13 Replies Latest reply: May 24, 2008 11:35 PM by Mathew K
Herschel Hochman Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
I am going to Israel for a few weeks. AT&T does not consider this a discounted country so that the data charges (i.e. Internet) are very high.

There are many WiFi locations. If I set the iPhone to WiFi and I am in a hotspot, will I be able to get the Internet without incurring any charges?

In terms of the phone, is there a web service which will reduce the cost from what AT&T charges?

Any other iPhone suggestions as it applies to overseas travel?
Thanks

20" IMAC G5, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 2 GHz, 1GB Ram
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    If I set the iPhone to WiFi and I am in a hotspot, will I be able to get the Internet without incurring any charges?


    Yes when connected to the internet via wi-fi. Accessing the internet via wi-fi with the iPhone has nothing to do with at&t, or with the cellular provider your iPhone will be connected to. This is completely separate from accessing the internet via a cellular network.

    This will not prevent you from placing and receiving calls, the same for SMS, and all iPhone voicemail messages are downloaded to the iPhone via the cellular data or EDGE network.

    There are no web services that will reduce the cost from what at&t charges. What at&t charges is based on the data downloaded and uploaded when accessing the internet via a cellular network. The size of email downloaded, and sent, the size of web pages downloaded, and the request for a web page to be downloaded and checking for new email is small, but a data upload.

    If you want to ensure no data charges, or phone charges, you can enable a SIM lock on your iPhone. When powering your iPhone on, you will be prompted to enter a 4 digit passcode to enable the SIM card. If you select Cancel at this prompt, the SIM card will not be enabled which will prevent you from placing or receiving any calls, the same for SMS, and any data download/upload via the cellular network.

    Or you can remove the SIM card from your iPhone (with your iPhone powered off before doing so) keeping it in a safe place, which will prevent any phone related functions. This will not prevent you from using the iPod, viewing photos available on your iPhone, capturing photos with your iPhone, or accessing the internet via an available wi-fi network.
  • Herschel Hochman Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
    Allan, as usual, thanks for the prompt reply. Let me see if I understand what you wrote. If I activate the Wi-Fi on the iPhone, I can get the Internet with no charges from the ATT cellular network for Internet use. However, this will not affect the phone calls or email that are sent or received, so that there will be the ATT phone charges that apply only for this data.

    If I am willing to do without any phone related functions such as phone calls, email, or SMS, then I can enable a 4 digit passcode, thereby blocking all incoming and outgoing phone, SMS and email usage, while still allowing me to get the Internet through the Wi-Fi connection. So, in this configuration, I can still use the Internet, camera, photos and iPod processes. I am reluctant to remove the SIM card which might be damaged or lost, especially while traveling over the countryside for an extended period. Do I have everything correct?

    For the phone portion, I can always purchase a Prepaid phone card.

    Message was edited by: Herschel Hochman
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    You're welcome.

    If I activate the Wi-Fi on the iPhone, I can get the Internet with no charges from the ATT cellular network for Internet use. However, this will not affect the phone calls or email that are sent or received, so that there will be the ATT phone charges that apply only for this data.


    Correct. Turning wi-fi on or off and when accessing the internet with your iPhone via wi-fi will not prevent you from placing and receiving calls, the same for SMS, and will not prevent you from accessing the internet via the cellular network you are connected to. If you lose your wi-fi connection, or when going out of range of an available wi-fi network you are connected to, your iPhone will switch to the cellular provider's data network automatically for internet access. So you should turn off automatically checking for new messages for your email account or accounts, or turn the accounts off when no longer connected to an available wi-fi network. If you are not connected to an available wi-fi network, and you select Safari and a website is downloaded, or the Mail application and your email account or accounts are checked for new messages, or you select the weather or stocks widget, you will be charged extra for data access via the cellular provider's network you are connected to.

    Keep in mind that all voicemail messages (visual voicemail) are downloaded to the iPhone via the cellular network only.

    To enable a SIM lock on your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > SIM PIN.

    Select On for SIM PIN.

    You will be prompted to enter a 4 digit password. After entering your chosen password, select Done to enable it.

    To test the SIM PIN has been enabled, power your iPhone off and on.

    When powered on, you should be prompted for your SIM PIN or password.

    If you enter the wrong SIM PIN or password 3 times in a row, your SIM card will be disabled.

    If you select Cancel, and don't enter your SIM PIN, your iPhone will finish the startup process, and your iPhone should indicate no service at the top - where at&t is shown when your SIM card is enabled or active.

    For the phone portion, I can always purchase a Prepaid phone card.


    This is the least expensive way to go, but you do know you can't use a pre-paid SIM card with your iPhone? If so, you must have an unlocked GSM phone, or you purchase an inexpensive phone while there to be used with the pre-paid SIM card.
  • Herschel Hochman Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
    Allan,
    I tried the Passcode and found that pressing Cancel will not allow me into the iPhone at all. Did I understand your instructions to mean that if I applied a Passcode, I could still get into the home screen to use the iPod, camera and other features not related to data transmission? Or is this supposed to lock me out of everything if I press Cancel?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    The iPhone has a Passcode Lock option, which prevents accessing any iPhone functions when selecting cancel or when not knowing the passcode lock - which I also recommend using, and a SIM PIN or SIM Lock option.

    Sound like you enabled the Passcode Lock option, and not the SIM PIN option.

