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GSM service provider for US/India

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Anonymous
August 25, 2004 3:06:24 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

Hi,

I will soon be getting a cell phone here in US. However, I intend to
travel a lot for the next months, specifically to India. I will like
to be able to carry the same phone and the same number when
travelling. I have the following questions about it:
- Which GSM provider here in US has deals with some GSM providers in
India that allows access to its networks and hence gives decent
coverage in India?
- How does call billing work in case I use a US given phone number in
India, in case of calls to/from India/US?
- Is it better to get a local SIM card for India? In this case, can I
get call forwarding for calls to my US GSM phone number to my India
SIM card number?
- Is the cost of getting a triband or dualband (I think they use
800MHz in India, not sure about 1900MHz) phone worth this convenience?

Many thanks!
Arvind
August 25, 2004 10:52:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On 24 Aug 2004 23:06:24 -0700, arvind_s@mit.edu (Arvind Saraf) wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I will soon be getting a cell phone here in US. However, I intend to
>travel a lot for the next months, specifically to India. I will like
>to be able to carry the same phone and the same number when
>travelling. I have the following questions about it:
>- Which GSM provider here in US has deals with some GSM providers in
>India that allows access to its networks and hence gives decent
>coverage in India?

All three major GSM networks AT&T Wireless, cingular and T-Mobile
provide roaming coverage in India. There are also smaller GSM
networks that have roaming in India. If someone calls your US number
it will ring in India. You will pay dearly for the privilege of
receiving your calls in India.

>- How does call billing work in case I use a US given phone number in
>India, in case of calls to/from India/US?

Since you will be using international roaming the foreign operator
will log your charges and your home operator will get the charges to
send to you. Charges from foreign operators may take as long as three
months to show up on your billing statement.

>- Is it better to get a local SIM card for India?

Price-wise it's almost always cheaper to use local prepaid SIMs rather
than use your native country's roaming rate.

>In this case, can I
>get call forwarding for calls to my US GSM phone number to my India
>SIM card number?

Yes, but it depends. Some US carriers (such as T-Mobile) will not
allow you to forward to a international location. In that case if
you want your number forwarded to a foreign number a solution can be
to use a service such as Kall8 <http://www.kall8.com&gt; and have your
toll-free number target your foreign number.

>- Is the cost of getting a triband or dualband (I think they use
>800MHz in India, not sure about 1900MHz) phone worth this convenience?

You'll have to judge for yourself whether getting a tri-band or dual
band phone is economically feasible for you. Second hand the cost of
the phone should not be that great if you choose an older model that
perhaps doesn't have as many features.

In India they use either 900 Mhz or 1800 Mhz for their mobile service.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Anonymous
August 25, 2004 12:51:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"Arvind Saraf" <arvind_s@mit.edu> wrote in message
news:5d9519ae.0408242206.48cd9e1d@posting.google.com...
> Hi,
>

> - Is the cost of getting a triband or dualband (I think they use
> 800MHz in India, not sure about 1900MHz) phone worth this convenience?
>
> Many thanks!
> Arvind

900 and 1800 MHz are used in India. Here in the USA, Cingular and ATTWS use
800 (850) and 1900 MHz, while T-Mobile uses 1900 MHz only.

John C.
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Anonymous
August 25, 2004 4:02:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

India is an expensive country to roam in. Most GSM providers have roaming
agreement with a number of Indian providers. India's mobile market is still
regional and you need to know this. If you are all over the country, you
will be roaming on your Indian prepaid. Orange has roaming in most cities
in India. Pick an Orange SIM for the city which you will be spending the
most time in. (Note many INdians buy a prepaid SIM for other cities if they
spend more than three or four days in that city).

