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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Near the beach NSW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Net 10 offer international calls for 15 cents per minute.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default tracfone too

    Tracfone - which is run by the same company as Net 10 - also offers international calling to 60 countries at the same rates as a US call on their prepaid cell phones.

    As long as you buy a phone with "double minutes" (which are easy to find and should cost $10-20), Tracfone can cost 10 cents or less per minute.

    I've been using them for a couple years now and as long as you are just looking for a basic phone for calling and texting, they are a very good and cheap option. The downside is that if you want a more advanced/smart phone you're out of luck (although even that's getting better.)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default Short term - low usage??

    Michael, from what I recall, when I contemplated getting a Tracfone (I still have the brochure somewhere), the cheap calls were only if you recharged with a large amount of money (I think it was $100), which could last for 12 months, or something like that. Since at that time I only wanted it for a couple of months, and for low usage, the per minute cost for local, not to mention international, calls was several times that.

    Maybe things have changed in the intervening years.... but I doubt it. It strikes me that the cheaper rates are only for high usage and long term.

    It is a puzzle to me why one cannot simply rent a sim card, like one is able to do in almost all of the rest of the world. When I arrived at Schiphol, I rented a sim for use all over Europe, never used it to make a call, just had it to receive calls. And all it cost me was a small rental charge per day. Same when you arrive at any airport here. Same in Hong Kong and other countries I have been.

    Lifey

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default

    Things must have changed from when you looked, Lifey, because you certainly don't need to spend anywhere near that much money now.

    You will save a bit more by buying in larger increments, but you can get 120 minutes for 20 bucks (with a double minute phone, which most are) which is 17 cents a minute. If you spend $40, its 10 cents a minute and if you use a promo code (again easy to get, and typically included in the materials that come with the phone) the cost is even less.

    The reason I use them is because I make so few phone calls, and I can't find a company that offers nearly as cheap of options for low-usage.

    As GLC mentioned earlier, the reason the sim card option doesn't really work in the US is ATT is the only company that uses GSM/sim cards. The other companies simply use a different system.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,109

    Default

    Well - T-Mobile uses GSM/sims too, but their coverage is very poor compared to Verizon and AT&T. AT&T is trying to buy out T-Mobile USA, but that's going to be a very rocky road trying to get that through the regulators - that would effectively become a monopoly among GSM carriers.

    For pay-as-you-go, a sim option really doesn't matter with the prices of throwaway pay-per-use phones so cheap. Also, AT&T and T-Mobile really don't want unlocked phones being used on their networks.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default Cheap and easy = wastage and pollution

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Well - T-Mobile uses GSM/sims too, but their coverage is very poor compared to Verizon and AT&T.
    On my last two visits I have had a T Mobile sim on my son's account. I do not recall at any time not having coverage... all through the lower 48, all the way through Canada, and in Alaska.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    For pay-as-you-go, a sim option really doesn't matter with the prices of throwaway pay-per-use phones so cheap.
    That is the very issue... that objectionable system and mindset. It creates wastage of precious world resources and untold pollution. Far too few bother to recycle. Surely a concern for the planet and it's future inhabitants should outway 'cheap' and 'easy'.

    Lifey

  7. #17

    Default

    While doing some research for AAA-memberships I found the following offer (it was advertised in the German ADAC-Website, so it has to be a good thing) for mobiles in the US. Maybe it will help someone ;)

    http://www.planetfone.com/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,109

    Default

    That looks quite expensive when you can BUY a Go-Phone for $20 or less!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,171

    Default Expensive!

    We have a similar service here. And whereas this may suit some who travel for business purposes, for me it would be exessively expensive. Just did a quote for my six month trip next year, and before calls, it would cost me almost $400. On top of that, local calls would be 99c/min.

    Good find which may suit some, but way out of the average holiday traveller's budget.

    Lifey

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