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Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: July 28, 2016 10:52AM
We're all on iPhone 6 or 6s... 3 ATTs and a Verizon. Pop a SIM card in when we arrive? If so, where to get one and anything to be careful of with it?

I assume that arranging service through our domestic carrier is way more expensive (?).



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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: max
Date: July 28, 2016 11:05AM
T-mobile....
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 28, 2016 11:12AM
AT&T Passport rates:\[www.att.com]

You can usually do better ( especially data cost ) with a prepaid sim when you get there - at a kiosk/phone store rather than a vending machine- 7/11 type store might be able to help you with selecting the best sim for your use and if instructions are not in english.


Is th Verizon phone a newer GSM and CDMA hybrid phone ?



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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: July 28, 2016 11:29AM
The Verizon phone is a 6.



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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: zeppo2
Date: July 28, 2016 11:32AM
I find that most airports now have a cell phone shop that will sell you a SIM and pop it in for you. Although the airports might be a few dollars more than what you find in city centers, you're more likely to find somebody who speaks English at the airport if not fluent in the local language. Plus you have the phone from immediately to call an Uber, call up Google Maps, ring your hotel, etc.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 28, 2016 11:56AM
Are your phones carrier unlocked? If not, it probably won't work.

IIRC, there were some decent SIM/service deals at the Milan airport. The plus side is that if it doesn't work when they install the SIM, they can troubleshoot it. Who will fix it if you order it off the web?

I would bring something to put your original sim in. They're small and easy to loose.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 28, 2016 12:12PM
Quote
jimbrady
The Verizon phone is a 6.
an unlocked ESN clean 6 should work with a SIM that supports the networks on this list: [www.apple.com]

only problem I can think of you might run into besides the sim working on different country's networks ( they usually do ) is being able to add more minutes or top off your SIM account. Say you buy a SIM in Switzerland and go to Italy and everything is kosher until you've used up your minutes. You might not be able to top it off in Italy. It is a good question to ask . If you can't you might want to buy a card with more minutes on it. Or buy fewer minutes and another SIM when you get to Italy. ( which means another new number )



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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: July 28, 2016 12:27PM
Are "minutes" calling minutes? What about data (as most of the phone use will be for web, maps etc)?



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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 28, 2016 12:51PM
same as here - voice and data, minutes and MB or GB

also same s here: you'll find the network owners, say, Vodaphone. T-mobil, 3, Orange or whomever they are in the country you are in and then resellers /MVNO reselling the networks minutes. (AT&T, Verizon, T-mobil vs pageplus, metropcs, boost, etc.. )



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2016 12:57PM by billb.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: davester
Date: July 28, 2016 01:05PM
For sure you would need to have the phones unlocked to use foreign SIM cards. My usual strategy when travelling abroad is to buy one of AT&T's Passport plans which gives you unlimited texting, lower cost talk and a small data package. I then keep the cellular data turned off except when I have a particular need to use it and try to do any long phone calls using facetime or skype over wifi. The biggest data use when overseas is usually navigation and maps. You can completely eliminate that by using the "Here" app and downloading the maps of where you are going onto your phone and running it in offline mode. For me, this strategy usually ends up costing not a whole lot more than buying a SIM card, and is more convenient since people in the US can still call me at my regular number.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2016 01:07PM by davester.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: July 28, 2016 01:17PM
Quote
jimbrady
Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Yes, your incarceration can be eased by hotel take-out in both Switzerland and Italy. In Italy there's a 20% surcharge for the guard on duty.


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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: Cary
Date: July 28, 2016 03:02PM
Quote
max
T-mobile....

+1

T Mobile is great for international travel. Unlimited text and (not always the fastest) data in 120+ countries, plus $0.20 per minute voice calls, which are unnecessary if you use Skype or WhatsApp or Facetime (they are considered data). (These are also usable over wifi.)

Your Verizon phone is already unlocked, and will accept anyone's SIM.

The AT&T phones have to be unlocked, which you may be able to do with AT&T by jumping through some hoops. Call them to see if you're eligible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2016 03:03PM by Cary.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 29, 2016 06:22AM
Italy

Switzerland
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: sekker
Date: July 29, 2016 08:23AM
Quote
davester
For sure you would need to have the phones unlocked to use foreign SIM cards. My usual strategy when travelling abroad is to buy one of AT&T's Passport plans which gives you unlimited texting, lower cost talk and a small data package. I then keep the cellular data turned off except when I have a particular need to use it and try to do any long phone calls using facetime or skype over wifi. The biggest data use when overseas is usually navigation and maps. You can completely eliminate that by using the "Here" app and downloading the maps of where you are going onto your phone and running it in offline mode. For me, this strategy usually ends up costing not a whole lot more than buying a SIM card, and is more convenient since people in the US can still call me at my regular number.

This is good advice and works well if you don't need data for other reasons like tethering your laptop for business.

Plenty of off-network ways to get maps including google maps - just download beforehand.
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Re: Advice re: cell service in Switzerland and Italy?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: July 30, 2016 10:44AM
.....the Verizon one should already be unlocked.......not the AT&T but if you have time, you can ask them to unlock for international travel.....



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