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iphone sim cards for international travel?
Old 07-25-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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iphone sim cards for international travel?

There are many google search results on this, but since this will be the first for us, so I thought I ask this question here.

We plan to travel to China later this year. We may add Japan to the end of the month long trip. DW has a company issued iphone 6. We use the hot-spot feature to get Ipad on internet when we travel in US. Her company plan has unlimited data.

I assume I can purchase sim cards whenever we land in China and/or Japan, and switch her iphone sim card (mark US, China and Japan and save all in safe place). We will get a new phone # in each country, and able to use it as hot-spot (as long as we also purchase data for the new sim card) for the Ipad.

Is my assumption correct?
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:02 AM   #2
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It should work as long as your iphone 6 is unlocked.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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FWIW, if one is traveling to Italy, I would recommend Vodaphone over TIM for the sim card. I had problems getting the TIM card to work and the instructions are only available in Italian. I heard Vodaphone will give you English instructions. But, check that.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:58 PM   #4
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FWIW, if one is traveling to Italy, I would recommend Vodaphone over TIM for the sim card. I had problems getting the TIM card to work and the instructions are only available in Italian. I heard Vodaphone will give you English instructions. But, check that.
If you text "LINGUA ING" to 40916 with a TIM sim card - the menus will subsequently be in English.

Now - if someone could tell me how to get ORANGE France menus in English I'd be a happy camper. I'm on my 6th of 7 countries this vacation, and just started my 4th sim card - Orange.... which is as user unfriendly as they come. Since we're in France for 3 weeks I'm hoping only one more sim issue to deal with (when we get to Spain)... and I speak some Spanish.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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We have used both Orange and TIM with good results. My French gets us through Orange and DW Spanish gets us through TIM. Thanks for the tip about TIM. We are heading back to Italy in September for a month.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
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I have a locked iPhone 6. I went to Bangkok last month and rented a personal WiFi station. Plus I purchased some texting time on my phone with AT&T. I was able to text at any time and whenever I needed access to the internet the WiFi station worked perfectly.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:42 AM   #7
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I have a locked iPhone 6. I went to Bangkok last month and rented a personal WiFi station. Plus I purchased some texting time on my phone with AT&T. I was able to text at any time and whenever I needed access to the internet the WiFi station worked perfectly.
Marty, could you provide some details on the wifi station you rented, cost, which company, speeds, etc.? Is the service portable so you can take it with you to different parts of Thailand? Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:03 AM   #8
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We have used both Orange and TIM with good results. My French gets us through Orange and DW Spanish gets us through TIM. Thanks for the tip about TIM. We are heading back to Italy in September for a month.
Yeah never had problems with either Orange or TIM.

Well Orange has several prepaid products so you have to get the right one. For data, it's called Lets Go and comes with no voice minutes.

And I didn't have to configure the SIMs on my iPad, because it auto-configures the APN that you need.

I used to use a Mifi device where I had to configure the APN each time I swapped the cards, doing it through a phone browser.

Otherwise, you can go into the shops and ask them to activate the data bundle you want.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:06 AM   #9
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Marty, could you provide some details on the wifi station you rented, cost, which company, speeds, etc.? Is the service portable so you can take it with you to different parts of Thailand? Thanks!

People seem to be paying $7-10 a day and end up spending over $100 for 1 to 2 weeks.

If you have the right kind of device, it's better to get it unlocked and use the personal hot spot feature.

Newer iOS devices have LTE compatibility in almost all countries. Better to pay off something like an iPhone 5S or later than to spend money for Mifi purchase or rental.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:38 PM   #10
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Another option for those who, like me, only make one or two international trips a year:

AT&T (my carrier in the US) came out last year with a greatly simplified travel plan called Passport. For $30 you get 30 days of international roaming with unlimited text messages, $1/minute international voice, and 120 MB of data. We used this on a recent trip to the UK and it worked nicely. We went slightly over on data, but they only charge 25 per MB overage.

