iPhone 3G in Italy for Study Abroad

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by crewrules101, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. crewrules101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #1
    I am going to be doing a nine-month study abroad in Italy through my university. I was wondering if anyone has any sugesstions or tips on how to not make my bill any more expensive than it already is. I am o a family plan and I don't want to give up my number by shutting off my cell plan when I go abroad. Does anyone know or has had experience using an American iPhone 3G while aborad for an extended time? I know that AT&T has international plans for their services, but is there any kind of parternering AT&T does if someone is going abroad for up to a year? Also I am really attached to my data plan as every iPhone user I'm certain is, and I don't want to give up my "wireless Internet leash" that most people can get ahold of me on. I know that there are wifi connections that I could use, and I thunk that the Italian University that I will be at has on-campus Internet. Is there another way to maybe get an Italian SIM card an just get an Italian pay as you go SIM, but from what I have heard, the iPhone won't recognize it. Is there a way to not invalidate my warranty but stell have cell service.

    Sorry for the numerous questions, but this is a big pain in my neck right now!

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. aprofetto macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #2
    I think the best thing for you would be to call AT&T and see what they offer.
     
  3. wingnut8 macrumors 65816

    wingnut8

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #3
    I would call ATT first, it's going to be pretty expensive to get an international plan though. Your best bet would be to unlock it and get a prepaid sim card from a provider over there, and just use that number while you're there.
     
  4. Carl G35c macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #4
    International data plans are :
    * $24.99/month: 20 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 20 MB of usage within over 90 countries
    * $59.99/month: 50 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 50 MB of usage within over 90 countries
    * $119.99/month: 100 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 100 MB of usage within over 90 countries
    * $199.99/month: 200 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 200 MB of usage within over 90 countries


    Way too expensive for the average consumer. Call and suspend you line of service and get a prepaid sim. RRS(called Reduced Rate Suspend) Its $10 + features per month up to 6 months.
     
  5. jcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    U.S. - Europe
    #5
    Just in case you are going to use an Italian sim card... I study in Italy and use a TIM prepaid card. They have a data plan that is 10euros a month for 50mb a day. However, you would need to unlock your phone.

    I couldn't reply to you IM because you switched that off.. So here's your answer:

    As far as I know you cannot pay apple to unlock your phone. As far as I know, even if you pay the premium price at the apple store to buy the phone without a contract it is still locked.

    Regarding your situation, I would unlock the iPhone you got from AT&T and get an Italian sim card while you are in Italy. Plus, you could bring any old phone you still have and put your AT&T card in there while in Italy so that people who don't know your current number can still reach you.

    I purchased an unlocked iPhone from TIM in Italy, and use pay as you go cards in Italy, Germany, and the United States. Works anywhere. (I am using t-mobile in the US)

    In case you don't want to unlock your current phone, you could sell it, get an unlocked phone in Italy, and then use this back at home, Unlocked phones work anywhere. However, if you are gonna use it with AT&T, they will eventually find out if you are using a cheaper, non-iPhone plan and change it. Thus you would still be paying the expensive I phone plan, although you are not using an AT&T subsidized phone. If, on the other hand, you would use T-mobile in the united states, you could get a cheaper plan. I would not recommend this, unless you are constantly living in different countries like I do, otherwise it doesn't pay off.

    You got three options, either hack/unlock the phone, and use a prepaid card (easiest, cheapest)

    Get an international plan, which is very expensive.

    Or get a sim card and use it with another phone, and only use your iphone in school and where else you have wireless. (But bear in mind that Italy is pretty much third-world like when it comes to free wireless, I don't know where you're going, but in Rome there aren't many)
     
  6. evaninrome macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Philly, Rome
    #6
    Could you send me the link to where you bought this SIM card? I'll be in Rome in a couple of weeks and this sounds like what I want to use for my unlocked iphone.
     
