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Random European Phone Musings… March 28, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in travel.

While at CERN I picked up a pay-as-you-go SIM card so I could have a local phone number. Many of my friends there have Swiss telephone numbers and so having a local number makes life simpler and  a lot cheaper. Yallo is the company I ended up with. The SIM card cost me 20 Swiss francs — which is only 16 US dollars. And it included 20 francs of credit. And you only have to fill out one form (wow!). You don’t get a much better deal than that!

Only one problem. The only unlocked phone I had was this very old Nokia — and I mean really old. After pressing the send text message button it would take about a good three seconds before the message screen showed up. It would have been nice to use my US phone as it has all my phone numbers.

Before I left I’d asked if Cingular would unlock my phone. Much to my surprise they didn’t reject it out of hand. Apparently, if you pay full price for the phone they will unlock it immediately. I got mine with a deal (and a two year contract) so they had to think it over. They finally did send me an unlock code. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive until Saturday morning — the very day I was returning to the USA. Still, it is nice to know that the company is willing to do something like this. And that I can use a phone with an up-to-date address book next time I’m abroad.

And much to my surprise, I discovered (the easy way – someone told me) that Skype is not allowed at CERN!



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