Europe uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phones.
GSM phones use SIM (Subscriber Information Module) cards,a small chip that fits into your phone. This chip contains the cell phone number (so if you switch it to another phone, you still have the same number) and your account information. The SIM Card determines the network and phone number the cell phone uses.
You can use your existing SIM card with T-mobile in the UK.
Most cell phone providers in the US and Canada lock their cell phones (also in the United Kingdom). This means that you cannot change the SIM card, but if it is unlocked you can get a SIM card with a new phone number for the country you are in and don't have to buy a new phone.
Most countries in Europe have cell phone stores in the airport and in most towns and cities. You can purchase a GSM cell phone and SIM card when you are there. This option is cheaper, because the companies that sell these packages online add a surcharge to the cost of the SIM card.
Cell Phones in Europe, SIM cards, renting, buying, mobile phones at Slow Travel
Mobile Telephone Technologies
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