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Thread: What is best cell phone option for deployed soldiers in Iraq?

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    What is best cell phone option for deployed soldiers in Iraq?

    My BF will be going to Iraq at the beginning of next year. He's with Nextel right now but wants to dump them, so this may be a good time to do so. What options are there for wireless service over there? Most importantly of course, we want it to work. Secondly, we want it to make economical sense. He would prefer to port his # if possible but if he can't then we'll deal. We've also heard that you can rent a phone over there or buy from someone coming back to the US (which obviously we realize that he couldn't have his # with either of these options). But we just don't know what would be best - from what I can tell, Verizon doesn't have international service in Iraq. I don't want to incur huge international rates on my cell bill, either (we don't have a landline), so economically we need to take both of our bills into consideration. Now I don't want to come across as a cheapskate - we realize our phone bills will be significantly higher, but we just don't want them running $500 a month! Any ideas (and prayers for him and all deployed soldiers if you are the praying kind!) are appreciated!

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    you could check into a moto a840 or the samsung 790 i believe is the number on samsung,both are world phones in that in the states,they use vzw.but over seas it uses gsm. so depending on what iraq or afganisitan uses you should be set.and if you can use one of these phones,may save you some money,by not having to buy another phone,and having one that will work over there and here. good luck.

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    Yeah, I did look at both those phones but I don't see on Verizon's site where they offer roaming in Iraq.

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    Gsm
    Gsm
    Gsm
    Gs...
    G.....

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    Yeah it's all GSM over there... Verizon's CDMA phones won't work there. You're best off buying a pay as you go phone from Target or Wal Mart and then buying a pre-pay SIM card over in Iraq


    Telephonically NEVER satisfied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenfer
    Yeah, I did look at both those phones but I don't see on Verizon's site where they offer roaming in Iraq.
    No matter which of the US mobile carriers you sign up with you're going to get raped on roaming charges in Iraq. Your best option is likely to buy a GSM quad-band phone in the US, take it to Iraq, and then buy a prepaid SIM to use over there. You can receive incoming calls for free in most countries, that way you pay for both ends of the calls from here, which is cheap if you go through a third-party carrier that handles the international call, for instance Gorilla Mobile. They charge $0.59/min to Iraq. If you dial direct from a VZW phone it'll cost you $1.49/min to call Iraq. Is it any more expensive for VZW to connect your call than for Gorilla Mobile? Absolutely not! But they charge almost 3 times as much. Why? Because they're ***** ****** ******* ********! But I digress...

    Depending on where your husband is stationed, terrestrial mobile phone service may not be available at all. The only other alternative at that point is satellite serivce, the most popular of which is Globalstar and the QUALCOMM QSP-1600 satellite phone. Of course that is quite a bit more expensive than the first option, but it'll provide service almost anywhere.
    Last edited by XFF; 08-14-2005 at 03:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tabla View Post
    Y'know, I'm used to hysterical 14-year-old ******** on the internet, but this is exceptional. Never before in human history have so many nerds hyperventilated so publicly over so little.

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    http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/pages/1/
    http://www.operationuplink.org/
    http://forums.military.com/groupee/f.../4100063010001

    One thing I spotted on that last link, is that some units are not allowed to have cell phones in Iraq. So, wait til he gets there before you do anything is probably good advice.

    Keep the Faith,

    Lance







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    Personally, I think this should be standard equipment




    "When you positively, absolutely need to ROAM in IRAQ, DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!"

    All kidding aside, Good Luck and God Speed to your husband and all of our deployed personnel throught the world.
    Last edited by Wireless; 08-14-2005 at 04:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewc1
    you could check into a moto a840 or the samsung 790 i believe is the number on samsung,both are world phones in that in the states,they use vzw.but over seas it uses gsm. so depending on what iraq or afganisitan uses you should be set.and if you can use one of these phones,may save you some money,by not having to buy another phone,and having one that will work over there and here. good luck.

    Depending on what Iraq or Afghanistan uses???? Yeah there two differnt countries buddie. Afghanistan isnt even part of the middle east they dont even speak the same language. So if it works in Afghanistan what makes you think it'll work in Iraq?

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    Get him a GSM phone .

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    Quote Originally Posted by XFF
    Your best option is likely to buy a GSM quad-band phone in the US, take it to Iraq, and then buy a prepaid SIM to use over there.

    That's pretty much what I figured. But what we were hoping for is that he could port his # to Verizon and get the Moto a840 GSM/CDMA "hybrid," and that when we talk it would be an IN call for me, and that the only charges would be on his end. Looks like that won't happen because VZW doesn't roam there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireless
    Personally, I think this should be standard equipment




    "When you positively, absolutely need to ROAM in IRAQ, DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!!"

    All kidding aside, Good Luck and God Speed to your husband and all of our deployed personnel throught the world.
    SWEET! That is great, I'll have to show him; he'll get a kick outta that. Thank you for your kind words!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenfer
    That's pretty much what I figured. But what we were hoping for is that he could port his # to Verizon and get the Moto a840 GSM/CDMA "hybrid," and that when we talk it would be an IN call for me, and that the only charges would be on his end. Looks like that won't happen because VZW doesn't roam there.
    Like XFF said, a hybrid phone or any phone locked to a US carrier will incur some astronomical roaming charges. An unlocked GSM and the use of prepaid SIM cards is your/his best bet.

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    If he serves in a forward unit, posession of a cell phone will get him an expedited Article 15 hearing and likely a bad conduct discharge. I wouldn't take the risk.

    There is also a decent chance that his Nextel will work in Bagdad and Qutar. DoD has a massive Nextel contract and Nextel put up some COW units over there for them.

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    Stay away from cell phones over there. I have been over there already (and am going back to Iraq AGAIN next month ) Any cell phone will have huge roaming charges, and depending on where he is, most likely he wont even have any service.

    The best bet is if he can get to a moral tent with DSN number.

    From there he can call a stateside base operator via DSN and have him ask to switch to an offbase number. It can eather be a local number, or a phone card number. I just got my wife a new cell phone that is a local call from Moody AFB. If it is local, then that is free, but if not, then it will be the stateside rate from the US, probably about five cents.

    If he cannot get to a DSN number have him go into an AAFES (many throughout Iraq) and pick up a AT&T Millitary Exchange Global Prepaid card.AAFES Calling Card The 550 Unit will get you twenty one cents a minute, much better than the 2.50-4.99 roaming charge cell phone carriers charge. There are AT&T call centers throughout Iraq.

    FYI, I will be at LSA Camp Anaconda/Blad Air Base. Maybe I will run into him. Have him use Air Force Morale Tents whenever he can. They are the best. Most of them have DSN lines, which is free.

    STAY AWAY FROM CELL PHONES OVER TEHRE!!!
    Last edited by poltroop82; 08-14-2005 at 08:27 PM.

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