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Using Cell Phones in Paris, France


Case 4: Your Cell Phone Doesn't Work

You plan to keep in touch with your travel mates and home with your cell phone. You contacted your provider before leaving the US and were assured that your phone will work in Paris. It doesn't - what now?

1. Reboot Your Phone - Shut your phone off and on. Occasionally, you'll phone will need a "jumpstart" to pick up a new network signal in Paris.

2. Remove and Replace the Battery and the Sim Card - When traveling, items frequently get juggled around and components can move out of place. Remove and replace your battery and Sim Card and see if this solves your problem. This has worked for us in the past.

3. Manually Reset Your Network Settings - The problem may not be your phone, but the cell network in Paris that your phone is attempting to use.

Background: There are hundreds of cell networks in Paris. Your cell phone is smart enough to pick up the network in Paris with the best signal. In fact, when walking through a hotel lobby, your phone may change networks two or more times ensuring that you'll have the strongest signal.

Network settings should be transparent and nothing for you to worry about. However, sometimes there is a glitch and your phone can't make/receive calls on a particular network.

The Fix: If you're having trouble with your phone, locate the option on your phone that lists each network that the phone is receiving a signal. Then, manually try each network. If you're lucky, you'll find a cell network that works for you.

4. You Can Receive Calls, but Not Make Calls to a US Number - To make calls to a US number, you'll need to enter the country code "+1" before the phone number. On my Nokia phone, I need to type "* *" to enter a "+" . On other phones, the option may vary.

5. Nothing Works - My Phone is Dead - If your phone is a lost cause, you can rent a phone in Paris. Expect fees starting at 40€ for a weekly rental with additional charges per minute to a US number, insurance, and delivery fees. Try these providers:

George V Telecom - Delivers to your hotel 24/7 or pick up at 46, rue Pierre Charron (opposite the Four Seasons Hotel), 8e, Metro: George V. Phone: Email:

Cellhire - Visit the Cellhire website for pricing, and delivery options to the US and within Paris. Also, sells prepaid Sim Cards, network cards, and rents Blackberries. Phone: 08.10.610.610

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Author: Cheryl Montgomery

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