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Old 15-12-2010, 05:18   #1
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Mobile Phone Suggestions

Hi folks;

I need a phone for the yacht, must have an antenna port (for good coverage for coastal cruising) and to work as a modem for the laptop. Basic is fine (preferred in fact), second-hand even better.
I hear good things about the Samsung A411/A412, but I don't think they will do the modem thing.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

lockie
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Old 15-12-2010, 06:38   #2
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3G Modems & GSM phones

I'd actually suggest getting a separate 3G modem for the computer, rather than trying to get the phone to do both. Pre-paid data plans or voice plans are usually pretty simple, but getting both on the same phone usually requires a contract. An unlocked USB 3.5G modem only costs ~$60 here in Malaysia. We also bought a $70 WiFi router that takes a 3G modem as the uplink, so all computers on board can share the connection.

You'll need to buy it a new SIM in each new country, but you'll probably be doing that for the phone as well. SIMs are cheap - MUCH cheaper than roaming charges. Your number will change when you change your SIM but we've found that folks from home never call us - they use Skype or email (although you could send a newsletter with your new number, if you wanted). We also bought a Skype phone number which takes voice-mail if we're not online, & gives us free (Skype) phone calls to the US & Canada.

BTW, beware of buying US phones. The US, in it's infinite wisdom, uses slightly different frequencies for its variant of GSM (what the entire rest of the world uses). So you need a 3- or 4-band (frequency) phone to work both in & out of the US. We just go with a cheap Nokia, bought overseas.

We have a bit more on our 3G Modems page.
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Old 15-12-2010, 18:56   #3
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Thanks Jon, but what I'm after is people's experience of suitable phones, not plans. I already have a plan that suits me just fine. We're talking coastal here, not world cruising.

lockie
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Old 15-12-2010, 21:41   #4
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Very few phones in the recent past now have external antennas.

The nomia 6210i was a great phone but no 3G capabity

DAve
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Old 15-12-2010, 21:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
The US, in it's infinite wisdom, uses slightly different frequencies for its variant of GSM (what the entire rest of the world uses).
That's mainly because when GSM first came out, in Europe I think, the frequencies in the US were already allocated for other services like emergency services.

I think carriers are trying to aquire more frequency spectrum for expanding their service and for the higher bandwidth newer phones are now getting.
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