Best option for using my iPhone internationally?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Lipman, Oct 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lipman

    Lipman Active Member

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    For the first time since I got an iPhone almost two years ago, I'm travelling internationally (to Ireland and the UK). I've heard no end of horror stories of people racking up insane data roaming charges, which I obviously want to avoid -- but I'd also like to take normal advantage of having a smartphone (maps, dining apps, etc.).

    So what are my options? I guess the easiest would be to turn data roaming off and only use wifi -- though I don't know if free wifi is as easy to find as in the SF bay area. How complex is it to unlock an iPhone to allow use of a local provider's SIM card, to get cheaper rates? Any other options?

    In case it matters, I have a 3GS, and may or may not acquire a 4S before my trip.

    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. FrankieC

    FrankieC Silver Member

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    While it's not too complicated it can be a little bit of a pain. If I'm not mistaken in order to use other SIM cards using the tools like Ultrasn0w modify the baseband/modem software which can be a bit tricky with new updates and such. It probably would be easier to mess with the 3GS and then if something ever caused problems you can then upgrade to the 4S without screwing up a new phone.

    Perhaps other people can chime in on updating the baseband software to unlock SIM's specifically based on recent experience as what i've seen was over a year ago and somewhat problematic.

    Not sure of your carrier, but are there special data plans you can add for the month while you're traveling? I know AT&T has some options that aren't too bad, like 50MB data global add-on for 24.99, or 125MB for 49.99.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, as I understand it, there is no untethered jailbreak for the 4S yet, so I'd definitely second the suggestion of going with the 3GS. There is TONS of material on the web that covers probably every single scenario. It's just a matter of finding one that's written in plain English (vs. iphonese....).

    Cough, cough... not too bad? I think that's a terrible price to pay. It is a complete rip-off. Not that I think you have much of an alternative if you want to go down that road. Just know that AT&T charges its best (corporate) customers a rate of about $20/month for UNLIMITED international data roaming.
     
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  4. FrankieC

    FrankieC Silver Member

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    Yes that's true no untethered jailbreak for it.

    It's not too bad vs the alternative of getting roaming charges :) that way you at least know what the bill would be. In general most of the cell phone plans I think tend to be a rip-off for sure.
     
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  5. hulagrrl210
    Original Member

    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I usually pop the sim card out and put it in my old motorola razr phone and just use the iphone as an ipod touch. it might seem like an inconvenience for some to carry 2 devices, but I don't like taking chances making sure i turned everything off that incurs data charges on the iphone, and my razr is already unlocked so that means easily interchanging my us sim card with other foreign sim cards i might pick up along the way.
     
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  6. Valentine

    Valentine Silver Member

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    You could explore using one of those unlocking SIM cards (they're popularly known as Turbo or Rebel SIMs). Way simpler than doing an Ultrasn0w unlock, especially if you've been faithfully upgrading your iOS.
     
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  7. cassendra

    cassendra Member

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    It is not difficult to unlock an iPhone with remote unlocking service it will be very easy and simple.I suggest you can unlock your iPhone 3GS using the remote unlocking service from Superunlockcodes.com wherein they provide free instructions to aid you in the unlocking process.
     
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  8. jgg630

    jgg630 Silver Member

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    I used mine internationally using Skype and Bobsled. There was no additional cost.
     
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  9. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I would suggest bobsled and just turn the data cell service off. You will lose some of the features though.
     
  10. susimaru

    susimaru Member

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    Hi thanks for your information....
     

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