International Cell Phone Usage

Traveling abroad? Concerned about not having contact with family members? Or the price of international calling?

In July we traveled to Turkey and wanted the best service with the lowest rate. After some investigating, we found that since we would have our laptops with us, it would be cheaper to use Skype (an online phone service  costing less than $100 a year), but we wanted to be able to use our cell phones also because most of our families only use cell phones. We really didn’t want to carry our laptops around with us either looking for a hotspot. We also decided that we would want to make local Turkish calls while there so we needed a phone with a SIM card that could be changed out.

We had had our cell service with Verizon for 10 years or more so of course; this is the first place we started. By asking around, we found that others thought that AT&T provided the best international plans. We did not want to change providers, but wanted the best service with the lowest rates. Verizon told us that our phones would not work internationally and that we would have to upgrade. No big deal, we were due for upgrades. So we decided to get an upgrade with Verizon and get their only cell phone with a SIM card. To be able to change out the SIM card and use it with an international provider we would have to have our phones unlocked. Verizon refused to do this for us and actually told us that it couldn’t be done. We knew better.

We then visited AT&T. Best stop of the day. Verizon lost long-standing customers. We chose the new Blackberry Bold and they were very helpful in unlocking our phones so that we can now use them with an international company also. We have forwarded our local (States) number to our Skype number and get all our calls from the States online. For a few extra dollars, we can transfer our calls from Skype to our international numbers and it saves us several dollars a month. We eliminated the international fees completely.

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