Roam, Roam on the range (overseas iphone usage)
January 5, 2010 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I live in the UK and have an unlocked iphone on the O2 network. I'm heading to California for 6 weeks to visit my family. Is there a reasonably simple way I can use my iphone and UK number in the US without paying ridiculous roaming and data charges? I'm much more of a text/data person than voice. I'm open to Google Voice hacks, pay-as-you SIMs, etc. Anything really to ensure I don't get a monster phone bill when I get back.
posted by cubedweller to Technology (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This thread from three days ago has some answers to a very similar question.
posted by galaksit at 9:18 AM on January 5, 2010

I've got an iPhone and used the skype app almost exclusivley when I went to Panama last summer to avoid the crazy data and roaming charges. I just found places with free wifi and would handle all my communication via skype or skype chat while there.
posted by white_devil at 9:48 AM on January 5, 2010

Buy SkypeIn with a UK number.
Buy AT&T/T-Mobile USA Pay-As-You-Go SIM card on eBay.
Forward your UK number to your SkypeIn number.
Forward your SkypeIn number to the USA pay-as-you-go number.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2010

blue_beetle has the easiest solution. I have an Asterisk server that does that same as the SkypeIn option, but this is almost certainly more effort that it's worth for you.

I'd also suggest forwarding the SkypeIn number to Google Voice and have that forward to your US PAYG number and any place you're staying. US cellphone users pay to receive calls, so if you can answer a landline then you can save a fair amount.

And if your iphone is jailbroken, there's a great Google Voice app for sending and receiving text messages (free from Google Voice) and listening to voicemail.

Finally, I'm not sure if it's the case for all O2 contracts, by my SIMplicity allows me to send SMSs to the UK when roaming and it uses 4 SMS credits.
posted by quiet at 2:38 AM on January 11, 2010

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