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  #1  
Old January 7th, 2011, 04:04 PM
cruiser9800 cruiser9800 is offline
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Default Att International Cell Phone Use

I live in the United States and will be traveling in the UK both on a cruise and to live and travel for a few months (and throughout Europe on occasion). I currently have ATT cell phone. I have a few questions related to effectively using a cell phone overseas:

-First, I will enable by current US phone number and SIM card to be able to be used internationally. It will be expensive when making local or international calls from the UK and Europe, but I will probably turn it on on occasion just to see if there are any voice mails or if I need to make a quick call when traveling. I was once told that if I turn the phone on in another country, even if I then turn the phone off, if someone leaves me a voice mail, even if I check it from another phone, since the last registered tower was in a different country, I would be charged for every minute a person leaves me a voice mail. Is this true? How can I get around this? Chances are I will have to turn my phone on, but I do not want to be charged for voice mails people may leave since for a few months, the last active registered tower will be a UK or other European tower.

-In addition to activating and turning on my phone with the US number and SIM card, I will also buy a local SIM card to put in my unlocked phone. Is this better than buying a go phone and adding minutes? If it is a blackberry, can I buy a text and data plan on this prepaid SIM card? What if I only buy a prepaid minute plan for my unlocked phone and SIM card; will the data function not work? Can I use this prepaid SIM card and phone in other countries within Europe?

Thank you so much for the information.
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  #2  
Old January 7th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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capnpugwash capnpugwash is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser9800 View Post
I live in the United States and will be traveling in the UK both on a cruise and to live and travel for a few months (and throughout Europe on occasion). I currently have ATT cell phone. I have a few questions related to effectively using a cell phone overseas:

-First, I will enable by current US phone number and SIM card to be able to be used internationally. It will be expensive when making local or international calls from the UK and Europe, but I will probably turn it on on occasion just to see if there are any voice mails or if I need to make a quick call when traveling. I was once told that if I turn the phone on in another country, even if I then turn the phone off, if someone leaves me a voice mail, even if I check it from another phone, since the last registered tower was in a different country, I would be charged for every minute a person leaves me a voice mail. Is this true? How can I get around this? Chances are I will have to turn my phone on, but I do not want to be charged for voice mails people may leave since for a few months, the last active registered tower will be a UK or other European tower.

-In addition to activating and turning on my phone with the US number and SIM card, I will also buy a local SIM card to put in my unlocked phone. Is this better than buying a go phone and adding minutes? If it is a blackberry, can I buy a text and data plan on this prepaid SIM card? What if I only buy a prepaid minute plan for my unlocked phone and SIM card; will the data function not work? Can I use this prepaid SIM card and phone in other countries within Europe?

Thank you so much for the information.
Firstly I don't believe that you are charged constantly when someone leaves a voicemail, ony when you access it.
Pay as you go phones and internet dongles are country specific, you can buy one in UK that lasts a month for about $25 which gives 1gb of data and can be topped up, they can be used internationally but you have to buy a specific international dongle.
Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old January 7th, 2011, 05:40 PM
Bigmike911 Bigmike911 is offline
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There seems to be a bit of confusion here. First the sim card and the prepaid time are really two different thing although inter related. The sim card will provide a local phone number, which can then be top up with prepaid time. The time actually exists on the networks computers, not the sim card. Depending on the type of card you buy and the network you select for the sim card, you can get all the features you need or want.

The sim card will work as a cell phone through out Europe, but you may be charged a roaming charge on your pre-paid minutes as well.

If you have a ATT 3G phone, (I presume you have a blackberry) then it will work though out Europe but on a roaming basis, Which can get pricey, Check with ATT for rates. It might actually be cheaper to use the ATT card rather than buy country specific sim cards and dongles.

Your ATT phone will work aboard Cunard with a modest roaming charge, but Cunard blocks wide broadband web sites like Skype as their capacity is limited

I hope this helps.

Mike
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  #4  
Old January 7th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Whitemarsh Whitemarsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser9800 View Post
I live in the United States and will be traveling in the UK both on a cruise and to live and travel for a few months (and throughout Europe on occasion). I currently have ATT cell phone. I have a few questions related to effectively using a cell phone overseas:

-First, I will enable by current US phone number and SIM card to be able to be used internationally. It will be expensive when making local or international calls from the UK and Europe, but I will probably turn it on on occasion just to see if there are any voice mails or if I need to make a quick call when traveling. I was once told that if I turn the phone on in another country, even if I then turn the phone off, if someone leaves me a voice mail, even if I check it from another phone, since the last registered tower was in a different country, I would be charged for every minute a person leaves me a voice mail. Is this true? How can I get around this? Chances are I will have to turn my phone on, but I do not want to be charged for voice mails people may leave since for a few months, the last active registered tower will be a UK or other European tower.

-In addition to activating and turning on my phone with the US number and SIM card, I will also buy a local SIM card to put in my unlocked phone. Is this better than buying a go phone and adding minutes? If it is a blackberry, can I buy a text and data plan on this prepaid SIM card? What if I only buy a prepaid minute plan for my unlocked phone and SIM card; will the data function not work? Can I use this prepaid SIM card and phone in other countries within Europe?

Thank you so much for the information.
Turn off your voicemail feature before you go overseas. It is true (well it is for Australian's) that your voicemail will be more expensive if you are overseas and you have activated International Roaming. The guy at the phone company certainly recommended it be turned off. He also strongly advised to switch off any G3 features, as they automatically search and download new content, which you will pay heavily for if it's done via international roaming.

Text messages are less expensive when you are roaming. I stuck with them and only used the phone when I absolutely had to.

BTW, the phone didn't work on the Queen Mary. I'm not sure why. It died once we left Southampton and suddenly began to work in the early hours of the morning as we approached New York.
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  #5  
Old January 7th, 2011, 07:36 PM
Jim Avery Jim Avery is offline
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AT&T works well in Europe on my iPhone. You must turn off data push or you will surely choke on the data roaming bill. I use it for business and keep the phone on all the time. I check emails once or twice a day. A 10 day trip to Europe usually adds about $150 to my normal bill but if you use it for work and book a job, darn well worth it. Wish I could just leave it at home but--well, you know how it is.
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  #6  
Old January 7th, 2011, 08:47 PM
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My phone worked well on QM2 and it was £1.80 a minute, which if it was a needed call was not bad
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  #7  
Old January 7th, 2011, 09:44 PM
Underwatr Underwatr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser9800 View Post
I was once told that if I turn the phone on in another country, even if I then turn the phone off, if someone leaves me a voice mail, even if I check it from another phone, since the last registered tower was in a different country, I would be charged for every minute a person leaves me a voice mail.
My experience is with T-Mobile (US) roaming in Europe, but in my case, if your phone was turned on and registered in the foreign country, it will remain registered overseas (I understand, for 24 hours after you turn it off). This is how international roaming works.

In my case, merely having the phone ring incurs a one minute international roaming charge. If you don't answer, or if you reject the call, if forwards back to your US voicemail, which is an additional one minute of roaming. I don't believe the actual duration of the message left by the caller factors in, but of course if you call to retrieve the message you'll pay for each minute of connection while retrieving the message, if you use your cell phone to retrieve the message overseas.
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