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Phone rental, purchase or AT&T international plan?


Aug 26th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 51
Phone rental, purchase or AT&T international plan?

Leaving for a trip to Amsterdam, Brugge, Koln, Prague & Munich on September 12. Returning home October 8.

I am looking for advice on phone service. Yes I'm dependent on my phone, Is it better to rent the phone or purchase a unlocked phone or ask AT&T to turn my iPhone on the international plan?

If anyone has used the AT&T international plan how did it go and will it work in several different countries?

Thanks everyone!
chb is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2013, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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The plan works about everywhere in Europe. BUT you will save money more than likely if you use a phone you bought over there or at least one in which you can use local SIM cards...doing that will be MUCH cheaper per call than using the AT+T plan which really doesn't lower the cost of calls all that much. I know this from personal experience.
Dukey1 is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2013, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Buy a used phone in Europe and a SIM. I'd be surprised if you spent more than 70 Euro going that route.

You could ask AT&T to unlock your phone and then buy a SIM in Europe. That would be the cheapest route. https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
sparkchaser is online now  
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Aug 26th, 2013, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,497
This is a question of usage model which you have not posted the details. You probably chose your AT&T plan based on you usage pattern. The international usage require even more factors to consider.

For what do you use your phone? Calls, texts, internet, etc?
What direction are the calls and texts - outbound or inbound?
Where are the calls and message coming and going - locally within the same country in Europe, to/from US, to/from other European countries?
Do you have estimates on how much minutes and messages you plan to use?
Do you need to keep your US number?
When do you need your phone? Back in your hotel, on the road,etc?
For internet, do you know how many MB you use now? Do you have an estimate on how many MB you need for your trip?
Will you be using phone as a GPS navigation device?

If don't want to bother matching your usage with solutions, just get AT&T voice roaming and data roaming packages. You might be buying too much or too little. But that is the limitation of one solution fits all approach.
greg is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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We usually buy the smallest international data package and use wifi with data roaming turned off most of the time. The small amount has always been enough for the few times we've needed it.

We also buy the international texting package and routinely use that rather than voice calls. Our phone calls are so few we find it cheaper to pay the going rate rather than buy a package. This is all with AT&T.
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