Using my Iphone while travelling internationally.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:19 PM GMT
    Hello,
    I would like to use my I phone4 (3G) with me while I am in Thailand for 2 weeks. I read someplace that AT&Ts international roaming for smart phones can be very expensive as its always attempting to connect to the internet and data use adds up. I rather NOT use AT&T while I am away, but it may be my last resort.

    I read something about using a cheap Thai Sim Card (buy at the airport itself) that you use on your Iphone but that involves unlocking or Jailbreaking the phone. Ive never done this and was wondering if this is easy to do, legal and affect the warranty in any way.

    Anyone does this? Any advice?
    Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 25, 2011 10:56 PM GMT
    Options:

    1) Jailbreaking -- don't do unless you are a supergeek and can recover from bricking your phone regularly.

    2) Simply shut off data (Settings->General->Network->Data Roaming=off). Roaming prices aren't all that bad for voice or texts, unless you're planning on 30 minute calls or sending 1,000 texts. The typical usage, e.g. arranging for taxis, dinner reservations, happy ending massage appointments, etc., won't break the bank.

    When you power up in your destination country, the local partner carrier will helpfully text you with a welcome and usually include the per minute rates and per text message rates. Scrolling back to my iPhone messages upon landing in Beijing, China Unicom (Verizon roaming partner on my CDMA iPhone 4) prices were:

    Text (send): 50 cents
    Text (receive): 5 cents
    Calls: $1.99/min
    Data: $20.48/MB --> Eeek! Shut off data!

    I imagine most Asian countries would be similar. Could be wrong, but I doubt if I'm off by more than a factor of 2.

    3) If you think you'll be using the phone a lot, bring a cheap-ass GSM phone and buy a prepaid sim card for it at the airport before you leave (almost all airports have stores/kiosks for this now).

    But, in general, only turn on data when you're totally lost and need to use google maps -- otherwise get your data fix via WiFi!

    Enjoy the Thai boys! Please post stories and pictures upon your return.
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    Nov 25, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
    The iphone is the only phone that ATT will not provide the unlock code for. For all other ATT phones, you simply need to call an 800 number and they will give you the unlock code in 2 - 3 business days. So jailbreaking is one option. I really haven't been keeping up with the jailbreak scene, but in the previous versions of the iphone, jailbreaking was pretty effortless. And the phone is still fully functional with access to the app store. And reverting back to the factory ROM was easy as well. But why would you do that, right? icon_biggrin.gif

    Another option is to sell your current iphone, and buy an unlocked 4S from Apple. Yes, your ATT SIM will work just fine. This will allow you to insert a SIM from whatever country you're visiting. Just keep in mind that the iphone 4/S uses a micro SIM. So if none of the Thai cell phone providers offers this, you'll have to cut up their SIM to make it fit in your phone.

    Or you can just buy any cheap unlocked cell phone. Use that for voice and text with a Thai SIM card. And use your iphone for wifi only. Since you're in the Bay area, go visit Fry's Electronics. They sell a handful of unlocked cell phones. Or check out Newegg for a better selection of unlocked feature phones and smartphones.
    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=227&name=No-Contract-Phones
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    Nov 26, 2011 12:01 AM GMT
    Thank you both...very helpful.


    Ok, so Jailbreaking sounded awesome, but I dont think I want to do that.
    I dont think selling my iphone and buying a new unlocked one either.

    Maybe I'll keep my Iphone and use the DATA only when I have WiFI--which should be in the hotels and cafes etc.

    Thanks.
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    Nov 26, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    I used my iPhone while I was in Paris recently. I was able to get an international package from AT&T that allowed me to send/receive text messages, make international calls, surf the net, etc. You need to monitor your data usage carefully though. However, if you use a wifi, your data usage will not count against your data allocation. Good luck and have fun in beautiful Thailand.
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    Jun 29, 2014 2:13 AM GMT
    Sorry for digging up a long dead thread, but has anybody attempted to unlock an iPhone 3GS recently?

    Note to self: "Don't forget to take your phone with you when you get out of a taxi in a foreign country."

    Confession: I lost my Samsung S3 on the first day of a month long trip in Argentina.

    Context: I happen to have an old iPhone 3GS which was on ATT through the end of my contract with them. I then switched to the Samsung and Verizon.

    I'm wondering if anybody has some helpful insight to share. Thanks!
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    Jun 29, 2014 3:11 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidSorry for digging up a long dead thread, but has anybody attempted to unlock an iPhone 3GS recently?

    Note to self: "Don't forget to take your phone with you when you get out of a taxi in a foreign country."

    Confession: I lost my Samsung S3 on the first day of a month long trip in Argentina.

    Context: I happen to have an old iPhone 3GS which was on ATT through the end of my contract with them. I then switched to the Samsung and Verizon.

    I'm wondering if anybody has some helpful insight to share. Thanks!

