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Thread: Cell Phone in Morocco

  1. #1
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    Cell Phone in Morocco

    Hey all,

    (Sorry if this is in the wrong forum...I thought it was relevant to mobile technologies)

    I am going to be studying abroad in Morocco over the summer homesteaded with a Moroccan family, and as such would like my phone to work!

    Does anyone have any experience with Morocco?

    Per - http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_ma.shtml - Morocco uses GSM 900 for coverage. I'm assuming that AT&T doesn't have any deals with any carrier over in that part of the world...

    Should I take over my Nokia E71 - that is GSM 900 compatible - and simply use a Moroccan sim for two months? Or buy a prepaid phone there? Or by some miracle will AT&T work - without any outrageous fees?

    Any help would be appreciated.

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    Very limited experience here. I once helped someone get set up with Moroccan service. You want to look at http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/morocco.html . Forget AT&T. What you will need is an unlocked GSM phone with at least GSM-900 but better with 900 & 1800 and best if it includes UMTS-2100 (3G). (Tell me that your Nokia E71 is unlocked.) Take that phone with you to Morocco (with a multi-voltage charger). When you get there go to either of the two carriers and get set up with the prepaid service you prefer. You will probably want to also set up a "callback service" before you leave home. I suggest www.callbackworld.com but there are many other options. I'd also suggest you get a phone with at least Java. Then you can load little Java apps like FishText and save tons of money on text messages, etc.

    Also, if you are interested in mobile data I would get a GPRS/UMTS data card like the "Sierra AirCard 881" sold by TigerDirect and go for Moroc Telecom's unlimited data @ ~$20/mo offer. It really depends on what sort of net access your host family has.

    The websites for the Moroccan mobile operators are in French but I assume that you read French.
    Donald Newcomb

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb
    Very limited experience here. I once helped someone get set up with Moroccan service. You want to look at http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/morocco.html . Forget AT&T. What you will need is an unlocked GSM phone with at least GSM-900 but better with 900 & 1800 and best if it includes UMTS-2100 (3G). (Tell me that your Nokia E71 is unlocked.) Take that phone with you to Morocco (with a multi-voltage charger). When you get there go to either of the two carriers and get set up with the prepaid service you prefer. You will probably want to also set up a "callback service" before you leave home. I suggest www.callbackworld.com but there are many other options. I'd also suggest you get a phone with at least Java. Then you can load little Java apps like FishText and save tons of money on text messages, etc.

    Also, if you are interested in mobile data I would get a GPRS/UMTS data card like the "Sierra AirCard 881" sold by TigerDirect and go for Moroc Telecom's unlimited data @ ~$20/mo offer. It really depends on what sort of net access your host family has.

    The websites for the Moroccan mobile operators are in French but I assume that you read French.
    Thank you DRNewcomb!

    This is a tremendous help and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Yes my Nokia E71 is unlocked. So if I am understanding correctly, I will be able to set up a prepaid plan and still use my E71?

    Unfortunately my laptop is a macbook - so no wireless adapter slot. I saw that AT&T offers USB adapters...but I couldn't find anything on TigerDirect or Newegg that seemed to be similar (let alone unlocked.) Do you know of any such device? (See: Edit at bottom)

    No such luck with speaking french (although I do know spanish so I can kind of get by with the written form.) I'm actually taking arabic now and will be studying it further over there.

    Thanks again for everything. I greatly appreciate it - somehow I don't think the local reps at the AT&T store (plan B) would have been this helpful!

    EDIT: Upon looking at Apple's website I did find this - http://store.apple.com/us/product/TU...mco=MzEzNTkzOA - but it seems as though it requires an express card...

