|Subject: Re: GSM phone for traveling US resident?|
I've had a Nokia 6200 tri-band GSM phone for a couple of years now and have been able to use it seamlessly in the US and Europe. I have mine through AT&T Wireless (RIP) and am now considered a Cingular "Legacy" account. That hasn't been a problem, however.
Just be sure that your wireless company has turned on the "International" feature before your first overseas trip. I mistakenly assumed mine was activated and had a real hard time trying to get through to a human being from a phone booth in England, since for some reason, AT&T's automated system didn't recognize the tone from the zero-key on the phones (both booths and hotel rooms.) That was a real problem since my only option was "Press 0 for an operator."
Also, be sure to get the direct number for International Customer Service, just in case you have a problem. I always carry my Sprint PhoneCard along with a listing of the Sprint access numbers for the countries where I'm traveling, just in case.
There's an article in the New York Times Travel section today titled "Using Your Cellphone Anywhere in the World" at http://tinyurl.com/dvz7v (free registration may be required)
SIM-less in Sonoma, Al