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Old Jan 25, 09, 11:44 pm   #1
 
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iphone 3g in Italy (US phone)

Hi,

Wondering if anyone has advice on how to use an US iphone 3G in italy?

Will be there for a couple weeks, and trying to figure out if anyone has had success using 3g unlock provided by the iphone dev team (called yellowsn0w?).

Also, what carriers do people recommend for a prepay solution in italy?

Lastly, does anyone know if you can you use their 3G data with a prepay?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 26, 09, 1:12 am   #2
 
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oops, sorry - thought you wanted to buy in italy (they are factory unlocked there).

Vodafone I believe has a prepay solution for the iphone that includes a data option, as many italians prefer prepay over contracts.....

Last edited by Pacha; Jan 26, 09 at 1:24 am.
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Old Jan 26, 09, 6:09 am   #3
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When you swap sim cards and activate a different data connection, what settings do you have to change besides the Wap functions? How much of a PITA is it to swap cards that way?

(I'm told it's a major hassle on BB's, but I haven't tried it; not like swapping cards on a phone just used for talk and text, where you don't change any settings).
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Old Jan 28, 09, 4:09 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
When you swap sim cards and activate a different data connection, what settings do you have to change besides the Wap functions? How much of a PITA is it to swap cards that way?

(I'm told it's a major hassle on BB's, but I haven't tried it; not like swapping cards on a phone just used for talk and text, where you don't change any settings).
Curious to the answer on this. I'll bring my BB if a SIM card is reasonable and there is service. Having Google maps would be nice.
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Old Jan 30, 09, 4:27 pm   #5
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I believe that unlocking your US 3G iPhone will void any warranties that come with you. AT&T will not unlock the phone either.
I bought a cheap Motorola off eBay and purchased an italian simcard. Last time I bought it from Cellular Abroad. This time I will probably just wait to buy one once I get over there. Then I just bought minutes at the local tabbachi. Of course, you don't get all the features that the iPhone has but I am a chicken about unlocking the phone.
Good luck!
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Old Feb 1, 09, 9:44 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMB View Post
I believe that unlocking your US 3G iPhone will void any warranties that come with you. AT&T will not unlock the phone either.
I bought a cheap Motorola off eBay and purchased an italian simcard. Last time I bought it from Cellular Abroad. This time I will probably just wait to buy one once I get over there. Then I just bought minutes at the local tabbachi. Of course, you don't get all the features that the iPhone has but I am a chicken about unlocking the phone.
Good luck!
What does a SIM Card in Italy cost? Is it for data and calls? Minutes or for so many days? Sorry, very new to the idea.
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Old Feb 3, 09, 9:00 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMB View Post
I believe that unlocking your US 3G iPhone will void any warranties that come with you. AT&T will not unlock the phone either.
I bought a cheap Motorola off eBay and purchased an italian simcard. Last time I bought it from Cellular Abroad. This time I will probably just wait to buy one once I get over there. Then I just bought minutes at the local tabbachi. Of course, you don't get all the features that the iPhone has but I am a chicken about unlocking the phone.
Good luck!
Yeah, I know this and I've unlocked many a iphones in the past so i'm not worried about that part. If done properly, *knock on wood*, i've never had an issue where i could not reverse the process.

I'm actually curious if anyone knows what the local rates are for iPhone prepaid plans. I think i can buy data from AT&T for about $200 for 200mb but wondering what the local rates are.

Does anyone know?
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Old Feb 3, 09, 7:46 pm   #8
 
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Okay - keep you hats on and sit down!

Used my regular iPhone in Italy last summer. Went to AT&T before I left to make sure it would work in Italy and the salesperson was an .... Barely answered me and simply said, yes.

It worked fine and I had no problem. But on the second to last day, I got a message about excess data usage. Didn't understand it since I had NEVER done email or websurfing.

Landed back in the US after 11 nights in Italy and took out my phone to call my kids and tell them we were home. Message now was that my service was suspended. Long story short, there is a setting you need to adjust before you go away to turn data usage off. Apparently, my phone was constantly gathering data even though I never accessed it!

Ready - I had apparently run up a bill of $1,200! I was floored and angry, especially since I had gone to the trouble of going to the AT&T store and felt the salesman should have told me about this. In the end, apparently AT&T Customer Service agreed with me. They retroactively put me on a data plan for one month and it ended up costing me under $100 - even tho it should have cost me nothing.

So yes, it works well and you don't need to do anything. But you better turn data roaming off! We went to an internet cafe each day (we were staying in a villa in Tuscany that had no internet connection) and it was dirt cheap.
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Old Feb 7, 09, 11:17 am   #9
 
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While overseas, if you haven't purchased the international data plan, the iPhone becomes just a phone. You should turn off the automatic email retrieval (set to 'manual'), make sure data roaming is off, and turn off 3G.

I was able (in France) to connect to wifi here and there, but not very often.

You can use the camera all you want, though.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 1:52 pm   #10
 
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iPhone just works.

I've used an unlocked 3g in the UK. I just walked into a carphone warehouse, bought a t-mobile SIM and selected a plan on the web that allowed for about 7 cents /minute calls to the USA. It was great. We talked for a few hours throughout the week and it was less than $20 (including unlimited 3g data). They have them in vending machines at LHR baggage claim too.

I was looking around here for which company to use in italy for a prepaid SIM that has decent rates around Italy (and to the USA). I've found the italy prepaid plans for TIM and Vodafone but there isn't info on international rates.
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Old Feb 17, 09, 5:56 am   #11
 
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If you swap sim cards, doesn't that mean that you have a new phone number for the duration of your use of that sim?
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Old Feb 17, 09, 11:35 am   #12
 
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That's correct. You could use a tool like skype or grand central as a previous poster suggested to forward calls cheaply (remember incoming calls abroad are free).
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Old Feb 17, 09, 11:42 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamnx View Post
I've used an unlocked 3g in the UK. I just walked into a carphone warehouse, bought a t-mobile SIM and selected a plan on the web that allowed for about 7 cents /minute calls to the USA. It was great. We talked for a few hours throughout the week and it was less than $20 (including unlimited 3g data). They have them in vending machines at LHR baggage claim too.
Does any prepaid card give you the option to do unlimited 3g data? curious how much that cost. Thanks!
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Old Jan 25, 11, 8:37 am   #14
 
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Possible unlimited data solution

My wife and I are heading to Italy later this year with our iPhone. I found a company in the US that rents phones and/or SIM cards for global use with unlimited data plus inexpensive voice/SMS rates. I contacted their customer support (twice) and they specified that you DO NOT need an unlocked/jailbroken iPhone for this to work. I have not used them yet, but I plan on it for our upcoming trip. Company website: iphonetrip.com
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Old Jan 30, 11, 9:59 am   #15
 
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Used my 3g for a trip to several cities in Europe year before last. I got a data plan since I planned to use it a fair amount and found it to be a money saver. By the way, the mapping works just fine in big cities when you are lost
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