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Calling In Europe

Calling In Europe
by Gary Woods

When you're in Europe and you'd like to use a cell phone there are some pretty crummy options open to you. Not all mobile phones work outside the U.S. and Canada because European countries use a different network configuration and some North American service providers "lock" their phones to prevent users from inserting SIM cards from other carriers.

Customers using GSM carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, Rogers or Fido will need a tri-band or quad-band cell phone that has been unlocked so they can install a European SIM card. While people using CMDA/IDEN carriers like Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, Alltell, Telus, Bell, Aliant, Sasktel or MTS will need to purchase a GSM compatible phone.

Whichever network you have a company named "Call In Europe" ( can deliver to your home or office a customized mobile solution in as little as 24 hours. That mobile solution will have a European number but the coolest feature is called "Keep My Number." On top of your European number that will come with your European line they will provide you with a local access number that will be programmed to ring your European number wherever you travel.

You simply forward your US or Canadian cell phone number to this access number and all of your incoming calls will ring on your call in Europe line. You can then decide to whom to give your European number, but you keep the convenience to receive all your calls without incurring high roaming international charges. This feature can be added for just $0.10 per day with all their SIM cards calling plans. You will only pay $0.29 per minute for incoming calls in addition to the standard incoming charge if any. If you're on your way to Europe this might be a cool option.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc