iPhone picking up international cell towers with AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Irock619, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Irock619 macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    So I am working near the Mexico boarder and my iPhone 4S randomly picked up Mexico's cell phone towers. The AT&T symbol changed to Telecom and I had an "o" where it usually says 3G. My question is, why did my phone do this? I thought the phone had to be unlocked to use internationally. The scary thing is that I had to call AT&T to have them disable the data roaming feature from my account not knowing that my phone would do this automatically. I hope my next bill is not hundreds of dollars.
     
  2. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    If you have Data Roaming turned off it shouldn't use foreign towers for data.
     
  3. Irock619 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    It was still picking up the towers. I thought the phone had to be unlocked for it to work. Am I wrong?
     
  4. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #4
    It has to be unlocked to accept a foreign sim. Roaming on a foreign network can be done with a normal at&t sim.
     
  5. Irock619 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Ok so the phone will work anywhere in the world but you would have to pay the price, unless you get a foreign sim and unlock it correct?
     
  6. chrisu91 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Correct. Go to your network settings and select AT&T instead of Automatic to avoid charges.
     
  7. Irock619 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Ok thanks guys!
     
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #8
    Others mentioned it, but I didn't see you say if you absolutely did this or not yet.

    Did you get this turned off?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #9
    That circle symbol represents GPRS data, which is the precursor to Edge. You could also think of it as 1G data. This is a connection which is slower than dial-up internet access, so even though any data you may have used would be billed at the international roaming rate, I doubt that you would be able to rack up much of a bill that way. Especially since it sounds like you were on top of things and called AT&T right away. Of course, as Small White Car pointed out, if you turn off data roaming on your phone then you won't have to worry about this at all.
     
  10. Irock619 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Irock619

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Yeah I had that turned off the whole time. I was just worried when my phone said Telecom and my co workers told me that is Mexico cell towers. Thanks for the info I appreciate it.
     
  11. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #11
    If you get charged for international data, you can just call AT&T and explain to them what happened. And yeah, for the future, just disable international data.
     

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