    Try this..
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
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    Jun 29, 2014 3:28 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    GAMRican saidSorry for digging up a long dead thread, but has anybody attempted to unlock an iPhone 3GS recently?

    Note to self: "Don't forget to take your phone with you when you get out of a taxi in a foreign country."

    Confession: I lost my Samsung S3 on the first day of a month long trip in Argentina.

    Context: I happen to have an old iPhone 3GS which was on ATT through the end of my contract with them. I then switched to the Samsung and Verizon.

    I'm wondering if anybody has some helpful insight to share. Thanks!

    Try this..
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/


    So far, so good, Rich! It took my request. I even took one contact lens out to make sure I was reading the IMEI number correctly. jaja!
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    Jun 29, 2014 4:55 AM GMT
    Hopefully they give it to you. ATT has been notorious for not giving up unlock codes so easily.

    T-Mobile has been fantastic. I requested my unlock code through their online help chat. Got my code by email a few days later.
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    Jun 29, 2014 8:38 PM GMT
    xrichx saidHopefully they give it to you. ATT has been notorious for not giving up unlock codes so easily.

    T-Mobile has been fantastic. I requested my unlock code through their online help chat. Got my code by email a few days later.


    Yes, I too hope that they are feeling generous and just give me the code. I met all the conditions of my contract, and all the conditions stated.

    "Plan B" is to buy an unlocked phone local and have Verizon send a new SIM to a friend/family member in the US who can then FedEx to me.
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    Jun 29, 2014 9:23 PM GMT
    Good news! ATT approved the unlock. Now I get to go through the tech hoops to finish the job.

    For other's benefit, here are the instructions I received.

    From ATTRequest number: ########

    Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device.

    We have reviewed your request and confirmed that the device may be unlocked. You should complete the unlock process before porting out your number for use with another carrier.

    Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock process.

    1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.

    2. Ensure the original SIM card that came with this device is inserted in your iPhone.

    3. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.

    4. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1414.

    5. After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.

    Additional information on unlocking can be found at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3198

    For questions regarding AT&T Mobile device, please visit the Phone/Device Learning Center.

    Thank you for your business. For other questions about our AT&T wireless service or other Mobile devices, please visit att.com.


    Sincerely,
    AT&T Customer Care Team

    DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 30, 2014 12:11 AM GMT
    Update! Phone has been unlocked and now I'm ready to go out and get a local SIM. First on my list for tomorrow!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 02, 2014 3:25 PM GMT
    there are GPS applications self contained, specific to the location, that dont use wifi or data plan bandwidth.

    some smart phones, tho they have super fast hardware & excellent software, may not have compatible RF electronics.

    verify the software & hardware model# and revisions
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    Jul 02, 2014 8:05 PM GMT
    Update! Yesterday, got the local prepaid SIM card from Movistar, loaded it with value and I'm up and running.

    Now I'm debating whether I should even bother to have Verizon send me a replacement card until the end of the month when I return to the U.S., or wait until I return.

    So far, I'm not yet feeling a sense of loss over not having my U.S. phone number up and running. I've put the Verizon account on suspend until I return.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jul 02, 2014 10:12 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidUpdate! Yesterday, got the local prepaid SIM card from Movistar, loaded it with value and I'm up and running.

    Now I'm debating whether I should even bother to have Verizon send me a replacement card until the end of the month when I return to the U.S., or wait until I return.

    So far, I'm not yet feeling a sense of loss over not having my U.S. phone number up and running. I've put the Verizon account on suspend until I return.


    I'm a Movistar client on my Colombian-based phone. Absolutely, bar none, without exception, THE best phone company in the world. I've gotten off the plane in Europe, in LA, in Iraq, in Jordan, in South Korea... phone and every function works the minute I switch it on.
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    Jul 03, 2014 12:37 AM GMT
    @WB - Do you have one phone and multiple SIM cards? Or, do you have one phone for U.S. domestic and another phone for the rest of the world?

    Now I'm thinking that it might be cheaper to keep an international based carrier for "line access" then use something like "Google Voice" and/or Skype for U.S. domestic inbound/out-dial access. But roaming data probably is where the hitch is.

    What are the thoughts out there?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jul 03, 2014 12:42 AM GMT
    GAMRican said@WB - Do you have one phone and multiple SIM cards? Or, do you have one phone for U.S. domestic and another phone for the rest of the world?

    Now I'm thinking that it might be cheaper to keep an international based carrier for "line access" then use something like "Google Voice" and/or Skype for U.S. domestic inbound/out-dial access. But roaming data probably is where the hitch is.

    What are the thoughts out there?


    No, I use my Colombian-based Movistar BB even when I am home (in the States). It WORKS....is INFINITELY cheaper...and with not one IOTA of hassle, in comparison with our providers at home. GET a Movistar account, and just use it everywhere.