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Posted Apr 4, 2014
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iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

Our family has a mobile share 10GB plan. My son is going to France soon, and I have placed a Global Text Messaging plan on his phone. AT&T rep has confirmed that 1. If I text from my phone in US to his phone in France, there is no charge because I have unlimited international text sending under the mobile share plan, and receiving texts overseas for him is charged at his domestic rate, which is free unlimited; and 2. Up to the Global Text package limit, he can send texts from France to US free, and I can receive them free. MY QUESTION IS: (assuming no WiFi available, which will  be the case at times) what iPhone settings will allow him to send and receive text messages in France while avoiding the risk of any other data charges? With "cellular data" off, and no WiFi, texting will not work. With "data roaming" off, will it work? Must he turn off cellular data for all apps individually, and is that a guarantee that something else won't still use data? The Global Text plan seems pretty worthless if there is no way to use it without risking unsuspected and extreme overseas data charges. AT&T? Thanks, JW

Our family has a mobile share 10GB plan. My son is going to France soon, and I have placed a Global Text Messaging plan on his phone. AT&T rep has confirmed that 1. If I text from my phone in US to his phone in France, there is no charge because I have unlimited international text sending under the mobile share plan, and receiving texts overseas for him is charged at his domestic rate, which is free unlimited; and 2. Up to the Global Text package limit, he can send texts from France to US free, and I can receive them free. MY QUESTION IS: (assuming no WiFi available, which will  be the case at times) what iPhone settings will allow him to send and receive text messages in France while avoiding the risk of any other data charges? With "cellular data" off, and no WiFi, texting will not work. With "data roaming" off, will it work? Must he turn off cellular data for all apps individually, and is that a guarantee that something else won't still use data? The Global Text plan seems pretty worthless if there is no way to use it without risking unsuspected and extreme overseas data charges. AT&T? Thanks, JW

iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 4, 2014 8:37:58 PM
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jwitkin wrote:

Our family has a mobile share 10GB plan. My son is going to France soon, and I have placed a Global Text Messaging plan on his phone. AT&T rep has confirmed that 1. If I text from my phone in US to his phone in France, there is no charge because I have unlimited international text sending under the mobile share plan, and receiving texts overseas for him is charged at his domestic rate, which is free unlimited; and 2. Up to the Global Text package limit, he can send texts from France to US free, and I can receive them free. MY QUESTION IS: (assuming no WiFi available, which will  be the case at times) what iPhone settings will allow him to send and receive text messages in France while avoiding the risk of any other data charges? With "cellular data" off, and no WiFi, texting will not work. With "data roaming" off, will it work? Must he turn off cellular data for all apps individually, and is that a guarantee that something else won't still use data? The Global Text plan seems pretty worthless if there is no way to use it without risking unsuspected and extreme overseas data charges. AT&T? Thanks, JW


Regular SMS texting will work fine with no wifi and either cellular data or data roaming turned off. Picture messages, however, won't work if data is off. The only thing he needs to do to avoid data charges is to turn data roaming off. He should also make sure the iPhone message app has "send as SMS" turned on. By the way, the unlimited international texting has no bearing on this. That only applies to texting an international number. Your son's number is still a US number, even when he is roaming overseas. Any text you send him is free, it's just not an international text. 


jwitkin wrote:

Our family has a mobile share 10GB plan. My son is going to France soon, and I have placed a Global Text Messaging plan on his phone. AT&T rep has confirmed that 1. If I text from my phone in US to his phone in France, there is no charge because I have unlimited international text sending under the mobile share plan, and receiving texts overseas for him is charged at his domestic rate, which is free unlimited; and 2. Up to the Global Text package limit, he can send texts from France to US free, and I can receive them free. MY QUESTION IS: (assuming no WiFi available, which will  be the case at times) what iPhone settings will allow him to send and receive text messages in France while avoiding the risk of any other data charges? With "cellular data" off, and no WiFi, texting will not work. With "data roaming" off, will it work? Must he turn off cellular data for all apps individually, and is that a guarantee that something else won't still use data? The Global Text plan seems pretty worthless if there is no way to use it without risking unsuspected and extreme overseas data charges. AT&T? Thanks, JW


Regular SMS texting will work fine with no wifi and either cellular data or data roaming turned off. Picture messages, however, won't work if data is off. The only thing he needs to do to avoid data charges is to turn data roaming off. He should also make sure the iPhone message app has "send as SMS" turned on. By the way, the unlimited international texting has no bearing on this. That only applies to texting an international number. Your son's number is still a US number, even when he is roaming overseas. Any text you send him is free, it's just not an international text. 

