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samoht (Offline)
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Default Phone for use on the trail - 16-01-2016, 18:49

I will be hiking the GR 11 trail this coming September and need to obtain a mobile phone for use during the trip. Does anyone have a recommendation? My intended use will be to reserve lodging along the route as I progress, and in case of an emergency. My current phone is not operable outside the US.
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default Will you just be making calls or will you want data also? - 16-01-2016, 19:59

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Originally Posted by samoht View Post
I will be hiking the GR 11 trail this coming September and need to obtain a mobile phone for use during the trip. Does anyone have a recommendation? My intended use will be to reserve lodging along the route as I progress, and in case of an emergency. My current phone is not operable outside the US.
Will you just be making calls or will you want data also?
Will you need a lot of data?
   
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samoht (Offline)
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Default 17-01-2016, 13:15

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Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
Will you just be making calls or will you want data also?
Will you need a lot of data?
Only used for calls thanks.
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wolfbln (Offline)
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Default 17-01-2016, 14:06

Well you can get any old GSM phone you can hold of in the US, as long as it's "quad-band" and supports European frequencies on 900 and 1800 MHz.
Ask around amongst your friends (most likely those on AT&T or T-mobile), if they still have an old device or go to a store that sells old devices for a few $$$.
Be sure that it's unlocked, if you want to use it on an European SIM card.

Note, that you will face incoming roaming charges being called from the US and that overseas calls on Spanish providers are not cheap.
But for local calls only, you'll be allright.
For 2G/GSM Movistar in Spain still has the best coverage in remote areas, but Vodafone and Orange are good too.
You can use one of their resellers too as they have the same footprint.

Last edited by wolfbln; 17-01-2016 at 14:15..
   
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gkeeper (Offline)
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Default 17-01-2016, 16:54

Hi i would recommend the Piranha SIM, it covers all 4 networks (not sure what coverage is like on the trail) and it comes with a US number so its cheap for your friends and family to call or SMS you and they have very reasonable call rates when calling back to US.
   
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default Two Good Options - 18-01-2016, 03:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by samoht View Post
Only used for calls thanks.
http://www.piranha-mobile.com/index....te=common/home
Piranha costs $17.11 with a 5.00 Credit.
I believe shipping is included.
In Spain, making a call is 0.12, receiving a call is 0.06 US.
In Spain calling the US is the same rates.
The US number is great for people to call you assuming they have
no charge long distance if you do not get a local area code which
you should be able to get. [I have a Piranha SIM with a local area code so
that should not be an issue for you.]

I have no qualms to reccomend it to you.
That it can use the four Spanish networks is a great thing.
That you can test the SIM in the US at home is also a nice thing.

Another option is Truphone.
https://www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/
It also has a US phone number.
You should be able to get a local to you area code.
Calling in Spain is $0.09 per min. Receiving calls in Spain is free.
So people could call you [hopefully for free] and you would be able to answer for free.
Calling from Spain to the US are the same rates.
This SIM can be used/used up in the USA also.
Cost is $30 with $15 credit.
No indication on what networks it uses.
For that reason I would encourage use of Piranha.

I have both SIMs and they both pretty much do what they claim to do.
By getting one you will know what US number you have before hand to give
to people that really need to be able to contact you.
You can also know that the phone/SIM combination works before you leave.
   
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sperial (Offline)
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Default 18-01-2016, 17:34

Living in a small country I take 1-3 vacations in Europe every year.

As roaming charges are extremely expensive I take a multiband phone with at least 3G, preferably LTE, compatible with the European bands, and buy a local prepaid SIM card with 1-3 GB data which usually are far more than I need for a 1 week vacation. The data package is very useful for two reasons:

1. It allows me to be in contact with my family from almost everywhere for free, using Skype, Whatsapp or any other VoIP and IM service.

2. I surf the web to plan the trip, check weather, check the news etc., even if there is no WiFi service at the hotel.

I usually buy the SIM card at the airport immediately after I arrive and inform my sons of the phone number, so they can find me even if VoIP does not work for any reason.
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 18-01-2016, 22:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by sperial View Post
As roaming charges are extremely expensive I take a multiband phone with at least 3G, preferably LTE, compatible with the European bands, and buy a local prepaid SIM card with 1-3 GB data which usually are far more than I need for a 1 week vacation. The data package is very useful for two reasons:

1. It allows me to be in contact with my family from almost everywhere for free, using Skype, Whatsapp or any other VoIP and IM service.

2. I surf the web to plan the trip, check weather, check the news etc., even if there is no WiFi service at the hotel.
I fully agree. I use Skype (and the Canadian version Fongo) almost exclusively to make calls in Europe because it's much cheaper than roaming, but most importantly because everyone can reach me on my Canadian phone number on Fongo. That way there's no need to advise anyone of my local EU numbers, or indeed even advise them that I'm out of the country. To them it's completely transparent.

As for 2. I can't imagine not having data while travelling in a foreign land for no other reason than the free use of Google Maps. Paper maps cost as much or more than a disposable SIM in every country I visit. Everything else I get is just a huge bonus.


Phones: OnePlus 5 Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo AT A1-B.free
R.I.P.: UM UM+
   
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sperial (Offline)
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Default 20-01-2016, 15:41

Agree about navigation, although I prefer Waze, which is updated immediately (many times within minutes) after a new road is opened or ungergoing construction etc., and gives instructions according to current traffic conditions. For non driving navigation I use Google Maps and for offline navigation (Nokia) Here.
   
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