Fit for global gab:
If you’re planning to travel
internationally with your cell phone or to buy an
international phone, proceed with caution. Both the service
provider and the phone model will have an impact on international
compatibility. Here’s what you’ll need to consider.
* U.S. providers generally use one of
two networks: GSM, aka global system for mobile communications, or
CDMA, which stands for code division multiple access. GSM
(AT&T, T-Mobile) is far more widespread internationally and is
the standard in Europe. CDMA (Verizon) has coverage in a few dozen
countries, including most of the Americas and parts of Asia.
* ?Not all GSM phones
are created equal. European providers use either the 900MHz or
1800MHz frequencies. North American cell phones use either 850MHz
or 1900MHz. Some phones work on multiple frequencies.
* Your current phone might function
overseas, but will your carrier provide roaming service there? If
yes, be sure to investigate rates or international plans ahead of
time to avoid getting any rude surprises when you receive the
For the ultimate in flexibility,
purchase a tri- or quad-band GSM phone, and confirm that the
frequencies offered are those used in your destinations. If your
phone is “unlocked” -- meaning it will work on multiple carrier
networks -- you’ll also have the option of removing the phone’s SIM
card, which holds your number and personal data, and replacing it
with a local number abroad.
Check out www.telestial.com
and www.mobal.com to purchase GSM phones and cards
specific to your destination. Cell phone rentals likely will cost