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Saturday, May 24, 2008

iPhone International Travel Tips for Data Usage

Plan to travel internationally and want to bring your iPhone along? If you not careful, you may end up with a surprise when you return in the form of a $10,000 phone bill. Think I am kidding? On my recent travels to India I heard about a colleague who did not contact their mobile provider before the trip -- made a few calls and used data for about 10 days. And that phone bill approach a 5 figure total, crazy as that may seem!

iPhone International Travel Tips for Data Usage
Recently, I received an email with a number of tips from AT&T that I thought I would pass along with a few tips of my own. From my experience, if you are traveling internationally and plan to use your iPhone at all for calling -- it is best to pay up front and know what to expect when you get your next bill from AT&T.

The first is to turn on International Roaming for your phone for making calls. By following the link, you can compare the rates between international roaming and standard rates. In most cases, you save at least 30% with International Roaming instead of standard rates.

The second is to consider and international data package. There "Data Global" packages for the iPhone that offers a pre-set amount of 20MB / 50GB for $24.99/$59.99 respectively. In many cases this will be sufficient for a trip lasting 1-2 weeks, depending on your usage.

If you are not keen on calling AT& T, then you can try and reduce the amount of data that your iPhone will use while you are roaming internationally. Some key ways to minize your international data usage include:

  • Turn Data Roaming "OFF":
    Be sure to download and install the latest version of iPhone software from iTunes. These software updates will enable the ability to turn on/off data roaming when traveling outside the U.S. By default, this setting will be in the "OFF" position.
  • To turn data roaming "ON/OFF" tap on:
    Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming
  • Utilize WiFi instead of GPRS/EDGE:
  • WiFi is available in many international airports, hotels and restaurants to browse the Web or check email.
  • Turn off your iPhone's "Auto-Check" Function for Email:
    Data usage from email can accrue quickly. Check email manually using WiFi instead of having emails downloaded to your iPhone automatically. This way you can control the flow of data coming to your iPhone.
  • To turn off the Auto-Check functionality tap on:
    Settings>Mail>Auto-Check and select Manual
  • Reset the Usage Tracker to Zero:
    When you arrive overseas, you can track estimated data usage in Settings.

In case you are wondering, why does your iPhone use more data than other devices? Here are a few of the reasons

  • Full HTML email: All data associated with emails are downloaded to iPhone, including full attachments and associated graphics.
  • Automatic check for email: Customers who set their device to automatically check for email in 15, 30, or 60 minute intervals are incurring international data charges, even if no email is downloaded.
  • Enhanced Internet experience: The Safari browser supports full HTML browsing for a more enhanced experience, which uses significantly more data than a WAP browser on a standard handset or PDA.
  • Feature-rich applications: iPhone applications like Google Maps, YouTube, and others, depending on frequency of usage, can use a large amount of data.
Here are the current list of countries in the international roam zone for AT&T:































































































































































































































































































































































































Country Carriers Technology Frequency
AUSTRALIAHutchison 3GUMTS Only2100
VodaFoneGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
AUSTRIAHutchison 3GUMTS Only2100
ONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 1800; UMTS 2100
BELGIUMBASE NV/SA (KPN ORANGE)GSM/GPRS/EDGE1800
ProximusGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900; UMTS 2100
CANADA*ROGERS WIRELESSGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS1900
FIDO (MICROCELL)GSM/GPRS/EDGE1900
CHINACHINA MOBILEGSM/GPRS/EDGE900
COLOMBIAColumbia MovilGSM/GPRS/EDGE1900
MovistarGSM/GPRS/EDGE850/1900
CZECH-REPUBLICOSKAR MOBILE A.S. (VodaFone)GSM/GPRS/EDGE900/1800
DENMARK3 (Hutchison 3G)UMTS Only2100
TELIAGSM/GPRS/EDGE1800
EGYPTVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900; UMTS 2100
FRANCEBOUYGUES TELECOMGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 1800; UMTS 2100
VODAFONE SFR FRANCEGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
GERMANYE PLUSGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 1800; UMTS 2100
O2GSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 1800; UMTS 2100
VODAFONE GERMANYGSM/GPRS/EDGE900/1800
GREAT BRITAIN(United Kingdom)O2 (UK) LIMITEDGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
Hutchison 3GUMTS Only2100
VodafoneGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
GREECEVODAFONE - PANAFONGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900; UMTS 2100
GUAMGuam Cellular and Paging (HafaTEL)GSM/GPRSGSM/GPRS 1900
Pulse MobileGSM/GPRSGSM/GPRS 850/1900
HONG KONGCSLGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
SMARTONE VodafoneGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
HUNGARYVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
INDIAVODAFONE (formerly HUTCHISON) - Andra Pradesh, Chennai, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, West BengalGSM/GPRS900
IRELANDVodafoneGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
O2GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
Hutchison 3GUMTS Only2100
ITALYVODAFONE OMNITEL S.P.A.GSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
H3G (HUTCHISON 3G)UMTS Only2100
JAPANSoftBank Mobile (J-PHONE)UMTS Only2100
LIECHTENSTEINSWISSCOMGSM/GPRS900/1800
MEXICO*TELCELGSM/GPRS/EDGE1900
MONACOBOUYGUES TELECOMGSM/GPRS1800
VODAFONE SFR FRANCEGSM/GPRS900/1800
NETHERLANDSKPN MOBILE NETHERLANDS BVGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
TelfortGSM/GPRS1800
VODAFONE NETHERLANDSGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
NEW ZEALANDVODAFONE NEW ZEALAND LIMITEDGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900; UMTS 2100
POLANDPTK CENTERTEL (Orange)GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
PORTUGALVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
ROMANIAVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900; UMTS 2100
SAN MARINOVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
SINGAPOREMOBILEONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
SOUTH KOREAKTFUMTS Only2100
SPAINVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100
SWEDEN3 (HUTCHISON 3G)UMTS Only2100
TELE 2 (Comviq)GSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900; UMTS 2100
SWITZERLANDORANGE COMMUNICATIONS (SWITZERLAND)GSM/GPRS/EDGE1800
SWISSCOMGSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTSGSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800; UMTS 2100
TAIWANTAIWAN MOBILEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 1800; UMTS 2100
VATICAN CITYVODAFONEGSM/GPRS/UMTSGSM/GPRS 900/1800; UMTS 2100


*Countries and carriers included in the DataConnect North America Roam Zone.
Important Information: Available countries and carriers are subject to change without notice.

1 comments:

Dan said...

Gee, I'd love to get 50 GIGAbytes of international data for $59.99! Sign me up!