Using my US iPhone 3Gs in Egypt

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by kahmed, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. kahmed macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010
    I have a iPhone 3gs I purchased in the United States and active on AT&T. I will be going to Egypt next month for a week. I have researched and apparently the GPS will not work in Egypt. But what do I need to do so I can use my phone/data in Egypt? I understand Vodafone/Mobinil supports the iPhone but do I need to unlock it still?

    If i purchase a Vodafone simcard in Egypt will I be able to use my data there?

    Also, what is the suggested tool for my needs? I currently have version 3.1.2 (7D11)

    Does anyone know general costs for a Vodafone simcard/data plan?

    Thanks for the help
  2. dhlizard macrumors G4


    Mar 16, 2009
    The Jailbreak Community
    If Vodafone is an official carrier for iPhone, you can use Vodafone sim/data plan if you purchase calls & data.

    If they are not, you will have to unlock, Ultrasn0w for baseband 4.26.xx, Blacksn0w for 5.11.xx

    Make sure you have your SHSH saved in Cydia in case anything goes wrong so you do not have to upgrade to 3.1.3 as you will not be able to unlock with the new 3.1.3 baseband (5.21.xx)

    Why wouldn't the GPS work. All GPS receivers use same sats, and I know there are Garmin users in Egypt as Garmin markets Egypt maps.
  3. kahmed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010
    Vodafone is an offical carrier of the iPhone in Egypt, since this is the case I dont need to unlock my iPhone? I assumed that my US iPhone is strictly locked to AT&T.

    I am not quite sure why GPS is disabled, I read sevral articles that say that this feature is disabled in all iPhones sold in Egypt.
  4. dhlizard macrumors G4


    Mar 16, 2009
    The Jailbreak Community
    Well, your iPhone wasn't sold in Egypt ! If it works here, it will work there.

    I think you will have to do some additional research to make sure the Vodaphone sim will work without unlocking.

    You could unlock, just to be safe.
  5. proegy macrumors newbie


    Mar 31, 2009
    Cairo, Egypt.
    hi kahmed
    i'm Nabil from Egypt the IPhone is supported here by Vodafone/Mobinil As you said and GPS as will it was banded by the government but later last year it was allowed and i meet someone from USA before and he was using his IPhone with his personal number "International Roaming" without any problem :rolleyes:
    take care:apple:
  6. occamsrazor macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2007
    Apple, in accordance with an official Egyptian ban on GPS devices (despite loads of people having them), agreed to artificially disable the GPS on the iPhone when it was launched. It was disabled via a network function - meaning even iPhones from abroad that roamed in Egypt would have their GPS disabled while they were in the country.
    Fortunately, that is NOT the case anymore as the ban was lifted a while back. GPS works perfectly fine now.
    I'm sure your AT&T iPhone will roam in Egypt, it'll obviously just be a bit expensive for you. As to getting a local SIM-only data plan that will work with the iPhone, there are two official carriers here - Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil - but my understanding is your phone would still be locked to AT&T, so I think that it is going to be hard unless you jailbreak & unlock it. If you were going to be here for a long time I'd say it's worth looking into, but for just a week I think not.
    Suggest you just keep 3G usage to a very minimum and use wifi wherever possible.
  7. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    If your iPhone was sold in the USA through Apple, AT&T or an AT&T retail partner, then it is locked to AT&T. If you take no additional action, it will reject any SIM card from any other carrier anywhere else in the world. You could leave the AT&T SIM card in the phone and use one of AT&T's international roaming packages while you're overseas.

    Otherwise, if you want to use a local carrier, you will have to unlock the phone. Since AT&T doesn't offer an official unlocking service for iPhones, you'll have to do it yourself -- something which is legal, at least on an interim basis until the LoC issues its next 3-year DMCA ruling, but which is totally unsupported by Apple. This is true even if the local carrier happens to also be an official iPhone carrier.
  8. suzgems macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    Unlocking for Egypt

    Thanks for all the good information on this forum. I am planning to move to Egypt, and currently have an iPhone, with AT&T that I bought new at an Apple Store. It's a 3G. How do I unlock it myself? Is there a software? Am I then no longer able to receive software updates? Does anyone know if I will still be able to be syncing data with my .mac account as I do now?

    Thank you!
  9. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    You should start reading this forum. There are literally thousands of threads asking the same questions. Search is your friend. Learn how to use it.
  10. Sine Qua Non macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Better yet, just follow one of the step by step guides on a site like,,, etc.
  11. suzgems macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    Thank you

    Thank you both of you... I only just stumbled across this site and now am quite happy to find it. I will use search and I will follow those sites you gave me!

    Thanks ~
  12. kakamobson macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
  13. awadeee macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2011
    Viper City
    If you're earlier than iOS 4 then you should be able to unlock with ultrasn0w, and if you're iOS 4 or above then use 6.15.00 and unlock with ultrasn0w. Don't let AT&T rape you with roaming costs!
  14. Jimeny macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2011
    I am currently writing this message on my unlocked 3GS iPhone whilst driving back from Abu Simbel in southern Egypt on a strong and fast 3G network. The total cost of sim card and £50E worth of credit (this is 25 mins international calling) was £150E and this includes a 500mb iPhone data bundle! £150E is approximately £15 sterling so you see this is an AMAZING price compared to O2 or AT&T.

    You will need to unlock your phone for sure, I used Ultrasn0w (0.97 if I recall correctly) with an SBSettings toggle. Using Stanacard you can also set up a call forwarding service so your mobile forwards to a local (for me Uk) number which then forwards to you Vodafone EG number so you can receive calls and the caller and you both are protected from a roaming rape. However, you must set this up before you leave your country, Ive not been able to do call forwarding on O2 whilst abroad. The local Stanacard number still works though.

    GPS and location doesn't seem to work but this could be due to the 25th January demonstrations (I heard Egypts ban on GPS was lifted).

    I hope this helps.
  15. Jaikie macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    Moving to Egypt

    I'm actually moving to Egypt to work on a contract for at least a year. I if I can take my iPhone 3G, which I've used in the US with an AT&T contract (now expired), and use it there with Vodaphone or another network. I did take a nokia cell phone with me for my job interview, and bought a Simm card. I think I can use the same Simm in my iPhone?

  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    The AT&T iphone you have is locked to AT&T sims only.
    You will have to JB and unlock the iphone in order to accept foreign sims.
  17. Jaikie macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    JB and unlocking iPhone

    Thanks, some of this is addressed above, but never having done this before, can you advise me on how I can handle my data? If back up my iPhone, then JB & unlock, can I restore my data through iTunes? Or does it effectively wipe my phone, and I need to reinstall firmware, etc?


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