iPhone and international roaming?

I’ve read a few early horror stories of international roaming with the iPhone and $3000 phone bills. I would usually just rent a phone while in Europe, but next month I am giving a talk about the iPhone in London, and I’m wondering what people recommend for using the iPhone overseas. Airplane mode turns off both the data and wireless networks. Removing the SIM card prevents phone calls, but might still allow Wi-fi. Is that the best option, or is there a plan AT&T offers for international data roaming? Any suggestions?

4 Responses to “iPhone and international roaming?”

  1. on 10 Sep 2007 at 7:18Mark Reeder


    Or, if you don’t feel comfortable going that route (or are unwilling to pay the exorbitant price), I’ve heard that AT&T will give unlock codes after 3 months of service. Obviously, that’s untested with the iPhone but it’s certainly worth a try.

  2. on 10 Sep 2007 at 8:08john lilly

    hey dylan —

    at&t has an international data plan for iphone now — it’s $24.99 a month for 20MB, but you have to sign up for it for a year. i’ve done some testing on my own, and figured that i’m using about 15MB a week, all in — so that the 20MB would do me, more or less, for international travel a week a month.

    i just got back from 8 days in China, where it worked fine (modulo China’s crappy Interweb) — ended up using about 12MB those 8 days, as i was watching my use somewhat.

    i ended up using SMS to coordinate with folks more than i anticipated, though, so expect a somewhat larger bill than i really want.

    by contrast, last time i was in europe (maybe a month ago), i took an old phone with me, and put in the SIM from my iphone. that worked fine, and the WiFi in my iphone worked fine as well.

    so depends on how much you travel internationally — it sure was nice to have my normal iphone working during my trip — but at $300 for the year ($25 x 12), it’s a little pricier than it should be. (and really no match for the $70 all-i-could-eat international blackberry data plan).

  3. on 12 Sep 2007 at 7:18Mark Reeder

    As an update to the unlock hack route, there’s now a free solution:


  4. on 14 Sep 2007 at 21:40Khyberny

    ATT has dropped the 1 year requirement.

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