CS, where can i get an inexpensive global cell phone

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this is in response to a post on an CS RTW question about global mobile phones...

i too am in a similar boat. i'll be leaving on july 7th for seven months and have been looking into a communications plan that will keep me happy on all 6 populated continents. over the weekend, i dropped into my local t-mobile store to ask a very distracted man a few questions. over my shoulder stood a tall blond who was fidgeting with a sidekick and without out a doubt, i stood in the way of the t-mobile agent getting some digits.

nonetheless, i discovered that while t-mobile would be the best provider bouncing back and fro from US and Europe. there is no good single provider. t-mobile has the most inexpensive international blackberry (data) plan, but data, voice and text are comparable to cingular, the new at&t. i've heard Europeans get a better plan when they come over to the US on voice and text but not on data. to date i have no one can provide conclusive evidence.

logically, i see my self purchasing an unlocked GSM cellphone and keeping my fingers crossed or keeping my brick like treo. my other consideration is fairly expensive. in june, apple and cingular will launch the iPhone and conceptually it's the perfect device for a world traveler - GSM, WiFi, iPod with 8 gig, Address Book, 2 megapixel camera and what appears to be an SD card slot.

in the end, i've been debating the suitability of have a phone, battery, etc... but then i think of twitter and txt messages... how will i ever live what my friend heather calls the "mini postcards."

Try getting an international SIM card, there are alot of providers out there. You just buy the sim card and put on money as you go. I've used a company called GCellular and found the rates competitive.

Noel,

just get yourself an unlocked GSM phone and when you travel from country to country buy a prepaid chip for the least amount possible and keep inserting chips as you go

going with a chip from the states will kill you in long distance roaming charges

that should cover it

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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