Verizon iPhone 4S, going to UK?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rbkhockey83, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I'm going to Ireland this month and my family wants to be able to use our iPhones & iPads over there (My 4S, Parents iPhone 4's and 2 iPad 3rd gens wifi). We're currently on Verizon, and we'd like to have call, texting, and data over there.

    So when we went to the Verizon store and told them our situation, and they said the only thing we could do is pay $5 per line then on top of that pay $0.25 (around there) per text/per minute. And we'd have to turn off data all together because it's ridiculously expensive.

    I'm almost positive there would be a better way, even if we can only get my 4S to work, because they could use my hotspot. Would jailbreaking work? What should I do? I'm going to go back to the Verizon store but I'd like to be educated first.
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    #2
    For data, get a mifi and a local sim. For texting and calling, you can get a local sim or just pay up :-(

    Is it Ireland or Northern Ireland you're visiting?
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    I'm convinced VZW will still try to rip you off. Is there a way to disable CDMA data roaming and use an international sim?
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #4
    I would suggest only connecting to wifi hotspots and using the Skype app to make any phone calls home. It would be much cheaper that way unless you want to pay Verizon a good deal of money on your bill next month.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #5
    We are just going to be in Ireland.

    I don't think it's worth it to us to buy a mifi since we usually use a rooted android phone as a hot spot.

    I like the idea of getting a local sim card, at least for my phone. Then is there a way of jail breaking to get free tethering?

    I don't know much about the carriers, what would be the steps to getting a local sim?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    #6
    Not sure about Ireland but I know that if you go to northern Ireland you can get a Three sim card which will give you all you can eat data for £15, for the whole month. You can also tether with the Three network with no problems but if verizon has locked tethering through firmware then you can jailbreak to enable tether.

    You can also order a Giffgaff sim card which can give you unlimited Internet for 10 pounds but you'll need to order the sim card online. They don't officially allow tethering but you can tether.

    If your staying somewhere with wifi then you can still iMessage/FaceTime and go on the internet if you want a zero cost solution.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #7
    When I traveled to the UK a couple months ago, I picked up a pay-as-you-go SIM on the 3 network with unlimited data for about 15 pounds at an Apple store. The data coverage was okay. I have been told a PAYG SIM on O2 is better, but there's more limits on the data consumption. You should be able to find those at a company store, or convenience stores that sell prepaid SIMs.
     
  8. Daveoc64, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012

    macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #8
    Three has a similar plan in Ireland (it's a €20 top up instead), but neither the Irish or UK "All You Can Eat" data tariffs include tethering on Pay As You Go (and they'll actively try to block it).

    In case people don't realise, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom (one country) and the Republic of Ireland is another country. As such, the networks, plans and costs are different between them.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #9
    One thing I forgot to mention regarding the Verizon 4S, in case you weren't aware, the SIM slot is locked to the Verizon SIM, but if you call them, and your account has been in good standing for something like 3 months, tell them you are traveling internationally and need to unlock the SIM slot.

    Interestingly enough, when I returned to the states with the 3 SIM still installed, the phone defaulted to the AT&T network. I had to remove the SIM (had to find a suitable tool in an airport) before it would connect to the Verizon network. So you may want to bring a paper clip for your return.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #10
    If there's a SIM in the slot, the phone will use that in preference to the CDMA network.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #11
    Thanks for all the help, every reply helps.

    I have no doubt I can get my iPhone 4S unlocked, we've been using them forever pretty much.

    Then the question is what SIM do I get an where do I get it? We're leaving on the 23rd so I should probably pick it up soon. Also, this SIM method will only work on the 4S, right?

    So let's say I get a SIM from a store here, does the month start right then? Would it be better to get a SIM when were in Ireland? We will Be there until early July so a month of service will do.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Toby Ziegler

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey
    #12
    What he said. If you get the SIM unlocked now and procure a SIM card for your carrier of choice in Europe, you'll be unlocked and ready to go. The 4S will work fine on a European GSM network provided you have a matching SIM. Once you've removed the Verizon SIM card and popped in the foreign one, you won't be on Verizon at all anymore. New number and new plan for your new SIM. I did the same thing with my BlackBerry (I know...please forgive me, this was pre-iPhone for me) and it worked just fine.

    As for the iPad...well, as I understand it, they're global as well. Should be a simple matter of another foreign SIM and replacing it.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #13
    Where would you recommend buying the SIM? And is it as easy as picking one off the shelf or do you you have to get it "set up" by someone?

    Then I guess I'll just let my family mooch off my phone. Unless, does jailbreak tethering work on the pre paid sims? Itd be perfect if I could turn my phone into a hotspot, so everyone could use their phones for data
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Toby Ziegler

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey
    #14
    I haven't done it myself, but theres a thread on this forum detailing a Verizon unlock for the 4S. You'll need a foreign SIM on hand to complete the process in the States, but you should be able to complete it from Ireland if need be. (unlock thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1250863 )

    As far as procuring a SIM...well, that's up to you. When I landed at Heathrow, there were vending machines with prepaid SIMs and vendors throughout the terminal. I can't speak for tethering, but I'd imagine it would be an option you can purchase. For the set up, you'll have to go to a provider to pick what features you want to add on. After that, you can go to any mobile kiosk, online app, or (at least in the UK) a post office to top off the prepaid balance.

    I'd suggest looking up carriers in the area you'll be and contacting them ahead of time to see what they offer. The only two I can think of off the top of my head are Orange and O2. Granted, this was in the UK, so I'm not sure what their coverage is in Ireland.

    Edit: Just re read your OP. You won't be able to do this with the iPhone 4 since it doesn't have a SIM slot. Only the 4S is considered a global phone.
     
  15. macrumors member

    macbookflasher

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    Verizon iPhone 4S, going to UK?

    From where I can buy for my gf in UK?
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Some links to Ireland's carriers:

    Meteor

    Three

    O2

    Vodafone

    The language being English should make things much simpler
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #17
    Giffgaff runs in the O2 network, £10 a month for unlimited data, and 250 mins and unlimited texts.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #18
    Indeed it does, shame that the OP isn't going to the UK.
     

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