iPhone/ International Roaming etc


Hi All,

I’ve read a billion posts on the whole international roaming/ sim card issue, but I’m just checking to see if anyone who owns an iphone can give some advice?

I live in Australia & have a cap/plan with 3. I’d really like to take my iphone with me overseas, but I’m only planning on using it for texts & phone calls so is it cheaper just to take an old phone (nokia?) & buy a sim card in London before I leave for the tour? Or just use international romaing on my existing iphone?

It would be really good to access my facebook on my iphone, but it’s not a necessity so I just want to do whatever is the cheapest & easiest to be able to make phone calls & texts to my family at home every now & then.

Any help would be great.

Thanks :slight_smile:


I’m in the same boat. I’m unlocking my iPhone and getting a sim card in the UK, but I’ll be staying within the UK. If you’re in Europe for a tour, but starting and ending in London, check out international plans that UK companies like Vodafone have. Most of the time you get a free sim when you sign up and there are minimal roaming charges if you sign up for the right pay as you go plan.

Just need to do a bit of investigating to see what works for you.


I’m in the exact same boat as you are Emmarr. I got a little info sheet from 3 about the charges involved with international roaming and it dosn’t look too expensive if you only intend on using if for txts and calls. My only question to them is, is it included in the cap or is it considered an additional charge. The way I’m looking at it I’m going to still be paying at least $54 (49 cap plus 5 for phone) per month when I’m away anyway, so I may as well use it. I’d just be careful how much you use it. The girl in 3 just told me make sure your turn data access off because otherwise you’ll get charged through the roof.

Which tour are you going on?


Hey all,

I’m planning on taking an iphone or similar however the plan is to dl the skype ap and only use it when i’m in free (or cheap) wifi areas when needing to make calls. (ie avoiding international roaming and data fees).
Enough places seem to have wifi hotspots nowadays so it makes sense to at least try this path.


hey guys

yeah i’m in the same boat except i’m with optus. i plan on going into the optus shop in the next few days to see what i can do because international roaming is apparently very expensive and i’m staying in europe for 7 months. i think if i can i will pay off the remainder of my plan (which will be about 10 months) and unlock it if necessary then just buy a sim over there.

any who i will let you all know what optus say!


Hey guys :slight_smile: I am wiht 3 qand the prices are ridiculous for roaming. Someone purchased me a woolworths prepaid sim to take with me and they are by far the cheapest. But, I am investigating to get a cheap pre paid sim in europe


There is no cheap option unless youre going to only be in one country for awhile which Im guessing is none of us.

I would just suggest bringing the iphone and only using it in wifi zones or for emergency calls. Wifi is all over the place and shouldnt be a problem to find.

My main concern was being able to have access to maps on my phone, but then i discovered several apps that let you download city maps and access them offline without using roaming.


I’ve only recently got my iphone, so if I use it whilst in a free wifi zone I wont be charged for data? I’m thinking of just using it - its not like I intend to use it 24/7, just the ocassional txt home.



sounds like you’re in the same position as me.

Yes if in a free wifi zone data will be free. If however you’re using skype or similar to send a txt back to an australian mobile then there will probably be some minor fee attached to that but you’d be best to chase that up with skype. I’ve got both skype and mynetphone accounts, the beauty of both being that you can be anywhere in the world and use these and most of the time it’s either free or next to free depending on the destination you are calling :slight_smile:


WOW! It’s all really confusing actually. I’ve only had my iphone for a few months & really don’t understand the whole “date usage” stuff completely yet. I’ve emailed a friend who works at 3 to see what he thinks is the best idea. If he comes up with anything good, I’ll let you all know :slight_smile:

PS. mishmush - I’m on Spirit of Europe 4th May.


What if ive got a normal cellphone (without all this iphone techno stuff) with a simcard, and all i want is to buy a simcard that will work in europe. Where would i get one - can i get one in UK? I just want to be able to text home every now and then and be contactable/ring out if i get lost, prob get a international phonecard to call home but yeah where would i get one UK or first stop in Paris?


Since everyone replying in this thread is from australia or new zealand :wink: which prepaid sim would you suggest to get, as I am planing to make some domestic calls? Will be in australia for around a month (only doing a two week topdeck tour).

Getting a prepaid sim in europe is the best option, charges for txt’s (E 0.12/txt) and calls(E 0.55/min or E 0.25/min when receiving the call) are fixed EU wide (but only if you send/call to another EU phone). Just checked with my own provider, T mobile, calling abroad (UK for example) to Australia costs around E 1.25/min.
Alot of restaurants (especially places like McDonald’s) offer free WIFI, so seek out those if you are planning on using Skype out. My advice is to turn off dataroaming whilst in the EU as its usually priced around E 2.00/MB (thats for EU sims again).


I would suggest just getting a pre paid sim for australia. I think 3 or optus would be best.


I will want to call my family in Aus from countries in Europe and want them to be able to call me. I will also need the option to make calls to places in Europe from wherever I am in Europe. Skype app for iphone plus the Skype World subscription (with Online number) seem like a good option. You just need wifi to make/receive calls with Skype. I’m still looking at details: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/download/skype/iphone/

Someone suggested signing up for a subscription with a company that has wifi hotspots around the world. I’m not sure about how frequently you’d come across these in your travels but might be worth a look:
http:// http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1180765&r=18827721#r18827721


Went to all phones today to see what they could suggest. http://www.travelsim.net.au/
Sounds quite reasonable, just means i’ll have to cop that minimum spend on my phone for awhile whilst not using it.


sim cards are only like $2 here and topup $20, is there not something similar in europe/ uk??


Hey mishmush,
I’ve had a look at that website and it is by fair the cheapest travel sim I have seen yet!! My mate works for the company that sells them so I’m just checking with him if its a good option or wat not? but thanks very much for the link it helped heaps!


Thats k, I’m defiantly going with it.


That travel sim does look good, better than spending a bucketload with optus


Now I’m not so sure what I’m going to do. Spoke to a friend of my brothers who used to work for 3. He reckons, that as long as I’m careful where and how I use it I should be fine. For example if I am in a country, say Italy - thats zone 1, which is a 3 like home zone. Meaning it costs the same amount as it would at home to send a txt or call. The only difference being its above whats included in my cap. Also if I use skype in free wifi zones, its free. I’m not intending on using it much anyway, still comparing all options.