I guess it all works different in Europe. The standard firmware contains a dialer, so we can make phone calls as soon as you insert the simcard. Without simcard the phone function is active anyway, so you can call the emergency services. I don't get the system in the U.S. with all the different types and carriers ... sounds unnecessarily complicated to me
We have just two choices, 16 GB or 32 GB internal memory
You can buy it without or with subscription/dataplan from any carrier, whatever you prefere. In my case it was cheaper to buy it myself and use the contract with the carrier from my old mobile.