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how do you handle international data connectivity?

how do you handle international data connectivity?

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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:22 pm
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how do you handle international data connectivity?

on a recent trip i learned that my s7 was locked and could not use a foreign sim and ended up paying my provider's US$12 a day roaming fee.

on future trips i think i will opt to get an international pocket wifi available in MNL for about US$7 a day to give my travel group internet access abroad.


what do you use? spare unlocked phone and sim of country you are visiting? pocket wifi? or just grin and bear the excessive roaming internet fees?
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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:41 pm
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Depends on how long we're planning to be in that country for, but generally, we buy a local SIM.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by frobozzelectric View Post
on a recent trip i learned that my s7 was locked and could not use a foreign sim and ended up paying my provider's US$12 a day roaming fee.

on future trips i think i will opt to get an international pocket wifi available in MNL for about US$7 a day to give my travel group internet access abroad.


what do you use? spare unlocked phone and sim of country you are visiting? pocket wifi? or just grin and bear the excessive roaming internet fees?
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Old Feb 20, 17, 10:38 pm
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I am a T-Mobile USA customer, and use my iPhone abroad. That includes unlimited data at 2G speeds in many countries, but I buy high-speed data passes to boost that to full speed.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 11:23 pm
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Glocalme U2. Not sure how it could be better. It's a battery operated hotspot as small as it gets and has data packages for everywhere. And you can add a local SIM if you are at one place for longer.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 12:25 am
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Unlocked dual SIM phone and local (Toggle) SIM/Three SIM with "Feel at Home" (free 200MB data in FAH countries) when travelling outside EU. Within EU my regular SIM/Three SIM for the 200MB free data (which lasts me as I do not do social media).
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Old Feb 21, 17, 1:43 am
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I use my iPad Pro (they are all unlocked) and buy a local SIM for it. Then I just use the iPad as a hotspot for all of my devices. If you are using iPhones then you can use FaceTime Audio for calls (or Skype, etc). Also, if you have Wifi Calling enabled, in many countries your iPhone will show as (in my example) AT&T Wifi and you can call any number as if you were back at home.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 21, 17, 5:50 am
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unlocking mobile phone

apparently s7 can be unlocked without voiding warranty. i think i will go for that option and just buy sim cards from countries i visit.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by frobozzelectric View Post
on a recent trip i learned that my s7 was locked and could not use a foreign sim and ended up paying my provider's US$12 a day roaming fee.

on future trips i think i will opt to get an international pocket wifi available in MNL for about US$7 a day to give my travel group internet access abroad.

what do you use? spare unlocked phone and sim of country you are visiting? pocket wifi? or just grin and bear the excessive roaming internet fees?
I'm going to guess that your phone is on one of those monthly purchase plans. If you pay it off in full, the cell company has to unlock it since then it belongs to you. Something to consider before the next trip.

To answer your question, I purchased a SIM in the UK once, but typically I use offline maps ("Here!" app for Android) and rely on Wi-fi which is ubiquitous these days.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 9:42 am
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5 a day roaming outside the EU. Could probably save with local SIMs but not worth the hassle
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
...If you pay it off in full, the cell company has to unlock it since then it belongs to you.
Rules vary by jurisdiction. frobozzelectric's profile shows residence in Singapore.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:50 am
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When AT&T refused to SIM-unlock my newly acquired phone a few years ago, I bought an unlock code on eBay for a few bucks.

Since canceling my AT&T service, I moved to a combination of free global SIMs such as FreedomPop, cheap local SIMs bought on arrival in a foreign country, and (where those options fail) pricey global SIMs such as GigSky.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 1:56 pm
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We always used to give people a cheap-ish unlocked or older phone and have them buy SIMs locally. There's some great ones out there for sale these days.

We've since switched about half of the office over to T-Mobile USA, where unlimited international data is included. For those who still are on Verizon, they're given a T-Mobile phone for the trip.

Either way, make sure whatever phone you're planning on using supports the LTE bands (radio frequencies) that the provider in your destination uses. When looking up your phone, make sure you look up your *exact* model # as each carrier/country has different versions of the same phone, ie: Verizon Galaxy S5 (SM-G900V) phones only support LTE bands 4 & 13, whereas T-Mobile Galaxy S5 (SM-G900T) phones support LTE bands 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,17.

Need to know which countries/carriers use which LTE bands? Wikipedia has a great guide to this.

In my aforementioned example, if you were traveling to the Cayman Islands, Digicel uses Band 3, FLOW uses Band 17. The Verizon S5 wouldn't work on LTE there even if it was unlocked.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 8:11 pm
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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.
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Old Feb 28, 17, 4:14 pm
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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.
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