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 4, 2014 8:43:07 PM
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Thanks for the reply! Yes, I saw that the unlimited international text messaging applied to foreign numbers. So, I turned off WiFi, Data Roaming, and Cellular Data on my iPhone and tried to text my wife's phone right next to me. I got failure notices until I turned data (or wifi) back on. Am I doing something different than what you said?

Thanks for the reply! Yes, I saw that the unlimited international text messaging applied to foreign numbers. So, I turned off WiFi, Data Roaming, and Cellular Data on my iPhone and tried to text my wife's phone right next to me. I got failure notices until I turned data (or wifi) back on. Am I doing something different than what you said?

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Apr 4, 2014 8:55:17 PM
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I tried texting my wife's phone with WiFi and Data off, and it worked. I think maybe last time, I clicked on a previous thread using her email address, which works with imessage, but doesn't make sense to AT&T. If my son wants to send a picture message, which you say requires data, from France, can he turn on "cellular data" leaving "data roaming" off? I know having "data roaming" off will generally prevent data charges in France, but will it allow picture texting? Or will "data roaming" have to be on (scary)? Thanks!

I tried texting my wife's phone with WiFi and Data off, and it worked. I think maybe last time, I clicked on a previous thread using her email address, which works with imessage, but doesn't make sense to AT&T. If my son wants to send a picture message, which you say requires data, from France, can he turn on "cellular data" leaving "data roaming" off? I know having "data roaming" off will generally prevent data charges in France, but will it allow picture texting? Or will "data roaming" have to be on (scary)? Thanks!

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Apr 4, 2014 9:25:26 PM
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Yet one more question. My son is supposed to text his French host when he arrives in France. Will his Global Text 50 allow him to text a French phone number from within France, on his US phone...?

Thanks!

Yet one more question. My son is supposed to text his French host when he arrives in France. Will his Global Text 50 allow him to text a French phone number from within France, on his US phone...?

Thanks!

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Apr 5, 2014 5:49:17 AM
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jwitkin wrote:

I tried texting my wife's phone with WiFi and Data off, and it worked. I think maybe last time, I clicked on a previous thread using her email address, which works with imessage, but doesn't make sense to AT&T. If my son wants to send a picture message, which you say requires data, from France, can he turn on "cellular data" leaving "data roaming" off? I know having "data roaming" off will generally prevent data charges in France, but will it allow picture texting? Or will "data roaming" have to be on (scary)? Thanks!


"Data roaming" off is basically the same as "cellular data" off when overseas. He'll have to have both on to send a picture but he also needs to make sure he turns iMessage off. Otherwise, the iPhone will send via iMessage which does not count against the text package but does count as data. 


jwitkin wrote:

I tried texting my wife's phone with WiFi and Data off, and it worked. I think maybe last time, I clicked on a previous thread using her email address, which works with imessage, but doesn't make sense to AT&T. If my son wants to send a picture message, which you say requires data, from France, can he turn on "cellular data" leaving "data roaming" off? I know having "data roaming" off will generally prevent data charges in France, but will it allow picture texting? Or will "data roaming" have to be on (scary)? Thanks!


"Data roaming" off is basically the same as "cellular data" off when overseas. He'll have to have both on to send a picture but he also needs to make sure he turns iMessage off. Otherwise, the iPhone will send via iMessage which does not count against the text package but does count as data. 

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Apr 5, 2014 5:52:41 AM
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jwitkin wrote:

Yet one more question. My son is supposed to text his French host when he arrives in France. Will his Global Text 50 allow him to text a French phone number from within France, on his US phone...?

Thanks!


Here is where the unlimited international text comes in. Yes, the Global Text 50 should let him text a French phone number. It will count as 1 of his 50 but there should be no extra charge. 


jwitkin wrote:

Yet one more question. My son is supposed to text his French host when he arrives in France. Will his Global Text 50 allow him to text a French phone number from within France, on his US phone...?

Thanks!


Here is where the unlimited international text comes in. Yes, the Global Text 50 should let him text a French phone number. It will count as 1 of his 50 but there should be no extra charge. 

