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PDA Phone & Carrier Choice for FL (USA) and Panama

by directjj    Jan 2, 2007, 10:01 PM

I'll be switching Cell Phone services and getting a new PDA type phone with Internet eMail, Motorola Q, or Blackberry or something.

Since I plan to visit Panama, maybe spend some time down there and retire there in a few years I'm wondering if there is an inexpensive way to use the same Cell Phone in both Panama and the USA (FL).

E.G. an Unlocked Phone?

I was told by Verizon and Sprint that I should talk to Cingular or T-Mobil because their phones are GSM phones and V & S are not and therefore can not be made to work in Panama.

Still Cingular is talking $1.99 a minute or $2.29 a minute with or without their International Roaming package.

Now a days the cell phone companies sell 'locked' phones so you can only use the phone they sell you with their service.

I remember my first cell phone was purchased stand alone and was a dual NAM phone and technically I could have had two different cell services active on that phone at the same time, at least here in the states.

Currently I have a flat rate cell phone (MetroPCS) famous for low flat rate and bad signal.

If I can't use the same phone I buy here in the states in Panama without $1.99 roaming charges ( I assume this is for local calls to Panama from Panama – as well as Long Distance International calls back to the USA) what do you recommend.

Short term Cell Phone rental for local calls in and around Panama?

If I buy another cell phone with a long term contract in Panama and am only in Panama 30 days a year till I retire that would seem to be pretty expensive.

My land line is Voice over IP (talk over the Internet) but even if Vonage offers service in Panama, I would need an Internet Connection to talk that way.

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