Use iPhone for Date but Turn off Phone functions

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Sean Colahan, Aug 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    I am going out of country for a week and I want to get an international date plan for my iPhone 4s so that I can use it for e-mail, maps and other touring needs. The one things I don't need (or want) is for people to be able to call me, because from what I hear, if someone calls your phone and it goes through to cause the phone to ring, then you get charged a minute at al-a-carte prices even if you don't answer the call. Is there a way to turn the phone functionality off on an iPhone while leaving the date roaming open so that I can use my international date plan???
     
  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Nope, sorry.

    And you mean data, not date.
     
  3. ArizonaGuy
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    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

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    Excuse me? AT&T charges just to route the call abroad even though you don't answer? Verizon certainly does not do this. Wow.

    AT&T has some seriously consumer unfriendly practices (like now telling you what apps are permitted on some data plans but not others - FaceTime is the first). I'm married to Verizon but they're only marginally better and will probably follow suit.

    If Sprint had an LTE network going already I'd switch in a heartbeat - only ones left with unlimited, unthrottled data.
     
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  4. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Sounds like another good reason to use a Google Voice number as your primary phone number.

    OP, could you instead get a SIM card for a local data plan for your destination?
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I am also surprised -- and not in a good way -- that the ringing of the phone without ever establishing the connection would cause a charge. Do they also charge if you forward your number to some US number?
     
  6. pnoeric

    pnoeric Silver Member

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    Hmmmmm, I would check with AT&T on that-- I don't think you are charged if your phone rings but you (and possibly your voicemail) doesn't answer.

    You may want to look into dropping a foreign SIM into the phone so you can get a local number and/or dirt-cheap data. Normally that requires unlocking the iPhone but I just found this little device that does the trick, and as far as I can tell, it's 100% "reversable," meaning when you get back to the USA you can just pop it out and put your own AT&T SIM back in place and everything returns to how it is now. (Watch the video here to better understand what's going on.)

    I'm doing exactly what I've described above (buying that gadget and then foreign SIMs) for a trip I'm taking to Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam next month. The prices are SO cheap-- in Singapore, for example, an unlimited-data SIM with a small amount of incoming and outgoing phone minutes works out to under US$20 (and cheaper if you don't care about the voice part, you just want unlimited data service).
     
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  7. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I think you only get charged if it gets forwarded to AT&T voicemail. I have AT&T and my voicemails go to Google Voice, and I've only seen charges for phone calls that I actually made/answered.

    You have an iPhone 4S, so it's unlikely, but if your contract is over, you can unlock your iPhone. My contract for my iPhone 4 ended today, so my phone is being unlocked as I type this.
     
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  8. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Must be using an iPhone that "corrects" your spelling :)

    I would check with AT&T to see if you can add a voice and data plan for the time you'll be there. It won't be cheap but better than a big surprise bill. I would wonder about coverage in general. Not sure who they partner with overseas. Maybe someone with experience on that can help with opinion?
     
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  9. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    At least thats what I thought. I could be mistaken. Should check w AT&T.
     
  10. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    I added a small data plan...but have no need for a voice plan (except in emergency when I wouldn't mind if the charge was higher.)
     
  11. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Probably should have just called AT&T to begin with (just got off the phone with them.) but as long as I don't pick up the call or listen to my voice mail I will not be charged internationally. Thanks for all the help:)
     
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  12. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    At which point, you might could also use Skype to make calls for cheap.
     
  13. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    That's what I do overseas when I have wifi. Much cheaper.
     
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  14. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    When I'm overseas and have free wifi, I use the free MagicJack app for iPhone, instead of having to buy minutes from Skype. :)

    Until at least the end of 2012, using the app is completely free [I'm not for certain if they'll extend that date; their app isn't clear] to make phone calls to anyone in the U.S.

    However, you can't receive calls using the MagicJack app, and if you choose the free version [you can pay to have your own outgoing phone number] when you call someone in the U.S., the number will usually show up on Caller ID devices as unknown phone number.
     
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  15. richardfredy

    richardfredy Member

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    Hi,Sean Colahan
    If you want to use your phone abroad without paying a roaming charge,then the better option would be unlocking your phone .Because unlocking a phone gives you the ability to use any other GSM network on the phone,so you can change the SIM in the country in which you are residing.If you want to unlock your Iphone 4s then you can use the remote unlock service to unlock your phone.This remote unlocking service is said to be the reliable way to unlock a Iphone permanently.You can get the remote unlock service from the site TheUnlockArena.com by providing some basic information about your phone like the country and the network to which the phone is locked to.After providing this information you can avail the service to unlock your Iphone to use it with any other GSM network of your choice .
     
  16. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Agree, but before you pay a 3rd party to unlock your phone, ask your carrier to do it for free. Every time my commitment to AT&T expires, they've been willing to unlock my phone. (i.e. They're always willing to unlock a phone I got 2+ years ago.)
     
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Yes, there is.

    Turn on Do Not Disturb and don't include anyone in the settings, and don't enable the "if called twice, ring through" feature. Will shut off incoming calls.
     
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