    Which would be something like - http://www.sierrawireless.com/product/AC501_502.aspx - correct? So if this is right (and I'm assuming express wireless cards are better than USB modems?) how would I go about getting it working with Moroc Telecom?
    Last edited by macattackflak; 02-19-2009 at 01:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macattackflak
    Thank you DRNewcomb!
    Yes my Nokia E71 is unlocked. So if I am understanding correctly, I will be able to set up a prepaid plan and still use my E71?
    "and still use my E71"??? What you will do is to take the current SIM out of your E71 and insert the SIM that they give you in Morocco. You use your E71, one SIM at a time. If you want to have both accounts active to receive calls at the same time you will need to buy a cheap, unlocked GSM 900 phone. Not to be a shill for TigerDirect but thier Nec e132 @ $49.99 or Moto V190 @ $59.99 would do the trick. I'll warn you that making much use of an AT&T phone roaming in Africa can be very expensive.
    Unfortunately my laptop is a macbook - so no wireless adapter slot. I saw that AT&T offers USB adapters...but I couldn't find anything on TigerDirect or Newegg that seemed to be similar (let alone unlocked.) Do you know of any such device? (See: Edit at bottom)
    More than one procedure exists for depelting a feline. I have a little Eee-PC with no PC slot. With this computer I use my E61 with a USB cable and the Nokia PC suite. The e61 also will connect to the PC via Bluetooth. Not sure if there's a version of PC Suite for the Mac. There's even a program out there that turns your Symbian phone into a little WiFi hotspot. ("Juko spot" or something like that.) It connects your phone to the cellular data network and establishes an ad-hoc WiFi network routing that connection to WiFi. It's JoikuSpot. Here's the website.
    No such luck with speaking french (although I do know spanish so I can kind of get by with the written form.) I'm actually taking arabic now and will be studying it further over there.
    "There are four "H"s in Arabic. They are "Hhhh", "Hhhh", "Hhhh" & "Hhhh". My hat's off to you. Some of my Arab friends tell me that they can pass a test in English grammar but not pass a similar test in Arabic grammar. ITMT Google translate can help you with the websites.
    Thanks again for everything. I greatly appreciate it - somehow I don't think the local reps at the AT&T store (plan B) would have been this helpful!
    They are only allowed to know what AT&T wants them to know. Even if they know about local prepaid SIMs they can only tell you about AT&T roaming.
    EDIT: Upon looking at Apple's website I did find this - http://store.apple.com/us/product/TU...mco=MzEzNTkzOA - but it seems as though it requires an express card...

    Which would be something like - http://www.sierrawireless.com/product/AC501_502.aspx - correct? So if this is right (and I'm assuming express wireless cards are better than USB modems?) how would I go about getting it working with Moroc Telecom?
    That's what it looks like but it seems to me like reaching over the top of your head to scratch your earlobe. Here are the instructions for connecting to the net via your e71. My one concern is that the unlimited data plan does not seem to be a "bolt on" option, but rather a seperate SIM. You'd have to swap SIMs whenever you wanted to use data. Seems a bit of a pain. You could, of course buy a 3rd $50 phone, put your data SIM in the e71 for all the web services (e.g. fring, google maps, etc) and have your talking SIM in the cheap phone.

    I was going to suggest Boingo Mobile but there are only 3 Boingo Mobile WiFi hotspots in Morocco.

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    Look at the Méditel 3G site. They seem to have a deal where they sell you a USB 3G modem for 690 DH (about $70?) which includes 2 months (how convenient) of 3G internet service. Sorting through the French and the stupid Flash website is not easy but it seems that they do support Macs.

    Suggestion. Always take a USB extension cable. A Moroccan home may be as modern as anywhere in Europe or the window may be 6' above the floor.

    But do check first with your host family. They could have broadband and WiFi already.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb
    What you will do is to take the current SIM out of your E71 and insert the SIM that they give you in Morocco. You use your E71, one SIM at a time. If you want to have both accounts active to receive calls at the same time you will need to buy a cheap, unlocked GSM 900 phone. Not to be a shill for TigerDirect but thier Nec e132 @ $49.99 or Moto V190 @ $59.99 would do the trick. I'll warn you that making much use of an AT&T phone roaming in Africa can be very expensive.
    Ah sorry I misspoke. I was simply making sure that the prepaid minutes would be connected to a SIM - thus that I could put in the E71 - and not a seperate phone that I would have to buy.
    More than one procedure exists for depelting a feline. I have a little Eee-PC with no PC slot. With this computer I use my E61 with a USB cable and the Nokia PC suite. The e61 also will connect to the PC via Bluetooth. Not sure if there's a version of PC Suite for the Mac. There's even a program out there that turns your Symbian phone into a little WiFi hotspot. ("Juko spot" or something like that.) It connects your phone to the cellular data network and establishes an ad-hoc WiFi network routing that connection to WiFi. It's JoikuSpot. Here's the website.
    Here are the instructions for connecting to the net via your e71.[/URL] My one concern is that the unlimited data plan does not seem to be a "bolt on" option, but rather a seperate SIM. You'd have to swap SIMs whenever you wanted to use data. Seems a bit of a pain. You could, of course buy a 3rd $50 phone, put your data SIM in the e71 for all the web services (e.g. fring, google maps, etc) and have your talking SIM in the cheap phone.
    Would you suggest tethering as opposed to the wireless adapter?
    "There are four "H"s in Arabic. They are "Hhhh", "Hhhh", "Hhhh" & "Hhhh". My hat's off to you. Some of my Arab friends tell me that they can pass a test in English grammar but not pass a similar test in Arabic grammar.
    Very true! I just had an Arabic test yesterday...and I'm pretty sure Hhhh was an answer for the dictation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by macattackflak
    Would you suggest tethering as opposed to the wireless adapter?
    I would suggest that you try to test what ever configuration you plan use before you get to Morocco. You also need to understand the various settings needed for a GPRS connection. Either that or look at the post about the Méditel data modem deal.

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