General Question

andrew's avatar

What's the best technique for dealing with my cell phone in France?

Asked by andrew (16456points) June 19th, 2009

I can either try and figure out how to unlock my iphone and use it in France for the month I’m there, OR

Get a burner, forward my calls to a skype number, then have skype forward to my burner in France.

Which do think is easier?

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7 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I don’t trust cell phones in foreign countries at all. When I was in Europe last summer (France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and the Czech Republic), my family called AT&T to ensure that we would be able to use our phones once we were abroad. Being assured that we would and having worked out an international plan, we went and found that our phones were entirely useless. My phone never even updated to the correct time zone. Once we got back to the States, AT&T couldn’t explain why our phones hadn’t worked either. Best of luck, though! Have fun in France :D

Dorkgirl's avatar

Skype is widely used in Europe and there are internet cafes all over the place, so you don’t even need to forward to a phone. Bring a headset to use.
Or, go to Mobal and buy a $50 phone. You get charged by the usage. It works in 130+ countries, but not in the US. You make it active for when you are traveling then shut it off and put it in a drawer when you are home. Pretty slick.
We make most of our reservations via email or internet, so a cell phone has not been needed in our travels abroad.
Oh, you can also get phone cards and call from pay phone…yup, they still exist.
Good luck!

shilolo's avatar

Make sure to have a cigarette in one hand while dialing with the other :~P

rss's avatar

I’m with @Dorkgirl, though I don’t have personal experience with Mobal. what I did was get the cheapest simcard phone I could find, then keep it and replace the simcard when I show up in whatever new exciting country you are in. it’s cheap, and you don’t have to worry about losing your primary phone (or having it stolen).

janbb's avatar


I was just in France – and now you know why. I got the international plan for my AT&T phone before I left and it worked great for both international and France to France phones. Having a phone that worked was invaluable because of the nature of this trip; usually I don’t even bring one. I don’t know iphones but if I were you, I would look into unlocking it and then maybe have a back-up plan like Skype (which we have used from France to the U.S.)

The France telecomm network that my phone used is Bougeytel or something,; but it found it on its own when I turned on the phone. Another friend rented a mobile phone that works internationally and another had a bad experience the previous years with a Simms card in the U.S. that was supposed to work but didn’t. When she called for tech help, she could only get to someone who spoke French!

andrew's avatar

@janbb How does that work for your number… Do people in France dial your number in the states? I also have AT&T.

janbb's avatar

From the States, people can just dial your cell phone number and get you. If calling a number in France, you have to put in a plus – which is two asterisks dialled quickly – then 1, the country code, then the phone number, etc. It functions as a U.S. phone except that the charges are much more. I think my rate is about $1 to $1.29 a minute but I haven’t gotten the bill yet.

From France to your phone, the caller would have to put in a “1” for the U.S. country code.

Let me know if you have more questions prior to your trip.

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