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Thread: Temporary switch to T-Mobile for one month foreign travel?

  1. #16
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    I'll check KeepGo... Verizon's international plan is $40/line/month and allows 100 minutes talk, 100 outbound texts and 100MB data. I compare that with TM... at the virtually the same price. 100 MB would only allow for limited mapping. Yes, 2 of us in this venture. And, on bikes, our thinking is we want to be in touch. Otherwise we could almost do without phones.

  2. #17
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    For your biking adventure, texting would work well I would imagine. AT&T wants $120 for 800 Mb, $.35 a minute for calls, and it is only good for 1 billing cycle. I've used KeepGo for about 5 years all over the world, and they have decent prices and good customer service.

    The local sims are generally inexpensive, but then you need to find one that works where you're going. Again, when I'm on the plane, I switch sims, and arrive with solid, reliable, voice, text and data service. I seldom spend more than $10-$20 on calls, since texting works so well for the "Meet Me At The Coliseum At Noon" communication. Plus, you can call home for $.20 a minute, I don't know what the foreign sims charge, or if it's even an option.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by artshotwell View Post
    Ah! Yes, one shouldn't look for good deals. When I called T-Mobile, they seemed to happy to oblige. My experience in Europe has been that I could only find one sim card per country. Which obviously leaves gaps when I'm bicycling.
    Much of Europe now has free or low-cost intra-European roaming. If you want advice on which prepaid SIMs might serve you best check out www.prepaidgsm.net

    P.S. Ignore the critics. If what you propose were a problem for T-Mobile, they'd have a waiting period before their Simple Choice roaming took effect.
    Donald Newcomb

  4. #19
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    I did this. Worked well. Had solid 2g speeds in Switzerland everywhere - even in mountain meadows. Proved a more consistent connection than the free wifi in the hotels sometimes, for tethering a laptop. Not fast enough to stream videos - but I'm not much for streaming to small screens anyway. Worked fine for normal websites. Was planning to cancel it after the trip, but I'm giving T-Mo a bit more of a trial now. Acquiring new customers is always a major cost - runs to hundreds of dollars per new customer typically. If they keep even a fraction of people who first try their service for travel, it can be a good deal for them.

  5. #20
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    Slightly off topic, but since one of the main uses of data while roaming is for mapping - I recommend that people check out Nokia Here maps with real offline map support. Its worked very well for me overseas where even with a local SIM card there can be extensive holes in data coverage.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhitWye View Post
    I did this. Worked well. Had solid 2g speeds in Switzerland everywhere - even in mountain meadows. Proved a more consistent connection than the free wifi in the hotels sometimes, for tethering a laptop. Not fast enough to stream videos - but I'm not much for streaming to small screens anyway. Worked fine for normal websites. Was planning to cancel it after the trip, but I'm giving T-Mo a bit more of a trial now. Acquiring new customers is always a major cost - runs to hundreds of dollars per new customer typically. If they keep even a fraction of people who first try their service for travel, it can be a good deal for them.
    We now have our sim cards from T-Mobile. No problem getting the accounts set up. I tested them at home...we're not going for a couple another week, and unfortunately, at home I get No Service or one dot coverage, depending where I am located in the house.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by artshotwell View Post
    We now have our sim cards from T-Mobile. No problem getting the accounts set up. I tested them at home...we're not going for a couple another week, and unfortunately, at home I get No Service or one dot coverage, depending where I am located in the house.
    T-Mobile can sell you a repeater that will get you better indoor coverage (I think they actually provide them at no cost). You can also use WiFi calling when at home, assuming you have a traditional ISP.
    SaskTel 306, Rogers 647 data, Rogers 306 flex tablet, Bell 519 flex tablet, Wind 587, PureTalkUSA 406, T-Mobile 716 & 347 prepaid, AT&T iPad SIM 716, T-Mobile postpaid data 619, Toggle Mobile (UK/FR/US), GiffGaff (UK)

    GSM phones: Too many to list.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by artshotwell View Post
    We now have our sim cards from T-Mobile. No problem getting the accounts set up. I tested them at home...we're not going for a couple another week, and unfortunately, at home I get No Service or one dot coverage, depending where I am located in the house.
    What phones are you using? I didn't see this mentioned earlier.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    What phones are you using? I didn't see this mentioned earlier.
    We're both using iPhone 6.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by artshotwell View Post
    We're both using iPhone 6.
    If you have WiFi at home, you should be able to use WiFi Calling on an iPhone 6.
    BTW, when roaming abroad you should use WiFi Calling for incoming calls and outgoing calls to the US but use cellular for calls to any country other than the US. If you use WiFi Calling, you will be charged at domestic international calling rates rather than the 20˘/min rate. I also recommend,
    1. Double checking to be sure your international roaming is properly provisioned by calling customer service.
    2. Have a backup plan. This might be having some Skype or Viber out minutes.
    3. Have T-Mobile's direct international roaming support number (+1-505-998-3793) handy. It's a free call from your T-Mobile phone.

    The iPhone 6 is a good phone for international roaming because it has so many 3G & 4G bands. Even though you will be limited to about 128 kbps for data, it does not help if that is further limited by having only GSM (2G) roaming. Consider trying to use something like Viber to keep in touch with each other, saving 40˘/min.

  11. #26
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    I got on a slow boat to China yesterday, so for the next 23 days I'll be using T-Mobile & KeepGo connectivity.

    We flew in to Vancouver, BC and after about 20 minutes, the TM LTE data connected, and I had good service on the Bell network. Once on the ship, I bought an unlimited WiFi package for $209 which covers the entire cruise of 15 days, 24/7. I made a couple of test WiFi calls from the ship to my home number, and the quality was quite good. Once we get a little further out to sea I'll test this again.

    This connectivity might be the answer to the ridiculous cellular per minute fees of $2.50-$5.99 the carriers & cruise lines charge. Film at 11:00. Back to you, Chet.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
    ..... I bought an unlimited WiFi package for $209 which covers the entire cruise of 15 days, 24/7. I made a couple of test WiFi calls from the ship to my home number, and the quality was quite good. Once we get a little further out to sea I'll test this again.
    You might want to disable cellular data and calls while on the ship to be sure you are using only WiFi and not accidentally on the ship's cellular network.

  13. #28
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    Yeah put your phone in airplane mode, and just enable WiFi. That's what I do when on cruise ships. Just get the data package.

  14. #29
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    Thanks for the advice, I had a go around with T-Mobile a few cruises ago with them claiming I was roaming in the Bahamas when I was actually at Costa Rica!

    They waived the charges though, so no harm done.

  15. #30
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    Good suggestions. I'll check with TMobile to make sure international is turned on. I'm not familiar with WiFi Calling, so will check on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    If you have WiFi at home, you should be able to use WiFi Calling on an iPhone 6.
    BTW, when roaming abroad you should use WiFi Calling for incoming calls and outgoing calls to the US but use cellular for calls to any country other than the US. If you use WiFi Calling, you will be charged at domestic international calling rates rather than the 20˘/min rate. I also recommend,
    1. Double checking to be sure your international roaming is properly provisioned by calling customer service.
    2. Have a backup plan. This might be having some Skype or Viber out minutes.
    3. Have T-Mobile's direct international roaming support number (+1-505-998-3793) handy. It's a free call from your T-Mobile phone.

    The iPhone 6 is a good phone for international roaming because it has so many 3G & 4G bands. Even though you will be limited to about 128 kbps for data, it does not help if that is further limited by having only GSM (2G) roaming. Consider trying to use something like Viber to keep in touch with each other, saving 40˘/min.

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