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Posted Nov 27, 2009
Studying Abroad - What are my options?

Phone: IPhone  

 

Next fall I plan on studying abroad in Sweden.  Is there any way I can pause my plan while abroad?  Or just get the international $5.99 plan?  If not what is the minimum I can pay per month without canceling?

 

Will I be able to temporarily unlock my phone and use a pay-as-you go sim card there and then re-lock before I return? 

 

What options are there for calling home at a reasonable rate?  I have heard of VOIP, but will I be able to use my current number for VOIP without canceling my plan?

 

Thanks 

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7-26-2013 1:33:08 PM
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Hi TCW,

 

AT&T now offers a Study Abroad feature specifically designed for students and faculty. You can take your current device with you, and start talking/texting/using data as soon as you get off the plane in over 150 countries. If you travel between countries during your stay, you don't have to worry about varying roaming rates - this feature is just one flat fee every month. You also don't have to unlock your phone to use it. If you'd like more details, please see att.com/studyabroad.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
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Studying Abroad - What are my options?

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Nov 27, 2009
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You don't have any perfect solutions here, but you do have a number of possibilities.  .  First, ATT will not unlock your iPhone.  Their contract with Apple prohibits them from unlocking this phone.  There are third party solutions for unlocking iPhones, but there are issues with this and I don't know that a company forum is the appropriate place to get into the issues.  I would point out that there is a virus infecting inproperly jailbroken iPhones right now so be careful if  you go this route.  

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE5AM3T320091123

 

I should point out that you can unlock your iPhone to accept a foreign SIM without jailbreaking it.  ATT will not help you do this and you really should not upgrade your firmware if you take that route.   

 

Sweden has plenty of prepaid solutions available which include data, but you'll have to think hard about whether you want to do this with an iPhone or a different phone.  The Fall of 2010 is a ways off, but if you were buying a phone for a semester abroad, I might look at the Nokia E63 (Euro Version).  It is 3g compatible and has built in VOIP.  Even better, Three in Sweden has unlimited free Skype to Skype and Skype to international.  Technically, you are supposed to use a phone purchased from Three, but the program they install is widely available.  For $3 a month, you can have unlimited calls to the United States.  

 

ATT's $5.99 solution won't help you here.  It reduces roaming costs a bit, but it is meant for the short term visitor, not the long term guest. You'll still be paying 99 cents a minute for all your calls.  

 

ATT might let you out of your contract early on  proof that you are moving out of the U.S., but you'll lose the number in the process. ATT might let you port your US number out prior to termination.  A good place to park it is voip.ms which has a $1.50 a minute plan with voicemail.  You'll also pay 1 cent a minute for those messages.  You can also forward your number to a number of places with voip.ms.  You can port the number back when you move back to the US.   

 

 

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Nov 29, 2009
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When you say $3 a mo. for unlimited calls to the US, what are you referring too?  The Three plan?  I assume this is in addition to any 3G plan I am using to connect to the internet?  Couldn't I just use the local wifi and the iphone in airplane mode to call home via Skype?  

 

I am not very knowledgeable on how Skype is setup, but I thought it was free.  Also I thought they were there own company, so I wouldn't need a plan (in this case Three) to use it.

 

Thanks for all your help.

 

 

EDIT:  Woops, I should've done some research first, Skype has unlimited to US for $2.95. World is $12.95. 

Message Edited by TCW on 11-29-2009 05:43:14 PM

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Nov 29, 2009
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Let me correct myself a little and then answer your response. Three Sweden charges 49 SEK (apx US$7) a month for unlimited Skype access.  I've used it in the UK and Hong Kong where access was free.  I incorrectly assumed it appliied to Sweden as well:

 

Three Sweden:

 

http://www.tre.se/templates/AddOnPage.aspx?id=35809

 

Google Translation:

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tre.se%2Ftemplates%2FAddOnPage.aspx%3Fid%3D35809&sl=sv&tl=en

 

Skype on Three uses a hybrid voice/data  solution based on the iSkoot software.  All calls to Skype are over Three's voice channel to a Skype voice gateway in Sweden.  It then travels over the the Skype gateway to the user.  In the UK, I purchased unlimited US calling for $3 to Skype and called everyone in the US (talking as long as I wanted for $3).  It was a great deal. I didn't need a wifi connection.  I could make the call in a moving train and it was fine. You were blocked from calling the UK on  this system, but calling foreign countries was wide open.  

