March 05, 2005

International Cell Phone-email-a-majigs International Cell Phone-email-a-majigs

My sister's travelling to India soon. At the same time, dad's going to the hospital for critical surgery where the odds maybe aren't so much in his favor. How can I make sure my sister is reachable by either cell phone or email while in India? I know there's probably cell coverage issues over there like there are here, but what kind of wireless networking standard or cell phone standard should we look for?

  • you will need: two tin cans a LOT of string a loud, clear speaking voice
  • Where in India? I understand that many urban areas in that country have good internet infrastructures, so email might not be a problem... it may be as simple as finding the equivalent of an internet cafe. Good luck with everything.
  • I asked #2 and off the top of his head, he says they'll most likely be GSM, in which case she'll need a triband GSM phone - easy to come by. However, he says if they use CDMA, you're screwed. It doesn't have roaming built-in so you need to find two carriers with an agreement. While CDMA is apparently dominant, there may be enough GSM companies. You'll just need to find one. Good luck.
  • My carrier -- T-mobile in the US -- has roaming in many major cities and most of the GSM carriers in India for $2.99/minute. I haven't been there to test it though. I'm sure Cingular has the same agreements as well. If you're outisde the US, the cell phone carriers in your home country will have similar agreements. here is a list of carriers in india. The coverage maps don't work on my Mac but the links to the carriers show the coverage maps of each network. Another option is to get a prepaid account once she lands in India. I'd imagine she could get set up before she leaves the airport. You'd have to call her since many pre-paid plans don't allow making calls outside the country. And internet cafes a pretty prevalent everywhere now. Unless she's going to be in the boondocks, she can probably find a place to check email.
  • Thank for the help, guys! Much appreciated.
  • Best to you and your dad.