1. richs10's Avatar
    I ran a couple of searchs about purchasing and using a SIM Card in Europe, but only found about 4 limited threads on the subject.

    I called Verizon this morning and the Rep unlocked my Storm for an upcoming trip to Italy. I was hoping someone could answer a few questions for me:

    - When I get to Italy, does anyone know where I should purchase the local SIM card?
    - Who has the best deals and what is a reasonable 'per minute' rate?
    - Can I use the foreign SIM card to make calls back to the States, or just local calls?
    - Do you have to be careful who you buy a SIM Card from?
    - I plan to activate Verizon's Global Data plan for Internet and e-mails before I leave, but will I still be able to receive e-mails and BB PIN messages from my present accounts with the foreign SIM card in the phone?
    - Is it possible to buy a SIM before I leave so I have it when I get there?

    Thanks for the help!
    Rich
    Last edited by richs10; 01-25-09 at 02:43 PM.
    01-25-09 02:41 PM
  2. anon(96573)'s Avatar
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the sim that came with the storm will work just fine in Italy. You're phone should function just fine as it would here in the states, as long as it is unlocked. When the CDMA network is no longer available it will use your sim card to find a network and connect to that one.
    01-25-09 02:48 PM
  3. jfa1's Avatar
    any may charge you through the nose.. Do a web search for cellular provideres and you should be able to find their rates you'll need to do calculations to convert eros to approximate dollar amounts.
    01-25-09 02:55 PM
  4. bobaloo's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the sim that came with the storm will work just fine in Italy. You're phone should function just fine as it would here in the states, as long as it is unlocked. When the CDMA network is no longer available it will use your sim card to find a network and connect to that one.
    you are correct... BUT.... you have to call Global Support and subscribe to a world plan that will fit your needs. People unlock their phone so they can insert any SIM, thereby aloowing them to purchase a local SIM to take advantage for more reasonable prices, especially for local calls.

    to the OP, i'd suggest searching for threads outside of the Storm forum to seek your answer. I don't know much about global services and different prices, but I have read some of the deeper discussions about it.
    01-25-09 03:07 PM
  5. richs10's Avatar
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the sim that came with the storm will work just fine in Italy. You're phone should function just fine as it would here in the states, as long as it is unlocked. When the CDMA network is no longer available it will use your sim card to find a network and connect to that one.
    As I understand it, you are partially correct. The Verizon sim will work in Italy, but phone calls will cost me either $1.29 per min (without the global data plan) or $.99 per min (with the data plan). I understand that now that my Storm is unlocked by Verizon, I can purchase a local sim card in Europe and make calls at a much cheaper rate per minute. I also don't understand how the that foreign card may affect my email, etc.
    01-25-09 03:10 PM
  6. richs10's Avatar
    to the OP, i'd suggest searching for threads outside of the Storm forum to seek your answer. I don't know much about global services and different prices, but I have read some of the deeper discussions about it.
    Thanks, but I tried that. I did a couple of searches in the main Crackberry discussion forum for "buying, sim card, and europe". No luck. Only returned 4 threads. I'll try some general web searches if no one has the answers here.

    Rich
    01-25-09 04:22 PM
  7. IslesFan's Avatar
    If you still want to have your email, you'll need a SIM Card with blackberry service, not just regular data. ****... you might even need to change out the service books on the phone to do it(I do not know if verizon blackberry data tunnels back to verizon first(like non bb data), or directly to RIM). I'm not sure how many providers offer prepaid bb service.

    A suggestion: purchase a separate GSM phone, and purchase a local sim card. You should also switch your verizon bb to the global email plan, and then change it when you get back(Unlimited data on the bb, and I think it is cheaper than any prepaid). This is currently what I am doing in the netherlands right now.

    A good site to check for offers is PrePaidGSM.net
    01-25-09 04:52 PM
  8. djm1947's Avatar
    It is my understanding that unless you purchase data coverage with the SIM you purchase in Europe, you will not have email capability. I suspect that if you do purchase data coverage, it will be for another carrier and you probably will not get your email unless you do it via the internet.
    01-25-09 04:53 PM
  9. revolutionary_3's Avatar
    I'd check out the service with vodafone. I used to often switch my sim cards when I would go from Luxembourg to Ireland. I had a sim for both countries to save the extra $$$ or in this case, €.

    That wasn't necessary but it would be crazy to use just the one sim, as it acts almost like our roaming. I stuck with vodafone when traveling because they seemed to have the best deals, and I just always loaded money on them. Plus, I liked to stick with, "the network."

