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steve1414 (Offline)
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Default 12-12-2005, 20:04

I am planning a week long staqy in the South of France. Which company do you recommend for week long stay. I will occcasionally be calling back to the USA. thanks, Steve
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 13-12-2005, 00:00

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Originally Posted by steve1414
I am planning a week long staqy in the South of France. Which company do you recommend for week long stay. I will occcasionally be calling back to the USA. thanks, Steve
How about an ATT or MCI calling card for use in your hotel or in host family? If you already have Enjoyprepaid they too have toll free service from France to US. Onesuite has also just introduced toll free service from several countries, but the rates are fairly high.

Not sure of your travel habits, but unless you travel often, I am not sure I would recommend either a local or an international SIM card. Your initial investment will probably be in the area of $20 min. Cell rates to US are bound to be high. Calls on Orange to US are 75 e-cents per minute, not exactly cheap.

As I recommended, you should be able to call your HOME or CELL voice mail relatively inexpensively using a US or local calling card. Due to high roaming charges on most US carriers, I would not recommend even turning the cell phone on assuming it is a GSM model. One forum member gets free text messages on sports scores and turns the phone on.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 13-12-2005, 07:31

There's no one size fits all answer without knowing other facts...for example is your US carrier GSM and what kind of phone do you have...is it tri band with at least one but preferably both European frequencies (900 and 1800)...is it unlocked or can it be unlocked...do you travel often to Europe, some parts of Asia Australia, South Africa...do you make calls back to the US often and do you wish to be reachable 24/7....do you want the mobile phone just for emergencies so the dog sitter can reach you....

And one must report the industry is changing rapidly and the right answer today might be the wrong answer 6 months from now...

My current suggestions for France are not to use local prepaid sims because as of today rates to call North America are not great but it might pay if you are going to be receiving a lot of calls and want to use call back services such as callbackworld and/or enlinea which you can read about in other responses on the forum. Of course, the problem comes up that cbw and/or eninea have been subject to going down more often than to make them very very reliable...when they work the service is very good and cheap...when they don't you can almost feel as if you are up the creek without a paddle.

Of course if you will be going to other places in the future, you might wish to get a United-Mobile international sim card (www.united-mobile.com)...not terribly expensive (?39 with ?15 of call credit) and 1 call every 9 months keeps the card active indefinitely...you get the free reception of calls throughout almost all of Europe, Australia, South Africa among other places and paid with callbackworld and/or enlinea you get to make calls for as little as 12?/minute and as well can get a US 800 number that will ring to your phone wiherever you are for the same rates but again that is relying on the technology working and it doesn't always do so.

If you want to elaborate a bit more, perhaps we can really come up with good ideas but remember what I said at the beginning. I used to help my friends set up computer configurations and get them great systems for not too much only to find 6 months later their systems were almost obsolete and worth a fraction of what they paid and then they blamed me so I stopped making suggestions and it almost seems mobile phone techmology and services are going the same way.

Whatever you do, don't fret. If it works for you, it's fine.
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andy (Offline)
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Default 13-12-2005, 12:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by MATHA531
Of course, the problem comes up that cbw and/or eninea have been subject to going down more often than to make them very very reliable...when they work the service is very good and cheap...when they don't you can almost feel as if you are up the creek without a paddle.
But I think that is mainly an interconnect problem with them reaching the Liechtenstein number of Riiing SIMs, rather than applying to the whole operation.

When I had problems with Riiing/Enlinea in July for a couple of days, I rang Enlinea from my O2 phone and asked them to alter one of my 3 callback trigger numbers to the local SIM. It worked as soon as I hung up the other phone.

So I would suggest a French SIM with callback as the normal tariffs are high, but take note also that there are now unlimited inclusive bundles or favourite numbers (Orange), and other promotional ideas appearing - for example SFR have a maximum charge per daytime call, for a low monthly fee (but I haven't found out yet the notice period on this). Probably some on Bouygues as well.

http://animation.orange.fr/osa/fiche.php?SA=MOBINF

http://www.sfr.fr/info_nouveautes/offres_r...ffres/la_carte/

For calling USA, I should think the Orange ?3 for an evening, and a calling card, could be of interest.

edit - people staying longer might read this Orange Click page
http://animation.orange.fr/osa/offre.php?SA=BCK
http://translate.google.com/translate?sour...Ephp%3FSA%3DBCK
   
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 13-12-2005, 14:21

Good point Andy...I should have made that clearer...

However, I have had difficulty using cbw and/or enlinea in France both last January and this past July and August....don't know if it's the same kind of problem setting up the connection with French sims...Last January it was virtually non operative on either one and in July and August they functioned about 50% of the time.

Also Orange FR has blocked my calls to both the 00800 and 0800 numbers used by net2phone as an alternative although given the high rates for local calls in France, without the ?3 plan those calls are no bargain either....
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