Using my AT&T iPhone 5 overseas

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mhuntoon, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #1
    I purchased my iPhone through AT&T for a discount, so I'm assuming they won't unlock it for me yet (but I'll still ask). In the meantime, I figured I'd ask a couple of questions here.

    I'll be in Amman, Jordan from July 15-August 5. What I need to know is this -

    1. Should I sign up for a global international plan through AT&T for that time period or are there better options if I can't get it unlocked and purchase a SIM in Jordan?

    2. Will my GPS function? I'll need to drive to a few locations in and around the capital while I'm there. I use Google Maps here at home (US), but I don't know if that will work without local data activated.

    3. I've got free WiFi in the hotel and plan to use Skype when calling my wife and kids. Would I be better off using Facetime?

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #2
  3. macrumors regular

    iChillax

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #3
    I just got back from Israel a month ago. I purchased a texting plan through AT&T. A lot of foreign counties have short term phone plans that you can put a SIM card in if your phone is unlocked. I had the option to do that but just decided texting was good enough for me. I would look more into it.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    Don't roam with AT&T. Just request it to be unlocked and use a local prepaid SIM card. It will be alot cheaper.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #5
    I definitely wouldn't roam with it. Just not sure if I want to sign up for an international plan via AT&T or if there are other options if AT&T refuses to unlock my device. Obviously, if it gets unlocked I'll be looking for a SIM over there right away. Never done it before, but it seems pretty simple to do when traveling.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    If you sign up for an international plan, you will be roaming on their local network. So I don't know what you mean when you say you won't be roaming.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #7
    Maybe I'm mistaken, but if I use a local plan (just let the phone pickup whatever signal it gets), I'd be roaming. If I sign up for an AT&T International Plan, I'd be paying a flat rate. I could just be going in circles by not understanding this, though. I'm obviously not a world traveler.

    Will the GPS work over there without any data or will the phone only be good for taking pictures, playing games, and watching videos? If I can at least use the GPS, that will help in trying to navigate my way from the hotel to the other facilities I need to get to.
     
  8. dictoresno, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013

    macrumors 68030

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    GPS will use data, as the map isnt stored locally on the device, its downloaded as you go...no data...no maps.

    and as far as i know, when you sign up for international plans, you pay a set rate and that includes a bucket of minutes/messages/data. if you go over that, you pay hefty overage charges. not to mention, they are a friggin rip off. look at at&ts prices!!!

    http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp

    when i went to iceland, i picked up a local prepaid SIM card for $15, which included a ton of prepaid minutes. on top of that i purchased a 5GB data plan for the week, which cost me another $16. well worth it considering at&t only gives you a measly 120MB for $30. trust me, dont pay at&t to roam. just get it unlocked and grab a local SIM. you will have a new phone number with it so just call forward your normal number if possible if you want.

    bottom line is the easy route is paying att out the butt for roaming fees, but in reality the cheaper safer route is getting a prepaid local SIM.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    #9
    Hope they unlock it. Otherwise you aren't using it overseas unless you want to pay insane amounts of money to ATT for the overpriced international plan which is nothing more then a way to scam even more money out of you. At least the European wireless providers international plans actually mean you pay substantially less when using the phone abroad. Not the case with US carriers though.

    If it's unlocked then you can just go to any wireless shop and pick up a pay as you go SIM card for practically nothing and use your phone no problem.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #10
    Thanks everyone. I'll get with AT&T and see if they'll unlock it for me. If so, I'll get the local SIM. If not, I'll probably leave it home as it won't help me over there.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #11
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #12
    Is that place reputable? Is this legal? Certainly cheaper than driving to the AT&T store, if so.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #13
    I can vouch for them. I've unlocked several iPhones through that site.
     

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