How to travel to Europe with iPhone 6?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cpeebles25, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. cpeebles25, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017

    cpeebles25 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I traveled to Paris and London for a month without a phone but has been hard without calling on the go. Next month I'm heading over there again so is there any way to use my iPhone 6 over there? I hear unlock is one way and buy a SIM card but I don't know much about it and what the process is. Is there a better way or just find a burner phone there? I currently have a AT&T grandfathered unlimited data plan if helps anything.
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #2
    Get a tmobile plan.
    Unlimited data and texts are included in Europe.
    Calls are 20 cents a minute.

    T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice North America
    With T-Mobile ONE and Simple Choice North America, unlimited data and texting is included at no extra charge
    https://www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html
     
  3. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #3
    Do you have Wi-Fi calling from your provider now? You might be able to use that over there.
     
  4. SPX macrumors member

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    #4
    Or just pay $10 per day for a day pass on AT&T and use your voice, data, and texts as if you're home. Probably a better deal than TMobile for voice.
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #5
    $10 a day is cheaper than free?
    On calls you can do wifi calling for free or use other voip services.
     
  6. Bart Kela, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #6
    $10 a day? That's nuts.

    You can get a prepaid SIM in most of Western Europe for about 10-15 euros. A typical prepaid SIM would be 15 euros for one month of service including 1500 minutes, 1500 SMS messages and 1.5 GB of cellular data.

    I hope a UK MacRumors commenter will chime in.
     
  7. itsmilo macrumors 68020

    itsmilo

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    #7
    buy a local sim, you can buy them at almost any supermarket.
     
  8. Phil in ocala Suspended

    Phil in ocala

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    #8
    I was able to use WIFI in France....
     
  9. Stevessvt macrumors 6502

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    #9
    It wasn't mentioned yet, but if you go with a sim for anyone other than att make sure your phone is unlocked.
     
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #10
    Looks like the OP mentioned that initially.
     
  11. jetsam macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Can you answer a few questions?
    1. Do you need to make calls to/from the US, to/from Europe, or both?
    2. Since you have an iPhone 6, your phone can do Wi-Fi calling. What percentage of your time do you expect to have Wi-Fi available? Can you hold off on making or receiving calls if Wi-Fi is not available?
    3. Is your iPhone already unlocked? If not, do you qualify to get your iPhone unlocked by AT&T? (Not under contract or in a payment plan.)
    4. How much cellular data do you think you'll need to use in Europe when you're not on Wi-Fi?
    Based on your answers, the way to proceed may be one of the following (and I definitely have forgotten a few):
    1. Buy a local SIM for your phone. Advantage: cheap. Disadvantage: you've got to work out the logistics of getting the SIM card.
    2. If you will have Wi-Fi frequently available, use your phone strictly for Wi-Fi calling. Put your phone into Airplane mode, and then turn Wi-Fi back on. Then you can make calls to and from the US according to your AT&T domestic plans. Calls to and from Europe can be made over Wi-Fi via a VOIP provider very cheaply. $10 on a Skype account, for instance, will probably last you a month in Europe.
    3. Get an AT&T International Plan. Not cheap ($40 and up), but painless to set up.
     
  12. Matthew.H macrumors 6502

    Matthew.H

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    #12
    I'm in the UK. I use Tesco Mobile which uses the O2 network and you can get a pay as you go sim for 99p. Tesco do bundles called Rocket packs. If you top up £10 you get 500mb of data, 500 minutes and 5000 tests. £15 top up gets 2GB data, 1000 minutes and 500 texts. For £20 you get 4GB data, 2000 minutes and 5000 texts. Data is up to 4G depending on location.
     
  13. Reno Raines macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I have heard the call quality on t mobile overseas is good. My parents go to Europe every summer and they have t mobile. They get free 3G data, free unlimited texts and the .20 cents a minute on voice calls and they have had no probs and sounds good on my end if they ever called.
     
  14. Bart Kela, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #14
    Thanks for chiming it.

    That's about what I presumed in my previous post based on other prepaid SIMs I've purchased on the Continent.

    Suggesting someone to pay $10 per day to AT&T is nuts. Funny how after all of these years, some people spout this nonsense. Maybe they are clueless newbs who don't have a passport. Who knows.

    A locally acquired prepaid SIM is the most fiscally sensible option for a short-term vacation for an American in Europe.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    Unsurprising.

    T-Mobile is the mobile division of the old German state telephone company that was privatized like many national carriers. No one should be surprised that T-Mobile service quality in Europe is "good" [sic].
     
  15. deuxani macrumors 6502

    deuxani

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    #15
    What you could also do is:

    • Bring a second phone or mobile router
    • Buy a prepaid SIM here in Europe
    • Use the the second phone or mobile router as hotspot
    • Connect your iPhone 6 (with its AT&T SIM) through WiFi to the hotspot and keep using it so you can be reached on your US number for calls, WhatsApp, etc.
     
  16. SPX macrumors member

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    #16
    Or maybe they're an airline pilot who flies internationally about 110 days per year. ;-)

    For me, I prefer to keep my local number and use my phone as if I'm at home. It's well worth $10/day to be able to do that.
     
  17. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 22, 2009
    #17
    But you don't get to keep your own phone number and you have to have an unlocked iPhone? Is this correct? If so, I'd go with the 10 bucks a day plan too.
     
  18. Bart Kela, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #18
    I use Google Voice; that's the number I give out to everyone. When I am traveling abroad I just get a local SIM and stick it in my factory-unlocked iPhone.

    For free outgoing calls back to the USA I use Google Hangouts, VoIP over the local carrier's cellular data or if available, a WiFi connection. For free incoming calls from the USA, I have Google Voice forward to my free Talkatone number. For free SMS, I just use the Google Voice app.

    Another option is to have Google Voice forward to a Google Chat (a.k.a. Google Talk) account which will ring your Google Hangouts app. Since Google Voice's recent refresh, I don't know how to configure this in the new interface. However, if you go to the Legacy Settings in the web browser version of Google Voice, you can find the setting in the old interface.

    Sure, I can use the phone number from the local carrier's SIM to place local calls (or text someone locally), but the main value of using a local carrier's SIM is cheap cellular data, not voice minutes/SMS on the local network.

    Far cheaper than paying $10/day to AT&T.
     
  19. E3BK, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

    E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    #19
    I travel to the UK regularly and I have a Three UK pre-paid that I keep active when I travel there. My primary phone is TMO and my SE gets the Three SIM. I just top it up at Boots when I land and activate the add-on. Screenshot 2017-02-21 14.48.30.png
    --- Post Merged, Feb 21, 2017 ---
    This $10/day roaming is pretty new to AT&T so what did you do before then? I have a few friends in the Airline industry and they all switched to T-Mobile. But if the airline is paying for your phone I guess it doesn't matter.
     
  20. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #20
    The US version of T-Mobile is a separate company now. They have negotiated their own roaming agreements with European carriers.
     
  21. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #21
    Most likely T-Mobile USA is using T-Mobile European subsidiaries for roaming partners.

    Deutsche Telekom is still the majority owner of T-Mobile USA (about 74% according to Wikipedia).

    I've used local T-Mobile in a few countries in Europe, has worked well in my limited usage while on holiday.
     
  22. macher macrumors 65816

    macher

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    #22
    Get a 3 sim with unlimited data for U.K. And 25GB for France
     
  23. SPX macrumors member

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    #23
    I used a passport plan with AT&T previously.

    As far as I'm aware, no airline pays for the cell phone of pilots.
     
  24. kevink2 macrumors 65816

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #24
    For 30 days, it is probably worth getting a local SIM. I did a trip to Australia last month, and was wishy washy about getting a local SIM or just paying Verizon $10/day. I ended up paying Verizon, because otherwise I would have to worry about letting other people get the new number, paying international long distance if they called me, etc.

    But 30 days, local SIM. Maybe put the old SIM in long enough after getting new number to redirect the old number to the new number for the trip.
     
  25. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #25
    If the phone is unlocked, just hit one of the phone shops (Vodafone, O2 etc..) and buy a paygo sim with data. That is the cheapest and easiest solution that I have found. The international addons (especially Verizon) suck and cost way too much.

    But, that phone needs to be unlocked.
     

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