GSM, SIM, iPhones in Iceland for US folk: Talk down to me
July 17, 2012 8:09 AM Subscribe
Having trouble making sense of unlocked GSM phones, SIM cards, and unlocking/jailbreaking US phones for travel to Iceland. Please help.
posted by ImproviseOrDie to technology (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We're traveling from the US to Iceland for a week in August. I need help figuring out 1) if we need cell phone access and 2) if so, if/how we can use our phones or whether to buy/rent one. And I need it explained to me like I'm in kindergarten.
I have an iPhone 4. My husband's is an iPhone 3gs. Both are on AT&T.
Phone use cases for this trip: We have aging parents with health problems in the US and want them to be able to call us in case of emergency. We're also going to rent a car for at least one or two day trips (HQed in Reykjavik, returning at night) and would like to have a phone for local outgoing calls in case we have an emergency like a car breakdown. Another desire, though pretty insignificant, would be using the phone for non-emergency local calls like restaurant reservations, event tickets, etc.
I think number 1 above (incoming calls from US) is taken care of by my husband's Google Voice number. I'm correct in assuming that'll work like it does in the US, right? i.e., They dial the number as usual, and he gets an email.
Number 2 (outgoing local calls in Iceland) is trickier. I don't want to jailbreak my phone because I'm a ways from being upgrade eligible and I generally have no patience with DIY hardware/software stuff. We'd be more willing to jailbreak his if it wouldn't get bricked and if there's a SIM card available for it that'll work in Iceland but that has English menus.
Because my aforementioned patience is low and my risk aversion to breaking our phones is high, should we just buy a phone? Could we get an unlocked GSM phone and SIM card for under $75 total with minutes that don't expire for, let's say, 2+ years? (We don't plan to travel internationally again until probably 2014.) I'm in Baltimore, not somewhere with lots of international phone shopping choices like Manhattan, so will likely need to order online.