- Of course, it would have been nice to include the link!
- Interesting link on cell phones, Victoria. For all of the high tech
and the three and four band cell phones offered out there, my needs
are quite simple and I took another alternative.
I use a cell phone for calling people and the only gizmo I might add
sometime is a camera phone so I can carry one phone/camera instead of
two separate items. My plans are to visit Europe twice a year, and
last Christmas I started in Germany, where I bought a European cell
phone with a SIM card (SIM card is nothing more than a changeable
computer chip, similar to a memory card in a camera). Total cost: 30
Euros, including a SIM card with 35 Euros prepaid calling time.
It is simple, as well as easy to keep track of the costs and recharge
/ buy a new SIM card at the local gas station when my pre-paid time
runs down. For anyone spending most of your time in Slovakia or
another country, I suggest buying the phone locally. I was lucky and
found a good sale I cuold not afford to pass up.
However, people should read the article you posted and make their own
decision based upon their plans.
--- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Victoria Hospodar Valentine"
> Of course, it would have been nice to include the link!
- My two hallers' worth on the subject. Up front, I will tell you that I
don't work in the telecommunications industry and have no vested
interested in any mobile phone provider. I reference T-Mobile below
because that happens to be the easiest example since that's what I am
I've been living and working in Central/Eastern Europe for six years now
and have had a pre-pay mobile phone the entire time. Until recently
these were cheaper phones that would only work in Europe. Now I have
one that works easily on both continents by only changing a SIM card
which takes less than five minutes.
If you want to be will be getting a new phone in the US and want to use
it overseas as well, make sure you get a tri-band or quad-band GSM
phone. Even if you get the phone from a provider, you can still get one
of these which will allow changing of subscriber identification modules
(SIM). In this way you can have a phone that works in the US and Europe
and all you need to do is change the SIM.
My wife had been wanting a new phone anyway and we were considering
changing providers for her US service and we settled on a program from
T-Mobile. She got a Motorola Razr V3 phone for nothing (after rebate)
when she signed a one-year contract. The phone is locked to T-Mobile
and came with a US T-Mobile SIM. When she came to Slovakia last summer I
bought her a T-Mobile Easy-Card (pre-pay) SIM here and it worked fine.
If she had wanted to use another provider here, she could get an unlock
code from T-Mobile USA for the phone once she had it 90 days.
I also bought a Motorola Razr V3 in the US last year but mine was not
locked to a particular provider so it cost quite a bit more. In any
case it works fine with any provider here and I also have a T-Mobile
pre-pay SIM for the US when I go home. The only trick is that the
pre-pay minutes expire after a shorter time in the US and you can even
lose the number if you don't add minutes often enough.
- Hello Paul and everyone,
My children have been after me to get a cell phone for years. I am almost
to that point. However, I would like to know if there is a cell phone that
one can use to call the United States from Slovakia. Is there any particular
phone company that provides this distance communication?
thank you for any help.
************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hello Noreen and group,
Virtually any mobile phone that will work in Slovakia can be used to
call internationally (including the US) as well as make local calls in
Slovakia. That said, prices can vary widely and none of them is what
most of us would call cheap. How you intend to use the phone while here
and how much calling you wish to do to the US will affect which option
you may want to chose.
Firstly, as I mentioned in the original post, if you want to have one
phone that will work both in the US and Europe, it needs to be a GSM
tri-band or quad-band phone since mobile phone networks in the US and
Europe operate on different frequencies.
Secondly, the question is just how will you use the phone in Slovakia.
If you will only come from the US infrequently for shortish stays and
only use the phone for emergency purposes and perhaps a couple of short
phone calls to the US, you could probably get by with a US phone program
which can have international roaming activated when you will travel
overseas. This would be perhaps the simplest solution and you would
always have the same phone number although it could be the most
expensive, especially since making local calls in Slovakia would be
charged at the international roaming rate.
If you will be traveling more frequently to Slovakia and will want to
use the phone for more than just emergency contact and maybe a very few
calls (either to US or local), you may want to get a pre-pay program
here in Slovakia. There are only three mobile phone providers here and
they all have international roaming so if you went to Austria or the
Czech Republic you could still call. If you want to find out more
information about the various provider programs here you can read about
them at their websites at the following links (Unfortunately I could
only find O2's in Slovak):
With this type of system you only pay for what you use and it's easy
to find out how much you have left. I can't speak for the other
providers but with T-Mobile pre-pay here a phone call to the US costs
about $1.50 per minute and local calls within Slovakia are just a few
cents per minute. So it is probably quite a bit cheaper than roaming to
Europe with your US plan. The possible downside is that you will have a
different telephone number here and you have to change the SIM when you
travel back and forth from US to Europe and back.
You can get this type of system either by bringing a tri-band or
quad-band GSM phone with you and just buying the Subsriber Identity
Module (SIM) here and putting it into your phone or you can get a
relatively inexpensive phone here complete with a SIM chip. If you buy
a cheap phone here, it will most likely not work in the US so if you are
contemplating getting your first mobile phone in the US, I would just
make sure it is GSM tri-band or quad-band capable and you will be set.
Now, given all the above, by far the cheapest way to call the US from
here is via Voice over Internet Provider (VOIP). You can call from an
internet café here if the computers are configured with microphones
and/or headsets (and many of them are) using Skype or Yahoo Messenger.
If the recipient of your call has the same software installed on his/her
computer, the call is free and the only charge you would pay would be
the internet café's charge to use the computer. If you will not be
calling another computer, you must set up a prepaid account with Skype
or Yahoo Messenger and when you call your account will be debited a
couple of cents per minute for the call since you are only paying for
the local call in the country where the recipient of the call resides.
I use Skype and can talk for hours with my family and friends in the US
for nothing above the flat rate I pay every month for my internet
connection. If I want to call a landline or mobile phone in the US, I
pay 2 euro-cents (about 2.7 US cents per minute). I have heard Yahoo
Messenger is a bit cheaper for paid calls but my network is already
established in Skype and I don't use Windows as my primary computer
system so I've stayed. The downside of this approach is that you must
have or find a computer and it cannot be used for emergency services
like fire or ambulance. You can find out more about Skype and Yahoo
Messenger at the following links:
I apologize for this rather longish post. If anyone wants more
information, feel free to contact me directly.
Paul in Bratislava
Homebase in Carlisle, PA, USA