Cellphone option for globetrotters

CanWest News Service
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

You cant always vacation with family or friends, but adding a cellphone to your travel accessories can keep folks a whole lot closer.

You cant always vacation with family or friends, but adding a cellphone to your travel accessories can keep folks a whole lot closer.

While offering familial peace of mind, cellphones are useful for booking hotels and checking train and plane schedules.

However, if youre heading outside North America, check with your phone company about the status of your cellphone for the region youre visiting.

Chances are the cellphone you use in Canada is not compatible with telephone systems in other parts of the world. The solution for globe trotters is to have an unlocked GSM (Global System Mobile) cellphone.

Im about as technical as a doughnut, so on my last overseas trip I wanted a cellphone that would be easy to operate and provide a communication plan that was affordable and simple. I found both when I matched a Siemens AF51 phone with a prepaid SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card from Telestial.

I had a $20 airtime credit added to my account when I ordered my SIM card, and at 49 cents a minute, it gave me more than 40 minutes of calling time while I was in Europe. When my time ran out, I just dialed 191 on my phone and a live operator was available to top up my account. Before each call you make, a recording informs you how much air time is left in your account.

Telestial, based in the U.S., says that when comparing the costs with international roaming rates, their service pays for itself within 30 minutes of use. The prepaid Passport SIM card I chose gave me free incoming calls from Canada and free text messaging.

With my technical limitations, the companys toll free help line and on-line service (www.telestial.com) came in especially handy. My e-mailed questions to the website were answered within minutes.

The companys GSM international phones start at around $49, while more feature-equipped phones begin about $179. SIM cards range from $17- $79.

Using Telestials Passport SIM card, for example, calls from Spain would be 49 cents a minute. If you were heading Down Under and taking a $49 Australia pre-paid SIM card, calling home would cost 39 cents a minute.



Organizations: Telestial

Geographic location: Canada, North America, Europe U.S. Spain Australia

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments