Please explain "World Phone"

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Italianblend, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Italianblend macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fatima
    #1
    Hi,

    I'd like to know what exactly World Phone means?

    Specifically, I might be travelling to Italy next summer, and if I have an iphone4S with me, will I be able to "roam" and receive signals over there? Or is it not as simple as that? I wouldn't think you could do that because of the carrier you subscribe to.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    Unlike the iPhone 4 which worked all over the world, the iPhone 4S works all over the world AND on the Verizon network in the US.

    :D
     
  3. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #3
    world phone means it can receive both gsm and cdma signals. Other than the US, Canada, China and maybe Korea, the rest of the world don't have any CDMA carriers. Therefore, people on Verizon couldn't use their phones when they traveled out of the country. The new verizon iphones will work on CDMA when you are in the US and then roam on gsm in foreign lands. Provided you either pay for an international plan from Verizon, or get them to unlock it for you and use another carrier's sim card when you are traveling.
     
  4. Italianblend thread starter macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

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    Mar 21, 2011
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    Fatima
    #4
    I should have said I'm on AT&T. Does that make any difference?
     
  5. steve dave macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #5
    It just means that your phones have always worked in foreign countries. You will notice no difference.
     
  6. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #6

    It simply means that no matter what the carrier uses (GSM or CDMA) you will be able to use that phone. That being said, if you are going to Italy with an AT&T locked phone, you will only be able to roam via AT&T Worldservice unless you get it unlocked. The cost of this is very high and I don't recommend it. Get a paygo phone or try to unlock your iPhone and get a chip for another carrier over there.
     
  7. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #7
    Before you go to Italy (with your iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S)... contact ATT and enable roaming. You have to do that first.

    Then sure, you can roam. If you use email, web etc it will cost you. For me it's about 100 bucks a week.
     
  8. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #8
    Actually, I had read that the iPhone will NOT use its CDMA chip when overseas--that is only for domestic use. The iPhone 4s on AT&T won't use its CDMA chip under any circumstances. I may be wrong.

    I think if one is a frequent international traveler its well worth it to just buy an unlocked iPhone 4s when they are available next month. Just pop in a local sim and you're good to go--and no worries about awful roaming charges and coming home to a $2,000 phone bill.
     
  9. icewing macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    St Louis
    #9
    Your phone should work fine (mine did when I was in Germany last year), but be very careful - check AT&T's site about pricing for data when you're overseas, it's ridiculously expensive, and if you exceed the plan you select you could spend hundreds of dollars over what you expected.
     
  10. wpotere, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011

    wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #10

    Doesn't matter as there is no CDMA over there. GSM is the standard that Europe decided to use.

    http://www.cdg.org/worldwide/index.asp

    Looks like mostly Russia or eastern countries are using it. That being said, all of these places also have GSM.

    You are also spot on about using an unlocked phone. The cost is not worth it. We thought about keeping our USA phones when we moved there but quickly dumped them and got D1 (Deustche Telecom) instead. The cost was a killer!
     
  11. ThetaSigma macrumors regular

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey
    #11
    I'm from the UK, which obviously uses GSM, how would it work if I went to the US and wanted to use Verizon while over there? I know I could easily just use AT&T, which is what I do use while there but say I wanted to start using Verizon? How would they assign a number to my phone since they don't use SIM cards?
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    ^^ Officially, it appears there is no way to get an iPhone activated on Verizon except to buy an official Verizon iPhone. How this pans out I guess is a wait-and-see, but according to what Apple has said, if you get an unlocked iPhone you could run it on an American GSM network (T-Mobile or AT&T), but you could not get Verizon service for it (or for any phone originally locked/activated to a UK carrier).

    Verizon and Sprint iPhones (4 or 4S) can CDMA roam in countries where the respective service provider has a roaming agreement, and GSM roaming (4S only) when that is not available.

    If you use AT&T, then, correct, your phone will only use GSM. If you buy a 4S that is locked to AT&T (and possibly to any other GSM carrier outside the US -- not sure about that), then the CDMA doesn't do anything, anywhere, for you.
     
  13. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #13
    You can't as you don't have the antenna to pick up the network.
     
  14. j-a-x macrumors 65816

    j-a-x

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    Houston, Texas
    #14
    If you're a Verizon customer in the USA, can you just insert a local SIM card into the iPhone 4S "world phone" and use it overseas, or is it locked to Verizon. In the case that it was locked to Verizon, you would have to use a special Verizon overseas sim card while overseas and pay Verizon's overseas pricing which doesn't look too good....
     
  15. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    Location:
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    #15
    Plus Mexico, Guam, and most of the Caribbean, southeast Asia and South America, and sections of the mid-East, Russia, Ukraine, etc.
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    Reports on Verizon/Sprint roaming said Verizon has CDMA roaming agreements in about 40 countries, so there are at least that many with CDMA service of some kind.
     
  17. viewfly macrumors 65816

    viewfly

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #17
    Actually you can buy 50Mb of data roaming for $24.99/mo from AT&T. That is more than enough for a week. Plus the price is prorated fir partial use.
     
  18. Terrified macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #18
    His sig suggests he will shortly be the proud owner of a 4S, which, unlocked or not, definitely has the ability to work with CDMA.
     
  19. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #19
    Good catch... However, right now it is no. ;)
     
  20. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a

    KittyKatta

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    SoCal
    #20
    If the 4S is a "World Phone" that can work on multiple carriers then why does each carrier sell a different model number for the same phone? For example the 32GB Black is MD379LLA on Sprint, MD278LLA on Verizon and MC919LLA on ATT.

    Im just wondering what would happen if they ran out of 32GB ATT but had a stack of Verizon ones. Couldn't they activate a Verizon one for ATT then?
     
  21. wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #21

    Different carriers, different locks. It is a world phone, but it is still locked in some way (unless you buy the unlocked model).
     

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