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International Cell Phone Plans

Updated on June 14, 2011

In this day and age their is a need, and a want, to be able to contact anybody,anywhere and at anytime. The basic foundation of mobile phones (a AAA kind of accessibility) is made up in the ability to call around the world, and do some cheaply and efficiently.

Am I right?

The biggest concern, then, is to find the best international cell phone plans; to find the cheapest international phone plans; to find pay as you international plans; to buy unlocked international cell phones; or, even, to participate in a international cell phone rental.

The point is is that there are a lot of different options to choose from; some options will suit you perfectly, while others, although will have good qualities, will be lacking a certain aspect that you need. You need to shop around a check out all international cell phones, compare and contrast, and then decide which is the best international cell phone plan for you personally.


Cell phones have come a long way - and so have international mobile phone plans .
Cell phones have come a long way - and so have international mobile phone plans . | Source

Unlocked International Cell Phone Plans

Many cell phone companies have their cell phones locked; this means that they are programmed only to work on their network, and not on anybody else.  It's the basic of cell phone networks - and it's why some cell phones work in some areas and some won't (different network zones and coverage).

The biggest problem with a locked cell phone is when you use it for international purposes.  The only way to use a cell phone overseas (to use a cell phone internationally) would be to activate your cell phone providers roaming fee.  These roaming fees - companies like to call them international cell phone plans but they're not - are very expensive.  Some can cost you up to $10 per minute. 

Therefore your best option, to avoid such huge fees, is to try and get your cell phone unlocked.  Many cell phone service providers , such as Fido, Telus and Bell, will over you an unlocked international cell phone plan.  This is usually just a higher monthly rate, only a few dollars, that will allow you to avoid roaming fees (the only difference is that when your not overseas you will still have to pay the monthly fees)

Buy International Cell Phone (Prepaid SIM Cards)

Also known as pay as you go international cell phones, buying a international cell phone is a good option. Two of the leaders in international cell phones are Mobal and Telestial.

Mobal offers phones that work in over 190 countries, and no monthly fees and, the best part, only cost you money when you make phone calls. The cost on phone calls in also a lot cheaper than a roaming fee or an international calling card. Plus you get one international phone number for life.

Telestial is the same way, albiet with a bit cheaper rates and less perks.

Prepaid International Cell Phone Plans

If you don't want to get into the whole process of changing your cell phone plan with your company, and paying the extra fee, your next best option is purchasing a prepaid international cell phone.

Prepaid international cell phones are just like having a prepaid international cell phone plan.  On most occasions you won't even have to buy a new cell phone for international calls, but will just have to buy a new SIM card.  By buying a prepaid SIM card you'll be avoiding the expensive roaming fees - and even your updated monthly plan - for a much cheaper alternative.

The best part about prepaid international SIM cards is that they will only last for as long as you need them and many of the plans will offer you free incoming calls anywhere in the world. 

International Cell Phone Service

Many rental cell phones work off an international cell phone service, using providers such as Mobal and Telestial which are specific for international cell phone plans. 

The best international cell phone plans are ones that work off these kind of services, such as rental phones and pay as you go mobile devices. 

International Cell Phone Rental

So we've gone through upgrading your monthly plan, skimmed through the idea of a pay as you international cell phone - but what if both those options aren't viable for you?]

Then the answer may be an international cell phone rental.   Cell phone rentals are great idea for any serious traveler, offering security and convenience without any of the hassle of a contract or a liable pay as you go phone.

There are two types of international cell phone rental that you can pursue:

  1. Rent the National Geographic Travel phone which works in 200 countries and gives you unlimited free incoming calls in over half of those countries.  This phone rental service is like the ultimate international cell phone plan and is great for travelers who will cross multiple borders. 
  2. Country specific phone rental is the second choice.  This is perfect if you're spending a week in Berlin, for example: it will give you a local phone number and thus save you a lot of money. 

Cheap International Phone Calls

Some of us don't need to make a lot of phone calls when were off traveling in other countries; we prefer to meander on our own, up mountains, across hidden rivers, away from any contact that will bring us back to a reality that lacks any of the fantasy nature provides.

If you are the type of person who doesn't need to call across the world daily, or even recieve interntaional phone calls, then maybe your best option is none of the above.

There are many different services that off cheap international phone calls:

  • Skype: A free service on your computer. Skype to Skype calls are free around the world.
  • Global Call Connect: Offers cheaper rates; works by dealing with your service provider instead of the other way around.
  • EvaPhone: Free internet telephone calls.
  • Google Call: Gmail now has a service that is very much like Skype.


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    • profile image

      Tara 7 years ago

      I've tried them all and found that local rental companies are the best. I found it very convenient to unlock my phone (a simple Nokia for travel only) and rent a SIM card from the region I'm traveling in. Most recently I took a SIM card from Israel Phones and they delivered it to my house before I took off.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 7 years ago from > California

      Nice Hub vanchen,

      I think you hit it right on the head. Finding the best plan at a reasonable rate seems to be the two most important aspects. Also quality service needs to be considered.

      Good Info...