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Forums » Cameras, Phones & Gadgets » Telestial discount disappeared?

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PHeymont

Telestial discount disappeared?

by PHeymont »

That article is definitely dated, and in a number of ways (note that Cingular and Nextel are listed!).

Another indication of age is the section on the difficulty of buying a local SIM card. It just ain't so, at least in any of a dozen or so European countries where I've done it. Travelers are a significant market for the phone carriers in those countries, and at your arrival airport or major train station, you'll be able to find not only a phone store or newsagent with SIMs, but at least someone with enough English (especially in the company stores of larger companies such as Vodafone and Orange) to get you started. And the legal restrictions on SIM purchase mentioned in the article are not an obstacle either. Purchases by foreigners are NOT banned in France, Italy or Switzerland (can't speak for Russia). In some countries you will need to register with passport at the phone store; in many places (France and Spain for instance) that requirement has changed to "register online within so many days or service will stop."

Search some of the Forum pieces, in this forum especially, for information on phone strategies that's a bit more up-to-date. You might also take a look at a series I did in late 2013 on TravelGumbo for a fairly comprehensive roundup.

 

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KidsToLondon

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by KidsToLondon »

Thanks...perhaps the Frommer's staff will update the article (or negotiate a new discount).

Normally, I do exactly what you recommend: buy local SIMs and data plans upon arrival. But on this trip, I will arrive in the evening after most of the stores at Torino airport are closed and I'll drive directly towards a rather remote region in northern Italy.  I need a functioning device as soon as I land and I'll also need SIMs/plans covering two countries when I later move across the mountains into France.

 

 

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PHeymont

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by PHeymont »

That's a tough one...What I think I might do in that situation is keep my U.S. carrier current for the night (a call or two? emergencies?) and then buy a SIM in the morning. In situations where I wasn't sure I'd find a common language at the store, by the way, I've found the carrier's prepaid offers on the website, let Chrome translate, and printed out the page with what I want...

Don't know when you're going, but one piece of good news is that data/roaming charges within EU are going away by the end of the year; it will no longer cost a lot to use an Italian phone in France.

If you travel several times a year, it may even be worth what we've finally done: switched carriers. T-Mobile now includes unlimited data in 120 countries as part of our plan, and phone calls, if and when needed, are 20c a minute.

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KidsToLondon

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by KidsToLondon »

Are you seeing 3G on TMobile? Last fall in London, my traveling companion was only getting 2G speeds in the city.

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PHeymont

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by PHeymont »

In turkey, I had 3 consistently and occasionally 4G for brief moments. I think it depends on the local partner, so I don't know what you'd get where you're going. In a few weeks ill be in Germany, Austria and Czech Republic and will have more experience.
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KidsToLondon

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by KidsToLondon »

The Frommer's article headline reads A Celestial Deal From Telestial: 15% Off on Cell Calls from Abroad and it sounds wonderful. But trying to take advantage of this deal on the Telestial website and all you get is "Invalid Coupon".

Is there a new code? If not, perhaps the article needs to come off the site?

 

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billiv

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by billiv »

I just paid $25 to my current carrier (Verizon) for unlimited talk and enough data to get us through our 2-weeks in France and Italy--100 mb, 100 minutes, 100 texts good for a month.  But we aren't heavy users.  

Looked at  some maps when we hit a couple of detours, checked some restaurant and sight websites to get menus and opening times and such, and made 15 or 20 phone calls and a few texts while we were there.  For $25 and a few minutes on the phone with Verizon, it was a simple solution without having to carry extra hardware, buy and switch SIMS, etc.  But you probably could save a few bucks doing it another way.

I was a bit concerned when the phone didn't connect right away when we landed in Madrid, but all was fine about 2 minutes later.

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PHeymont

RE: Telestial discount disappeared?

by PHeymont »

billiv is absolutely right...it's not a one-size-fits-all world!

I couldn't survive in the data allowance he got, but hsi $25 total was much better than what it's cost us in the past buying enough data locally (that was the single motivator for our switch to T-Mobile).

The other aspect to consider, by the way, is how much are you going to be expecting local people to call you. In Turkey, I fired up my old phone with a cheap talk-only SIM to save the friends we were connecting with from the cost of calling long-distance from Turkey to the U.S. to us—standing two blocks away from them! That was my 2-phone solution; the SIM cost me less than the half-dozen phone calls would have cost them...

 

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