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You Can Take It With You

Use your mobile phone even while abroad.

You no longer have to feel trapped in the United States by your mobile phone. Entrepreneurs who travel extensively outside of the country know that staying connected by phone can be a hassle. One solution has been to rent a phone while abroad, but that can get complicated and pricey. Now another option is available for globe-trotters: the dual-network phone.

Dual-network phones work over both CDMA and GMS networks so you can take your own personal phone over to Europe and Asia with an international calling plan. Verizon Wireless was the first out with its "global phone" in April. Details on pricing and calling plans were sketchy at press time. But look for other carriers to jump in as well.

If you don't want to run up your talk minutes, consider text messaging as an alternative. Both AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile have introduced trans-Atlantic text messaging for their subscribers. It costs up to 15 cents more per message to beam SMS across the ocean, but it can still be a money-saving option for globe-hopping entrepreneurs. Whatever method you choose for staying in touch, the proliferation of new phone options is good news.

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This article was originally published in the July 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: You <i>Can</i> Take It With You.

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