Cell Phone Service for Holland
by Sebastian Harrison
Cell phone service and coverage in the Netherlands is much better than it is in the US or Canada. As with most countries in the world, Holland has opted to utilize the GSM standard for their cellular service. GSM offers digital service that is so crystal clear that it is difficult to discern if you are on a cellphone or using a landline. Unless you are in a very remote area, you will most likely have coverage. In Holland, as in many other countries nowadays, many people rely exclusively on cell phones for communication and do not even have a home phone. If you are traveling to the Netherlands and want to use your current cell phone, you most likely will not be able to do so. Unless you have a GSM tri-band phone, you will need to make special arrangements with your current carrier. They will rent you a handset with what is called a SIM chip (Subscriber Information Module) inserted into the phone. The SIM chip is the brain of the phone, containing such information as the cellphone number, voice mail and call logs. Getting set up in this manner with your current service provider will allow you to retain your US phone number and receive and make calls anywhere in the world.
Usually there is a monthly fee for being able to use the service internationally plus high roaming rates (call rates) and other applicable charges such as renting the handset and having it delivered to you. Another alternative is to rent a cell phone with service. You can rent a cell phone for Holland at the airport or through many of the traditional channels such as the yellow pages. Rates are generally $25-$50 per week for the handset rental plus charges for actually placing and receiving calls. There are usually minimum per day or per week usage rates, regardless if you use the service or not. Alternatively, and this is by far the least expensive alternative, you can use the same service that the Dutch use. You will be paying local rates which are inexpensive and include unlimited, free incoming calls from anywhere in the world. Calls to the US cost approximately $0.75, which is inexpensive, but to save even further, you may ask people to call you back on your Dutch cellular number. That way you can literally speak on the phone for hours and not incur any charge. While the person calling you will be paying for an international call, rates to Holland are very reasonable - especially if he or she chooses the right provider.
In order to take advantage of paying local cellular rates you must obtain a GSM cell phone compatible with the Dutch system and also SIM card for the Netherlands. Holland, like most countries in the world, uses the 900/1800 GSM frequency, so, you will need to obtain this type of GSM phone, and, you must make sure that it is unlocked. GSM phones come from the manufacturer unlocked - it is the carrier that locks them. You will also need to obtain a prepaid Netherlands SIM card. You can obtain both the SIM card and the phone from Cellularabroad.com.
A Dutch SIM card allows you to
slip the card into your GSM phone, and, since it is prepaid, you will not have
any restricting contracts or minimal use requirements. You should obtain your
SIM card and cellphone prior to your trip for a number of reasons. First, if
you have it prior to your trip you can give out your phone number immediately.
Also, it is very convenient to be able to make a call as soon as you land (your
first call with usually be no notify family of your arrival). Thirdly, it may
not be an easy task obtaining a SIM card in Holland as you are supposed to have
residency in that country to buy one.
For further information Click here to visit Cellular Abroad.
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