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Legal Tech: Using your cell phone while overseas

By Peter LaSorsa You have a trip planned for the Caribbean and you want to be able to stay in touch with the home office and clients—can you with your cell phone? The answer depends on the cell phone carrier and your cell phone.  There isn’t enough space to write about all cell phone carriers or cell phones and pda’s so I will write about what I use. I travel to the Caribbean five or six times a year and I have the same access in the Caribbean as I have in Chicago. I have the Blackberry 9550 Smart phone through Verizon, which has UMTS (3G DATA) in over 85 countries. It also has access through various networks in over 200 countries. Check with your carrier for details but the following steps will apply to any cell phone carrier - only the details will change. There are some steps to take before you travel to ensure you have a smooth cell phone experience.  First, make sure your cell phone subscription includes a global plan. Many do and if yours does not, you can sign up and cancel when you return. Additionally, you can rent a global satellite phone from Verizon for the period of travel. If you do have a global plan, make sure your SIM card is installed. If you purchased your phone at a store they did this for you. Lastly, with Verizon dial #228 and press send to get an updated preferred roaming list. There will be two different types of networks when traveling, GSM and CDMA. I don’t have enough space to provide details of each but when making a call outside of the U.S. you can tell you are in the GSM network because there will be a GSM or GPRS icon in the top right. Just dial 0 or * and the + symbol will appear, then dial 1 and the area code and number. If calling someone located outside the U.S. after the + sign dial the country code then the area code and number. You can tell you are in the CDMA network because a CDMA 1X or 1XEV icon will appear on the top right. Dial the country code (1 for the U.S.), area and phone number. Enjoy your travels and have the same level of access no matter where you are located.
Posted on May 13, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
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