When business carries you overseas, chances are you leave your cell phone behind. Mobile phones that work in the Americas don't work on the GSM networks that dominate elsewhere, and until recently, the only alternative was to buy a second GSM phone. Now Nextel Communications (www.nextel.com) of Reston, Virginia, is introducing a third way: Its new Nextel Worldwide promises one-number service via a dual-mode phone that supports GSM as well as Nextel's own iDEN network.
The price for being a single-number jet-setter is lofty, but not astronomical. You pay $5 per month, plus a competitive U.S. basic rate, and $0.99 per minute for Western Europe, $1.99 per minute for Asia and South America and $2.99 to $4.99 per minute elsewhere. You also need the Motorola i2000 dual-mode phone, which costs $349 (street). The i2000 offers digital two-way radio, speakerphone, paging, Caller ID, voice mail, 3-Way Calling and VibraCall.
Eric Brown, a regular contributor to pcworld.com, is a writer living in the Boston area.
- Nextel Communications, (800) NEXTEL-9.