How do I use my American locked AT&T phone to make calls

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by KyRoamer, Jul 18, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    We do not expect to make calls lasting more than 10 minutes so we are not unlocking our phone or even buying a phone plan. We have authorized international calling. Calls for/by us to or from Russia will cost $2.50 per minute.

    To call the USA from Russia I dial 001-area code-number.

    To call a local Russian number what do I do? For example my hotel number is (7-495) 925-3050. When I am in Moscow, what numbers do I dial?

    If I was in Minsk, Belarus and needed to call the hotel in Moscow, what do I dial?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    If you're using your US phone with US SIM-card, call the same way from anywhere in the world as if you were home. For example, to call your Moscow hotel front desk from the same building with your US phone, dial +7-495-925-3050. Personally, I would never do that as it's very expensive -- you'll be paying the roaming plus international charges for calls practically next door. You can at least reduce the international charges by getting a redialing service (i.e. phone card) in the US (this will reduce your $2.50 to <$0.10/min).

    Best option though, get your phone unlocked. If you've had AT&T service for awhile, ask them if they can provide you with an unlock code & instructions. Then you can buy a cheap Russian SIM card and talk all you want for a miniscule fee. Incoming calls will be free.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  3. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    We have no intention of making any calls unless a guide or driver is late or we get lost. We estimate total phone time at less than 5 minutes, At worse this will cost us $12.50. Not worth trouble. Our main goal is email contact. We have the $30 - 120 mb plan and will not surf or open pictures. We also have free wifi almost everywhere. Getting one or more foreign SIM cards (Belarus, Russia, Finland, Estonia) seems overkill.
     
  4. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    If your locked phone is an iPhone, use the Skype app and Wi-Fi for calls.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The first time you get lost I'm betting it takes more than 5 minutes to get in touch with someone, figure out where you are and then figure out where to go next.

    That said, the + character is key to international dialing.
     
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  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Don't forget to add roaming. International calling and roaming are separate charges. You'll be charged roaming even for missed calls that go into voicemail. Roaming charges will depend on the countries you're visiting, so find out those rates in advance.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've never had this issue with Verizon.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I haven't either, although I tend to turn my phone off when abroad except if I need to use it.
     
  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    T-Mo definitely considers the phone ringing and transfers to VMS to be roaming events. The above only applies if your SIM card is registered with a foreign tower. There will be no roaming if your phone is off.
     
  10. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Of course, you'd be nuts not to switch to a TMo plan that includes unlimited international data and SMS and 20 cents a minute phone calls if you were looking at a boatload of roaming charges... I just spent two weeks overseas slurping up 3G data/SMS in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Macau for $0.
     
  11. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I came to the same conclusion, and took advantage of TMo free 1Gb additional data line offer a couple of months ago (with that Simple Choice plan). Haven't tested it overseas yet, but it's faster than the WiFi at home with their 4G-LTE speed.
     
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  12. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Tmo promises 2G; I've gotten 3G in London, Paris, Zurich, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Macau.

    The only problem I ran into was that in Chiang Mai, it tended to go to a provider with a GPRS signal (TOT) instead of the 3G provider (AIS). Every so often I had to twiddle with the settings.
     
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