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 10:23:54 AM
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So - for my son to text a French number from his AT&T phone while in France, he texts to "0" plus the 9-digit cell number, and it will work? Thanks.

So - for my son to text a French number from his AT&T phone while in France, he texts to "0" plus the 9-digit cell number, and it will work? Thanks.

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 3:17:50 PM
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One thing ot be aware of - Imessage is a Apple service, it does not use the SMS protocol, it uses data when you text to another iphone unless it cannot make contact with the Apple servers and you have send as SMS setting on in the app. So if you are not connected to wifi the message may not go through.

One thing ot be aware of - Imessage is a Apple service, it does not use the SMS protocol, it uses data when you text to another iphone unless it cannot make contact with the Apple servers and you have send as SMS setting on in the app. So if you are not connected to wifi the message may not go through.

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 4:20:52 PM
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I'm starting to get the feel of it. As I see it, with data roaming off, airplane mode on, wi-fi on, while wi-fi is available, my son will be able to use iMessage. If Apple servers are not available, "send as SMS" will work over wi-fi (right)? If he wants to text where there is NO wi-fi, he will turn OFF airplane mode, and will be able to send and receive SMS over cellular (but not picture texts since cellular data is off). iMessage will also not work over cellular (with data off). He has to be sure not to use the phone or answer it if it rings while airplane mode is off! Other than that, no risk of unexpected charges as long as data roaming is off. Is that all correct?
He will have wi-fi for much of his trip. The idea is that he have a backup if he is on the street and needs to communicate. He can forgo sending picture texts over cellular, since that will require cellular data, and I don't see a safe way to turn that on...

 

If he uses iPhone messaging while on wi-fi, and Apple servers see him, but can't find the recipient, does "send as SMS" result in an SMS being sent from my son's phone, or from Apple's server? Smiley Happy

I'm starting to get the feel of it. As I see it, with data roaming off, airplane mode on, wi-fi on, while wi-fi is available, my son will be able to use iMessage. If Apple servers are not available, "send as SMS" will work over wi-fi (right)? If he wants to text where there is NO wi-fi, he will turn OFF airplane mode, and will be able to send and receive SMS over cellular (but not picture texts since cellular data is off). iMessage will also not work over cellular (with data off). He has to be sure not to use the phone or answer it if it rings while airplane mode is off! Other than that, no risk of unexpected charges as long as data roaming is off. Is that all correct?
He will have wi-fi for much of his trip. The idea is that he have a backup if he is on the street and needs to communicate. He can forgo sending picture texts over cellular, since that will require cellular data, and I don't see a safe way to turn that on...

 

If he uses iPhone messaging while on wi-fi, and Apple servers see him, but can't find the recipient, does "send as SMS" result in an SMS being sent from my son's phone, or from Apple's server? Smiley Happy

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 5:13:31 PM
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Not quite. SMS is regular service same as calling, so it doesn't work with wifi.

If you are on wifi, and airplain mode is on, it will automatically try to send it as imessage, but if that person is not an iphone customer, it won't work.

Incoming messages  will sit  in limbo for up to ~24h. When I went traveling, I kept on my airplane mode except for 1/day I turned it off to get my msgs.

-Alex

Not quite. SMS is regular service same as calling, so it doesn't work with wifi.

If you are on wifi, and airplain mode is on, it will automatically try to send it as imessage, but if that person is not an iphone customer, it won't work.

Incoming messages  will sit  in limbo for up to ~24h. When I went traveling, I kept on my airplane mode except for 1/day I turned it off to get my msgs.

-Alex

*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.
*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: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 5:46:39 PM
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Edited by sandblaster on Apr 5, 2014 at 5:48:37 PM

jwitkin wrote:

I'm starting to get the feel of it. As I see it, with data roaming off, airplane mode on, wi-fi on, while wi-fi is available, my son will be able to use iMessage. If Apple servers are not available, "send as SMS" will work over wi-fi (right)? If he wants to text where there is NO wi-fi, he will turn OFF airplane mode, and will be able to send and receive SMS over cellular (but not picture texts since cellular data is off). iMessage will also not work over cellular (with data off). He has to be sure not to use the phone or answer it if it rings while airplane mode is off! Other than that, no risk of unexpected charges as long as data roaming is off. Is that all correct?
He will have wi-fi for much of his trip. The idea is that he have a backup if he is on the street and needs to communicate. He can forgo sending picture texts over cellular, since that will require cellular data, and I don't see a safe way to turn that on...

