Studying Abroad - iPhone Help

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by commodore12, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. commodore12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    #1
    Hi so first off, I do not own an iPhone yet. I am waiting for the release of 4.0 and need to hear y'all's opinions on what I am considering doing for next year when I go to study abroad in France before I buy one.

    I am a college student on my family's cell phone plan with AT&T. There are four of us on the plan. I am currently budgeting out my time in France next year and wanted some advice on the best way to keep in touch with friends and family back home in the US while I'm over there, as well as to make local calls.

    Here's my plan so far:

    1) My contract with AT&T is about to expire, I believe within the next month (since I am on the family plan, my line is ~$9.99/month). When the newest edition of the iPhone is released, I plan on renewing my contract and purchasing the phone, which would mean an additional $30/month for the iPhone plan (we do not currently have any sort of data plan, just unlimited texting)

    2) My little brother's contract is set to expire around the time I leave for France on September 2nd. When I head overseas, I would give him my SIM card and he would not renew his contract. That way we would only have three lines on our family plan to cut down on expenses.

    3) Once overseas, I would purchase one of the "pay-as-you-go" SIM card deals they have over there, which allow you to receive all incoming calls, both local and international, for free. Which leads to my first question: would I need to unlock my iPhone to be able to use a non-AT&T SIM card over there? I imagine I would, especially since I will not have any type of data plan.

    4) Because of the significant per-minute cost of making calls with the pay-as-you-go SIM card (if you haven't picked up on it yet, sticking to a budget is important for me), I would not be using it to make out-going calls very often. I would more have it for receiving calls from others and for times when I really need to make a call but cannot access wifi. I will have wifi access most of my trip, however, so I was wondering about using Skype as my main mode of making calls. If I have the Skype app and pay the $13/month for unlimited global calls to landlines/ cell phones, this would save me a considerable amount of money in comparison to any sort of monthly plan and allow me to call friends and family both overseas and in France as much as I wanted.

    Sorry for writing so much, I wanted to give as much detail as possible. Basically, I want to know if this whole plan is feasible and would appreciate any insight you can lend me.
     
  2. dhjapple89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    #2
    Well with the new iPhone, you will not be able to get the unlimited data plan. AT&T is changing their data plans for all smartphones.

    Here they are:

    Data Plus: $15/month for 200MB of data. If you go over your allotted amount, it will be another $15 for every additional 200MB of data.

    Data Pro: $25/month for 2GB of data. If you go over your allotted amount, it will be another $10 for every additional 1GB.

    Tethering: Tethering will only be an option for the Data Pro plan, and it will cost an extra $20/month and no increase in amount of allowed data usage.

    These plans take effect on June 7, and if you do not currently have the $30/month unlimited plan you cannot get it.

    As for using a SIM card other the AT&T, you will run in to problems.

    1. The new iPhone will be using a micro-SIM card.
    2. No one knows if the iPhone will be unlockable, because the current iPhone 3GS cannot be unlocked if it is on the most updated software 3.1.3, and baseband 05.12.01 (I believe). So if the next iPhone has the same baseband, it will not be unlocked.
    3. If it does get unlocked via a jailbreak or hack, you will have to purchase a pay-as-you-go micro-SIM card from one of the cellular companies that sells the iPad in Europe because they will be using the micro-SIM card for the iPads.

    If the phone is never unlocked, your best bet will be to either do Skype via WiFi (ONLY) and/or buy a pay-as-you-go phone in Europe and use just a crappy flip phone.
     

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