    Did you follow my instructions included with my previous post?
  • Herschel Hochman Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
    Allan, I had done it wrong and went back to follow your instructions.
    When I was asked for a Password, I chose 1234. This would not let me in. I did it again and was not allowed in. When I tried it a 3rd time, I was locked out. I called ATT and got the PUK number and finally unlocked the phone.

    The ATT operator then told me to try my Social Security number (4 digits), which I did and was able to lock the SIM card. At this point, I wanted to turn off the lock feature. I went to the SIM Pin site, and moved the switch from ON to OFF. It then asked for the Password again before it would allow it to be turned off.
    IS THIS THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK WHEN ONE WANTS TO TURN THE LOCK FEATURE OFF?

    At this point, it is off and I can get into the phone without choosing to Lock or Unlock the SIM card when the home screen first comes up. The Apple people told me to call the ATT people, and the ATT rep said she doesn't know how it is supposed to work. What service!

    From your message above, it is clear as to how to initiate the lock procedure (although I don't know why it will not accept 1234), but could you tell me the procedure to shut down the lock feature.
    Thanks
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    IS THIS THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK WHEN ONE WANTS TO TURN THE LOCK FEATURE OFF?


    Yes, or anyone would be able to turn off your SIM PIN or lock - after you have enabled the SIM with your chosen password when powering your iPhone on.

    I don't know why 1234 doesn't work, but using this for a password isn't a good idea.

    With the SIM PIN enabled - not using 1234 for your SIM PIN or password, power your iPhone off.

    Power your iPhone on, and you should be prompted to enter your chosen password to unlock the SIM. If you select Cancel at this point instead of entering the password, your iPhone will be available but will show NO SERVICE in the menu bar at the top. This will allow you to access all iPhone functions except any phone related functions - using the iPod, viewing photos available on your iPhone, capturing photos, and accessing the internet via wi-fi. If you try to access the internet via EDGE - visiting a website, you should receive an unable to connect to server error message since your SIM card is not active.

    If you try to place a call, you should be prompted to enter your SIM PIN or password to enable the SIM card for phone related functions.
  • Herschel Hochman Level 2 Level 2 (460 points)
    I think this answers all of my questions. The 1234 was simply for test purposes.
    My procedure will be to:

    Turn on Wi-Fi
    Shut off email accounts
    Disable the SIM card

    As long as I have a Wi-Fi signal, I should be able to access the Internet, which will allow me to access my ISP server and look at emails and reply to them on the ISP server. Using the Prepaid phone card for phone service, I will then have access to all of the features I need.

    Thanks again.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    You're welcome.

    With a SIM PIN enabled, you don't need to turn off automatically checking for new messages, or turn your account or accounts off - unless when not connected to the internet via wi-fi. But this will conserve battery consumption.

    Have a nice trip.
  • KAASH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Allan - I've just read the entire string you exchanged with this gentleman regarding using his iPhone overseas. I'm on the verge of purchasing an iPhone today, traveling to Europe next month. I need to be able to access my .mac e-mail, read .pdf files attached to the e-mail, but really only need to use the phone once every couple of days -- sounds like that's all possible, and I greatly appreciate everything you've previously written. BUT, I'm not sure I understand this last bit in this 5/3/08 7:21 PM exchange. (1) If I have the SIM card disabled, I don't need to turn off/on account(s), correct? (they're already disabled along with the SIM card; but, (2) I can walk in anywhere that has Wi-Fi coverage and check my .mac e-mail, including reading .pdf files? And, (3), if I'm somewhere without Wi-Fi coverage, I can always turn the SIM card back "on" and have the phone check for e-mail (which I assume you can initiate an e-mail account check at any time manually like most other smart phones, right)?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,365 points)
    (1) If I have the SIM card disabled, I don't need to turn off/on account(s), correct? (they're already disabled along with the SIM card;


    Your email accounts are not disabled with a SIM PIN or SIM lock enabled for your iPhone's SIM card. With a SIM PIN or SIM lock enabled, when powering on your iPhone you will be prompted to enter your chosen SIM PIN password to enable the SIM card. If you cancel or don't enter the SIM PIN, you will have access to available wi-fi networks for email account access and for web browsing. This disables any phone related functions only - placing and receiving calls, the same for SMS, and accessing the internet via a cellular network. The SIM card is everything to a GSM phone - without the SIM card installed, or without entering the chosen password for a SIM PIN when powering on your iPhone, this will prevent all phone/cellular network related functions only.

    (2) I can walk in anywhere that has Wi-Fi coverage and check my .mac e-mail, including reading .pdf files?

    Yes, but all public wi-fi hotspots are not free. Some require payment for access.

    (3), if I'm somewhere without Wi-Fi coverage, I can always turn the SIM card back "on" and have the phone check for e-mail (which I assume you can initiate an e-mail account check at any time manually like most other smart phones, right)?


    Correct.
  • Andrew T. Level 4 Level 4 (3,210 points)
    The best option I can provide you. Is remove the SIM card and put the SIM card in a safe spot at home or in your travel bag.




    That way you can use the iPhone in Isreal and connect to WiFi Hotspots only. If there is no WiFi Hotspots, You can still use the iPhone for Music, Videos, Contacts, Calenders, Notes, etc. You just wont be able to use any of the Data features till your back on WiFi.


    Removing the SIM card ensures that no EDGE services are being used, Nor any calls can be made without the SIM card. But all other features will work via WiFi if needed.
  • Mathew K Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Won't turning off DATA ROAMING do the same thing? By doing this, I was able to use the phone for SMS($.50 per) and use WiFi.