International Cell Phone: Cheap International Cell Phone Plans

International Cell Phone: Cheap International Cell Phone Plans

Posted 7.27.2012 in Articles by Jess

If you're planning on staying in a country for quite some time to live, study, or work, your best bet to keep in touch with family and friends is to purchase an international cell phone with a domestic calling plan. Domestic rates will be cheaper and the most basic cell phone models are generally quite affordable. Purchasing a phone abroad is ideal for students studying abroad or travelers with international vacation homes. By doing some research before you go, you can find cheap international cell phone plans to fit any budget!

Staying in a country for work or study is quite different from vacationing there, because you most likely need to be in touch with the locals as well as wanting to stay in touch with home. Now with the advent of the Internet, it’s easier to stay in touch with home with Skype or e-mail and internet chat, video, and phone call tools. However, a cell phone for domestic use is still almost imperative for everyone living abroad. 

Purchasing a cell phone abroad may be cheaper than buying a phone with an international plan from home. It’s quite easy to find a local cell phone store where you can buy a cell phone for domestic service; this method may be easier than buying a new phone and unlocking it for a new SIM card, or getting your original phone unlocked and putting in a new SIM card. 

The reasons for these complexities arise because Americans are accustomed to have one phone and on SIM card for use throughout the entire country; cellphone providers use either two different communication technologies, GSM or CDMA, and most American cell phones are locked and can’t be used with other SIM cards for abroad. In contrast, European countries generally sell the phones unlocked, and European citizens are accustomed to travelling around with a few different SIM cards for the places they are visiting. 

To avoid the complications of international cell phone plans and trying to understand all the terms and rates in your contract, buying a local phone abroad as you work there may be easiest. You will have a different phone number, but while making domestic calls you will pay lower prices than if you had brought a phone over from America. While calling home to the US can get expensive, for the day-to-day use someone living in another country must use a phone for, buying a local phone may be the best idea.

Make sure to understand what you’re buying when you sign the contract—don’t let a language barrier get in the way. If you are planning on only using the phone infrequently, getting a prepaid phone in the country you are living in may be another good idea. Do make sure to do some research on phone companies in the country you will be living in so as to not be cheated or tricked by someone off the street. 

When studying or working abroad, you’re pretty much living as a local, so why not go the local route and buy a phone locally? It will not only help you keep costs down, depending on what you’re paying for, but you’ll be able to use your phone domestically to get in contact with coworkers or other people in the country, and you won’t have to deal with all the fuss and hassle that comes with bringing an American phone overseas.

Image (CC) Cavan Images 
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