International Wifi Hotspot
August 7, 2014 2:22 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I will be traveling to Scandinavia for a trip shortly (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) – what's the best option for us to have internet access considering our phones are locked to ATT?

I've tried getting it unlocked by the carrier, but we're still a few months out from our contract, and I'd rather not pay the 140 bucks for a chronic unlock, either. Are there any services anyone can recommend for renting a portable hotspot, or other good ideas? Pick something up in the states, our destination (copenhagen first), buy something and return? Open to ideas!

I'm sure wifi is plentiful at coffee shops, but would be nice to be able to plan our next destination from other places, as well
posted by CharlesV42 to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Call AT&T. They have a $35/mo option (cancel it when you return) that allows you to use your phone abroad for data without driving up huge(r) bills if you arrange it ahead. Depending on your phones, one of you may be the hotspot for the other if you don't want to book this plan for both phones. If your plan doesn't have the hotspot, it's $20/mo for 5gb, or it was a few weeks ago when I investigated. They have so many plan options that you may also get a better package by muttering darkly about your inclination to leave once your contract expires. Tell the customer service reps what you want to accomplish and you may be surprised what ideas they generate. The international thing starts whenever you like but the hotspot option tracks your billing cycle, IIRC. Happy trails!
posted by carmicha at 4:34 PM on August 7, 2014

Hm, interesting - the only "international" things I see are data blocks, 800, 300, or 120MB for 120, 60 and 30 bucks a month. I'll certainly call and ask as well!
posted by CharlesV42 at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2014

The data blocks are all that are available as of the last time I looked in December. Afaik there have been no changes in their int'l plans. I tried to get an int'l mifi and then hookup with a uk/France sim (that's where we went). I ultimately bought the 800MB plan. It was faster than the hotel wifi.
I turned off all push notifications and set email on my iphone to download manually. It turned out -ok.

Do not turn off the intl data until the day before your billing cycle ends-I read about Att prorating the data usage for people who cancelled 'early'. I do not know if that is true or not-bur I did not want to chance it .

'Free wifi' was available in some coffee shops in UK but they were tied to the mobile provider. Att has a mobile intl'l wifi app,that works when you get overseas.

Mostly I used the hotel wifi and saved the data for maps etc

Enjoy your trip.
posted by prk60091 at 6:10 PM on August 7, 2014

You might be able to use a cheap, mobile 3/4G wifi router with a local pre-paid or PAYG SIM, then connect your phones to it with wifi - I've used this when travelling abroad and as long as you keep the 3G-wifi gadget charged, it can work well.
posted by BinaryApe at 11:07 PM on August 7, 2014

Try the PayAsYouGo wiki page for Denmark. That whole site is generally a great tool for travelling internet addicts :)
posted by bering at 7:05 AM on August 8, 2014

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