[Hidden-tech] Taking an iPhone to India and Nepal

Gyepi SAM gyepi-hidden-tec at praxis-sw.com
Tue Apr 29 03:01:05 EDT 2014

Hi David,

First, you'll want to verify that India and Nepal are on GSM. I would bet my
hat on it, but one does run into the occasional weirdness.

Second, make sure the iPhone is unlocked. AT&T has been unlocking them on
request now for sometime. You can go into the store or do it online. Search
for the keywords "iphone unlock at&t". The process could take a few days but
a few hours is standard. Whatever you do, follow the instructions exactly.

Third, once the phone is unlocked, he can buy and use a local SIM card where
ever he goes. The costs will be *much* lower. AT&T roaming charges are
substantial. Indian SIM cards may work in Nepal, but will likely be roaming and will incur higher fees.
If he's there for more than a few days, he'll likely want to buy a Nepalese SIM card.
Make sure he takes the little pin for extracting the card and a small
container for holding unused sim cards. They are tiny and easily lost.

To send email, etc, he just needs to buy data time.
In some countries you buy data separately from airtime and in others you buy
airtime and convert it to data. The locals know all this, so I just ask when I
get there.

With data, you can email, text, use Facetime, watch videos, etc.
Of course, the latter two, being data intensive, will cost a bundle but it's possible.
Note that iPhones use a lot of background bandwidth for automatically checking mail,
calendar, and other services, all of which can be turned off.

It is a local call for you when you call him on the AT&T number, but obviously
he'll be paying roaming charges. On the other hand, if you set up a Google
voice number, you can call him on his local Indian number for very little

We are currently in South Africa, using three unlocked iPhones which have also
seen service in a few other countries, all with local SIM cards.

BTW, you can ask AT&T to suspend his account when he leaves so you don't incur
contract charges. Otherwise you'll continue to pay for an unused service.



On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:35:17AM +0000, DAVID SPOUND wrote:
>    ** Be sure to fill out the survey/skills inventory in the member's area.
>    ** If you did, we all thank you.

> Dear Friends,
> My son will soon be going to India and Nepal for 3 months.
> I would like to give him my iPhone 5 -- AT&T model. This would be for infrequent/emergency use. I am looking for recommendations as to whether this will work for him.
> He envisions the following use:
> 1) Making a few phone calls or sending a few email messages within India and Nepal, mainly to confirm or change travel arrangements as his trip proceeds.
> 2) Making a few (but not many) calls back to his parents in the U.S. to let us know he is OK.
> He might want to send some email and hopes that iPhone will allow him to do this when he has no wifi access (which will be often).
> He has little or no interest in sending text messages. Little or no interest in Skype and Facetime calls. He does not want to be in touch with "home" on a frequent basis. This is, as I said, more for infrequent use and in case of emergency.
> My questions include:
> 1) Should he keep the phone "as is" with the original AT&T sim card? My understanding is that the roaming charges for phone calls would be high but he would not make many calls. Also, if I need to call him, I would be placing a "local" call.
> 2) Should he buy and install a new SIM card when he arrives in India? I have heard that this might allow him to make calls at a more reasonable rate.
> 3) Showing my ignorance on the subject: will a set up that works in India also work in Nepal?
> Any advice would be appreciated. I tried contacting AT&T and received confusing advice.
> Best regards,
> David
> ++++++++++
> David Spound
> Valley Mindfulness
> www.valleymindfulness.com
> 413-570-0312

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