How to Get International Cell Phone Service
Find out how to secure a reliable cell phone service that will continue working when you travel outside the United States.
If you are a business traveler who often travels outside the United States, you will need an international cellular service before you can make calls outside of the country. There are a few countries which are on a unified system which is known as global services for mobiles. These international services require a GSM phone and a SIM card which allows your phone to connect to local wireless carriers in whatever country you are in.
If you already have a cell phone service the chances are fairly high that your phone will not work outside of the United States. Some phones are sold as world phones but they too will have limits as to what countries they can be used.
There are different ways you can obtain GSM phone service while you are traveling outside the United States. One way is the sign up for a regular monthly account but this way is not practical since it would probably commit you to a contract for a year or more.
Roaming: You can always ask your current provider to switch you to global roaming and this would let you use your present phone almost anywhere in the world. This feature does have a big drawback. The roaming charges are very expensive. Some of them can be from $1 to $6 per minute so if you travel often and use your phone a lot this might not be the way for you to go.
Prepaid SIM cards: These cards provide a simple solution because they allow you to have a local phone number and calling rate in whatever country you are in. They are fairly inexpensive and will usually allow anybody to call you at no additional charge. The cost for these cards is bout $30 to $60 and they are usually active for up to a year. However, this can get confusing if you visit many different countries since your number would constantly be changing.
Global Roaming: There are a few companies that have programs that allow you to use your SIM in your phone in all of the countries you plan to visit. The best benefit to this is you will keep the same phone number and the rates are fairly reasonable. Your rates may be a little higher with this plan but you will be able to receive and make calls in about ninety countries around the world.
If you only travel outside the United States occasionally it might be more cost effective for you to buy a prepaid plan which is customized to meet your needs during travel. These might be a little more expensive but if you only travel rarely there is really no reason for you to buy a phone since the cost of a phone can run up to $200.
There are some tips to help keep your international calls at lower rates. Often if you have a prepaid SIM card it is cheaper for you to get incoming calls than it is to make an outgoing call. Call the person you need to talk to and ask them to call you back. Another way to save is to use the call back service. Call the number and hang up before anyone When they get an answer you will be on US service which is provided at a discount rate.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Hunter is an an experienced writer for http://www.cellular-phone-plans-guide.com about Cellular Phone Plans with several years experience.