Traveling to Hong Kong

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mischka07, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Mischka07 macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2009
    Hey all,

    My wife and I are traveling to Hong Kong this week. I'm trying to prevent any issues with my phone once I get there, but I'm reading some conflicting posts.

    I have a 3GS with 3.1.2. Some folks say that I can just switch the "Data Roaming" to off, and I won't be charged with roaming. However, I've also read posts here that say this button does not work, and that I'll need to call ATT directly to have them shut off data roaming. When I checked with ATT, the CSR had no idea what "data roaming" how do I ensure that I won't be charged with data, just turn off data altogether?

    Also, do I need to purchase a sim card once I get to Hong Kong?
  2. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2007
    I have traveled in Europe with data roaming off and had no charges for data at all. It worked fine. I did pay for roaming for the few calls I made and received. I am a very sparse user of text messaging, and had none while traveling, but I assume I would have paid a roaming charge for those. I don't know what the basis is for the claims that turning data roaming off doesn't work to prevent data roaming charges, which are very expensive, but it worked flawlessly for three weeks in northern Europe this past summer.

    If you are a US customer and have not unlocked your phone, it is locked to AT&T, so getting a SIM in Hong Kong won't work anyway.

    If you plan to make and receive lots of calls, get AT&T to add an international calling plan. It eases the pain of roaming charges for calls a little - but not a lot.
  3. Mischka07 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2009
    Thanks iFerd. I just got off the phone with AT&T. The CSR told me that the World Travelers Package would cost $5.99, but they would pro-rate it for the duration of my trip. I thought that was a pretty good deal for both data and phone calls, but here's the kicker: It's only for phone calls...why call it a package?

    Anyhow, to add 100MB of data while roaming would cost me $200 for a month. They can pro-rate this, but it's still a "use-it-or-lose-it" plan, i.e. you aren't charged per KB/MB, just a flat rate of $200.

    That's really pricey for not a lot of data. I hit 1GB a month after I bought the phone, about 75% of that was off of 3G.
  4. seraphkz macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    also, there is NO roaming charges for RECEIVING text messages while in another country.
  5. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    Then why is ATT charging me for every SMS I receive while out of the US?
  6. seraphkz macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2009
    That wasn't my case, you should call them. On their website, it clearly says they will not charge extra. However, the texts you receive while you're traveling do count towards your monthly texting plan.
  7. fteoath64 macrumors regular


    Nov 16, 2008
    Data Roaming...

    one good way to prevent iPhone from using carrier 3G data is to add a couple of zz letters to your APN config string. You do this after you leave the US, so in HK your data channel cannot be registered. Your voice and SMS will work on roaming charges. Just use wifi, there are free or voucher based ones for cheap.

    When you return, just remove those zz characters from the APN config and it will work again.
  8. Mischka07 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2009
    Awesome, ATT won't let me purchase an international data package. Per the CSR, she "can't find the necessary information in THE MATRIX". Where the heck is Neo when you need him?
  9. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Doesn't just turning data roaming off do essentially the same thing just a lot easier without having to modify any config files?
  10. allaw macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2009
    Getting a sim card in HK is really easy and the charge per minute is really cheap (you can get a 3G card for around US$10 - see link). So depending on the function of the phone, whether it is there for you to make calls and receive calls from local friends / or continue to receive calls from US correspondence. If you want to you can also get a long distance calling card from HK and it can be very cheap too.

    When I was in Canada a month ago, got this message from ATT: $.79/min voice, $15.36/MB data. go figure.

    Examples of prepaid cards:
    Intl. 3G service from local provider (click 2G in page for info):

    But if your intention is to receive calls from US friends then this will not work. Just turn off data roaming on your phone. What I usually do was keep a phone with the ATT sim so I know who's calling, then call back with the HK local sim. This will be much cheaper than taking the roaming voice.
    Have fun.
  11. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Agreed. But do not ever go to Disneyland during chinese new years in Hong Kong. Way too crowded. They shut down the park due to over crowding
  12. isabellaadamz macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2012
    Pay-as-you-go consumers need a high degree of flexibility and control with their mobile finances, and with 3's pay-as-you-go SIM card, no other PAYG service can match the flexibility provided by 3. The SIM card itself is free and will grant the user access to Skype and Windows Live Messenger at no extra cost -provided that you are using a mobile phone that is not sim locked and is 3G compatible.
  13. bapesta macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2004
    check out

    you can rent a phone with unlimited data for around USD8 a day. Much simpler.

    Also, i'm surprised how expensive data roaming on ATT is. In hong kong u can travel to 30 odd countries and you can roam unlimited for around USD22 a day.
  14. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    how do you even come across a thread from 2009 unless you were deliberately searching for this?


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