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Overseas Telephony: Verizon iphone 4s + onesimcard.com

Overseas Telephony: Verizon iphone 4s + onesimcard.com

Old May 4, 12, 9:57 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 1,098
Overseas Telephony: Verizon iphone 4s + onesimcard.com

I’m posting all this info for the community, and to document the steps required to get my iphone4s working overseas and make/take inexpensive calls. I travel all over the world and “just use skype” and “just buy a local SIM” do not meet my needs. And I didn’t want to pay Verizon $3/ minute, so based on this post by Gary Leff I took the following steps:

1. Purchase
From onesimcard.com, I purchased a basic SIM with $10 credit on their website. Amazon is also a distributor. Total cost was $40. Their “Plus” card is intended for those visiting the U.S. and Canada. It’s more expensive, I didn’t buy it.

2. Shipment
Ordered on Saturday, they shipped on Monday via US Mail. Order arrived on Saturday. That's seven days later, but faster shipping is available.

3. Activate Onesimcard
Do not install SIM. Login to onsimcard.com account. Select “Activate”.

4. Setup Voice Mail (optional)
Call: 1-866-703-4770
The VRU is badly configured, but you can get it to work. A male voice gets you to the options menu. But when you tell it you want to record an outgoing message, a female voice asks if you want to listen/delete your messages. If you press enough buttons, you can get it to work. On the web site, I forced all voice mail to be sent to my email address as a .wav file, which is nice. You setup your voicemail password on the onesimcard website. Do NOT setup a password for incoming voice mail like I did.

5. Let people call your old Verizon number
This is the cool part. By default, The SIM is setup for an Estonian phone number (country code 372). And Verizon won’t forward calls overseas. However, Onesimcard lets you buy a U.S. “Personal Extra Number” (PEN) for $20/year. About 30 area codes are available. Onesimcard will charge you an additional 20 cents / minute for calls made to the PEN. Then you'll have incoming call charges (free in most countries) + Verizon airtime for forwarding. That's a fraction of Verizon's $3 / minute. And via step 9 (below) people can still call your "regular" number!

6. Cut SIM
The iPhone 4s takes a MicroSIM card. You can order a micro SIM for $10 more from onesimcard. However, I ordered a “standard” SIM and cut it myself using a $5 SIM cutter I picked up on ebay.

7. Unlock iPhone
While still in the US, and using a landline, call Verizon int’l support @ 1-800-711-8300. On the first two attempts, Verizon reps told me to hang up and dial the same number. The third rep transferred me to a tech, who unlocked the phone (with the Verizon SIM still inside) then had me: Turn off phone, take out Verizon SIM (paperclip into right hand side of phone), insert onesimcard SIM. Turn on phone. Connect phone to itunes via a cable. Wait a couple of minutes. Bing! T-Mobile appears. Turned off cellular data on phone. (settings / general / network / cellular data)

8. SMS
Onesimcard SIMs can receive SMS at no charge if an email is sent to [email protected]. This work as advertised. Since I have my own domain so I created something like [email protected] but their mail server blocked the forwarded message. So that’s unfortunate. Texts are 40 cents each, but 15 cents if you buy a 100 day $0.99 "text message discount package"


9. Before take off (still in U.S.)
Forward calls: From the cell phone, while STILL in THE U.S., dial *72-xxx-xxx-xxxx to forward your phone to the PEN.

10. Disable Cellular Data
Onesimcard’s data rates aren’t great ($1 / MB), but that’s OK, I generally use WiFi for data. Even though data service is disabled on the SIM by default and requires several steps to enable, I suggest turning off cellular data (settings / general / network / cellular data)

11. Unforward Phone
When back in the U.S. dial *73 to stop forwarding. Re-enable cellular data.

12. Support
Had a voice mail setup problem. Using the web (on a Saturday), submitted a ticket. OneSimCard support got back to me within 10 minutes.
While overseas, onesimcard can be reached via 213-805-2905
Verizon Support while overseas: 908 559 4899

Hope this is useful to someone!

Robert
boberonicus is offline  
Old May 4, 12, 12:20 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,143
If your US mobile is with Sprint, there is no airtime charge for conditional call forwarding (but there is a charge for unconditional call forwarding.) Of course if you are overseas and not roaming with a Sprint SIM all calls will be forwarded so you have the equivalent of unconditional forwarding but you have only activated the free conditional call forwarding.



Originally Posted by boberonicus View Post
5. Let people call your old Verizon number
This is the cool part. By default, The SIM is setup for an Estonian phone number (country code 372). And Verizon won’t forward calls overseas. However, Onesimcard lets you buy a U.S. “Personal Extra Number” (PEN) for $20/year. About 30 area codes are available. Onesimcard will charge you an additional 20 cents / minute for calls made to the PEN. Then you'll have incoming call charges (free in most countries) + Verizon airtime for forwarding. That's a fraction of Verizon's $3 / minute. And via step 9 (below) people can still call your "regular" number!
Robert

Last edited by BigFlyer; May 4, 12 at 12:56 pm
BigFlyer is offline  
Old May 4, 12, 1:21 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 22
this is a good alternative for people that just need it for calling, but it doesn't work for many who need data as well.

I have the $25/100 mb global data plan for verizon. It works much better for people who need both data and calling. I use Skype (roughly 1 MB/minute) so 1000 minutes cost about $250, where your onesimcard will cost $200 for 1000 minutes but thats only for incoming. outgoing to the US would be expensive.

I forward my calls to my skype #.

I also get to use Whatsapp and iMessage, so free messaging.

$1/mb is too much with onesimcard.
Shasan546 is offline  
Old May 5, 12, 1:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle, Washington USA
Posts: 972
Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
If your US mobile is with Sprint, there is no airtime charge for conditional call forwarding (but there is a charge for unconditional call forwarding.) Of course if you are overseas and not roaming with a Sprint SIM all calls will be forwarded so you have the equivalent of unconditional forwarding but you have only activated the free conditional call forwarding.
How do you do conditional vs. unconditional forwarding with Sprint?
weekilter is offline  
Old May 6, 12, 12:42 am
  #5  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Jose CA
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Originally Posted by Shasan546 View Post
this is a good alternative for people that just need it for calling, but it doesn't work for many who need data as well.
Skype quality is variable. And using data connectivity alone for voice calls means that you'll have no phone when you have a cellular connection, but no access to cellular data. I'm not sure how often that happens internationally, but I see it from time to time in the U.S. Also, you should factor in the cost of your Skype In number, which is three times more expensive than mine.
Originally Posted by Shasan546 View Post
$1/mb is too much with onesimcard.
Agreed that Verizon's $25 / 100 MB per month is a good deal. But it depends upon how much data you're planning to use, and when you plan to use it. If you use all 100MB in one month, Verizon's four times cheaper. But if you used 25MB per month, the costs would be the same. And if you needed 100MB over the course of year, Verizon would be three times more expensive.

Last edited by boberonicus; May 6, 12 at 12:49 am
boberonicus is offline  
Old May 6, 12, 2:55 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,561
I have ATT iPhone International Unlimited. I keep their SIM in my iPhone and hard forward my voice to a roaming SIM. Many of the roaming SIMs can now be programmed to spoof your caller-id so people see your main number calling them. I also use VoipCheap and call VOIP Over3g (where the connection is solid) or trigger a call-back to my roaming SIM. Again, they see my main number.
Dubai Stu is offline  

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