Subject: Re: Cell phones in Europe (and Argentina)?
Hi Joel:

Before AT&T started converting its system to GSM, I used to have an AT&T supplied SIM chip that I could use in any European GSM phone and my domestic calls would be automatically diverted to the phone in Europe. Now I use a tri-band Nokia GSM phone that is supposed to work in the US and in Europe. Unfortunately on my last trip we (AT&T and I) discovered that the Nokia phone I had was defective (in that it would not accept incoming calls on the European frequencies) and I had to wait until my return to replace it. I bought a very inexpensive Nokia GSM in Spain and that worked fine for the rest of my trip. I will be testing the replacement tri-band Nokia in a few weeks. It is probably a more costly alternative, but my number is tied to my business.

Meanwhile, a friend who uses Nextel, a GSM system, called Nextel and it is providing him with a SIM chip so that he can use his existing Nextel phone in Europe. I did not realize that the Nextel phones were tri-band, but if they are not Nextel will provide him with one.

Finally, another friend who was not worried about the continuity of his telephone number (and who might be described as very frugal) signed up for the tri-band Nokia service from AT&T just before a cruise on the Med. He was there three weeks and his phone worked just fine. When he returned to the US he cancelled his service within the 30 day cancel without penalty period. That is not a tactic that I would recommend, but I cannot believe that he was the first to do it.

Tom in Carlisle.