I found a magazine with some of the info I was looking for: PC World September 2007 issue.
It has cell phone tips for globetrotters (from an American perspective).
Three options when going overseas:
1. International roaming
- keep the same phone number
- only need to setup once
- long term contract
- not available everywhere
2. Overseas carrier's SIM card
- relatively inexpensive
- no contract
- setup each time you use it (language barriers)
- unlocked GSM phone required (more expensive)
- address book may not be save (if stored in the SIM card)
- different phone number (though if you forward through a SkypeIn number, people could still reach you on a regular phone number)
3. Rent a phone
* Telestial is a company that sells/rents international phones: http://www.telestial.com/
Two kinds of phones:
GSM networks: widely available in Asia, Europe, Oceania, South America. It should support GSM on 800-l 850-, 1800-, and 1900-MHz bands.
CDMA networks: used by Sprint, Nextel and Verizon in the USA. Also used in Japan and Korea. Sprint & Verizon customers can get a CDMA-GSM hybrid phone.