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Using an iPhone in Europe

I'm going to be in several countries in Europe for the next few weeks, and I'm not sure what to do about phone service. I don't want to keep swapping out chips on my iPhone (which seems tedious). Someone told me you could get AT&T to switch you to their international plan for a while--although using it for anything but texting it about a dollar a minute (which adds up quickly), I thought I could use the iPhone for texting and an iPad for getting maps and for looking up other information when I'm in my hotel rooms and have wifi.

What do the rest of you do about phone service when you're in Europe?

by Anonymousreply 2609/29/2013


by Anonymousreply 109/28/2013

I used my iphone as usual. there was the chip already in it. you can use a local wifi or pay roaming and use the phone as usual.

by Anonymousreply 209/28/2013

Switch to the Internet plan for phone calls. Use Whatsapp for free texting.

by Anonymousreply 309/28/2013

Call your provider about your roaming plan and international plans if you don't want to be surprised by a huge bill on your return.

by Anonymousreply 409/28/2013

If your in Italy remember to call it "Il iPhonino"

by Anonymousreply 509/28/2013

I called AT&T and asked about my options. I added international data and text plans for my last European trip. If you keep texts to a minimum, you'll pay about $30-50 for the month.

by Anonymousreply 609/28/2013

Switch to an international plan before you leave. I was in Europe a few months ago, thought that I could connect to wireless and be okay, and got a call from AT&T saying I had racked up $250+ in charges over the course of 2 days. Luckily, AT&T didn't charge me that $250+ and they implemented an international plan for $30. Ultimately, when you're overseas your phone should be used for time and limited texting...not much else.

by Anonymousreply 709/28/2013

Skype is really cheap but you have to have wi-fi. I luckily had an old iPhone that AT&T unlocked for me and then I bought a chip in London and then used it all over Europe. It's kind of cool that I now have a London phone number!

by Anonymousreply 809/28/2013

You must be on a prepaid plan. Idiot.

by Anonymousreply 909/28/2013

OP, you're not Chris fron San Antonio, by any chance?

by Anonymousreply 1009/28/2013

I have AT&T and use this all the time.

Go to Wireless Services/Add or Change Services/International Services

To add Intl Roaming Data for one-month costs $30/120MB, $60/300MB, or $120/800MB. The cheapest of these works nicely for me for a couple weeks away.

Use free wireless where you can, switch on and off any location-based apps like Google Maps as needed, and be reasonably attentive (but not worried) about usage -- which you can check easily on your ATT phone app.

The nice thing is that you have some latitude in determining the 30-day period; you can even launch it retroactively. If, for example, you wanted to change your Intl Roaming Data add-on from 120MB to 300MB midway through your trip, you can do it on line without penalty.

Intl. Roaming Voice starts at $30/30-mins.; but there's Viber and Skype and other options. If I end up calling a taxi on the street (away from wifi), quick calls don't add up to much money.

When you get home, go back on line with AT&T and check the box "I no longer need this feature" beside your travel add-ons.

by Anonymousreply 1109/28/2013

Your company or your trust fund should be paying for your phone. Otherwise, please don't travel. Poor people create the wrong impression.

by Anonymousreply 1209/28/2013

r9 who are you saying is an idiot?

I used my new iPhone 5 for texting and surfing and then my unlocked iPhone 4S for cheap phone calls in Europe by buying a chip in London and then putting 20 pounds on the card and then adding if necessary. It was way cheaper than the international plan from AT&T.

(if I am the idiot you are talking about)

by Anonymousreply 1309/28/2013

Get a sim in the country you're going to. A Giffgaff sim in the UK is free, and for £10 a month you'll get 1gb data, unlimited UK texts, free calls to other GiffGaff customers, and 500 UK minutes. And then you'll realize what a tip off AT&T is.

by Anonymousreply 1409/28/2013

If you follow R14's advice, make sure your phone is unlocked. If you're a good AT&T customer or are no longer in contract, AT&T should be able to provide you with an unlock code. Otherwise, there are websites that sell unlocking codes.

If you don't unlock the phone, the European SIM card will not work.

by Anonymousreply 1509/28/2013

I-Phony Bump

by Anonymousreply 1609/28/2013

Leave the phone behind and enjoy the trip!

by Anonymousreply 1709/28/2013

What is a sim, and what is a GiffGaff sim?

by Anonymousreply 1809/28/2013

Why are European mobile service providers so cheap compared to the USA? I lived in Ireland for years and experienced serious sticker shock when I returned to the States.

Is it pure greed on the part of the companies that provide the service, or is there something intrinsic to the USA (vast distances?) that justifies the high cost?

by Anonymousreply 1909/29/2013

Greed and deregulation, R19.

We can already use our phones throughout Europe with only slight increases in charges, and if the EU has its way, new regulations will allow EU subscribers to pay no added charges throughout the EU.

by Anonymousreply 2009/29/2013

R15 is right, I always buy factory unlocked and forget others might be tied to their provider.

by Anonymousreply 2109/29/2013

it is always cheaper to get a sim from the country you are in. US domestic carriers charge way to much for roaming and data.

by Anonymousreply 2209/29/2013

Aren't giff gaff sims special sexy underwear briefs that gays favor?

by Anonymousreply 2309/29/2013

r15 you can get your phone unlocked just call your provider and tell them you are going over seas and you have a pre paid sim you want to use. They will try to sell you their international coverage but just insist you already have an international sim. They should unlock it for you.

by Anonymousreply 2409/29/2013

Here in Canada we are gouged even more. When I upgraded my iPhone, I had the old one unlocked (Chinatowns are full of places where you can get it done.) So, when I travel, if I am in a country where you can get iPhone GSM cards with prepaid options, it's not a problem. I also have an unlocked regular cell phone which uses a standard SIM card, as a backup, for which prepaid plans are easier to find, and I was able to use it all over the world (Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Argentina,...)

by Anonymousreply 2509/29/2013

If you are using wi-fi would you not be better using Skype or FaceTime for calls?

by Anonymousreply 2609/29/2013
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