    Make sure your unlocked and just pop the new sim in and go. You'll have a new # depending on which sim is in your phone.

    In regards to the data, I may be wrong but as long as you still have data through VZW, the sim has nothing to do with it so you should still get your e-mails pushed to your BB. I just had a "dumb phone" in Europe, so I'm not 100% on the data.
    I might also add that everyone I knew in Europe used the same swapping sim card method (the ones that traveled frequently). They use sim cards very often and you can find them in any store. It's not necessary to buy in advance, very easy to walk in a shop and buy them. Don't buy from run down "unlock stores." Go to official stores.

    verizon, err vodafone is the one I suggest, but O2 is another big european cell phone provider. I saw some virgin mobiles around but I never knew anyone that used their service.
    Last edited by revolutionary_3; 01-25-09 at 05:44 PM.
    01-25-09 05:23 PM
  10. barnis's Avatar
    I am taking an unlocked iphone to Italy and looking for a decent pre-paid SIM rate...it seems TIM has some "iphone" rates which offer decent data...i was googling and found this thread...if anyone has advice on a good SIM infor would be appreciated.
    01-26-09 12:08 AM
  11. kazmi's Avatar
    I travelled to Dubai which uses GSM so I think it would be the same for you in Italy? I got the Storm unlocked, subscribed to the 64.99 unlimited global email plan...once you are there, you have to do a battery pull for a whole minute...60 seconds...then let the phone start...once it restarts, and if you have it set to Automatically search for networks, it should pick up the local carrier..the catch here is you will only get your email if you keep the Vodafone SIM in there...swap it out for a local one and you do not get data.

    I kept my old Nokia 6600 and popped in a local SIM and carried by Storm around too....had data and did not use it to place calls at all. That is the only way this will work. Getting a blackberry data plan on the local SIM will cost you more (at least it was more expensive in Dubai).
    01-26-09 12:51 AM
  12. kazmi's Avatar
    check this link out for SIM options in Italy:

    Italy: SIM card purchase in Italy - TripAdvisor
    01-26-09 01:05 AM
  13. ine2201's Avatar
    I went to Italy in Sep 2008 and bought a SIM in the US before I went to Italy. Google "Italy SIM" and you will find several US suppliers. Also did the same when I went to Greece. Far easier than trying to find one when you get there.
    01-26-09 01:19 AM
  14. Capitan Totti's Avatar
    I ran a couple of searchs about purchasing and using a SIM Card in Europe, but only found about 4 limited threads on the subject.

    I called Verizon this morning and the Rep unlocked my Storm for an upcoming trip to Italy. I was hoping someone could answer a few questions for me:

    - When I get to Italy, does anyone know where I should purchase the local SIM card?
    - Who has the best deals and what is a reasonable 'per minute' rate?
    - Can I use the foreign SIM card to make calls back to the States, or just local calls?
    - Do you have to be careful who you buy a SIM Card from?
    - I plan to activate Verizon's Global Data plan for Internet and e-mails before I leave, but will I still be able to receive e-mails and BB PIN messages from my present accounts with the foreign SIM card in the phone?
    - Is it possible to buy a SIM before I leave so I have it when I get there?

    Thanks for the help!
    Rich
    I am Italian so I'll answer you buddy...

    - When I get to Italy, does anyone know where I should purchase the local SIM card?
    You should go to an official TIM or Vodafone stores. I am from Roma so if you are going to Rome let me know and I will Google Map stuff for you so you know exactly how and where to go.


    - Who has the best deals and what is a reasonable 'per minute' rate?
    They are all the same in Italy. Most people in Italy do prepaid, and they are all exactly the same.

    - Can I use the foreign SIM card to make calls back to the States, or just local calls?
    You can, but it will cost loads. You might as well find an Internet place and make calls from there or buy a Telecom payphone card and call.

    - Do you have to be careful who you buy a SIM Card from?
    From what I know, you can only buy the SIM from the official stores. Its not like here where you have franchises of AT&T at say Costco. And we ain't a 3rd world country man. When it comes to Cell phones... Italy or better, Europe owns the USA.

    - I plan to activate Verizon's Global Data plan for Internet and e-mails before I leave, but will I still be able to receive e-mails and BB PIN messages from my present accounts with the foreign SIM card in the phone?
    I am not sure since you will be connected to the say, TIM GPS and not Verizon. And from what I know, TIM and T-Mobile have an agreement to run on each other's frequencies. Verizon is CDMA so I am not sure who provides their service there if they do at all.

    If I insert my TIM sim here... it shows T-Mobile for example. I do get texts from Italy... but as far as emails... Not sure.

