Yet another thing ticked off my to-do list!
Today I took the initiative and figured out what I needed to do for a phone over in London. Everything I had read online stated that international students aren't able to have contracted phones, since they won't have had a 3+ year credit history in the UK. So, the options are a bit limited...we can either get a pay as you go phone, which leaves you with a very short list of phones to choose from at pretty ridiculous prices for what you're getting. Or, you can bring an unlocked American phone with you and use a UK pay as you go sim card.
Well, the tricky part here is that I'm contracted through Verizon here, and Verizon operates on a completely different system (CDMA) than the rest of the world (GSM). So, certain Verizon phones are able to be used overseas (newer styles) and others are not. My current phone, the Verizon Blackberry Curve, did not have the capability to be used overseas...it doesn't even have a slot for a sim card. So I did my research, and found out that the new Verizon Blackberry Bold is compatible with GSM networks and can also be unlocked to use with local sim cards.
Even better? I was way overdue for an upgrade. I ended up getting upgraded with a new Bold for $50, and that also included a brand new Bold for my mom too! So now my mom and I will be able to use Blackberry Messenger 24/7, whenever we need to, completely for free once I'm in London. That will be so helpful, especially when we just want to say a quick hi, or ask a simple question...no need to waste valuable international minutes or schedule a skype call. So this is definitely a good thing. Now we even have my dad wanting a berry! I'm going to have to coach my mom through this though...she's coming off of an EnV, good lord, hah. I think she'll end up really liking the Bold though.
So that's one less thing to worry about! And even further, it turned out a lot better than I expected...I get to keep my beloved berry, and I'll be able to contact my mom (and brother, sister, and possibly dad) through BBM whenever I need to. :)