Questions for frequent travellers

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by hajime, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello. I move around different countries (from a few days visit to long term stay) often. I am considering to buy an iPhone 4S. Could you please let me know the following:

    1. Is buying/using different SIM cards in different countries the recommended way?

    2. As far as I know, each SIM card comes with a different phone number. Is there a way to use the same phone number all the time while in different countries? Will doing so cost more money? It would be difficult to inform everybody that I change the phone number whenever I visit a new country.

    3. As least locally, each SIM card can be used for a few months. If I do not add money to the current card before the expiration date, I will need to buy a new card with a new phone number. This may apply to several countries. In other words, unless I keep adding money before each expiration date, I have to change my phone number in different countries every few months. That will be expensive and too complicated. How does this work? Is there a recommended way to solve this issue?

    4. There are rumors that the iPhone 5 will be out in October. As far as I know, the current iPhone 4S is 3G only. Is it fast enough for browsing even complicated websites?

    5. Do you expect many big countries will use 4G within a year?

  2. 808? macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2011
    Hong Kong
    1. Easier, but you have to buy an unlocked 4S for this to work. (Also make sure you get micro-sim cards)

    2. Get a Skype number and just use that everywhere you travel, then all your contacts need only call 1 number to reach you.

    3. Its not expensive or complicated, since in many countries you can buy pre-paid sims from convenience stores.

    4. Plenty fast enough.

    5. Not that many, but it is not really an issue as long as you have decent 3G speeds on the move.
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks for the info.

    When I wrote "SIM cards" in the original post, I meant "pre-paid sim cards".
    How come buying/using different pre-paid sim cards in different countries not expensive or complicated? As you know, pre-paid sim cards expire in a few months. If I visit country A for a few days and go back in the future (date unknown), I will need to either add money before each expiration or buy a new card again. Am I missing something?

    So, there is no point to wait for iPhone 5 if the concern is the communication speed?
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Its still cheaper to buy a prepaid sim with some minutes to use for a few days than using your AT&T account for example to roam and make international phone calls.
    And yes all prepaid sims expire after a while, nothing you can do about that. Just dont purchase too many minutes at a time so you dont waste them.
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks. So, we just buy the prepaid sim to make phone calls. How about receiving calls from anywhere in the world and how people know my new phone number without me sending them updates all the time?

    808? suggested using a Skype number and use it anywhere I go.
    Is this the one?

    If I buy a Skype number, do I still need to buy a prepaid sim (which comes with another phone number) wherever I go? I am a bit confused.

    Based on my limited knowledge, I guess if I use free wi-fi services which is only available in limited places such as some coffee shops, I don't need a sim card. However, if I want to be able to make/receive calls anywhere and at 3G, I will need a sim card. Am I right?
  6. TriJetHero macrumors 601


    Oct 13, 2010

    Also many places the pre-paid sims are valid for a year.
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Let me clarify please.

    The reason for getting the pre-paid sim card is to be able to make phone calls via 3G or 4G. Each card comes with a different phone number but I don't really need to care as I use a Skype number. Am I right?

    If I use the pre-paid sim card to make phone calls, won't the other party see the phone number that comes with the pre-paid sim card rather than the Skype number?
  8. hval macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2010
    Does Swapping Sim Cards Mean Resetting iPhone Up


    Thank you for asking the questions you have. I have just begun to research the same problem.

    Something i do not know though is whether my iPhone 4 will need setting up again with iTunes if I change sim cards. Or will the iPhone continue to work as it is (apps installed, address book installed).



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