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I have arrange GPRS / Edge, etc connections or tried to in... many countries.
I know you system, I am positive this is easier and cheaper. I get to avoid paying taxi fees, time spent, plus the need to stay in corporate headquarter cities. The cost of living in Mumbai India is double anyplace in the country.
Kathmandu, Nepal - Worked unlimited at 25 dollars per month.
Indonesia - Did not work because of three dollars per meg
Togo, West Africa 2 Dollars per meg
Accra, Ghana about 2 dollars per meg.
Bangkok, Thailand at about 120 hours for 10 Dollars
Lima, Peru is about 25 dollars per month.
Philippines with Globe you company, however did not work, this was before.
USA, not really possible for short term.
Very few travelers stay for longer than three to four weeks in a country, this is not information for expats, the expats are few and far between. 99.99 percent of travelers keep on moving and do not live in a country.
I can just imagine going into Lago, Nigeria and arranging a GPRS connection... hehehe
If you buy the iPhone from ATandT, it appears that ATandT has an add-on Global Data Plan.
QUOTE from ATandT
$24.99 per month - 20 MB Data Global Plan (20 MB of usage in over 90 countries*. Overage is $0.005/KB)
$59.99 per month - 50 MB Data Global Plan (50 MB of usage in over 90 countries*. Overage is $0.005/KB)
$119.99 per month - 100 MB Data Global Plan1 (100 MB of usage in over 90 countries*. Overage is $0.005/KB)
$199.99 per month - 200 MB Data Global Plan1 (200 MB of usage in over 90 countries*. Overage is $0.005/KB)
ATandT International Roaming
Countries Covered By ATandT
As best i can suss out there is just over 90 countries with this Data plan.. which is a great start. I think the Verizon BlackBerry has just over 170 and included all the African countries I just visted except for Ethiopia.
I expect that all smart phones will soon have access to over 170 countries, funny the United Nations only has about 190 countries, while in reality I think it is closer to 252 to say or use the word Global.
The world is not static, I expect all phones to roll out over 170 plus countries in the next two years, then start to decrease the prices. I guess my worry is monthly contract prices and if there is a problem to change phones. If for example I am using a BlackBerry Storm and a BlackBerry BETTER comes along, do I need to stay with the former when BETTER now exist. The evolution of these products is rapid.
These plans break up gouge pricing if some countries on GPRS or Edge connections, many countries charge nutty prices and the Non Governemental Organizations, Non Profits and organizations like the United Nations pay the fees because they do not pay the fees personally. This is a way around the gouge prices of specific countries, to be part of the bigger group they have to play ball.
Andy in Bangkok, Thailand on a WIFI connection for a change.
Your Blackberry plan is one of the best, and probably the best for you.
The iPhone is very locked down, they only want you to use it as they want.
I am a long term traveller, and I use my iPhone, which I have unlocked for us on any network. Yet, I still have to get new SIM and ensue it is GPRS/EDGE activated in each country.
Currently in Thailand, using EDGE network
I have a quad band Samsung mobile phone that I use to make local calls. I purchased a SIM cards in East Africa in all the countries for about 2-5 dollars and was able to text message or call on a prepaid basis. Ethiopia wanted 35 dollars and I did not purchase the SIM, here in Thailand it cost 50 Baht or about 1.50 dollars. To use the talking or telephone part of the BlackBerry is expensive, however for a business person who wants his or her clients to stay on the same telephone number it would be great, yet expensive.
The Data cost is controlled, however the telephone part is an uncontrolled variable cost.
I cant say much, but i suspect there is an iphone roaming plan of some kind, because Stephen Fry seems to use his iphone everywhere he goes, and use it to do things like twitter, blog etc. too.
All I can do is direct you to his Twitter page and you can try to get in touch- hes not a personal contact of mine, more a celebrity trype figure, so I dont know if youll have luck or not, probably gets lots of fan mail. but looking through his twitter or website might give you an answer, hes vocal in his love of gadgets, especially the iphone... although being a wealthy celebrity type i suppose its possible he just pays someone to sort his connectivity out for him...
Stephen Frys Twitter