On another trip to the continent, I knew I would be using Google Maps a lot because I was going to some unfamiliar cities, so I got the Passport Plus plan. That's $60 and gives you 30 days with the same unlimited texts, 50/minute voice, and 300 MB of data. That was perfect for my two week trip -- I used 294 MB of my 300 allocation.

There is another tier, Passport Pro, that gives you 800 MB data, which would be good for a much longer trip, I guess.

The point is just that AT&T makes it easy. You tell them when your 30 days will start, and they put it on your bill. It's a one-time thing -- you don't have to tell them to cancel it. Just 30 days, with no automatic renewal.

I used to go through a lot of nonsense on their website to buy international roaming in the past, so this new system appeals to me a lot.
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:03 PM   #11
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It should work as long as your iphone 6 is unlocked.
The iphone 6 is always unlocked. Doesn't matter who the phone carrier is, it is sold unlocked. I have a Verizon - didn't contact the company before I went to spain. I bought a local SIM as soon we got to downtown Madrid (a store at the Atocha RENFE station). All worked perfectly!
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:50 PM   #12
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The iphone 6 is always unlocked. Doesn't matter who the phone carrier is, it is sold unlocked. I have a Verizon - didn't contact the company before I went to spain. I bought a local SIM as soon we got to downtown Madrid (a store at the Atocha RENFE station). All worked perfectly!

I'm pretty sure that's not true. All phones are locked to a carrier until the carrier unlocks the phone.

Having t-mobile is great, since I don't have to deal with any of this because I free international roaming.

One trick that I used a long time ago with a locked phone is to use the same carrier internationally. At the time, this was t-mobile (early 2000s). I had a t-mobile phone that was locked in the US. When we went to Europe, I bought a sim from a local t-mobile store and it worked without any problems.
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iphone sim cards for international travel?
Old 08-10-2015, 08:14 AM   #13
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iphone sim cards for international travel?

That used to be true. My old iPhone 5 had to be unlocked before I could use it in Europe. The iPhone 6 is sold unlocked. Call your carrier if you want to be sure ( or Google the many iPhone forums).
One nice feature of Verizon phones is the dual cdma/gsm compatibility. I was also pleased to see Verizon has now adopted t-mobile's no contract policy as announced last Friday.


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Old 08-10-2015, 09:59 AM   #14
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Marty, could you provide some details on the wifi station you rented, cost, which company, speeds, etc.? Is the service portable so you can take it with you to different parts of Thailand? Thanks!
I rented my personal wifi station from Thaismileconnect. You can read the rates and details there. I've seen personal wifi devices advertised in the international terminal at the San Francisco airport. I assume they are widely available in major cities.

Regarding my iPhone. I've had a contract with AT&T for a very long time. I have one of the old contracts with an unlimited data plan. I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that plan so I chose to rent the wifi device. Traveling in Thailand is so cheap I wasn't concerned about the cost of the wifi service.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:08 AM   #15
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It appears from this web page that AT&T iPhones, on contract, do need to be unlocked:

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/?#/

I certainly had to unlock my wife's phone earlier this year when we wanted to use it in Europe.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:25 AM   #16
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It appears from this web page that AT&T iPhones, on contract, do need to be unlocked:

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/?#/

I certainly had to unlock my wife's phone earlier this year when we wanted to use it in Europe.
Sorry for the confusion I've caused. All Verizon 4G LTE phones are never locked Device Unlocking Policy | Verizon Wireless
Quote:
Device Unlocking Policy - Postpay Device Unlocking Policy:
We do not lock most phones or tablets that are activated with our postpay service, either during or after the term of your service contract or Edge installment sales agreement. We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier.
I thought I'd read somewhere that all 4G LTE phones were now sold unlocked. It appears with AT&T you have to call them but as pointed out in this article iPhone 6 SIM unlocking: All carriers will unlock your phone on Feb. 11 | BGR carriers have to unlock phones because of the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act".
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #17
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You can check here.

iPhoneIMEI.info :: Free iPhone Unlock Checker

Settings -> General -> About. Scroll towards the bottom.
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