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I'll be traveling around Poland for six weeks and I want to keep in touch with friends and the people I'll meet during my stay.

I the SIM card with the phone I currently own now, which is a samsung galaxy ace. I'm not on a contract, the phone I own is a pre-paid smart phone.

In either case, I plan to use pre-paid during my trip and purchase text messageing packages.

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1  
In many European countries you can just buy a phone for 25 EUR, with the battery precharged and 25 EUR credit on the prepaid card included. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bic_Phone –  Konerak Apr 15 '13 at 12:12
    
@Dirty-flow. I'm not on a contract at home. I'm on pay as you go, meaning pre-paid!!! I was asking whether it would be easier to activate my phone that I already own, in Poland or buy a new phone there. The reason why I asked is because I heard my phone may not work on any of the local networks, that's why I included the model I own...which you omitted from my question... –  Johnston Apr 15 '13 at 22:44

3 Answers 3

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Things to consider:

  • data roaming is very expensive
  • you're charged for incoming calls in roaming
  • you're charged local cost + roaming surcharge for outgoing

If you have a sim-free second phone, your best option is to buy local sim. Pay-as-you-go (called pre-paid here) are very popular and inexpensive in Poland.

You can get them as low as 5PLN ($1.60 CAD). You can get 1GB data package for 25PLN ($8.10 CAD).

Comparison of current offers:

enter image description here

Columns are different offers from various operators. Row groups:

  • first 4 - price per minute to different networks ("bezpłatnie" = free).
  • SMS in the same network, different network, MMS, data w/o data package
  • validity of the credit in days (outgoing/incoming, depending on the credit you bought, eg. with 5zł "Play na kartę" starter you can make calls for 5 days and receive calls for 65 days before you have to recharge more credit, "rok" = "a year")
  • extra packages (most likely not interesting for you, except data packages).
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Wow. Would have given 2 points if possible.... –  Thorsten S. Apr 15 '13 at 9:05
    
By far the best alternative. Did this in Germany, France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and the US. Always cheap, data included, never took more than 30 minutes to get set up. Unlocking OP's phone shouldn't be a problem in most jurisdictions either. Just takes money. –  John Doucette Apr 15 '13 at 15:53

You have three things to consider:

  1. The possibility and expenses of roaming (using your home cell contract abroad).
  2. The possibility and inconveniences of using a local SIM in your home phone
  3. The costs of buying a new phone.

When you go abroad, the easiest, but the most expensive is to simply use your home phone there. This requires you to have roaming enabled on your contract. Contact your provider to ask and also make sure to ask about the costs. It can be VERY expensive.

The next easiest will be to buy a local foreign SIM card and use it in your existing phone. That requires your existing phone to be unlocked for this (also ask your phone provider or simply try someone else's phone card from a different provider). This has the advantage that you do not need to have another phone but the disadvantage that you will not be reachable on the home SIM since your phone won't ring in case someone calls your home phone number.

The most complicated way would be to get a new phone and get a foreign SIM card for it. The advantage is that you are always reachable. This would make sense if you have another unlocked old phone to use or if you can get one cheaply of eBay or such.

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as long as your carrier at home has a roaming agreement with a carrier in Poland (check their website) all you'd need to do is turn the phone on and it will find that network and connect automatically (of course if your plan does not allow for international use you'll need to upgrade it).

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Not always true - my last two operators had roaming agreements with EU, Poland etc., but neither would connect automatically - needed to enable this first. –  Rory Alsop Apr 15 '13 at 9:56
    
that depends on your phone settings, not your contract. The phone can connect if there's a roaming agreement. –  jwenting Apr 15 '13 at 13:06

protected by Mark Mayo May 20 '13 at 12:38

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