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On the Road Again

Phone home with your old cell--at a price.

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This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you've ever tried using your cell phone beyond U.S. borders, you know that our mixed bag of protocols makes it incompatible with most international networks. You could pick up phones and prepaid packages in destination countries, but you'd have to send business contacts your new number.

SIM cards let you keep your U.S. phone-at least, GSM models. These tiny cards slip into the battery compartment and let you use your regular mobile number. Nextel subscribers can be reached in 80 countries using the company's i2000 GSM phone ($225 street). SIM cards are free, but calls run from $0.29 to $4.99 per minute. AT&T customers pay $1.50 per minute across 120 countries, but are charged an extra $7.99 month. AT&T phones cost $80 to $200, plus $25 for a SIM card.

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