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Post Info TOPIC: Revisiting the iPhone/Cell Phone Discussion for Updates


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Revisiting the iPhone/Cell Phone Discussion for Updates


Good Day Everyone!

So I know this is a subject we've beat to death by now but I'd like to see if there are any updates to what has already been posted on cell phones.

I'm an American with an iPhone who will be traveling in Ireland next month.  I've read horror stories about the roaming charges associated with my phone in Europe so will be placing it on Airplane mode- mostly -  so that it gets no media updates.

However, I do need a phone on this trip as I'll be meeting with many people.  I'm assuming the advice is to just purchase a pre paid cell phone at the airport?? Any details about the best carriers, types of phones, etc??

Thanks so much!!!
Carrie

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Newbie

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You've got the right idea with airplane mode, but AT&T has a pretty helpful and more specific list of tips to ensure control over roaming charges:

http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/popups/international-iphone-tips.jsp

I'll also be curious to hear the answer to your question about pre-paid phones. I happen to have an unlocked Nokia phone that I can bring with me for my trip, but I'm not sure if getting a SIM for it is any easier/cheaper than just getting a whole prepaid phone.

Also, can anyone speak about getting a 3G data SIM from an Irish carrier for use in a laptop data card or an iPad?

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I own three unlocked phones at this point -- though my first is tottering upon the brink of being an antique  biggrin --

I bought my first, specifically to use in Ireland, back in 2003 or '04 and I bought an Irish Vodaphone SIM that I have managed to keep as an active account, ever since.  It makes sense for ME, as we visit every year ( and hope to increase that frequency to at least twice a year, as soon as possible).

I chose Vodaphone, rather than O2 or Meteor (the other 'BIG' Irish Service Providers) for the simple reason that most of our friends and family in Ireland were Vodaphone customers -- though that is NOT necessarily STILL true.  There is probably NO significant difference between those three companies, either in coverage, available services or prices.   I'm a creature of habit, though, so unless / until I have a compelling reason to switch, I probably will retain my Vodaphone plan.

Actually, that should be PLURAL, as I purchased an additional SIM last year to provide my wife with her OWN phone -- mostly because I had migrated to a newer, fancier, GPS-equipt handset and had a perfectly useable 'SPARE' to hand.  aww

If you have an unlocked tri or quad band phone, it takes about 10-20 minutes to purchase a SIM and have it activated.  I paid 9 Euro 90 for my wife's SIM, at the Vodaphone shop on College Street, in Killarney.  It came with 2 Euro of call credit, which can EASILY be 'Topped Up' at practically any and every shop or gas station in the country.

For under 40 Euro, they'll increase the call credit to about 10 Euro or more, AND include a LOCKED GSM phone, in the event that you don't already own an unlocked unit.

I know that O2 offers the same kind of deal, as well, and I'm sure that Meteor probably has a comparable offering, too.

http://www.vodafone.ie/

http://www.o2online.ie/wps/wcm/connect/O2/Home/

http://www.meteor.ie/plans/pay_as_you_go/#plans-tab

If your existing phone has a data-based GPS, you will NOT want to use it. My phone has a GPS unit built in, but it also offers A-GPS (assisted GPS) which IS data-based.  That must be disabled, as well, as THOSE data costs can EASILY burn up $40-50 worth of charges in next to NO time! furious furious

I have my phone configured to notify / ASK me before it connects to the internet, or changes networks (roaming), as that can keep the prices from escalating unexpectedly.  Coverage has been quite nearly UNIVERSAL, with VERY few exceptions.

There is a phone shop inside the Dublin Airport (Arrivals Hall, I think), but NOT in the Shannon Airport.  The nearest is at the Shannon Sky Mall.

Pre-paid 3g Broadband IS available.  The details are here:

http://www.vodafone.ie/df/mobilebroadband/gallery_details.jsp?tab=paymonthly

http://www.o2online.ie/shop/broadband/mobile/

http://www.meteor.ie/bbtg/payg/#overview-tab

Hope this helps as a General Overview.  Feel free to ask any SPECIFIC questions that might come to mind.

Bob

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Bob is the resident guru for cell phones (called mobile phones in Ireland). Take his advice. I believe that the phone store at Dublin Airport has closed but I will try to confirm that. You can also buy cheap phones at Tesco (the Wal Mart of Ireland).

As for internet access, most places you stay will have free WiFi. If they don't have it there is most likely a cyber cafe in town that provides paid access.

Michele

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Carrie,

A few points on the iPhone in Ireland. Airplane mode will guarantee that no data or calls go to or from your phone, so it is the safest choice.

Another option is going to your SETTINGS > GENERAL > NETWORK and turn the DATA ROAMING OFF. This will allow you to access wi-fi, but will not transmit data over the cell phone network (that's where those crazy bills you heard about from). Note, it WILL allow calls to come in, so if your aunt calls from Cleveland, you'll be subject to international rates (your aunt will not).

It is VERY IMPORTANT you turn OFF the DATA ROAMING if you plan to take your phone out of Airplane mode... otherwise, when you flip it off Airplane, it will immediately begin accessing the data network as if you are at home (bad idea unless you have an international data plan).

