How do I consolidate communication devices for use the UK and US
October 20, 2005 6:36 PM   Subscribe

For the next 18 months I will be regularly traveling in the UK, Ireland and US (pleasure and business). What is the best strategy to optimize international compatibility and consolidate telephony, email and internet access into one (or the fewest) devices.

I have the following the requirements: QWERTY keyboard, GSM and US compatability, web based email & internet access and the ability to consistently access the internet/email under widely varying urban and rural conditions. I want to use it as a primary communication device. I have been told the Blackberry can support both US and European telephony but the data service component is not compatable. Standard telephones lack adequate key board and features (I think). I have considered a GSM modem for my laptop but this significantly limits telephony. I do not mind having multiple service providers but would prefer pay as you go rather than contracts. Help, suggestions advice sincerely appreciated. I checked into satellite service to meet connection problems in rural areas but it is just to expensive. For $75-100 dollars per hour I will find a different solution. Am I going to end up using my mobile telephone as a modem
posted by rmhsinc to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Look into using one of the new Windows Mobile devices avaliable in europe -- the O2 'executive', Orange 'M5000' or similar T-Mobile device meet most of your requirements. The Orange 'M3000' device also figures (it meets more, and let less). These will only work where you get cell coverage, so rural areas may be sketchy (but, frankly, unless you do Sattelite, I think you're stuck there, excepting dialup). You get email, some applications (.pdf, .xls. .doc) email, web and voice, with the possibility of expansion.

Disclosure: I work for the folks who produce the operating system for these devices.
posted by daver at 7:34 PM on October 20, 2005

For what it's worht Cingular is almost certainly your best choice for cellular provider if you want to have the same number everywhere.
posted by fshgrl at 8:33 PM on October 20, 2005

Nokia 9500.
  • QWERTY keyboard - and a decent sized one, not the crappy thumb-board you see on most windows mobile devices.
  • Tri-band - GSM and US compatibility.
  • Full Opera-based web browser: access your websites, rss feeds etc. Supports Flash and jscript
  • Very good email client - supports HTML, Imap etc.
  • And, best of all: 802.11 WiFi. You can access the internet at wireless speeds when you're near a hotspot, airport etc. and fall back to GPRS / EDGE when you're out of range.
  • Plus other cool stuff: MP3 player, word processor, spreadsheet, camera, video recorder, bluetooth.
I've had one for about 4 months and it has become my favourite travelling gadget. Truely invaluable.

A Blackberry with the international roaming ($20 /month) package may be an alternative but I've always hated the keyboards. YMMV.

I don't understand the comment above - surely your number will be the same everywhere with all service providers? OK, international dialling codes will change, but your number won't. Or is there something weird about the US telephony system that I'm missing?
posted by blag at 3:28 AM on October 21, 2005

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