 

Technically you couldn't get a Skype-In number on this system, but you can get around this with two Skype accounts.  Setup up a US Skype in number to johnsmith#1 at Skype.  Now, set up a second account johnsmith#2 on your phone.  Forward johnsmith#1 to johnsmith#2 and you could get free incoming calls throughout the UK when folks called your US number.  

 

I don't speak Swedish and will let you determine whether my solution works as well in Sweden. Google translator gives you a good start on a foreign langauge page, but it is far from perfect.  

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Nov 29, 2009
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So I would pay Three $7 to access Skype over their voice channel, then I would pay Skype $3 for unlimited access to US.  Then I would have a second account on Skype with unlimited World calls ($13) so that forwards to my first account so I can receive calls from people in Sweden over Three's 3g?  Then in the end I have 0 regular minutes and all Skype 3G.  

 

Account #2 has no number to call, but #1 forwards to that account and #1 has a number.  Is there anyway I could get my current mobile number to be the number on account 1?  Would I need to cancel my AT&T plan to do this? 

 

Also would Skype let me forward calls from one Skype account to another one with no number?

 

Thanks

 

Also it doesn't look like that program is available for the Iphone. 

Message Edited by TCW on 11-29-2009 06:22:08 PM

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Nov 29, 2009
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Q.   So I would pay Three $7 to access Skype over their voice channel, then I would pay Skype $3 for unlimited access to US? 

 

Yes;

 

Q.   Then I would have a second account on Skype with unlimited World calls ($13) so that forwards to my first account so I can receive calls from people in Sweden over Three's 3g?  Then in the end I have 0 regular minutes and all Skype 3G?

 

A.   No. You are not forwarding the number to your Swedish mobile number.  You are forwarding it to the Skype account tied to the phone;

 

Q.   Also would Skype let me forward calls from one Skype account to another one with no number?

 

A.    That is correct.  

 

Q.    Account #2 has no number to call, but #1 forwards to that account and #1 has a number.  Is there anyway I could get my current mobile number to be the number on account 1?  Would I need to cancel my AT&T plan to do this? 

 

A.   Skype doesn't support number portability.  You can forward your ATT number to your Skype number, but you'd have to keep the number open for that.

 

 

Q.  Also it doesn't look like that program is available for the Iphone.

 

A.  That is correct.  You'll need a supported phone.  If you go with the Nokia E Series phone (with 2100mhz) you can use that phone for your telephone and SKype.  If you shut off the phone use on your iPhone, what you can do is buy a 10 euro program called Jokuspot (http://www.joikushop.com/) which will turn a Nokia (or a Samsung Symbian based phone) into a wifi accesspoint which you can use to provide a signal to your iPhone.  

 

If you really want to use an unlocked iPhone and your US number, another way you can do this is to port your ATT number to voip.ms (a voip provider) and forward that number to your Swedish number.  It will cost between seven and thirteen cents a minute to forward the number, plus $1.50 a month to host your number, and a one time fee of $25 to port the number from ATT.   

 

 

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Jul 26, 2013
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Hi TCW,

 

AT&T now offers a Study Abroad feature specifically designed for students and faculty. You can take your current device with you, and start talking/texting/using data as soon as you get off the plane in over 150 countries. If you travel between countries during your stay, you don't have to worry about varying roaming rates - this feature is just one flat fee every month. You also don't have to unlock your phone to use it. If you'd like more details, please see att.com/studyabroad.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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Aug 21, 2013
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Great info, but I'm pretty sure TCW has already returned :smileywink:


SarahProvost wrote:

Hi TCW,

 

AT&T now offers a Study Abroad feature specifically designed for students and faculty. You can take your current device with you, and start talking/texting/using data as soon as you get off the plane in over 150 countries. If you travel between countries during your stay, you don't have to worry about varying roaming rates - this feature is just one flat fee every month. You also don't have to unlock your phone to use it. If you'd like more details, please see att.com/studyabroad.


 


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[Note: ACE is a forum title; I am not affiliated with AT&T]
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Studying Abroad - Pause My Plan?

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