Quick question about internationally traveling and receiving calls/VMs on my iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by deosaa7, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. deosaa7 macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Hello all,
    First off I want to say I have an iPhone 4 on AT&T and live in the NYC suburbs.

    I was wait listed at my dream graduate program and generally they start accepting people off the WL in June and July. I am told that generally the Dean of Admissions will call you in the morning EST to let you know. I am very much looking forward to receiving this phone call but I am unsure of what will happen because of my situation:

    - I am currently working full time in a place where I have no service 90% of the time. If the call comes through during this time, will I receive a voicemail at the very least when I get back into a service area or will it only say missed call? Or will nothing show up at all :eek: and I could have received the call and never have known it?

    - On June 16, I am leaving for 4 weeks to visit my parents who are staying in Germany. If I activate an international plan, will I be able to receive the phone call without worries? I just don't want to get owned by roaming fees and the like simply to receive a phone call! Any advice on what I can do to ensure that I receive the call?

    Sorry if this post sounds a little silly, I am simply really excited about getting into this school!

    Thank you very much.

  2. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Well regarding the Germany thing, you will be charged to receive the call. AT&T charges 1.39 usd a min to receive a call. Its ok if the call is not going to be all that long I guess. You won't have any trouble getting the call as you will be able to go on any of the German networks (Bound to be coverage on one of them at your parent's house).

    You will get a notification when you go back into a coverage area when you get a voicemail.
  3. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Given the importance of the call, I don't see that you have any choice but to pay the roaming fees.
  4. kaielement macrumors 65816

    Dec 16, 2010
    You will get the voicemail but it won't tell you if you had a missed call this is because if you are out of cell serves the call never hits your phone so it can't tell you it missed a call but voicemails are stored on an AT&T side so no worries.
  5. deosaa7 thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2011
    Thanks a lot for your replies guys, it is good to know I will get the voicemail no matter what. I called AT&T and activated an international plan so hopefully that will help.
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Well you have to pick one or the other. Either you pay the roaming fees or you don't get the call. Just be aware of how international roaming works (pay particular attention on how you're billed for calls that go to voicemail) and what counts against you. You'll probably want to turn the phone off or switch to airplane mode to avoid additional charges once you're done with the call.

    If you can get your device unlocked you can use a local SIM. The problem is that you won't get calls on your existing number. The SIM will come with a new (German) number.
  7. slykens macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2011
    As mentioned above, AT&T will charge for the call and will charge BOTH ways - that is to say you will pay for the call to be delivered to your phone in Germany and for the call to be forwarded to voice mail if you do not answer. This will be the case for *every* call you receive, not just "the call" you are waiting for.

    (On a GSM network the conditional diversion is handled by the network delivering the call to the mobile or the home network if the mobile cannot be reached - it is this "gotcha" that creates the second international call when it is forwarded to VM).

    If you receive a lot of calls this could become costly quickly ($1.98 to $2.78 per call, minimum).

    If you are happy to respond to a voicemail quickly then consider setting your phone to forward ALL calls to the VM pilot number so that you are not charged any roaming but your calls all go to voice mail. If you are using VVM be sure to be in a Wifi area so you don't pay for data roaming. (Which is much easier than voice to spend a ton of money on)

    Another option, although not perfect, would be to forward ALL calls to a Skype-In number before you leave then forward that Skype to a local German SIM. It would keep costs low but you will have to be sure to set up your Skype VM and your local German VM in English so if "the call" comes it gets handled somewhere. If you're on Wifi you could even have the Skype app open so it rings.
  8. jacapp macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2012
    I travel to Germany at least once a year. My ATT iPhone works just about everywhere, even out in the country. The only difference (aside from the roaming fees) is that the quality of the calls is high. Better than calling from a large city in the US. I forget the details, but check the ATT web site to be sure you are set up for international calls.

    When you turn on your phone after arriving in Germany, you will get a text from ATT reminding you to turn off data roaming to avoid high fees, if you haven't done so already. Use free wifi to check email.

    Good luck on the grad program.
  9. aoitsukinosuke macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    I travel to Germany almost every month and here is what I suggest;

    1) Before you leave, get a U.S. online number from Skype. It should be like 5$/mo and the shortest pack should be 3 months. That makes 15$.
    The number you have will be a landline number with the area code of your choice. This way people back at home can call that local number to reach you whenever you have data and Skype app running during your stay.

    2) Get an international calling package from Skype for a month. It's app. 12-13$ and allows you to place unlimited calls to U.S. landline and/or mobile numbers.

    3) Get a local SIM (T-mobile is my choice) when you land in Germany with minimal calling time and maximum data usage of your choice.

    This way, you are covered both ways for less than 30$, PLUS the cost of the local SIM.

    Dunno what AT&T charges you for their int'l plan, but I thought this might help.

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