Will your cell phone work in Geneva? Singapore? Buenos Aires? Maybe, maybe, and maybe. Is it a tri-band or a dual-band phone? Is your service provider working on the GSM standard? Is this way more than you want to think about?

If you need to stay connected during international meetings, London-based Hirefone rents cell phones (including the Inmarsat notebook-size satellite phones for those headed far off the beaten path) on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis for just about any corner of the globe. If your own handset is compatible, Hirefone also sells SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) cards, which are a little like prepaid calling cards but which also identify you to a particular country's telephone network.

Hirefone's handset rentals start at $39.95 a week, according to Maria Granata, operations manager North America, who is based at the company's U.S. operations in New York City. Inquiries can be made through www.hirefone.com.