Customer Stories

A Van Load of Tourists in Italy

Dr. Yera was traveling throughout Italy and needed data – lots of it. He was traveling in a rented van with two other couples and his kids. Practically every person on that trip had some kind of data enabled device. The kids just wanted to watch videos on their iPads to pass away the time (apparently the scenic beauty of Italy wasn’t enough!) while the adults had everything from smartphones to laptops to other tablets. In addition, they were traveling through unchartered territory and needed a way to find out where they were and how to get to where they needed to go. In stead of everyone individually roaming with Verizon, who happened to be everyone on the trip’s service provider, they did the smart thing and rented a MiFi device with unlimited data (it’s actually 10GB…but with that amount of data, who’s counting?)

Let’s do the math. Verizon charges $25 per 100MB. That is $250 for 1GB or $2500 for $10GB. Let’s not forget the tax so let’s say about $3000. In addition, not all the iPads and tablets were 3G enabled (meaning, they didn’t have a slot for a SIM card but could work on a wifi network). Cellular Abroad charged them about $200 for the whole trip…and they got more value since they could use all the devices. Dr. Year told us, “This took a lot of stress out of the trip and alleviated a lot of the planning and logistics pertaining to how to get all these devices to work. I was at the helm of the van for most of the time and I just plugged my iPad into the car charger and with Google Maps, I could see where we were going at every turn. You guys really came through for us.”

Thank you Dr. Yera for your story. For anyone traveling to Italy with multiple devices or needing a lot of data, the MiFi Rental for Italy is the way to go.

Cellular Abroad

Long Trip to China

Eugene is traveling to China for several months. He will be part of his company’s team of experts leading a 3 month training program for their Chinese counterparts. As such, he will need to be in constant touch with staff back in Washington as well as those in Bejing. Although he is an experts in the aerospace industry, he wanted a simple, cost effective solution to stay in contact with both sides that was easy to carry and with a great battery life. While some of the these new phones are invaluable tools and allow you to do “everything,” they are known to be battery hogs.

We suggested Eugene use one of our Motorola V180 flip phones. Yes, while old school, there is nothing easier to use than a phone that was designed specifically for that – phoning. In addition, without the huge colorful screen, battery life is many times more than the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy, which he uses back home. We equipped the phone with a Chinese SIM card. Therefore, not only did he have a local number for the locals to call in to but, calling out was a low $0.06 per minute – even back to the states. In addition, since he wanted to retain his usual US cell phone number, we suggested that he purchase an add-on US number. Eugene could forward his usual cell phone number to the new one and therefore circumvent roaming fees. For around $20, he got many hours of call forwarding service. Eugene told us, “I am lucky to have found you guys. When I called you, I was just looking for something that would save me half of what my carrier was charging me. You guys are literally about 1/40th of the price. You can expect calls from some of my colleagues. A big, Thank You!”

It’s our pleasure, Eugene. At times, we have to find solutions for unique needs but the fact of the matter is that 90% of our customers are just going abroad for a week or two and want an affordable way to make phone calls or use data. Still, our broad spectrum of solutions allows us to help anyone from the casual tourist to the Eugenes of the world.

Cellular Abroad

Caribbean Cruise

Catherine was planning a Caribbean cruise but was anxious about not being in contact with her 90+ year old mother, with whom she speaks on a daily basis. Her US provider, AT&T has service in the handful of countries to which she will be traveling but the rates are outrageous. She was particularly concerned about the rates on the ship which with taxes amount to $6.00 per minute and the fact that she received numerous calls from chatty friends who just wanted to pass some time. At an average of $3.00 per minute, the costs can add up quickly. Although she would be in port during the day and typically the ship would travel at night and hence be forced to rely on satellite reception, she didn’t want to accidentally pick up the satellite signal when she was in port and be charged at the higher rate. We recommended that the rent the National Geographic Travel Phone. The Nat Geo phone would give her, not only lower rates but also a new phone number (with the option of forwarding her usual one, which she didn’t want to do for the reasons described above). Only her mother and a few important contacts would have her new number. Catherine says, “while I did speak with my mother every day, we were able to keep the calls brief and I only spent about $50 on calls. The phone was easy to use, compact and didn’t run out of battery ever. I am thankful for the wonderful staff’s help at Cellular Abroad who patiently answered my many questions.”

Cellular Abroad

Cruising Europe on a Motorcyle

Mike and his girlfriend were motorcycling around Europe with a group of friends. They needed a way to stay in touch with each other as well as a data plan so that they could do additional trip planning along the route. They were traveling from Greece all the way to throughout Scandinavia. After evaluating several options, they settled on purchasing a few of the National Geographic “Lite” Travel Phones and a Europe Data SIM card for there 3G enabled iPad. While they didn’t anticipate using the phones that much beyond just emergencies , they ended up using their phones a lot as one of the couples would often go off on their own to "scout" restaurants or to grab food to bring back. And since the rates were so low, they didn't have a problem with a bit of small talk.

Their data plan consisted of 2 of the 1GB all of Europe data SIM cards. They used them with their iPad in order to plan their trip and for Google Maps with the occassional Skype call back home.

Mike says, "it was truly a once in a lifetime experience! We are already planning our next trip for South America".

"Glad to be of help, Mike and you can count on us for your next trip and all your future trips. Thanks!

Cellular Abroad

Study Abroad Trip Italy

Our daughter was studying abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester. The apartment she rented had a phone but we wanted her to have a cell phone so that she could be reached at any time. She initially wanted to be able to bring her iPhone so she could use Whatsapp and Facebook but when we checked Verizon’s rates, we did some research online and the blogs and websites highly recommended Cellular Abroad. We eventually just bought an Italian SIM card for her iPhone5 and purchased the 1GB data plan. Cellular Abroad also told us about a Google app for translations that she ended up downloading onto her phone and using on several occasions. We communicated with her mostly on Skype through the phone but were careful to not use video unless she told us she was connected to a free wifi area, which turned out to be much less prevalent than we had hoped and almost non existent when she went to the small towns in the outskirts of Florence for visits. She also told me that, besides being able to keep in touch with her best friend back home in Ohio with Whatsapp, she posted many pictures of her experience on Facebook, which all of us enjoyed. All in all it was a wonderful experience and we are very grateful for all your advice and service.

You are welcome! Italy is our number one destination, both for leisure travel and for study abroad students but we have both cellular and data service for virtually all corners of the earth!

Cellular Abroad

French Wine Country

The France Tourism Board was doing a promotion in France. They sent 5 lucky travel writers to visit wine country and write, blog and upload pictures and videos of the experience. As everyone was spread out, they all needed their own devices. Cellular Abroad sent them 5 cell phones and 5 mobile hotspot devices. With our French cell phones, they were able to keep in touch with each other as much as they wanted for free. They could also call back home for just $0.07 per minute. The MiFi Rentals for France proved to be invaluable for the hundreds of twitter and Facebook posts and videos. Thanks to our collaboration with the France Tourism Board, tens of thousands of Francophiles and others could engage in real time with the very pleased, perhaps partially due to the wine, travel writers.

Thank you French Tourism Board! Hope to be of service to you next year. In addition, internally here at Cellular Abroad, we have several volunteers who would eagerly tag along to be an onsite technical expert for our devices.

Cellular Abroad

As Recommended In

  • LA Times
  • PC Magazine
  • France Tourism Board
  • New York Times
  • Fodors
  • Dream of Italy
  • Johnny Jet
  • Wall Street Journal
  • USA Today
  • Better Business Bureau

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