iphone activation when abroad

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pjh, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. pjh macrumors regular

    pjh

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Airstrip 1
    #1
    Hi All,

    I'm in a bit of an odd situation, I'm British but I'm currently working abroad and will not return to the UK for at least another 6 months. But I want to get my hands on an iphone when it is released back in the UK. I am hoping that some friends can pick me one up and bring it over to me when they visit in about 6 weeks time. But I'm a bit concerned that I will have trouble activating it, as the phone will be roaming. Does anyone know if this will be a problem?

    I contacted o2 user support in the UK and they were totally useless. For your info, the o2 European roaming charges are actually quite reasonable. It would not work out cheaper for me to get a local mobile as I will not be here long enough to enter into a 12 month contract. Internation calls on a "pay as you go " acouint are about as painful as dropping the soap in a prison shower.

    I will have to resist "data roaming still", but I can live with that, probably.......

    Cheers PJH
     
  2. CD3660 macrumors 68040

    CD3660

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    #2
    It would surprise me if you could activate it from abroad but I may be wrong about that.

    Couldn't you get one of your friends to activate it in the U.K. before taking it over to you?
     
  3. pjh thread starter macrumors regular

    pjh

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Airstrip 1
    #3
    I guess I could get them to activate it for me. but I want to transfer over my exisiting 02 number though, I'm assuming this bit will be quite tricky. Might have to go that route though. Would be a tad miffed if all I had was a paper weight until I could get back to the UK.
     
  4. drenk1976 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #4
    I worked in a mobile phone shop and went on all the courses a few years ago, so it may have changed, but I doubt it. This is also probably the over-simplified version given to the sales people rather than the techies!

    Your home network (in this case o2) has a "home location register" or HLR. This stores your SIM details against your mobile number, as well as other detalis such as which cellsite you are connected to at any point in time.

    When you go abroad, your details are stored on the roaming network's "visiting location register" or VLR. When you turn your phone on, the network your phone finds first see which network you subscribe to (i.e. o2 UK) and contacts that network to check whether your SIM is connected, whether your authorised for roaming (i.e. roaming bar has been removed) and to request calls be forwarded to a temporary number on their network.


    To connect a phone, a SIM which has not previously been connected contacts its network's HLR and checks wheether it's line has now been connected. Some networks send a service message by SMS which sets the phone up so it knows it's own number. The handset is then live.

    What I spusect would happen if you tried to activate it in Norway is that the Norwegian netowok would ask the o2 network whether your phone was connected, and because it had never been properly connected up by the o2 HLR, would be told it was not an active o2 line. This would mean that you would not be granted a data connection (or indeed any connection) to activate the iPhone.

    Phew. I'm off for a brew.
     
  5. pjh thread starter macrumors regular

    pjh

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Airstrip 1
    #5
    Thanks for the info , seems like there is a high risk that it won't work. Guess I will have to find another route. Thanks again for all your help.

    If for some reason I end up giving it a try (Can't wait any longer because od a to lack of self control :) ), I'll let you know the outcome.
     
  6. scrauny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    #6
    yes we can!

    I'm replying on an old thread in the hope this helps others - I came here by a google search!

    The above didn't help me, so I tried it anyway....

    YES.. you can activate an iPhone whilst roaming abroad. I have just activated an unlocked (previously locked to 3) iPhone roaming in Austria, to T-Mobile UK.

    Enjoy.
     

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