 

If he uses iPhone messaging while on wi-fi, and Apple servers see him, but can't find the recipient, does "send as SMS" result in an SMS being sent from my son's phone, or from Apple's server? Smiley Happy


You've got this mostly right but there are two items to note. 1)  "send as SMS" does not work over wifi. SMS messages are sent only over the cellular network and have nothing to do with Apple servers. 2) If the phone rings, he will get charged for the call (at least 1 minute's worth) whether he answers or not. From the foreign service provider's viewpoint, they consider the call completed as soon as the phone rings and expect to get paid for handling the call whether it is answered or not.


jwitkin wrote:

I'm starting to get the feel of it. As I see it, with data roaming off, airplane mode on, wi-fi on, while wi-fi is available, my son will be able to use iMessage. If Apple servers are not available, "send as SMS" will work over wi-fi (right)? If he wants to text where there is NO wi-fi, he will turn OFF airplane mode, and will be able to send and receive SMS over cellular (but not picture texts since cellular data is off). iMessage will also not work over cellular (with data off). He has to be sure not to use the phone or answer it if it rings while airplane mode is off! Other than that, no risk of unexpected charges as long as data roaming is off. Is that all correct?
He will have wi-fi for much of his trip. The idea is that he have a backup if he is on the street and needs to communicate. He can forgo sending picture texts over cellular, since that will require cellular data, and I don't see a safe way to turn that on...

 

If he uses iPhone messaging while on wi-fi, and Apple servers see him, but can't find the recipient, does "send as SMS" result in an SMS being sent from my son's phone, or from Apple's server? Smiley Happy


You've got this mostly right but there are two items to note. 1)  "send as SMS" does not work over wifi. SMS messages are sent only over the cellular network and have nothing to do with Apple servers. 2) If the phone rings, he will get charged for the call (at least 1 minute's worth) whether he answers or not. From the foreign service provider's viewpoint, they consider the call completed as soon as the phone rings and expect to get paid for handling the call whether it is answered or not.

Re: iPhone settings for Global Text plans overseas while avoiding data use?

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Apr 5, 2014 9:09:31 PM
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OK, thanks. I guess my question was about how iMessage works - if he sends an iMessage while on wi-fi, and the recipient is not an iPhone customer, does the Apple server tell my son's phone in France to try to send an SMS message, or does the Apple server itself originate the SMS? I gather you are implying that it would come from my son's phone, and would therefore fail in airplane mode.?

 

OK, thanks. I guess my question was about how iMessage works - if he sends an iMessage while on wi-fi, and the recipient is not an iPhone customer, does the Apple server tell my son's phone in France to try to send an SMS message, or does the Apple server itself originate the SMS? I gather you are implying that it would come from my son's phone, and would therefore fail in airplane mode.?

 

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Apr 5, 2014 9:09:57 PM
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Good to know. Thanks!

Good to know. Thanks!

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Apr 6, 2014 6:00:07 AM
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jwitkin wrote:

OK, thanks. I guess my question was about how iMessage works - if he sends an iMessage while on wi-fi, and the recipient is not an iPhone customer, does the Apple server tell my son's phone in France to try to send an SMS message, or does the Apple server itself originate the SMS? I gather you are implying that it would come from my son's phone, and would therefore fail in airplane mode.?

 


The message app on the phone determines which service (iMessage or SMS) to use. If the recipient is not an iPhone customer or other Apple device, the message app won't even attempt to send via iMessage. In this case, it would attempt to send via SMS and fail since the phone is in airplane mode. 


jwitkin wrote:

OK, thanks. I guess my question was about how iMessage works - if he sends an iMessage while on wi-fi, and the recipient is not an iPhone customer, does the Apple server tell my son's phone in France to try to send an SMS message, or does the Apple server itself originate the SMS? I gather you are implying that it would come from my son's phone, and would therefore fail in airplane mode.?

 


The message app on the phone determines which service (iMessage or SMS) to use. If the recipient is not an iPhone customer or other Apple device, the message app won't even attempt to send via iMessage. In this case, it would attempt to send via SMS and fail since the phone is in airplane mode. 

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