iPhone in Paris - question from a novice

Apr 8th, 2012, 11:36 AM
  #1  
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iPhone in Paris - question from a novice

I have an iPhone and my carrier is VW. I know that I can't use it in Paris and am planning to rent a global phone from VW (using my cell #). I only need it for emergencies.

I assume that I still can use my iPhone for certain apps such as the compass, calculator, etc.

What I want to know is, can I use it for internet access if I happen to be in a free wifi spot on the street or in my hotel?
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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You'll be able to use WiFi with your iPhone in Europe, just not the phone itself or data. (Assume you mean "Verizon Wireless?") In fact, you can still use Skype via WiFi to make calls I believe (I don't have an iPhone).

You could even buy a Skype US phone number for $18 for three months, then forward your US Verizon phone number to that Skype phone number. Then it would "ring" on Skype on your iPhone when you are on WiFi with it, and you'd be able to listen to your messages with Skype. The only other charge you pay is whatever Verizon charges per minute to forward your calls, if anything.
Andrew is online now  
Apr 8th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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<< just not the phone itself or data >>

Andrew - I know I can't use the phone component, but isn't using the internet using data?
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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I use my iPhone in Paris when connected to WiFii only and have push notifications turned off. I have not gotten any charges as a result. I don't make.calls, text or check voice mail.

If there has been any data usage, it hasn't resulted in any charges outside what I usually see. I use AT&T.

There have been several threads regarding this in past. You may want to search for them for more detailed info.
denisea is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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Thanks denisea. So you were able to use Google maps with wifi? With your ATT phone, you would need a sim card to be able to make calls, I think.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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It depends on which iPhone model you have.

iPhone 4 from Verizon - can't use wireless portion in GSM country such as France.

iPhone 4S from Verizon - you can use it in GSM mode in France either using Verizon SIM in roaming mode if your usage is very low or have Verizon unlock the phone to be able to take a French SIM. I think you must be Verizon customer with iPhone 4S for at least 2 months.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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CPG - read this very informative, step by step on how to use phone wifi:

http://www.udeyjohnson.net/1/post/20...in-paris.html?
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Isn't using the Internet using data?

Not if you're using it via wifi only. If you're using your data plan, there will be a 3G next to Verizon in the top left of your phone. If you're using wifi you'll see the wifi symbol there.

As Greg said, if your iPhone is a 4S, you can indeed use it in Paris. Just call Verizon to set it up. Otherwise, you can use the phone over wifi just like you would an iPod touch. I think the GPS will work. Mine did even with data roaming turned off.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 04:15 PM
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This is all quite interesting, but I'm always slightly confused.

Deb - that is an interesting article. I might try skype at home and see if it works with 3G disabled.

jent103 - I know the difference between 3G and wifi. I meant getting data using wifi as opposed to getting data using 3G. My phone uses wifi automatically at home and work. My iPad is ATT and I don't have an unlimited data plan. I actually turn off 3G at home and just use my wifi.

I have an iPhone 4. But I should be able to use wifi from what I'm hearing. Yes?
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Apr 8th, 2012, 06:41 PM
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The terminology has always been a little confusing to mre, since both ways you're getting data from the Internet, but using 3G to do it is done by buying a "data plan." Anyway, yes, you'll be able to use the wifi on your phone.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 07:11 PM
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you can always use wifi to connect to the internet. jent103 is right about the terminology, and it is confusing. But mostly when people say "data" they are referring to cellular data.

just in case someone with an AT&T iphone is reading this...AT&T iphones are "locked" which means you cannot simply buy another sim card to use it in Europe. At&t wants you to buy an international phone and data plan from them at exhorbitant rates.

Of course, there are ways to unlock the phone, you just aren't supposed to do it, and AT&T won't do it for you.

AT&T ipads are unlocked however. For an iPad you can, indeed, get a sim card for international use.
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Apr 8th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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DebitNM - thanks for that article. I assume the same instructions regarding Skype overseas apply to Androids as well?
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Apr 8th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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I asked the author of the article, he believes it works for Android as well [which is what I have, an Incredible 2 Global phone].
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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When we were in Paris last fall I just made sure that data roaming was turned off on my iPhone 4. But the WiFi worked fine in our WiFi-equipped apartment and in various public WiFi hotspots. We used skype over WiFi on the iPhone as well as from our netbook.

But what was very cool, and was initially quite a surprise when we discovered it by accident, was that the CityMaps2Go app was able to locate us on maps using the GPS alone. Apparently there is some GPS info being transmitted even when the phone is not roaming. This GPS is not quite as precise as the mapping you get using cell towers in the US, of course, but it's still quite good. We downloaded maps for the Loire Valley as well as Paris, and it worked just as well there. We are planning to use the maps in Italy this fall.

I had gotten the app and the maps simply because I thought it would be handy to have offline maps to look at rather than pulling out paper maps. But i was incredibly helpful to see our location showing up on the maps!
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Apr 9th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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ContraBecky, I was using the Paris2Go app (which I highly recommend!) and that's when I realized the same thing. I love those "2Go" apps - I used the Rome version last year too.
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Apr 9th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Now that you mention it, last year in Italy, we used Google maps on our iPad which did not have 3G enabled. If we downloaded the maps while in the hotel using wifi, we were able to use it while driving. The satellite still picked us up and you could follow us (the moving blue dot) on the map as we got lost!
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Go to Settings. Turn Airplane mode to ON. Keep it ON until you return to US.

Connect the Wifi per instructions for pay/secure wifi or simply connect to free/unsecure wifi. You will then have internet access but no chance at phone calls, e-mails, or text/MMS charges.
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Apr 9th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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for some reason, the link I posted isn't working today. I have the details in a word document if anyone is interested; I will be happy to email it to you. Contact me using same name at gmail dot com
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Apr 9th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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apersuader65 - how can you have internet access and not have email access?
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Apr 9th, 2012, 02:17 PM
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We were in Paris at the end of February/early March and I spent quite a bit of time checking with my provider, Verizon AND Apple to confirm that for my IPhone 4S 1. would be able to use a local SIM card while there 2. should I decide not to do that I could still access WIFI any place it was accessible (Starbucks, McDonalds, public parks, cafes, etc.) That didn't work out so wonderfully--

When I went to buy a local SIM card at the airport, no shop in the CDG terminal has the mini-SIM required for the 4S; the tobacco shop near our apt. had one but the owner wasn't at all sure that it would work; when we went to the Apple store in Opera, they gave us completely incorrect information: no local SIM card would work because the IPHONE 4 (NOT 4S) was on a different system ---CDMA I think-- for Asia, S. AMerica, rest of world--or is it the GSM for that part of the world? Anyway, the information is completely incorrect for the 4S which works on both systems. Without a local SIM card, it was mostly impossible to connect to wifi in cafes, museums, most places--except Starbucks, McDonalds, etc. (American chain fast food places).

Verizon had also NOT activated my phone despite a very long conversation with their International dept., they HAD unlocked it so that I was able to access wifi in the fast food chains--and in our apt. once we figured out what network the apt. was using--but without it being activated, I could not have used a local SIM card. I

Long story long--trying to work out the phone took up an awful lot of time both before leaving and while there--all needlessly. Right hand didn't know what left was doing--and none of this may apply to you, Centralparkgirl, if you don't have a iPhone 4S because the iPhone 4 will only work as noted above by Greg. It's all terribly confusing!
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