Having a cell phone while traveling brings peace of mind but if it’s an iPhone, you might end up coming home to a large bill. Unfortunately AT & T and the iPhone, unlike Blackberry, does not offer a true world calling plan. Calls and text messages work as usual with high roaming charges. Internet, email or any options that use data roaming also take on high charges. Try the following tips to save yourself some cash:
Turn Data Roaming “OFF”:
By default the setting for international data roaming will be in the “OFF” position. To turn data roaming “ON/OFF” tap on, Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming
-Turning “OFF” data roaming blocks email, browsing and downloads, but it will not block text or picture/video messages.
-When in India, international roaming rates apply when you send text or picture/video messages.
Utilize WiFi Instead of 3G/GPRS/EDGE:
WiFi is available in many international airports, hotels and restaurants to browse the web or check email.
Turn Fetch New Data “Off”:
Check email and sync contacts and calendars manually instead of having the data pushed to your iPhone automatically. This way you can control the flow of data coming to your iPhone.
To turn off the Auto-Check functionality tap on, Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>Fetch New Data, Change Push to “OFF” and Select to Fetch Manually.
Reset the Usage Tracker to Zero:
When you arrive in India access the usage tracker in the general settings menu and select reset statistics. This will enable you to track your estimated data usage statistics.
To reset Usage Tracker to Zero tap on, Settings>General>Usage>Reset
AT & T has new Data Global Plans that offer reduced roaming charges but the savings are minimal. I’ve read stories about outrageous bills from users that traveled abroad, some running more than $3000.
When I arrive in India I make sure my setting are all set to off. But, I also take out the SIM card so that my iPhone becomes just a WiFi computer. For phone calls I rely on STD’s which are still easy to find throughout the country, and the rates are cheap.
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