13 Jan A Quick Guide For Buying a Phone to Use Overseas
This is a how to guide for getting a cell phone to use when traveling overseas. Many people may choose to use another phone when traveling overseas to avoid extra roaming charges. First, you should find out what frequencies the country you are going to uses for their GSM System (Global System for Mobile communications). You can usually find this by doing a quick search in Google for example "'country you're visiting' gsm frequency '. There are 4 frequencies that are most commonly used: 850, 1900, 1800 and 1900. Phones typically have 2 (dual band), 3 (tri band) or 4 (quad band) of these frequencies. Your best bet is to get a quad band phone because it will work on any GSM system.
Please note that not all companies use GSM (you can tell if it's GSM if it requires a sim card). Companies like Verizon and Sprint use a CDMA network which does not require sim cards. Carriers like AT & T and T-Mobile use the GSM network. Please note that a few countries like Japan and South Korea require more advanced phones, which have both GSM and 3G capability (which depends on the phone). If you are unsure about carrier capability or 3G capability, make sure to contact the store before buying. Also make sure to buy unlocked if you are not planning on using the phone's WAP browser or multimedia messaging service features, because unlocked phones will work with any GSM carrier if the frequency is the same.
After you have your phone, make sure you have an adapter to use your charger overseas. When you arrive at the country you traveling to, you can buy a sim card and a prepaid card (ask if they have a bundle). Please note that if you are traveling to different countries, you may need to buy another sim card and prepaid card because the carriers may differ from country to country.
By Bobby Li