Just a quick post this week (I have one coming next week about business relationships)...
Couple people have asked me what I'm doing for telecom in Barcelona for the VMworld show. It has certainly been quite a few years since I was super into cell phone technology (at one point I went through like 4 phones a year!), so I had to do some research. I knew I wanted to use my iPhone, and I wanted to use data over there, without paying the stupid fees that my carrier (Verizon) charges.
So first I had to do the research to figure out if
- my phone (a verizon iphone 5) uses the same frequencies as spain
- my phone is gsm compatible
- my phone is unlocked
Some quick research showed me that all verizon iphone 5's are unlocked by verizon (what a surprise!), that the frequency bands are compatible for 3G data (no significant LTE in Europe, apparently) and that I can use it on GSM. I can. Sweet!
Now I just needed to find a SIM that would work over there. Now, a bunch of friends recommended just getting a PAYG SIM once I arrived, but my Spanish is rusty, and I'd like to be able to call my family as soon as I land without paying exorbitant fees. Also, I'm a planner, so I wanted this out of the way. Found a bunch of options, but I settled on HolidayPhone for a couple reasons:
- They provide a pre-cut SIM for my phone
- They provide the SIM ahead of time and mail it to my house (from Sweden, no less!)
- They provide a pretty good rate plan ($0.06/m to the US, and at least an hour of free incoming calls)
- They have a clever call forwarding system so that I remain reachable on my US number, but also via Spanish phone number as well.
- They have a good data plan (550MB for 30 days for about $7).
I feel like this combo will let me call my family as much as I like (and they can call me), call my colleagues and use Twitter/blogs/tethering etc as much I like (550MB is plenty for me given I will only be there for a week, and be limited to 3G performance).
Worth a shot, at least, for a pretty cheap experiment of about $60
See everyone soon - I'm excited to see Barcelona for the first time.