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41 posts

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# 41901 24-Sep-2009 19:18
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Hi everyone,


This question may have been asked, but I used the forum search and couldn't find anything.


I am going to Europe next year, and I'd like to take my as-yet-unpurchased iPhone with me.


I will be travelling to:
* UK
* France
* Spain
* Italy
* Germany
* Switzerland


I would like to use everything iPhone has to offer - mainly in terms of using its maps features, keeping in contact with family etc. so will definitely need to be able to use plenty of data.


I would like to be able to text a fair bit. Calls not so important.


Does anyone have any idea what my best move would be? I will be heading to the UK first, so I could buy a SIM in the UK and pay their roaming charges, which I imagine would be horrendous. I could buy a new SIM for each country I visit, which is not too much of a problem provided they are cheapish and I can use mobile data for a reasonable price.


Any advice would be helpful. I have been doing a lot of googling, but I am not massively phone-savvy, so would really appreciate any help anyone can offer.


Thanks heaps!


Chris

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  # 258173 24-Sep-2009 20:52
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Usually your best bet is to purchase a SIM from the country you're going to be in. Obviously that means people back in NZ have to pay for an international call/text to your local number, but as you already know roaming charges are horrendous so best to look after yourself and your own wallet first!

Vodafone have a presence in the UK, Spain, Italy, and Germany, and partner with Swisscom in Switzerland. I'm not advocating Vodafone, they're just the only telco that I can think of that have that kind of presence in Europe.

Vodafone UK's site has a lot of information about roaming so you could start there and see if anything they offer will fit your needs, otherwise what I've always done when I travel is simply to go to a shop, speak to someone and tell them what you want, and let them set you up with what you're after.

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  # 258175 24-Sep-2009 21:04
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remember a iphone is a always online device so even though you may not be using the phone data is always been used from time to time

 
 
 
 


Ham

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  # 258179 24-Sep-2009 21:18
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johnr: remember a iphone is a always online device so even though you may not be using the phone data is always been used from time to time



Unless you are roaming, then you can turn data off.



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  # 258194 24-Sep-2009 22:42
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Awesome, thanks guys!

I had a loot at Vodafone's UK site, and their roaming data charges made my eyes bleed, so I think you're probably right about getting a new SIM for each country I'm in.

The mobile data really is key here - I'll be using more data than either texts or calls. Due to time differences, I'm more likely to be emailing my family than texting them.

Corksta, you sound like you have a bit of personal experience here. Do you have any insider tips about dealing with foreign telcos, or anything at all for that matter?

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  # 258241 25-Sep-2009 08:06
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Nah not really any insider tips mate I don't do anything different than what any other person would in that situation. I know it's a bit of work involved seeing as you're going to a few different countries, but you really are best to try and find out as much information as you can about pricing in each country before you go so you can figure out which telcos will best meet your needs. Otherwise it really is just a matter of going into a store and telling them you want to mainly use data with a bit calling and texting on the side and then seeing what they have to offer.

I'll do some research myself and post back here with anything I can find.




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  # 258275 25-Sep-2009 10:30
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@Corksta: Thanks mate, I appreciate the help. I have been doing some googling and will make up some kind of spreadsheet at some stage. I'm not 100% sure how this forum works, but is that the kind of thing this community would be interested in having? If so, I could easily set it up as a google doc and have it publicly available. Might save some other poor bugger the legwork.

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  # 258363 25-Sep-2009 15:31
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Absolutely I'm sure people who find themselves in your situation one day would appreciate something like that. Helping each other is what this place is all about!

 
 
 
 


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  # 258866 28-Sep-2009 08:40
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I just spent a week in London with my iPhone.

Bought a sim card from O2 as soon as I arrived. They give you the sim card for free. I purchased 10 pounds of credit. It cost 7.50 for a months free internet (unlimited with a fair use policy) and they gave me a bonus 50 minutes of international calls free with my top-up.

Pretty awesome deal if you ask me. 10 pounds total (less than 25 dollars) for unlimited internet plus 50 international minutes plus 2.50 left over for a few texts or local calls.

The only downside was that the internet took about 24 hours to activate (they quote "up to 48 hours")

The only setting I had to change on my iPhone was the APN (found it with a simple google search).



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  # 259054 28-Sep-2009 17:29
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GDBDB - thanks for that info man, that's really awesome! I will be spending a fair bit of time in the UK, so that would be excellent. Do you have any idea whether there are similar plans in major western european countries?

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  # 259128 28-Sep-2009 20:45
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Sorry, no idea about Western Europe.

I imagine they probably have similar plans, but unless you speak the local language, things could start to get complicated. It's hard enough trying to get any sense out of the average mobile phone store employee, without throwing a foreign language into the mix as well.



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  # 259135 28-Sep-2009 20:56
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Hahaha, too true mate! Fortunately, I speak French and German well enough to communicate about this sort of thing, germany, france and switzerland should be fine. I hope they have similar plans, 'cause I'm already planning my iPhone usage, lol!

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  # 259165 28-Sep-2009 22:27
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I know you said you wouldn't be doing much calling, but keep the Skype application in mind (assuming you have people in NZ that use or could use it) as it's awesome to use when you're in a wi-fi zone.

I was in San Francisco for a couple days last month and it was brilliant being able to call my fiance for free every time I came across a free wi-fi hotspot. Free wireless at my hotel was good too!



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Geek


  # 259171 28-Sep-2009 22:41
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Skype is definitely something I'd be interested in using for calls. I understand there is free wireless on some trains and stuff in europe? And sometimes in hostels?


I would definitely be more inclined to call home if I could do it for free ;)

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  # 259181 28-Sep-2009 22:58
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Not sure how prevalent the free wi-fi is in Europe, but yeah, jump on it when you can! It was my first time overseas with an iPhone and I was extremely impressed with the call quality - clear audio and no lag at all, was like talking to someone in the next room!



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Geek


  # 259184 28-Sep-2009 23:05
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That would be amazing! I'm taking the thing to canada too. The more I hear about the iPhone, the more desperate I am to procure one :P

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