How to avoid 3GS roaming in Canada

santaliqueur

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2007
989
486
We will be driving through Canada (from Buffalo to Detroit) and staying a little while in Toronto. We would like to avoid roaming charges for Edge/3G. Never having taken my iPhone across the border, do we just need to turn off roaming in the settings, and that's it? We don't expect to place or receive many calls during our stay in Canada, but data is something we use quite a bit. But not at the elevated rates for roaming.

So, is it a stupid question, or is there anything else we need to do to avoid data charges? Thanks.
 

mstrze

macrumors 68000
Nov 6, 2009
1,916
0
I just turned off all Notifications, and went into Mail and set 'Fetch New Data" to 'Manually'.

I don't know where this 'Roaming' setting is, honestly.

I also made sure not to open up any data-intensive programs like Maps, Mail or Safari. In fact, I doubt I opened up any Apps at all while in Canada.

If you really want to avoid any possible overages...just switch Airplane Mode ON.
 

AdamA9

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,206
335
Settings > General > (turn off 'location services') > Network > (turn off 'data roaming')

That should do the trick :)
 

macsimo

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2009
26
0
Scotia, NY/Clermont, FL
Turn off data roaming, notifications, turn off 3G, put into airplane mode and turn on wi-fi. With wi-fi enabled you will be able to use free wi-fi to check and send email without incurring any charges. If you really needed to make calls you could set up Skype, but both parties need to be logged into the internet at the same time, using wi-fi to ensure there are no charges.
 

santaliqueur

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 7, 2007
989
486
As long as I can use wifi where available, I don't need to receive calls or messages. I can always turn the options on again in need to make an emergency call.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
No need to put your iPhone in airplane more or mess with other settings, just turn data roaming off.
If OP is trying to avoid using any type of data and minutes, then airplane mode is the best way to go. It basically turns the phone into a touch.
 

anjinha

macrumors 604
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
If OP is trying to avoid using any type of data and minutes, then airplane mode is the best way to go. It basically turns the phone into a touch.
But the phone doesn't just "use minutes" by itself, he needs to actively call someone, so he doesn't need to put it in airplane mode.

Plus, he said "We would like to avoid roaming charges for Edge/3G." So he wants to avoid data charges, and for that turning of data roaming is enough.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
Perhaps you have never dealt with AT&T.

Personally if I am traveling out of country without plans to use the phone outside of emergency, I would simply put it in airplane mode for couple of good reasons.

1. If the phone cannot receive calls, there won't be chance where AT&T may charge you for roaming. Emergency is more than likely for making outbound calls, or when you are separated from another party, in which case you can turn the phone back on.

2. There won't be any data access, which would eliminate all those petty data transfers with one simple button. I have little faith in AT&T, and how confident am I that AT&T won't charge me even if I have data roaming off?

Several years back I was charged for quite a few minutes while I was traveling to Canada, and all I did was not picking up the calls. So logically I shouldn't be charged for any minute at all, but instead I was charged for 1 minute on the call coming in, another minute for the call being sent to voicemail.

So if I was traveling again and want to avoid any type of roaming, I put it in airplane mode.
 

anjinha

macrumors 604
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
Perhaps you have never dealt with AT&T.

Personally if I am traveling out of country without plans to use the phone outside of emergency, I would simply put it in airplane mode for couple of good reasons.

1. If the phone cannot receive calls, there won't be chance where AT&T may charge you for roaming. Emergency is more than likely for making outbound calls, or when you are separated from another party, in which case you can turn the phone back on.

2. There won't be any data access, which would eliminate all those petty data transfers with one simple button. I have little faith in AT&T, and how confident am I that AT&T won't charge me even if I have data roaming off?

Several years back I was charged for quite a few minutes while I was traveling to Canada, and all I did was not picking up the calls. So logically I shouldn't be charged for any minute at all, but instead I was charged for 1 minute on the call coming in, another minute for the call being sent to voicemail.

So if I was traveling again and want to avoid any type of roaming, I put it in airplane mode.
Again, the OP never said he wanted to avoid any type of roaming, he specifically said "data roaming".

And the setting to "turn data roaming off" has nothing to do with AT&T. While that setting is off the iPhone CAN'T send or receive absolutely ANY data. It's just not possible so AT&T can't charge you. Saying "how confident am I that AT&T won't charge me even if I have data roaming off?" is the same as saying "how confident am I that AT&T won't charge me even if I have Airplane mode on?" It's just not possible.
 

Oman

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2008
180
10
You win, here's a cookie.

Actually CoCoaPuffs, both of you were making valid points and I appreciate both of you for saying all that you did. My GF is traveling to canada in a few weeks and the back forth you two did will help me decide what to tell her to do with her phone when she travel.

Keep the input coming, I am sure I am not the only one who has not decided if it is better to do airplane mode or simply turn off roaming. I must say... I am leaning more towards airplane mode than not...
 

anjinha

macrumors 604
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
You win, here's a cookie.
I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing, I'm correcting misinformation. A lot of people come here and ask how to avoid DATA roaming charges and people say they need to disable a lot of things that they absolutely don't have to (3G, push notifications, push mail, put phone in airplane mode...). For DATA roaming charges all it's needed to do is disable data roaming (which is usually disabled by default), there's absolutely no need to worry about anything else.

You don't need to get pissy just because you were wrong... :rolleyes:
 

anjinha

macrumors 604
Oct 21, 2006
7,271
62
San Francisco, CA
Keep the input coming, I am sure I am not the only one who has not decided if it is better to do airplane mode or simply turn off roaming. I must say... I am leaning more towards airplane mode than not...
If she thinks she will receive lots of calls while she's there and she wants to avoid those charges then Airplane Mode is the best. If she wants to keep making and receiving calls and is only worried about data charges then turning data roaming off is the best solution.
 

Tronic

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2009
351
59
For voice roaming, you incur a once per month fee as soon as your signal is dropped from AT&T towers (or their affiliates probably) and picked up by Roger's/Fido towers. Back in the day, this fee was like $5. I'm not sure if that has changed. If you make or receive a call, you incur an additional fee per minute based upon whatever Roger's/Fido charge AT&T to use their towers. This switch from AT&T to Rogers/Fido can happen before you cross the border so it would be in your best interest to turn off data before you get their. After you have incurred the once monthly roaming charge, you may crisscross borders an unlimited number of times within that billing cycle and not have to worry about any additional roaming charges. However, every call will still incur the per minute roaming charge on top of your use of minutes. If you receive a call but reject it, you will incur a roaming charge of 1min despite the call only lasting 6 seconds. You are charged even if you don't answer because Roger's/Fido made you available on the network and gave you the option of answering. If you receive a substantial amount of phone calls, it would be in your best interest to turn on airplane mode unless there is an emergency. If you are not worried about this, then simply turning data roaming off will suffice. If this journey will be a repeat occurrence, you might look into AT&T's international packages.
 

CocoaPuffs

macrumors 68010
Aug 23, 2008
2,004
3
For DATA roaming charges all it's needed to do is disable data roaming (which is usually disabled by default), there's absolutely no need to worry about anything else.
How certain are you of this fact?

On the other hand, I am certain that airplane mode will not transmit any data.

So if you want to argue fact, please provide information that turning off data roaming will indeed turn off data roaming.