I did a podcast on the iPhone in Ireland... it's getting old, but most of the info is still very relevant http://irishfireside.com/2008/07/23/iphone-in-ireland/.

Also have a podcast on Mobile Phones in Ireland http://irishfireside.com/2008/08/02/54-using-mobile-phones-abroad/


-- Edited by yesiree on Wednesday 5th of May 2010 12:32:24 AM

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www.IrishFireside.com


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I have an IPhone and use it in Ireland. I think what you need to do is figure out how much you expect to use the phone while in Ireland.

If you plan on making/receiving only a few calls, such as to your B/B hosts or emergency callls from home, you can contact ATT to buy an international plan for about $5 that somewhat reduces your telephone charges per minute. Just make sure you change the settings on the phone as has been advised here, so you don't incur the extraordinary data charges, so that will mean no email access.  I can't remember how much it cost for the calls I made in Ireland, but it was definitely under $30 for a two week trip.

This is what I have done and it saves the hassle of getting another phone.

However, I am not sure if this would be the best bet for you if you were planning on making lots of calls.

Hope this helps. Understanding the phone situation is almost as bad as understanding car rental for me! clueless.gif

Happy travels,

Erin



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I have to admit that I bought the Mobal phone that is advertised on my website. (I get a few pennies from each sale.) It worked perfectly for me while in Ireland. However, I don't do a heavy amount of calling. Just use it in Ireland for contacting accommodations, etc. and in case of emergency.

Basically, it is a cell phone for idiots (like me) wink You only pay for what you use. There are no activation fees, no roaming charges, no re-activation fees when you start using it again. The SIM card works in many different countries - it just picks up on the local networks and uses them. So when I go to No. Ireland I don't have to change things out. The cost of calls may be prohibitive for those who make lots of calls. For me it was fine. Only thing is you get a UK phone number.

Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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I am told that Tesco will be operating with Hutchinson 3G network from the end of this month, so a Tesco sim would be a good option @ 2.50 presumably still with cheaper calls than the O2 network it currently uses for standard calls. I am not sure of the exact considerations to be made with this option but will be looking into this next month when any teething problems should have shown themselves. Boards.ie is a good place to find the technicalities of Irish mobile phones.

http://www.comreg.ie/about_us/hutchison_3g_ireland_limited_interconnects_with_tesco_mobile_ireland_limited.43.1024.whatsnew.html

http://www.tescomobile.ie/

http://www.boards.ie/

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Making Tony's links 'clickable':

http://www.comreg.ie/about_us/hutchison_3g_ireland_limited_interconnects_with_tesco_mobile_ireland_limited.43.1024.whatsnew.html

http://www.tescomobile.ie/

http://www.boards.ie/

Bob

-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Monday 21st of June 2010 11:15:38 AM

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How do you do that Bob?
Dan

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Dan, 

When you click to reply you get a "Quick Reply" box. Just underneath the box are two gray buttons. One says "Post Quick Reply" the other says "Advanced Editor". Click on "Advanced Editor". 

A new box opens giving you options for formatting such as Bold, italics, underline, bullets, emoticons wink , the ability to add photos, etc. When you put a URL into the Advanced box it automatically makes it clickable. You can also make a word clickable by clicking on the little chain icon near the top and entering the URL into the pop-up box. 

Give it a try. Then click the "Submit Post" button on the bottom right.

Michele

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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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 Michele!

Thanks! You learn something every day. It makes more sense now!biggrin  I new about the emoticons, but there are a lot more bells and whistles here than I thought!smile

Dan

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Dan,

Now you're cooking!

Michele

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Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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Hello all,

I have a Nexus One through T-Mobile and am thinking I just need to buy a SIM card for use in Ireland - calls only, no data plan. I've never traveled out of the US with a cell phone before so am pretty clueless. I went to the sites listed above but couldn't figure out the SIM card packages.

My needs while on the trip include calling within Ireland and I'd like to be able to call the US and receive calls from the US also.

It would be great to be able to use a data plan but from what I can tell, they are pricey. I'm hoping I can just use the WiFi connection on my phone to connect to local hotspots with no charge, is that correct? I'll have my netbook with me also in case connecting with the phone is not an option.

I'll be traveling through Ireland only and will be there for 11 days.

Any advice is most appreciated! Thank to all who post to this forum & Michele for hosting it. I've gotten lots of good info and have, of course, ordered the book (check's in the mail - really).

Stephanie
Austin, TX

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Stephanie,

Welcome to my forum. I am not a real techie for phones. However, I do know that you should contact your provider T-Mobile to ask them the questions. You also need a "unlocked" phone in order to be able to use a SIM card elsewhere. If your phone will be compatible and it is locked, you should ask how it can be unlocked for use abroad.

Michele

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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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I have just got my Tesco Mobile on Sim only 2.50 free with a 10 top up this is doubled when you register on line so 20 credit + sim card for 10. calls are 20c and 50c USA still waiting for the 3g option.

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