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# how do you handle international data connectivity?

Mar 1, 17, 8:59 am
#16

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,888
Originally Posted by teCh0010
I have Verizon (S7) for the domestic coverage. When traveling international I will either use the $2 a day travel pass coverage, or if in a country without travelpass like Japan rent a pocket wifi and use calling / text over wifi. Well it is only$2 for Mexico and Canada... the rest are $10. It seems weird that both AT&T and Verizon's$10 per day pass do not cover Japan. Last time I was in Japan we rented those pocket Wifi for like $8 a day for unlimited data. You would think that the carrier would gladly charge you$10 a day and still make money off it.
Mar 1, 17, 9:40 am
#17
FlyerTalk Evangelist

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 16,264
Last summer, T-Mobile offered free LTE roaming in Europe. I didn't have to bother with buying a local SIM in Sweden (or during my transfers at LHR or OSL). That was nice. What wasn't nice was that I accidentally took a 3-hour conference call while on the cellular network instead of my usual wi-fi calling. $36 lesson learned. Last edited by pseudoswede; Mar 1, 17 at 11:00 am Mar 1, 17, 1:15 pm #18 Join Date: Jan 2003 Posts: 2,888 Originally Posted by pseudoswede Last summer, T-Mobile offered free LTE roaming in Europe. I didn't have to bother with buying a local SIM in Sweden (or during my transfers at LHR or OSL). That was nice. What wasn't nice was that I accidentally took a 3-hour conference call while on the cellular network instead of my usual wi-fi calling.$36 lesson learned.
That's actually really cheap. $12 per hour? Last time I actually dial international without dialing the calling card number first.... I paid over$2 per min on AT&T. Normally it was like 3 cents a min on calling card. I setup the phone to first dial the calling card number, pause, and dial the international number. But the calling card number was not working.. so somehow it used AT&T to call the international number.

And the last time I left the phone out of airplane mode for like 1 or 2 hours outside of US.. I was charged $56 for per use data. Didn't do anything on the iPhone.. just background data.. probably fetching weather and stuff. Good thing I found out that fast and turned it off. If I left it on for the rest of the week.. it would have been like$10000 data usage LOL.
Mar 1, 17, 1:39 pm
#19
FlyerTalk Evangelist

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
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Posts: 16,264
$0.20/min to make phone calls back to the US. Mar 1, 17, 2:00 pm #20 Join Date: May 2003 Location: Cleveland, OH Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium) Posts: 1,633 Originally Posted by eeflyer I opened a Project Fi account for this. I prefer it to Tmobile because of the supposedly faster speeds. Also a plus that it's prepaid vs postpaid. Finally, the data-only sims are great. While I haven't been able to take it abroad yet, I'll be testing it next month. I use Project FI and LOVE it. I've got a sim in my phone and one in my iPad Pro. I just used it in India (Mumbai & Kochi) as well as Germany (Hamburg-Frankfurt) and Spain (Madrid) it worked great and was SUPER fast everywhere. 30mbps+ download rates in most places. Meanwhile, I met up with my parents in Germany who are on an American T-Mo plan... and they were throttled at 256kbps... which make their phones noticeably more painful to use. Mar 1, 17, 7:20 pm #21 Join Date: Aug 2008 Location: Somewhere in Florida Posts: 1,806 Originally Posted by Need Well it is only$2 for Mexico and Canada... the rest are $10. ...4 days of that is the same price as an entire month of service for me on T-Mobile, including international data. Which is why our office staff go abroad with a T-Mo phone instead of a Verizon one. Not to mention most of the Verizon phones are crippled in their LTE frequencies. Originally Posted by pseudoswede Last summer, T-Mobile offered free LTE roaming in Europe. I didn't have to bother with buying a local SIM in Sweden (or during my transfers at LHR or OSL). That was nice. What wasn't nice was that I accidentally took a 3-hour conference call while on the cellular network instead of my usual wi-fi calling.$36 lesson learned.
WiFi Calling *or* Google Voice/Hangouts Dialer would have prevented that. Still, not bad compared to what the others charge.
Mar 1, 17, 9:54 pm
#22

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 392
I typically buy a local SIM, but like the new AT&T international day pass option. For a 5 day trip to France, I could spend $40 on a local SIM, or$50 to AT&T and not even have to worry about it. Especially like the call options: it includes not only calls back to the USA, but calls to and within other day pass countries.
Mar 2, 17, 12:28 am
#23

Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Programs: AA MM, UA MM, IC Plat Amb, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,045
Originally Posted by PackingIt
For a 5 day trip to France, I could spend $40 on a local SIM Are local SIMs in France really that pricey? I'm used to spending USD$10-15 (usually much less) for local SIMs in most foreign countries I visit. I'm currently in Oman, where a 7-day visitor SIM with data, voice and SMS cost me OMR 5 (about US$13). I greatly miss AT&T's convenience, but that convenience came at a very high cost.... Mar 2, 17, 12:47 am #24 Join Date: Apr 2012 Location: Canada Programs: A3*G, UA*S, MR PPE, HHonors Gold, Carlson Gold, NEXUS Posts: 3,475 Originally Posted by PackingIt . For a 5 day trip to France, I could spend$40 on a local SIM, or $50 to AT&T and not even have to worry about it. Especially like the call options: it includes not only calls back to the USA, but calls to and within other day pass countries. As someone currently living in France: you're doing it wrong. You can get a SIM with a ton of data for 25€ ai. There are cheaper options out there as well. Re: TMO -- isn't that$70/mo now?
Mar 2, 17, 6:02 am
#25

Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 69
I just set up a new system for my next trip.

I've been using KeepGo data for years, and keep their sim in an iPad as a hotspot while travelling overseas. This has made WiFi calling back and forth from the US free (Minus the KeepGo fees) since we are all on T-Mobile. WiFi calling uses about 1Mb per minute or less, so the data consumption and cost is minimal. KeepGo charges [email protected]$99, good for a year. iPhone Facetime audio and video calling is free over the low speed data on T-Mobile, so that works well also for calls between us. I've recently added a Flexiroam sim on top of my KeepGo sim. Their app switches between the two, and is stable and positive. This service has more countries and carriers than KeepGo, and the prices are similar. You get [email protected]$80 also good for a year. The fact that Flexi's service is an add on sticker means there is no physical sim swapping to change services.

I realize this might seem like overkill, but I have this all set up and tested before I depart. I merely switch on data roaming, select the strongest signal and go about my exploring. I spend about 60 days or so every year internationally. For about $200 we always have data and phone service while away, and I'm a hero to the family. Last edited by draver; Mar 2, 17 at 6:53 am Mar 2, 17, 7:34 am #26 Join Date: Apr 2014 Posts: 392 At least in Paris, I've tried many different providers and Orange has the best coverage with fastest speeds for their prepaid sim. And their offering for tourists cost 40 Euro. Others had data that was slow as molasses. Originally Posted by mikew99 Are local SIMs in France really that pricey? I'm used to spending USD$10-15 (usually much less) for local SIMs in most foreign countries I visit. I'm currently in Oman, where a 7-day visitor SIM with data, voice and SMS cost me OMR 5 (about US$13). I greatly miss AT&T's convenience, but that convenience came at a very high cost.... Mar 3, 17, 9:33 pm #27 Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: VNY | BUR | LAX Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus Posts: 11,684 Originally Posted by PackingIt At least in Paris, I've tried many different providers and Orange has the best coverage with fastest speeds for their prepaid sim. And their offering for tourists cost 40 Euro. Others had data that was slow as molasses. That! Orange Holiday A SIM card with a French phone number 120 min + 1000 texts international calls and texts from European zone 2 GB of mobile data valid in European zone (1) + Orange Wifi free & unlimited (2) Validity of the credit : 14 days after 1st use. 39,99€ Mar 4, 17, 1:57 am #28 Join Date: Mar 2004 Location: here and there Programs: some Posts: 3,146 Love Google Fi - works well and is affordable. For longer stays I just buy a local sim card. I got a dual sim phone for this reason (Moto G4). Mar 4, 17, 6:44 am #29 Join Date: Mar 2016 Location: Florida & NY Posts: 5 Mission focus drives decision making Originally Posted by teCh0010 I have Verizon (S7) for the domestic coverage. When traveling international I will either use the$2 a day travel pass coverage, or if in a country without travelpass like Japan rent a pocket wifi and use calling / text over wifi.

* UMA VOIP: Cellular calls are routed through wifi when I am wifi connected
* 2G roaming included in T-mobile int'l roaming plans: enables WhatsApp messaging
* Text messaging int'l roaming including in T-mobile plans

I switched to T-mobile because of VOIP UMA calling because cellular coverage at work was poor, but wifi everywhere.

IMHO, there are several questions that should be answered in the course of planning phone / messaging connectivity when roaming:

1) Will I need data to RECEIVE messaging from peers when roaming? (WhatsApp, FB etc.)
2) Will peers from home need to be able to call me \ text me on my home cellular #?
3) Will peers from home need to SMS\text me and in which context (home country or abroad)?

Have you attempted to ask your provided to SIM unlock your phone so that you can use a foreign SIM? Personally, I think one is better off to have a second GSM quad band phone (simpler: not a smartphone is better if you are not buying data) for foreign travel.

If it is 'good enough' to not have cellular connectivity and wifi connectivity abroad, then an Android smartphone outfitted with cSipSimple and your favorite VOIP provider is the cost-effective solution.

In my last trip, I lost my phone in the cab while en route to the airport. I keep a spare for this reason.
Mar 4, 17, 3:54 pm
#30

Join Date: Mar 2011