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Thread: cell phones

  1. Default cell phones

    Hello
    I'm from the uk and am going to be taking a road trip around america and possibly canada in the summer. I want to buy a cell phone in america so that i can comunicate with my family back home but I am quite confused with all the different packages and prepaid cellular networks. I was wondering if someone could please advise me on what would be the best network to go for with the widest coverage?

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default I would think about Verizon

    Quote Originally Posted by bbm View Post
    I want to buy a cell phone in america so that i can comunicate with my family back home but I am quite confused with all the different packages and prepaid cellular networks.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! I would not look at prepaid cellular, I would consider getting a GSM phone (that might work in Canada) and look at the Verizon network.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default But the cancellation fees?

    I respectfully disagree with our dear Editor. Verizon might have something new I'm not aware of, but the plans that I'm aware of require that you sign up for at least a 1-year contract. But if you cancel early, you are charged $160 cancellation fee. Actually, I've heard that's been raised to $200 now. That's pretty steep just for a couple months use, imho.

    Personally, I would get a pre-paid for the US portion of your trip and then, once you're in Canada, get a different pre-paid one for there. To be honest, I don't know if Canada has such plans but, if they do, this might be your best bet.

    I'm no expert on this but this is what makes sense to me. You might want to visit a website that deals more with communications issues and see if they have advise or a forum to ask such questions.

    But don't leave us. We'd love to help you with other aspects of your trip-planning where we have more expertise.

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Best of both worlds?

    FYI, Verizon does have a prepaid option, so you can get the freedom of prepaid on the Verizon network. I wouldn't advise getting a contract merely for the cancellation fees and such. An inexpensive phone on a pre-paid plan would be perfect.

    I've also used T-Mobile prepaid, and had no issues along the interstates and in most cities.

    Just be sure to keep track of your account if you do go prepaid.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bbm View Post
    I want to buy a cell phone in america so that i can comunicate with my family back home
    Hi BBM,

    First thing I'd suggest you do is double-check with your current service provider in the UK whether your current phone will provide coverage. You might be surprised. Many UK mobiles are now tri-band and will therefore provide US coverage. Just make sure you've been approved for roaming - all it takes is a phone call - and that you subscribe to whatever international services your SP offers. You may well be fine.

    Peter

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    FYI, Verizon does have a prepaid option, so you can get the freedom of prepaid on the Verizon network. I wouldn't advise getting a contract merely for the cancellation fees and such. An inexpensive phone on a pre-paid plan would be perfect.

    I've also used T-Mobile prepaid, and had no issues along the interstates and in most cities.

    Just be sure to keep track of your account if you do go prepaid.
    I agree with Verizon prepaid. The problem with Nextel, T-Mobile, Cingular, etc. is that they do not have as many towers or links in non-metropolitan areas. Mostly this has to do with the type of signal. Verizon prepaid is probably your best bet, especially if you plan on taking the back roads in certain areas. Good luck!

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