Travelling abroad with an iphone.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Evev12, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Evev12 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    I'm going to be leaving for vacation tomorrow morning (off to Curacao and the British Virgin Islands) and was looking for some help from anyone that might have any experience or knowledge on this topic. More so than a voice plan, I want to purchase an additional data plan that will keep my bill below the $1,000 mark (WAY below). I actually contacted AT&T's "special" international department to ask if they had 3G service where I'd be traveling and these were their answers (they're actually very funny, and a bit scary at the same time): 1) as long as your phone has 3G, you'll have a 3G connection wherever you are and 2) they have 3G in Spain and Japan. ???????????? That one got me laughing - being that I told her I was off to the carribean, I can't even imagine what she was trying to get at with that remark.

    Anyway, I think the post speaks for itself - AT&T was considerably less helpful, in fact, I might even say they were heavily drugged. So does anybody know how I can check to see if there's ANY 3g connection where I'll be going. I can also chose to add a 5MB plan onto my plan for $25 or 60MB for $60 - being that I'll mostly be browsing the web, streaming Pandora, IM'ing and taking care of a few e-mails here and there, does anybody know how quick I'll reach that usage cap? I have no idea what such usage would amount to.

    If anyone just got back from the carribean and was in the same boat, please post your experience(s). Thanks!
  2. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
  3. Evev12 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    Good advice! And believe me, the phone's OFF - I'm taking no calls while I'm gone . And while I can very easily live without a phone, still I'd like to be able to get online and have a connection - I'm gonna be gone for just about 3 weeks. Thanks for the link - It still doesn't really say if there's any 3G though (and actually from their map, it looks like they don't even have any GSM???). Maybe I'll have to try calling Digicel - they've got to be better than AT&T's international "specialists". Anyone else know anything or have any ideas. .
  4. goldypoker macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Ive been in your situation many times before, and while its not exactly what your looking for, I think I have a solution that will work well for you!

    Why do you need 3G? In pretty much all the Caribbean (and the vacationing world, for that matter...), and certainly in the major hotels and towns, there are countless WIFI stations. Their use will certainly cost you less than 3G pkgs, at least judging from the times Ive used them....

    With WIFI, you have all the internet access, Emails and "chat" you will need, although SMS might be an issue. Additionally, why not check out the Iphone store APP "Truphone" is very similar to VOIP, although with a few little twists. Works like a charm!

    When abroad, I usually leave my phone in flight mode and turn WIFI on and off as I need it.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Evev12 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    Yeah, thanks for the tip - I actually thought about wifi yesterday. Pretty much all of our resorts have public wifi in the lobby/bar/pool areas, just not in the rooms. One of the hotels actually allows you to add wifi access to your stay for $5 (for the duration), which allows you access throughout the whole premises (rooms included) - I thought that was pretty good. If I knew that these islands had 3G, I'd happily add the $25 or $60 plan onto my service for the simple convenience of having internet access everywhere, especially being that most of the time we're NOT going to be at the hotel. If there's no real way to find out though, I might just have to just settle for wifi when I'm at the resort. Do you know approximately how much usage I'd eat up with the standard occasional web browsing and internet radio?

    FYI: I don't know how true it is, but in my research I fell upon an article that claimed that the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonnaire and Curacao) are looking to implement an island wide wirelss broadband access plan targeted at us visitors - that would be nice!
  6. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    Edge is available from Cable & Wireless on Virgin Gorda, Guana Island, Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island, Norman Island.

    Roam rates are as follows:

    AT&T Standard International Roaming $3.49/minute
    AT&T World Traveler $1.99/minute (Requires a $3.99 monthly fee)
    Text Messages $0.50 per message sent (Received should come out of your plan)
    Data: $.0195/KB ($19.97/MB)

    There are data packages available:

    $24.99/month: 20MB Data Global Add-On gives you 20MB** of usage within over 65 countries
    $59.99/month: 50MB Data Global Add-On gives you 50MB*** of usage within over 65 countries

    Which DO apply to the Virgin Islands

    50MB would roughly be 2.3 hours of pandora radio which I believe streams at 30kbps. 50MB would be plenty for casual web browsing if you don't use pandora.

    Careful though, any received call you get will ding you a roaming charge EVEN if you don't pick up the call and it gets routed to voicemail. (More information here)
  7. Evev12 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    Thanks a million! You probably also just saved me from a hefty and uselessly high phone bill, Pandora's out of the question (wasn't important anyway). I just called Digicell in Curacao which is a one week stop and they confirmed Edge throughout their island as well - I guess I'll add the $60 and keep my fingers crossed. It won't be any different from the speeds I've been getting now anyway! Now I gotta go download Truphone to use at the hotel's so I can call the office and check in with the fam.

    Thanks again for everyone's input.
  8. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    No problem. Anything to help out a fellow MR member. Just be careful on VOIP usage over the rate plan and you should be fine.

    Wifi of course would not matter.

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