I purchased the Droid 2 Global version about three weeks ago so that I could use it on an upcoming trip to Brazil and Uruguay. This was an upgrade from the original Droid.
Once I received the phone, I called Verizon to set up the phone for use in those two countries. The first person I spoke to told me that I didn't have to do anything, the phone would just work. I called a second time to confirm that and was told that I did in fact need to sign up for a global data plan, and the cost would be about $30 monthly for 25mb. I was then transferred to the global department to speak to a third rep and was quoted a global data plan of $20/mb. At this point I had three different stories from Verizon representatives.
I called again to speak to a fourth rep, feeling very uncertain about whether or not my phone would work. On that call the cost was confirmed at $20/mb for data, but text messaging was presented as a cost-efficient option. Great. But then the rep informed me that the activation date to allow my phone international access was incorrect, so we had to change that. (Since you have to *228 your phone once the international access is set up, it needs to go into effect the day, or the day before, you leave the country. I was relieved that the fourth representative caught this mistake and rectified it.
I hopped on my plane (after performing a *228), feeling pretty confident that my new Droid 2 Global would work on my trip. We arrived in Salvador Brazil, and my phone didn't work. It showed a triangle indicating that I was roaming, but I could not make/receive calls or texts. I sent an email to Verizon the next day, asking for assistance. I received a message that they would respond to my concern within 24 hours. Two days later I left Brazil for Uruguay, with no phone service for the entire time I was in Brazil. While on a layover in Sao Paolo I turned my phone on again, just to confirm that it was still not working, and it was not.
I landed in Uruguay and, for whatever reason, had phone service. Once I was in Uruguay, Verizon finally called me, texted me and emailed me, telling me that everything seemed fine and they didn't understand why I said that I was having problems with my phone. This was three days (72 hours) after my email to Verizon.
Why did my phone work in Uruguay and not Brazil? Did they even bother to set it up to work in both countries? I don't know. What I do know is that I've taken my verizon phone on a couple of international trips, and no matter what I do before I leave the US, my phone does not work without follow up phone calls and/or emails once I've reached my international destination. Is this rocket science? Is anyone else having similar problems? What's the best solution? I'm headed to the Netherlands next month, and I'd really like to have a functional phone.
I don't think it needs to be activated per country, but they do need to activate the SIM. It's at least possible that somehow they caught this and activated it just before you got to Uruguay, or that in Brazil there wasn't service from a partner.
If you travel to a particular country often, consider getting your phone unlocked and getting a local SIM, much cheaper and often more reliable, as you can deal with any issues inside the country. (You won't be contactable on your US number though).