    - Is it possible to buy a SIM before I leave so I have it when I get there?
    No need. Buy one when you get there. They cost 5 Euros and you get 5 Euros credit in the sim or whatever you put in it.

    01-26-09 01:43 AM
  15. Capitan Totti's Avatar
    This summer they officially launched the iphone in Italy and from what I recall TIM was the only carrier to have it.
    01-26-09 01:46 AM
  16. richs10's Avatar
    Thanks, all. Good information!
    I may wind up doing the double phone thing so I can keep my data/email active on the Storm while I'm over there. Capitan Totti, thanks for the specific info on Roma. That's were we are going to be this trip.

    Thanks again
    Rich
    01-26-09 09:57 AM
  17. HD123's Avatar
    i saw most of your questions answered...... but you will definitely not still have your data capabiities if you insert any other sim. The data is linked to your Verizon account. I roam a lot and its best for you to buy a cheap second unlocked phone, and use that with the Italian sim card. So you can make cheap calls and even better than US and Canada, in Europe when you receive calls on a cell it doesnt cost you any minutes/money. And you can still use your data with the Storm.

    I think I saw a few people mention that you have to unlock the storm to travel, even if you are not replacing the verizon sim card. This is not true because unlocking just means that you can put another sim in. And if you are leaving the verizon sim in, you will be roaming with verizon and therefore do not need to unlock it.
    01-26-09 12:32 PM
  18. Capitan Totti's Avatar
    I am not allowed to post URL's yet so I'll send you a PM.
    01-26-09 04:46 PM
  19. esnetsc's Avatar
    I just came back from Mexico and I was able to use the Blackberry Storm fine for data and used a local sim card for calls. The charge for everyday on a unlimited qualified country if under 31 days is $2.09 per day. Also the local sim card does data but I dont know if I enter the carriers APN address, username and password in the setting, that it can workout the carriers Service Books for data with Opera, IM's.


    For Verizon I was told:
    $64.99 monthly access with a voice plan
    Or $2.09 per day.
    $69.99 monthly access for data only
    Or $2.25 per day.

    For Sprint I was told:
    $30 per month
    Or $0.96 per day.
    01-27-09 03:04 AM
  20. montelatici's Avatar
    Vodafone also have the I-Phone in Italy. All Italian I-Phones come SIM free, they are all unlocked. As are Blackberries. All unlocked. The law prevents carriers from locking phones.

    The Blackberry poses different problems. If you have a Blackberry registered with a carrier in Italy (or anywhere), if you travel to another country and insert a local SIM with a data plan, even a BB data plan, it won't work. The phone has a unique BB identifier called a PIN. It is registered with only one carrier at a time. So when you insert a local SIM, the Blackberry will not connect to the Blackberry service and will actually remove access to the browser. You could cancel your BB contract in Italy and get a BB contract in the other country, if you had the time to do so. But I doubt anyone would want to that.

    Frankly speaking, the BB is not a suitable phone for SIM swappers wanting email or internet in different countries. WinMob is really the only option for SIM swapping and email/internet.
    02-07-09 08:08 PM
  21. bb_fr's Avatar
    Very important for you to keep in mind: with any unlocked BB, once you put a third party local sim card, you LOOSE BB data. The way it works is that your emails accounts are stored in the device and the sim is the gateway to the BB data network. And unless the sim you use is BB enabled you will only have voice/sms but not data. Why: many don't know, but part of our monthy BB data subscription is paid as a sort of licence fee to RIM. So only carriers who have a license agreement with RIM can propose BB service (yeah RIM owns is platform and everything that goes around to the difference of pda/smartphone that use "open" OS). And you will never find a prepaid sim card with such BB feature....too risky for a provider. I personnally travel to Europe and only found one service in the US with postpaid euro sim BB enabled. check callineurope.com they a UK and French sim BB compatible with good calling rates all over the continent. Depending on how you plan to need phone and data you might want to look it up.
    02-21-09 04:02 PM
  22. ykc0196's Avatar
    I was in Germany before Xmas and was using Prepaid Ortel Mobile sim for text and calls on a dumb phone. Local calls I think were about 0.35 or 0.45 euros a minute but the big plus was 0.15 to connect and 0.09 a minute to call Canada (Vancouver). I would think calls to the US would be about the same. Picked it up at E-Plus. Mine was 12.95 and it came with 10.00 werth of talk time. My buddy got one for 7.95 and it came with 5.00 of talk time. They have a web site so check it out. Good luck and have fun
    02-22-09 03:32 AM
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