  7. jcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    U.S. - Europe
    #7
    The provider is called TIM, the url is www.tim.it but it's in italian. However, the TIM store on the corner of via del corso and piazza colonna has one or two employees who speak some english.
    If you are a study abroad student at JCU or AUR, they will offer you a phone during orientation which gets billed to your credit card. The deal is quite nice for traveling around europe because you don't have to worry if you got minutes on your phone, but there's no data plan and the phone that comes with it sucks. If you want to have data for the iPhone or Blackberry I would go with TIM, just bear in mind that you need to buy some minutes before leaving the country on the weekends, you won't be able to buy them abroad. (if you're a study abroad student, that's most likely what you are gonna be doing)

    at the TIM store you just need to buy a regular prepaid card and add the "maxi per iPhone 10" option. That's the data plan, it costs 10 euros a month and gives you 50mb of traffic/day which should be more than enough. Again, if you're study abroad, you will have wireless in your dorm/apartment and in school anyway. The EUR 10 are deducted from the prepaid credit you have on your card. If you don't have enough credit at the end of the month you have to switch it on again. When you're at the store you should tell them to switch the voicemail and service number to english, otherwise it's italian.
     
  8. evaninrome macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Philly, Rome
    #8
    jcu-
    I'm doing the program through temple university so I'm not sure if they offer a phone or anything but I need data/mobile web, which is why I bought an iPhone. I read on cellularabroad.com that you need an Italian address to get an Italian sim (officially) so I want to get it online beforehand, also to make sure the iPhone accepts it properly. Thanks a lot for the info.
     
  9. evaninrome macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Philly, Rome
    #9
    update:

    I bought the SIM from TIM with the maxxi internet 10 option (or so i thought) but I cant get data. voice works fine which makes me think that maybe they just didnt add it? I thought i paid for it though... this is turning out to be a huge headache
     
  10. jcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    U.S. - Europe
    #10
    call 4916, after you heard your credit balance you can select to listen to additional services on your number. If it's on, it will tell you. When I got back to rome I had the same problem, didn't work, I think because it still used the APN settings of my german card. I think I just reset the network settings and re-started my phone.

    good luck
     
  11. peteyyt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    Anyone who needs help with Italian SIM cards or plans can message me, as I've managed to work out an effective system that lets me spend 1/3 of the year in each America, Italy, and England without any interruptions in service and minimum inconvenience.

    Also keep in mind to explore your options in regards to service. Many students study abroad but often travel Europe, and if that be the case Vodafone can be a more attractive options.
     
  12. Gatteau macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #12
    Why can't you get the data? Did you buy the iPhone from Italy or the States? I have that exact data plan with TIM and data works just fine for me.. But then again, I got my iPhone from Italy and it's factory unlocked. I'm not sure if that makes any difference regarding your issues..
     
  13. OLLIMON macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #13
    TIM Sim Card

    Wow I'm in the exact same situation. I'm studying abroad in Italy right now and I brought my unlocked iPhone with a TIM sim card provided by the Call in Europe service. However, when I got here and inserted my Sim card it just says no service...everywhere. The Sim card does not look like it being rejected, it just says no service. Can anyone help me with this situation? Thanks
     
  14. jcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    U.S. - Europe
    #14
    Sometimes when I change sim cards the data doesn't work, updating the carrier file has always worked for me. my favorite is help.benm.at, you can download the file straight to the phone if you access the page with your phone (i.e. via wifi connection) plus you'll have the carrier file that enables tethering, and mms. Although the latter works with TIM anyway.
    Maybe, since your card is from "call in europe", whatever that is, they have some special TIM tariff which doesn't work with iPHones or data? I know plenty of people with US, jailbreaked, iPhones and Blackberrys who use TIM with data in italy, I dont think there is any particular reason why it shouldn't work.
     
