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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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Old 5 Jan 2010
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Cel phone use in UK and Alps

Wondering what would be the most cost effective way to have the use of a cel phone in the UK and the Alps for a month trip in July. The phone would only be for emergency(breakdowns, flat tire,etc.) We're from Canada and have a cel phone on a monthly plan in the province of Manitoba on MTS.
Maybe purchase a phone in England on a "pay as you go" basis, if they have that there. And then another one on Munich? Or would the England phone work in the Alps? Any suggestions?
Also, how effective is cel reception in the Alps?
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Old 5 Jan 2010
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You can pick up pay as you go mobiles in the UK very easily - any of the large supermarkets, High Street shops etc will do them. Cheap if you only want a basic model.

As soon as you head for the alps they'll automatically link into a network in whatever country you're in - the 3 or 4 payg's that we've got do anyway. But - the cost of calls / texts etc will go up considerably. The EU has been doing its bit recently trying to get the cost of this type of cross border call reduced but it's still expensive. I suspect (though others may know more) that it's going to be much the same wherever you buy the phone and then cross a euroborder.

We've stuck with our UK phones in France because (a) we don't make that many calls so the cost isn't a big issue and (b) last time I checked French payg credit runs out after a period - use it or lose it, whereas UK credit doesn't.

Re coverage in the alps, we spend a lot of time in the French alps and coverage is pretty good. There might be the odd valley etc with patchy reception but I can't remember it ever being a problem. Over to others for other country info ...
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Old 17 Feb 2010
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Hi first i would make sure the phone you are going to use covers the area your going to I.E. dual band or Quad (my phone is Quad so i can useit world wide,
I also have a Voipcheap | Free voip calls are one step away! account & have set it up so i can use my uk phone & call a local number then it calls through to which ever country u wish to call @ but i only get charged a local rate, unless phoning ladlines which fotr some countrys are free (have to chk on there site).
Note I use the .com site not .co.uk site you can also use it like skype via pc to pc
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Old 17 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
We've stuck with our UK phones in France because (a) we don't make that many calls so the cost isn't a big issue and (b) last time I checked French payg credit runs out after a period - use it or lose it, whereas UK credit doesn't.
You might want to consider this.
My Uk phone credit ran out, but then the company disappeared also.
Currently I use a French (SFR) contract which suits me. I pay 7 euros a month line rental (inc taxes) and the calls are +50 cents a minute. Thing is, in an emergency you will need to make a lot of calls and will run out of credit on a pay as you go. Happened to me after an accident and the RAC could not find me to transport my car. Plus umpteem calls to get a loan car and various other things. I dont mind paying when I use it which is seldom. Usually only to ring wife each evening when out on one of my 'trips'. I only got one as wife insisted I have one when off alone tripping. My phone would not work at one campsite in the Spanish pyrenees. Apart from that it has been fine. You do have to ask them to enable it for international roaming. A nice touch is calls made in the UK to a UK number are local and quite cheap. The pay as you go are expensive because to run down the pre payment they are all routed through the originating country. So a UK payg phone used in France to a french number is expensive as it is routed to the UK for billing, then back to France as a call, making it TWO international calls. I switch my phone off. OFF not Standby unless I am making a call. That way the battery will stay charged for months.
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