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January 12, 2007
Verizon, The TREO, Traveling To Europe And The iPhone.
I'm going to Davos in a couple of weeks so I decided to call Verizon to see if I could get a Treo that worked in Europe. Verizon, of course, does not work on a GSM standard, so it doesn't work in Europe (welcome to America's wonderful cell phone system). I talked for a dozen or minutes to someone in India. She was very nice and communicative but it took her some time to get the right number for me. Then I talked to a nice guy who had a regional American accent, so I guess I was bounced back here. That's fine.
What's not fine is that I can get a Verizon phone that works in Europe but not a Treo that works in Europe. I can make calls but can't get my email. If you have a Blackberry, you can get both calls and email. But not a Treo.
So Verizon supports the Treo in the US but not in Europe. Now I ask, who designed this business model? How provincial can you get? Did anyone at Verizon think of their customers and how they live and work? Argh... I guess I'll leave my Treo home, take my laptop for email and rent a cell in Switzerland. Thank you Verizon.
I hear that Cingular is GSM and the Treo that works on Cingular also works in Europe. Does that mean the Apple iPhone will work in Europe and Asia too? Both cell and email? I think so.
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At home in the US, I also have a Verizon phone and experienced the same difficulty when I came over to Europe to work and study. I eventually had to buy a cheap cell to use overseas (which, interestingly, works in the US as well) and just abandon my US cell phone for the duration of my stay. Unsurprisingly, I've seen the exact same model as my US cell phone here in Europe.
I also think Verizon is failing in this regard. As the world becomes more connected, people travel more and having a working cell phone is important (especially for businesspeople). Yet, Verizon completely ignores this.
And I won't even get into how fun it is to call their customer service line...!
Posted by: Katie Konrath at January 12, 2007 09:28 PM
You can have GSM pay as you go phone for 50 Euros in a lot of shops. The main problem is that they are dual band 900/1800 and not 1900MHz like in the USA. It's even not worth to rent one except if you have huge needs. You can even check if there is no callback service from your country. The other solution is to bring your own phone and buy a simcard. In Davos you may probably use a 1900 MHz one. At least, it's worth to check.
Posted by: Georges de Wailly at January 13, 2007 12:43 PM