  15. OLLIMON macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #15
    Thanks for trying to help jcu and sorry for taking so long in getting back to you. I have done what you suggested and gone to help.benm.at and downloaded the Tim for Italy carrier settings. After doing this, I'm still getting no service, I have also tried one of my friends' TIM sim cards and the same thing happened. Any other suggestions? Thanks
     
  16. sschultze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Naples, Italy
    #16
    jcu and peteyyt,

    Looking at the thread you are able to switch SIM cards in your phone based on your needs and location. I purchased an unlocked 3GS today from Vodaphone in Italy. I live in Italy and have a TIM SIM for my workphone without data plan. I told the Vodaphone rep I plan to purchase a TIM SIM with data plan for the iphone and then switch the SIM as needed so I only have to carry one phone. They said that cannot be done unless I want to return to the store each time I swap the card to reset the iphone for the new card.
    I have not activated the iphone yet. I was planning to activate with the personal SIM from TIM that includes the data plan then swap cards as necessary.
    Is this possible without returning to the store? If so, what issues might I have?

    thanks.
     
  17. jcu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    U.S. - Europe
    #17
    I have switched sim cards dozens of times, mostly without any problems. On two occasions, after using an american t-mobile sim card for more than a month, the iPhone wouldn't work and it got the connect to iTunes screen. When I got home from the airport I did, and everything was well after that. The second time I got that I just switched it off and switched it back on again after a few minutes because I was bored. It booted normally and everything was fine, don't know why though. But this was only two times out of at least 35 swaps between German Vodafone and O2, American T-Mobile, and my "regular" Italian TIM card. I don't see why you would have any problems. This is why I paid a premium on this device, I was pissed quite pissed off these two times when it wouldn't work straight away, and I have no clue as to why it happened. If you do have any problems regarding the change of sim cards you have every right to complain since you paid almost a thousand dollars to own a device which can do just that.
     
  18. sschultze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Naples, Italy
    #18
    Thanks. I'm heading to a TIM store tomorrow to get a SIM.
     
  19. ttw27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    #19
    International roaming charges are too high

    Suggest that you also look at Skype - I pay a nominal fee for a Skype-In phone number that is in the same area code as my home in the States. With that number family and friends can call a local number that will ring through to me wherever I am (assuming I am connected via Wi-Fi). If I don't answer it will go to a voice mail that will inform me that I have a voicemail. Skype fees to call back to the US are extremely inexpensive as well. There is a skype app for the iPhone that works as well. Even if you have to pay for wi-fi connections while travelling it's way less expensive than AT&T global roaming fees.
     
  20. SParker1tx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #20
    I'll be traveling to JCU in Rome in the Fall 2010 to study abroad for 1 semester.

    Im planning to unlock my current iPhone 3GS and use it while I'm over there and I'll be traveling extensively all over Europe as well.

    Should I get a Vodafone plan or go with the TIM cards?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  21. sschultze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Naples, Italy
    #21
    When I went to Vodaphone they told me they did not offer any data plans. I went with TIM. For 10 euro a month you get data, I do not remember the specifics. That being said, watch the usage, I have to figure out why I am paying a monthly data cost and still getting charged for data.
     
  22. sschultze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Naples, Italy
    #22
    JCU -

    You stated you have both German Vodafone and O2, why do you need two?

    Are either prepaid SIMs with iphone data capability? I travel through Germany and I am burning through my Italian TIM euro each time I need to check data, I'm looking for a prepaid German option.

    Thanks.
    sschultze
     
  23. SParker1tx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    Does anyone know how much Data the $10 Euro TIM Cards give you?

    Or what the cost is for actual Voice calls?
     
  24. sschultze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Naples, Italy
    #24
    Here is what the option lists for my TIM MAXXI INTERNET FOR IPHONE plan:
    With Maxx Internet iPhone, you are entitled to 30 days to 50 MB per day surfing the internet on iBox APN and Wi-Fi public. If words 50 MB before the end of the day, with 1 euro you have other 30MB to consume more during the day. After completing these, too, and the rate of consumption 'of 0.6 cents / KB inc. (About 6 euros per megabyte). The offer is' indefinitely on payment of 10 euro inc. every 30 days.

    I do not have a good answer on voice call rates. There are many options available and it depends on which you choose.
     
  25. SParker1tx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    Oh Great ok so its 50MB a Day for 10 Euros.

    I Heard that Vodafone has a plan that 500 MB a Week for like 12 Euro or something that sounds pretty similar.

    So on average it seems the European Voice/Data Plans are cheaper than AT&T's stateside which are around $60 − $70 a Month
     

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