As to your mobile provider in the States. ATT does not permit call
forwarding abroad. T-Mobile sometimes does and sometimes doesn't. I don't
know about Cingular. I would suggest, however, getting a telephone number
which call forwards abroad through a third party provider such as kall8.com
or accessline.com. Call forward your US mobile to that number and direct
that number to India. Incidentally, you might also want to look at some of
the VOIP solutions such as broadvoice light (www.broadvoice.com) or
deltathree.com. For roughly $8 a month they will give you a US phone number
in the market of your choice. You can forward those numbers abroad to
landlines and mobiles over the web. They often have cheaper interntional
long distance than many personal number providers. Moreover, if you have a
laptop and decent internet access (easier said than done in INdia), you can
then use the same number to receive free calls in India.

I would avoid ATT for any call forwarding solution. They charge $0.25 per
call to call forward to a local number. It might cost you more to forward
from your mobile to a number in your home town than to forward your home
town to India.

Stu
"Arvind Saraf" <arvind_s@mit.edu> wrote in message
news:5d9519ae.0408242206.48cd9e1d@posting.google.com...
> Hi,
>
> I will soon be getting a cell phone here in US. However, I intend to
> travel a lot for the next months, specifically to India. I will like
> to be able to carry the same phone and the same number when
> travelling. I have the following questions about it:
> - Which GSM provider here in US has deals with some GSM providers in
> India that allows access to its networks and hence gives decent
> coverage in India?
> - How does call billing work in case I use a US given phone number in
> India, in case of calls to/from India/US?
> - Is it better to get a local SIM card for India? In this case, can I
> get call forwarding for calls to my US GSM phone number to my India
> SIM card number?
> - Is the cost of getting a triband or dualband (I think they use
> 800MHz in India, not sure about 1900MHz) phone worth this convenience?
>
> Many thanks!
> Arvind
Anonymous
August 25, 2004 5:58:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

"John Cummings" <n4bkn.no@spam.bellsouth.net> wrote in message news:<V71Xc.18772$cx.9215@bignews4.bellsouth.net>...
> 900 and 1800 MHz are used in India. Here in the USA, Cingular and ATTWS use
> 800 (850) and 1900 MHz, while T-Mobile uses 1900 MHz only.

With a strong emphasis on 900 MHz. India is not one of the countries
where I would be willing to rely on one of those 850/1800/1900 "world
phones" sold by Cingular and/or ATTWS.

Donald Newcomb
DRNewcomb (at) attglobal (dot) net

P.S. I'll "ditto" Stu's advice on this subject, above.
Anonymous
August 25, 2004 9:54:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.gsm (More info?)

On 24 Aug 2004 23:06:24 -0700, arvind_s@mit.edu (Arvind Saraf) wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I will soon be getting a cell phone here in US. However, I intend to
>travel a lot for the next months, specifically to India. I will like
>to be able to carry the same phone and the same number when
>travelling. I have the following questions about it:
>- Which GSM provider here in US has deals with some GSM providers in
>India that allows access to its networks and hence gives decent
>coverage in India?
>- How does call billing work in case I use a US given phone number in
>India, in case of calls to/from India/US?
It gets billed back to whoever provided the sim, who bills you, and
often at a rate that will make your head spin.
>- Is it better to get a local SIM card for India?
Yes
> In this case, can I
>get call forwarding for calls to my US GSM phone number to my India
>SIM card number?
Yes, but it is likely to be less expensive to let them go to voice
mail, and retrieve them regularly. My experience was that calls that
were forwarded to India were often of very very poor quality.
>- Is the cost of getting a triband or dualband (I think they use
>800MHz in India, not sure about 1900MHz) phone worth this convenience?
>
India seems to be mostly 900Mhz. You can pick up a fully functional
900/1800Mhz or even a tri-band like an R520M phone that may lack some
whistle and bells like MP3 ring tones, and a camera, for about $50 on
ebay. Once you find out what International roamers get charged, you
may think twice about roaming however.

The bind in India the last time I was there was the market is carved
up much like it was in the USA, different company in each major city.
The operator in Mumbai had extensive roaming agreements, the operator
in Chennai had none...At least in the past International Roaming
agreements were not expecially common once you left Mumbai and Delhi,
where there was a big market.
>Many thanks!
>Arvind
!