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Old 11-20-2011, 03:57 PM   #1
terrie
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Default Europe, cell phone & internet cafe advice needed...

My sister (the one who lives next door) is going to Rome in early December--she leaves the 1st. She has checked with ATT about what they would charge to allow her to use her (older--2 gens back I think) iPhone while travelling and apparently it's pretty pricey. I suggested she get a pre-paid (? throw-away??) cell phone with international service.

Since I don't own a cell phone, I am pretty clueless as to how international calling via cell phone works so suggestions? Pitfalls to avoid? Can she get something like this that would allow her get online?

I also suggested that she set up a separate travel email account--we'll probably set it up using gmail. Will she have problems accessing that account at an internet cafe in Europe? Suggestions? Pitfalls to avoid?

What about setting up stuff on a flash drive? What should get/use/put on it--Firefox or Chrome or???

Other things I'm not thinking of?

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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How long is she going to be abroad? Is she likely to call frequently to the USA or receive calls from the USA?

Is she going to expect people in Italy to call her phone - friends she may be visiting; motels to call back to confirm accomodation stuff like that? If so then it is pretty well essential to get a local prepaid cell phone or someone next door will pay for an international call just to say Hi, come round when you are ready! It's what I did in the UK where I got a Samsung for about $30 with $15 free time on a UK cellnet service -- O2.

The travel forum on Compuserve is a place where this has been dealt with pretty frequently as also the Gadgets & Gear Forum there:

The Travel Forum

Gadgets & Gear Community

   
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #3
terrie
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hugh: How long is she going to be abroad?
Just 9 days...


>>Is she likely to call frequently to the USA or receive calls from the USA?

Probably not but in the event of an emergency...


>>Is she going to expect people in Italy to call her phone - friends she may be visiting; motels to call back to confirm accomodation stuff like that?

I think this is more likely...



>>If so then it is pretty well essential to get a local prepaid cell phone

Do you mean that she should wait until she gets to Italy to buy a pre-paid phone? I think that's what you mean but want to make sure.

Thanks for the links...will check them out...

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:28 PM   #4
Shane Stanley
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Here, you can ask your carrier to unlock your iPhone so you can put another carrier's SIM in it -- I don't know whether ATT do that. If so, probably the best solution is to get a prepaid SIM card on arrival. Here's a good place to compare the options <http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/italy.html>. And there's good info here: <http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/italy/>.

She should probably look into getting s codices fiscal -- the Web version worked fine for me.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:30 AM   #5
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Yes I meant get a prepaid on arrival in Ialy.

On the link Shane gives, I know Vodaphone as fairly good since they are active in the UK. If she has any friends in Italy they could recommend the best source I'm sure.

If she buys a prepaid phone then she can use it as a backup if needed when she gets back to the USA by buying a US prepaid SIM card ....

If she can get her US phone unlocked then that is an alternative but it may depend on how long she has had the contract it is on. I think from some messages in Gadget & Gear currently that it may be one year for AT&T -- if she wants to check this out I suggest she locates and calls the AT&T International Support number and ask aabout it. It may take a while since I think they have to check with the contract people.

If she does get a prepaid phone or just a SIM card then she needs, as soon as she knows the phone number to let her US emergency contacts know what the number is and they need to know how to call that number from the USA.

At one time it was complicated in Italy because for some towns you did it one way and for some you did it a different way -- sometimes you took out the initial 0 and sometimes you left it in. But they may be better standardized now -- it would be a good idea for the emergency person to at least try it quickly before it may become necessary.

They may need to know enough Italian to recognize the voice mail and out of service replies they maight get!

   
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
terrie
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shane: Here, you can ask your carrier to unlock your iPhone so you can put another carrier's SIM in it
Thanks...I've passed the info on to my sister...I dind't know that was an option...

Let's say my sister gets a pre-paid cell to use for phone calls. Do you know if my sister could use her iPhone (not with a different sim card) in Italy to check her gmail mail without incurring an additional charge? Basically, she'd use the iphone as a browser?

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:13 AM   #7
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hugh: If she buys a prepaid phone then she can use it as a backup if needed when she gets back to the USA by buying a US prepaid SIM card
Oh! Interesting idea...

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Old 11-21-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
Let's say my sister gets a pre-paid cell to use for phone calls. Do you know if my sister could use her iPhone (not with a different sim card) in Italy to check her gmail mail without incurring an additional charge? Basically, she'd use the iphone as a browser?
That's usually an add-on. There 's a tiny built-in Internet allowance, but it's a sure-fire way to eat up your credit. I think I paid two Euros a week for TIM's Smartphone pack.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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shane: That's usually an add-on.
Thanks...I just talked with her and she's planning on going to an internet cafe to check her travelling email addy--we set up a separate gmail account for this--so whatever she ends up doing for a phone, it will just be for phone calls--how odd...'-}}

I think that given the fact that she's leaving on Dec. 1st and this week is crazed here in the States--big holiday on Thursday and most people extend it through the weekend--I think she's probably just going to buy a prepaid/disposible phone when she gets to Rome because there is not enough time for anything else.

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Old 11-21-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Terrie,

Do please check this Returning to USA, ATT, IPhone in the G&G Forum I told you about. It is several pages but it touches on iPads etc.

According to several people, if you use your iPhone/iPad and turn off everything except WiFi then you can use it in an Internet Cafe or on a friend's LAN without racking up the astronomical data charges (and you'll see astronomical can mean several thousand dollars) ......

Browse that whole section there on Phones Tablets ....

   
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