Iphones and international roaming

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Ms. Shuttergirl, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Has anyone taken their iphone to the US. What was involved in setting the phone up and what were the charges like?
     
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  3. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    I've always travelled with mine. I'm with telstra and international roaming is automatically set up, if you are not with Telstra, call your provider and see if roaming is set up. There is a big thread on trip advisor about getting a US sim with data to go with the iphone. It all sounds a bit too hard to me :lmao: Not getting the sim but setting up the data portion. When I have been to Europe and the US I have my phone's data roaming turned off so I don't accidently start using it and come home to a huge bill. I do use free wifi whenever I can (like at Disneyland the hotels have free wifi, so I could use it there for free with the data roaming turned off).

    Anyway roaming is expensive but not too bad for smsing. When people call you, you are paying for the call and they are paying for the call (they pay the same rates as normal, but you pay as well). Telstra now has an international roaming data plan, which I will be looking into.

    We will each be buying a cheap prepaid (pay as you go) mobile over there. You can get them as cheaply as $29 and they come with the phone and money loaded, like $10 or $20 which is all you need to call taxis or each other if you are lost or seperate. Even my DS will have his own. After we lost him once at Disneyland Paris for over an hour, on closing :scared1::scared1::scared1: he now always travels with a mobile for emergencies.

    I'll try and find the link to the tripadvisor thread about the iphone. But if you are just using it with your aussie sim you won't need the thread.

    To see if data roaming is on or off, you go into settings, then general, then network and it will say data roaming on or off and you can set it how you like. :thumbsup2
     
  4. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for all of the info.
     
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Shuttergirl - I did International Roaming for one of my trips some time back. I only used the phone for making calls and SMS to hubby and vice versa. Our bills when we returned after 5 weeks were astronomical!

    For the last 3 years, we've just bought prepaid phones as soon as we land in the US. I finally bit the bullet and bought a "better" phone in May - paid about US$60 (inc tax) and it came with phone and $30 worth of calls loaded. I could have done better - but I had to buy a phone on the same network that hubby's prepaid is on.

    I know its nice have the i-phone; but IR charges are crazy expensive!
     
  6. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    You've convinced me LOL. Last time we bought phones once we got there and it worked out fine. We'll probably do that again.
     
  7. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    Whereabouts did you buy your cheap phones.
    We have always just had international roaming on and called only when really necessary and the costs weren't too bad...and I agree the sms costs are pretty good.
    The good thing is it will pick ANY network so you aren't stuck with At&T or Verison etc.

    And using wifi is good. (love the Apple store ;) )
    But...Something worth mentioning about WDW is that there is NO FREE WIFI at the onsite hotels!! They only have wired in room for DVC rooms but unless you are a member you pay for it.

    Back to phones...it would be very helpful having phones we can call anytime. So 'throwaway' cheap phones would be probably worth getting a couple of. So where did you go?
    I want to keep my own phone with its sim so I don't need anything fancy for the local phone.

    Are there any that would work in the US and Canada without being 'roaming' in one or other.
     
  8. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I was looking for a Best Buys, Walmart, Target, Fry's etc....anywhere to get a phone, with a network that I could use all through out the US and Canada. I had planned on going shopping at the Farmers Market precinct but my son fell asleep and that put paid to that idea!

    We tend to choose AT&T because my relatives and my husband's relatives are all on that network. So, our calls to their mobiles are "free". In 2007, we went to Eastern Canada and used our throw away mobiles there as well....from memory, I think it was charged the same as the US.

    In the end, we actually found a AT&T shop in Long Beach; and I found a Nokia phone for about $39 and bought about $15 credit. When I started up the phone, AT&T had a "welcome offer" and gave me another $15 credit.

    Check out AT&T (http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/go-phones/index.jsp), Verizon (http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=prepayItem&action=viewPrepayOverview), TMobile (http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/Prepaid-Plans-Overview.aspx) for their prepaid offers. Most of these networks will have a presence in a shopping mall. Otherwise, check out the individual Walmarts, Targets etc to see what sort of phone offers they have on line.

    On a US prepaid plan on the AT&T network, you tend to pay about $1 for all day flagfall on the first call you make for the day; and then any voice calls to mobiles on the same network are not charged or "unlimited". If you don't make any out-going calls for that day, you don't pay the flagfall. SMS are charged; so it is cheaper to make a voice call. You can go on a different plan to have SMS thrown in; but why pay more?

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    We bought them at a Kmart near the Farmers Market in LA and just some prepaid SIM cards. I think we threw them out when we got home :rotfl2:. Remember that was the ONCE IN A LIFETIME trip, and here we are going back 11 months later :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
     
  10. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn Mouseketeer

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    Make sure when you visit abroad that you go to the settings of your iPhone and turn off International Dataroaming.

    You DONT need dataroaming to be able to call when you are abroad. But you iPhone WILL use dataroaming for GPS and stuff without you knowing it, increasing your bill because of it.

    So when you are abroad and want to call: turn of International Dataroaming on your iPhone.

    When you are on a plane: use airplane mode

    When you DONT want to call and NOT use dataroaming: use airplane mode.
     
  11. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    My iphone actually had that automatically turned off so I didn't need to turn it off at all. And you can get the phone company to disallow it from your account.

