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SIM for multi-country Europe trip and options for calling home

Old Aug 17, 2023, 8:44 am
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Last edit by: serpens
Here are instructions for what phone settings to use when a travel SIM has been activated. The initial wiki is for an iPhone (in particular, an iPhone SE 2020 with iOS 16.6), but perhaps others will expand the wiki to clarify the steps for other phones or other operating system versions.

* Before arriving in the travel area, turn off roaming on the home SIM (to avoid any roaming charge).
- At Settings > Cellular, under SIMs, choose the home SIM and turn off Data Roaming.
If there is a Network Selection option (which is apparently not available with Consumer Cellular), choose a network on which the phone cannot roam, for example, 313-100.

* After arriving in the travel area, use the following settings.
- At Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data, choose the travel SIM and turn off Allow Cellular Data Switching.
- At Settings > Cellular > Default Voice Line, choose the home SIM.
- At Settings > Cellular, under SIMs, ensure both home and travel are On.
- At Settings > Cellular > [home SIM], ensure Wi-Fi calling is On and Data Roaming is Off.
- At Settings > Cellular > [travel SIM], ensure Data Roaming is On and (optionally) Low Data Mode is On.

Corrections are welcome, as are elaborations of what these settings mean and do.
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SIM for multi-country Europe trip and options for calling home

Old Aug 17, 2023, 11:11 am
  #316  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by serpens
I created a wiki that (as far as I can recall) are the steps that I would follow for my iPhone SE 2020. Corrections and elaborations are welcome.
Not all carriers allow WiFi calling and some have location restrictions. One carrier in Australia or New Zealand restricts by location preventing WiFi calling mentioned in the wiki.

Originally Posted by serpens
Although Chase sent a notification that I had made an international purchase, there was no fee for an international charge. (I thought I had read in the Chase forum that international charges, even those billed in US dollars, incurred a foreign transaction fee.)
Depends on the card. My Chase card has no additional fee for international charges which is one reason I signed up for the card.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 5:57 pm
  #317  
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Originally Posted by MADPhil
Thank you for the Wiki. My experience with Consumer Cellular is that carrier selection is not available in the US but is available in the UK. [...]
You're welcome. I hope to be in England next month and will try to remember to check and update the wiki.
Originally Posted by TGarza
Not all carriers allow WiFi calling and some have location restrictions. [...]
Depends on the card. My Chase card has no additional fee for international charges which is one reason I signed up for the card.
Consumer Cellular did allow a Wi-Fi call from Canada to USA. That doesn't contradict what you said in any way; it's just another data point.

This was a card (Freedom Unlimited) that does have a FTF. If I had known the Airalo purchase was an international charge, I wouldn't have used it--unless I had also known that there was no FTF for an international Airalo charge, in which case I would have used it.

I'd rather be lucky than good.
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Old Aug 17, 2023, 10:38 pm
  #318  
 
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Originally Posted by serpens
Consumer Cellular did allow a Wi-Fi call from Canada to USA. That doesn't contradict what you said in any way; it's just another data point.
Consumer Cellular actually encourage you to use WiFi calling overseas to avoid the roaming charges. Their website says that you must have International Roaming turned on to use it but an agent I asked about that said he had never heard of it having to be turned on. I have used it in the UK on WiFi and with Airalo and FlexiRoam data SIMs. I did use the CC SIM for some voice calls and they billed at $0.06 per minute which is much less than they have in their price list. I haven't risked trying their cellular data though.
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 9:41 am
  #319  
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Originally Posted by MADPhil
Consumer Cellular actually encourage you to use WiFi calling overseas to avoid the roaming charges. Their website says that you must have International Roaming turned on to use it but an agent I asked about that said he had never heard of it having to be turned on. I have used it in the UK on WiFi and with Airalo and FlexiRoam data SIMs. I did use the CC SIM for some voice calls and they billed at $0.06 per minute which is much less than they have in their price list. I haven't risked trying their cellular data though.
Maybe I understand. The $0.06 per minute calls were made using the CC SIM with international roaming enabled, and "I haven't risked trying their cellular date" means you didn't use a browser or an app with the CC SIM. Did I get that right? If so, does that mean that you turned cellular data off for the CC SIM and then made calls? I have at best a tenuous grasp of all this technology.
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by serpens
Maybe I understand. The $0.06 per minute calls were made using the CC SIM with international roaming enabled, and "I haven't risked trying their cellular date" means you didn't use a browser or an app with the CC SIM. Did I get that right? If so, does that mean that you turned cellular data off for the CC SIM and then made calls? I have at best a tenuous grasp of all this technology.
Yes, data on the CC SIM was turned off so I was using only WiFi or a FlexiRoam data SIM. The voice calls were made or attempted in locations where there was no WiFi and the data SIM had connection problems. Otherwise the CC SIM was set to an invalid cellular carrier. What was interesting was that CC's charges on an ATT SIM were so reasonable.
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