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need help! Traveling to Italy and France and need phone service!!!

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Oct 1st, 2012, 12:40 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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need help! Traveling to Italy and France and need phone service!!!

i was wonder if the wonderful people on Fodor could help me on what to do about traveling to Italy and France and what advice to give me about activating a phone. I will be there for 10 days and i have a Sprint Activated iPhone 4s. I don't need it for the phone service but would like to have the data available so that i could access maps and find my way around. Sprint quoted me 40mb of data for $40 or 85 mb of data for $85. The hotels we would be staying at do have WiFi. Or would it be better to unlock the phone and purchase a sim card in Europe. Any advice would be helpful. THANK YOU!!!
skoo9382 is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Using a GPS would be easier andless expensive for maps.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Just reported on another thread that I bought a TIM SIM in rome with I think 1gb of data and plenty of phone call and IM capability for 20E, it can be topped up. There are plenty of vendors and deals depending on your needs You would need a separate card for France, however and an unlocked phone, which Sprint can easily do if indeed your phone was locked (when I asked verizon to unlock my new 4G android, they told me they wee sold unlocked.

in terms of the deals sprint is offering, 40mb or 85 mb is not very much for 10 days. I have been using my phone relatively lightly for 4 days (have a computer connection as well) and have run through 35 mb. Im a new user of the phone however, and there are ways which I dont know to keep the data usage down.

note using GPS runs down the battery pretty fast too. We brought our separate GPS on another trip and it worked quite well (make sure yours has the appropriate euro maps loaded)
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Oct 1st, 2012, 02:09 PM
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You can go on E-bay and buy a dual-SIM unnlocked quad-band phone for $30 or less, then get a free Lebara SIM card that will get you started for France (www.lebara.com). There's probably some Italian equivalent. Then you can arrive all set to go and top up once there if necessary. I don't know how much data capability you can get, but it's probably a better deal than Sprint.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 02:12 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You have more options.

1. Buy offline map for your iphone and use GPS hardware on your phone with data roaming turned off. This only costs a few dollars fixed fee buying the map. GPS lock can take several minutes and you don't always get a satellite lock especially in narrow alleys and in buildings.
2. Unlock your phone and use local SIMs. The cost is bracketed and you get an order of magnitude more data allowance.
3. Using Sprint: I presume you have not looked at your data usage pattern. I would not even consider such puny data allowance like 40MB unless I am very disciplined to turn on the data roaming only when I need it and turn it off as soon as I am done. If I keep data on all the time, such as forgetting to turn it off with background sync allowed, I can easily blow 40mb in 2 days. Your expense exposure is not bound using Sprint.
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