Going to Europe... what to shut off so I don't have a huge bill?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by moviecouple, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. moviecouple macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    I am going to France and Italy in a few days. What should I turn off so I don't get slammed with a high Phone and Internet bill? Wasn't sure if Airplane Mode shuts everything down.

    I am going to get these 3 packages just in case, but will only use them when needed:

    AT&T World Traveler (.99 a minute for Calls)
    50MB Data Global Add-On (for Data)
    Global Messaging 50 (for Texts)
  2. iGuardian macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2008
    There's a setting in the iPhone now that allows you to shut off all cellular data. I'd use that.

    It should be somewhere under General > Network I think.
  3. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Data Roaming for sure....shut that baby OFF!!! :eek:
  4. themadrussian macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Data Roaming is the setting you're looking for. Turn it off. It's under General > Network.

    They recently added another setting to shut off Cellular Data altogether, but since you will be roaming regardless of where you are in Europe, you should just shut off Data Roaming. That is the setting that has always existed for that purpose and so there's no real reason to use the Cellular Data setting.

    As soon as you get on the airplane, turn off Data Roaming and turn on Airplane Mode. As soon as you get off the airplane, turn off Airplane Mode. Reset your usage statistics in General > Usage. Only turn Data Roaming back on when you need to use 3G data (looking something up on-the-go, no WiFi, getting directions, checking GPS/Google Maps if you are lost). Turn it back off as soon as you are done. You will get a feel for how much data one of those acts uses by checking the usage statistic.

    I was in Italy for 5 weeks, and I bought the 100MB package. I had WiFi in my hotel, but I used cellular data occasionally for Google Maps, quick searches/lookups, and I ended up using just about 85MB in one month (4 weeks). As long as you're not streaming YouTube/Pandora or using your phone as a turn-by-turn GPS/nav device, you should be fine with 50MB for a week or two, maybe more if you're vigilant. 50MB of data really should be enough - but it depends on how long you're going for and what kind of user you are.

    Just monitor the usage statistics (don't forget to reset it when you arrive), make sure Data Roaming is off unless you need it, and enjoy Europe. :)
  5. Stiss macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2009
    1.Cellular Data

    I did that in the Dominican Republic, Egypt & Paris and just used local WiFi and my bill remained the same

    Terms & Conditions for my advice:

    I will not be held responsible for absurdly large bills or bailiffs seizing possessions due to failure to pay said absurd bill.

  6. moviecouple thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    Thanks all. I will be in France and Italy for 2 weeks and wanted to make sure I don't return with a $10,000.00 bill.

    So... on Data Roaming, normally it is shut OFF. So when I am in Europe... it needs to be ON in order to get the data to work? Is that the case for anything outside the U.S.?
  7. Jr1985 macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2010
    If you go to US can you just buy an AT&T sim to use with iPhone?
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It needs to be Off.
  9. Ish macrumors 68020


    Nov 30, 2004
    I usually have it in airplane mode with wifi turned on.
  10. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    No need to turn both off, just Data Roaming. Actually it should already be off by default.

    Yes, if you need to use data you turn it On, when you don't turn it Off. It's the same for anywhere outside of your own country.
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007

    Correct, any non-US 3G or GSM system is considered roaming. Keep data roaming off, and your phone will not use any non-US 3G/GSM network for data.

    Voice calls are another matter. If you don't want any roaming charges AT ALL, then you are better off turning Airplane mode on. This shuts off ALL cellular traffic (voice and data). if the place you're staying at has WiFi, you can turn the WiFi antenna on while in airplane mode and only use that.

    Needless to say you won't be able to make or receive any cellular voice calls in airplane mode.
  12. PantherJeep macrumors member


    Jun 24, 2010
    Oceanside, CA
    Why not just buy a short-term SIM? Dunno about mainland Europe, but as an example Vodafone UK has a 30-day SIM you can buy for £25 that gets you 600 minutes, unlimited texts & 1GB of Internet use. Just a thought. :)
  13. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  14. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    And don't forget to use Skype for your telephone needs.

    You can still make calls back home or throughout Europe by removing the SIM from the phone then go into a WiFi hot spot and use Skype to make your calls. Yes, Skype cost a nominal fee to use but well worth it and it works just fine.
  15. themadrussian macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Because US iPhones are hardware locked to AT&T and will not run on any other SIM.
  16. ianham macrumors member


    Oct 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    What about other iPhones? Just for my curiosity, if I brought mine (from Canada) would it be the same as AT&T, or could I use a different SIM?
  17. themadrussian macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    I read somewhere that Canadian iPhones will be unlocked this time around. Be prepared to pay big bucks for them, though - Europeans pay €600-700 for unlocked iPhones, so I doubt you'll see a Canadian iPhone for less than CAD$600-700.

    Edit: Here's the engadget article: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/15/iphone-4-is-unlocked-in-canada-too/

    Edit 2: The iPhone 3GS 8GB is CAD$549 on the Canadian online Apple Store. iPhone 4 prices are not listed, but based on the US pricing scheme, that would put the iPhone 4 16GB at CAD$649 and the iPhone 4 32GB at CAD$749. CAD$649 = $610 US and CAD$749 = $704 US.

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