TRAVEL IN MEXICO (& CANADA)
    Do what we do if you're just going to Mexico or Canada..


PURCHASE A TRAVEL-READY PHONE:
  • A NEW PHONE FROM T-MOBILE
    T-Mobile has very travel-friendly phones and plans, including Unlimited Data and Texting, no contract required

  • A NEW PHONE FROM AT&T
    AT&T has roaming agreements in most countries of the world and a good selection of global-capable phones. Their roaming charges can be expensive but foreign roaming packages are available.

  • A MOBAL ROAMING PHONE
    Mobal specializes in phones and SIM's for Europe and several Asian countries.

  • AN UNLOCKED PHONE TO BE USED WITH THE ABOVE INTERNATIONAL SIM's
    If you have a CDMA-only phone or one that can't or won't be unlocked, you can get an inexpensive basic phone that does what you need while traveling out of the country.

  • SATELLITE PHONES:
    When you really need access in remote places, Satellite phones normally work all around the world. Prices are not cheap, but you can pay as you go. Service is not found everywhere. Coverage in dense urban areas, in certain modes of transport, and in tunnels, where the right part of the sky is not visible, may not be available. Satellite phones are available for purchase or for rent from MOBAL.



  • GSM:
    GSM (Global System for Mobile communications, originally Groupe Spaécial Mobile), is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to describe the technical protocol for digital cellular networks used by mobile phones. It is the global standard for mobile communications on 90% of the world's wireless networks, and is available in over 200 countries and territories. AT&T, T-Mobile and some smaller systems in the US use GSM.

    The other technology used in the US is CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) which is used by Verizon, Sprint and several other carriers. CDMA is available in only about 40 countries.  Many new Verizon and Sprint phones work on certain GSM systems outside the US.


  • SIM:
    A SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is a small, removable programming chip that instructs a GSM phone what network to use and your subscriber information such as your phone number and phone book. For travelers, your wireless phone can be modified to access foreign wireless networks by changing the SIM.


WI-FI DEVICES:
  • Wi-Fi Capable Phones:
    There are many possibilities including Smart phones that can work on Wi-Fi networks around the world. Your carrier may support "Wi-Fi Calling" or you can use an app such as Google Hangouts.

  • Other Wi-Fi devices. There are a number of computer-associated devices that can handle both incoming and outgoing calls that don't care where you are located.  These types of connections are useful if you plan to handle calls and data from a fixed location. Rates can be as low as Free, depending on the cost of your Internet connection.