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Avoiding International Roaming Rates

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I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find any reference to it via the forum search.

 

I'm getting ready to head down to Mexico (from the U.S.) with the family and will be taking my iPhone with me. I don't have an international plan with AT&T. I also don't want to incure any international roaming charges. I don't plan on using the phone features while there, but want to be able to use the iPod features of the phone (movies, music, podcasts, etc) while there.

 

If I leave the phone in Airplane Mode, would that be sufficient?

 

Part 2: The place I'm staying has internet access, but I'm still not sure whether there is Wi-Fi. If so, I should be able to turn the Wi-Fi on the iPhone back on, while still keeping it in Airplane mode, correct? This would allow it to act as an iPod Touch w/o any connection to the Wireless Cell carrier, right?

 

Thanks much.

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Your plan sounds to me like it should work.

 

I know I can use WiFi while the phone is in Airplane Mode.

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Your plan sounds to me like it should work.

 

I know I can use WiFi while the phone is in Airplane Mode.

 

Yeah, I know WiFi works. When put in Airplane mode, it gets turned off. But you can manually turn JUST WiFi back on. I'm just concerned about any data going to the wireless carrier. I'm fairly certain the answer there is NO. Was just asking though.

 

The last thing I want is a bill from AT&T with absurd phone charges. I'll give AT&T a call and hope for someone with a clue.

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I'll give AT&T a call and hope for someone with a clue.

 

Good luck with that.

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Good luck with that.

 

Ok. I did call AT&T support. Of course as soon as I mentioned I had an iPhone (ok, selected it from the call tree) I was passed along to an "Apple support specialist".

 

Confirmed from Apple Support:

- While the iPhone is in "Airplane Mode", no communication with the cell carrier (or any cell carrier) is possible. Therefore it should be impossible for any data charges to accumulate.

- Enabling WiFi does not enable communication with any cell carrier.

 

The courteous support representative then passed me back to AT&T billing for my follow up question to them (at my request)

 

Confirmed from AT&T

- If there's no communication from the device to the cell carrier (and there's no AT&T coverage in Mexico), then I will not see any charges from AT&T.

 

 

Therefore, once I board the plane I'll put my iPhone into Airplane Mode where it will stay until I touch back down in LAX again.

I will, however, try to detect wifi coverage while in my resort.

 

 

Adios all. I'm off to enjoy some cervezas poolside in Cabo San Lucas.

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Here's another option - you could remove the sim card. Then you'd be sure nothing could be charged to your account.

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Here's another option - you could remove the sim card. Then you'd be sure nothing could be charged to your account.

 

You know. I didn't even think about removing the sim card. But w/ my luck I'd lose it during the week away.

 

I ended up keeping the phone in Airplane mode from the time I sat down in my seat prior to leaving until we taxied back to the terminal after landing at LAX.

I was able to use the WiFi when available (a very weak signal available in only a few places around the resort) for Twitter and even to update a few podcasts for the trip home.

 

Worked great. No word yet on the updated billing, but I'll be sure to post once I see my bill. I'm not expecting anything unusual though.

 

It was a great trip. Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is one of my favorite getaways.

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