|Nextel International Cell Phone Service Information
Nextel offers international cell phone service in a number of popular overseas destinations but is often considered one of the least reliable of all major US carriers for their international service. In terms of cost, Nextel's international cellular service is about average amongst other US carriers offering overseas cell phone service. However, since Nextel uses a different standard in the US than the vast majority of overseas carriers (the common worldwide standard is the GSM network), you will usually have to upgrade your Nextel phone to a hybrid model that also has GSM capabilities, OR, you can rent a phone. Nextel doesn't rent cell phones directly but they have partnered with another company that does rent them for $8 a day or $99 a month.
If you absolutely need to retain your US phone number and you already have a compatible cell phone for overseas use or you are not planning to make many calls at all, then Nextel may be a good option for you. Confirm that the service is up and running in the country or countries to where you will be traveling before you leave the US. Nextel's rates vary from $0.99 to $5.99 which can add up quickly if you are not cautious about your cell phone usage. While keeping a US number may be advantageous, remember that people calling you from home may not be aware that you are overseas and you will receive all your calls and, important or not, you will be paying for them.
If you would like to have international cellular service without incurring incoming charges, we recommend that you check out one of Cellular Abroad's Prepaid SIM Cards. The majority of all the countries for where we offer service feature unlimited free incoming calls. Outgoing rates are usually just fractions of what Nextel's charges are and, since all calls are prepaid, you will not get a surprise phone bill. You will have a phone number that is particular to the country for which you purchase the SIM card (which is advantageous for receiving phone calls from locals). What Cellular Abroad recommends is for you to leave your overseas cell phone number on your voice mail and whoever needs to contact you will have your phone number. Again, you will not be charged for incoming calls so feel free to speak as long as you want.
Even if you do have a Nextel phone that has the appropriate GSM network compatability (900 and 1800 Mhz), you will still not be able to use one of Cellular Abroad's SIM cards. This is because Nextel "locks" their phones into their own system (they obviously want you to be their customer while overseas as they make good money charging you so much). Therefore, you will need to either rent or purchase one of Cellular Abroad's cell phones. If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider purchasing a GSM cell phone - even if you will use it only for overseas. If you travel seldom, you are probably better off renting a cell phone. Please visit www.cellularabroad.com for more information and rates.