    PrincessinOz and Ms Shuttergirl Thanks :wave: You guys are helpful as always :flower3:

    PrincessinOz...interesting about the way they charge. SMS isn't something the 'rest' of the family are very good at so it isn't necessary :lmao:
    We went into an AT&T store last time asking about just getting a sim and they looked at us like we were from another planet (I guess we were sort of) and said it would start at $99. :confused3 so we just left. :lmao:

    Ms Shuttergirl - yup...the US does that to you :wizard:

    I'm thinking maybe just one of those boxed ones with phone and sim from Kmart etc? maybe a phone shop..
    Appreciate the info :yay:
     
  12. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    I have a list of stores in New York where you can buy the prepaid phones (if anybody would like it let me knowand I'll find it and post the list), but somewhere like Walmart or Kmart, Target are pretty good.

    We were going to get sims when we were there in December and also went to AT&T. Because I wanted to use the phones again in September I wanted them to last until then but unfortunately they do not last that long. Once the phone has been inactive (or not recharged with cash) I think it's for 6 months then they number is cancelled and released back into the phone world for somebody else. The only way to get it to last longer was to buy the $99 sim. I didn't want to load $99 on the sims and couldn't be bothered to get them as we were only there for another week and it was a bit of a waste. Queenie maybe this is what they were trying to get you to have, because I went to two AT&T stores (I didn't like the answer I received at the first one :lmao: Didn't like not getting my own way and having a phone number for our return in 9 months :lmao: ) sadly at both stores I received the same answer :lmao: I said it's ridiculous, but we could have got sim's for under $99 but they would not have been any use in September. At the first AT&T store we went to as they wouldn't sell a sim that would still work in 9 months for under $99 I asked them to call me a taxi so we could get back to our hotel as we now did not have a phone which was our purpose of the visit there! They were lovely and more than happy to call a taxi, the salesman loved Aussies :rotfl2:
     
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Queenie - If you haven't already done so, check out the Pay As You Go plans for AT&T in the link previously provided. You'll be asked for a Zip Code and I normally just type in 90210 :)

    There are a number of options and the one that works best for me is the $1 mobile to mobile plan. You then purchase the card amount (if you have a prepaid phone in Oz, in the equivalent Aussie lingo, this is the recharge amount)

    Pay As You Go cards are available in these amounts:

    Card Denomination (Expiration Period in brackets)
    $15 (30 days)
    $25 (90 days)
    $50 (90 days)
    $60 (90 days)
    $100 (365 days)

    Depending on how long you are travelling for, the expiration period may or may not be important as that is the date that the remaining balance amount goes to zero.

    If you then go back to the AT&T link page, the other option there is to have a look at the GoPhones. Have a look at the existing OnLine offers for the handsets; plus packages. It gives you an idea of the cost and what packages could be available.

    If you like the Online offer, you might be able to order it on line and get it shipped to your hotel? I personally prefer to go to a shop and pick my handset (but then I'm a bit of a handset geek)...but you might feel differently.
     
  14. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    Sounds like they wanted to sell the same thing:lmao::lmao:
    But I like your style!!:rotfl2::rotfl2:
    I must say we went in half hearted as weren't sure we could be bothered with it. And it would have really only be a bonus as it wasn't required much.
    But this next trip I really think it will be worth looking into seriously.

    I'm a handset geek too. I'm rather picky. But in this case I'll pick from the cheapest probably.
    So with this the card denomination do you get a sim card with it? Can you get this each time without a phone? So you just get a different phone number each time? But can reuse a cheap phone?
    If it is like a recharge you are recharging an existing sim...so I'm just trying to clarify.
    I mean we may have a usable spare phone or 2 so not need new phones for all. So would this be usable for that?
    I'm not concerned about having the same number each time.
     
  15. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    I would absolutely love that list of New York stores if you don't mind sharing.
     
  16. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    I've been told that good places to buy the prepaid Cell's in NY are KMart near Penn Station and at any Duane Reade drug/convenience store and Radio Shack.

    I've also been told to not buy a prepaid phone from any small electronics store in Times Square (or anywhere else). If there's a 'going out of businees sale' sign in the window, cross to the other side of the street to avoid this place. They are apparantly scam artists who prey on unsuspecting tourists.

    You should also be able to buy them at provider specific stores like AT&T etc.
     
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    This is why I've gone with buying a cheap handset there instead of bringing my own handset. You can BYO and buy a SIM in the US...but the SIM costs about $30 - $35; plus tax. Go figure! Mark up on SIMS must be pretty good!

    With the GoPhone option handset deal, you get the handset AND SIM thrown in.

    In either BYO and buy SIM or buy a GoPhone handset deal (with SIM), it then comes down to which "start-up" recharge value (card amount) you want to load. And yes, theoretically you are recharging the amount on your "account", which is linked to your SIM.

    When you run close to the end of your credit, you can reload your amount on-line or by calling their number (and use a credit card over the phone; same as how we reload credit in Aussie prepaids).
     
  18. mareeld86

    mareeld86 DIS Veteran

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    `Make sure you check that international roaming is set up im with telstra and they old me multiple times that it was set up and when i got to fiji it wast set up and then when i got to the usa it cost me 81 dollars on my partners phone to get it fixed boy was i P*****D!!
     
  19. ehsmum

    ehsmum Mouseketeer

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    I took my iPhone with me and bought a pre-paid sim from AT&T. I believe it was $60 for the month for unlimited calls and texts. Worked well for us.
     
  20. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    Did you use any data with that? Like use any apps that use data?
     
  21. aussietravellers

    aussietravellers who LOVE disney holidays!

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    Slightly OT but got the new iphone today :cool1:. Love it so far, no problems with calls dropping out and I can't get it to lose signal by holding it on the bottom left.
     

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