Options For International Cell Phones
If you are a frequent traveler or have to travel internationally for the first time, the foremost concern is a communication device. How does one contact family, friends and business associate back home while on the move and worst still if you travel from one country to another? You can choose from a number of international cell phones and options through domestic and local carriers. Travelers need international cell phones in order to stay connected.
Firstly, you need to understand why there is a difference between US and international cell phones and services and why can't you simply carry your cell phone with you when you travel and have to buy international cell phones. The GSM network providers in the US use two frequency bands, the rest of the world uses two different frequency brands. Ideally you should get international cell phones that work on all the four frequency bands but a quad band phone is usually rare and costly. The other option is a tri-band cell phone that should be carefully purchased to make sure the bands available are useful to where you are traveling.
The four options for your international cell phones are discussed in this article. To decide the one that suits you the best draw up inferences on each advantage and shortcoming to figure out what affects you the most when traveling with your international cell phones.
Use your US GSM service while traveling - if you already own tri-band international cell phones, then you can probably use the phone abroad as well. GSM phones in the US like the ones from AT&T, T-Mobile or Cingular can be used internationally as well. Simply ask that your provider activate international roaming on your existing phone and you can use it as easily as you do within the US. If you intend to use your phone a lot for calling while on the move, then this is probably the costliest option available.
Rent international cell phones and services - for an infrequent traveler, renting international cell phones is probably the best option. If you need a phone just as an emergency contact or you will never really be making calls, then you can rent international cell phones at very affordable stores like the Mobal products. However, keep in mind that these phones will be very basic; if you are looking for a latest gadget, you can buy a phone to carry with you.
Purchase international cell phones with HopAboard, Riiing or Mobal services - in case you travel once or more times a year but visit more than one country, this option is for you. HopAbroad, Riiing or the Mobal services provide you with one number while you travel from one country to another. In case you will be calling a lot, riiing offers low cost phone plans whereas Mobal has no annual fees so infrequent callers can inquire about their plans. These are probably the best international cell phones as they are available in a hundred different countries worldwide!
Individual SIM cards - for travelers to different countries, purchasing international cell phones and separate local SIM cards may also be a good idea. Especially if you intend to stay in one country for an extended period of time, purchasing a local SIM allows you to enjoy low cost local, usually free incoming and very low cost outgoing calls as well. Data services of the local provider including SMS become an open option for you with the only disadvantage being updating your different phone numbers back home.
Check all these different strategies when choosing international cell phones to make sure you get the best deal and reliability. Though your personal preferences must be above any strategies at all times!