Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to: Get a Cheap International Mobile Phone

\Finding a quad-band international phone under $300 used to be impossible.  Now, though, Roam Mobility is offering them for as low as $99, (and they are even offering a 10% coupon off the Sightseer Package with Coupon Code B9FUS).

Why so cheap?  Because they want you to also use their calling plans, which are ridiculously expensive.  While it's true that their international rates are cheaper than other American cell phone companies, their in-country rates are damn near abusive.  I checked their rates for Ukraine (since I'm there once a year) and while it would cost me $0.10 a minute to call another Ukrainian mobile phone using a Ukrainian SIM card (available on almost every street corner), Roam Mobility charges $2.70 a minute to call another Ukrainian mobile phone using their SIM card!

And while some people might want to use the Roam Mobility plan to call internationally, it's still far cheaper to buy a calling card or use Skype while abroad.

So get their phones, but don't use their plans.  Since they they advertise that they have "No Contracts, No Minimums and No Activation Fee!" there is nothing to stop you from buying the phone, ditching their SIM (after you use the $10 credit that comes with purchase, of course) and replacing them with SIMs in the countries that you visit.  Because they are quad band, the phones will work in almost every single country that has cellular access. 

Roam Mobility offers three phones in three packages:

 • Motorola V195 (Unlocked)
• Roam Mobility SIM Card
• $10 Calling Credit

• Motorola ROKR U9 (Unlocked)
• Motorola USB Cable
• Motorola Headphones
• Roam Mobility SIM Card
• $10 Calling Credit

• Motorola ZINE ZN5 (Unlocked)
• Roam Mobility SIM Card
• $10 Calling Credit

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