International Charges on Phones

Holy crap.

Today I activated the international plan on our phones so that we can use them when we’re in France. I probably should have gone to the bank beforehand to get a loan because oh my god it’s expensive!

Sprint charges these rates:

  • Voice: $1.49/min.
  • Data Pricing: $0.019/KB
  • Special Data Pricing: International Data Pack Add-on
  • Text Pricing: Send: $0.50/recipient; Received: $0.05/msg

If you do the quick math, that means I’d pay approximately $19 for every picture message I send. If I get the add-on international data package, I get an 80 MB allowance for $80. After which it’s $10 per MB.

This feels like rape. Is it rape? Surely it cannot cost this much to operate data transfers internationally.

So it looks like I’ll be turning off the phone for the entire trip. The only time I’ll turn it on is when I know I have wifi that I can use, and even then, I’ll have to pop the sim card so I don’t receive any texts or data. I’d have to look up what my normal daily usage is, but at these rates we’d be into the thousands of dollars without much effort.

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2 Responses to International Charges on Phones

  1. SKG says:

    First, go into settings, general, network… Then select “No Data Roaming”.

    Then when you arrive in the EU, select “airplane mode” and then manually turn on wi-fi. Now you can use Skype, etc. if you have wi-fi, but you won’t use any cell network.

    Verizon will unlock an iPhone after 60 days so you can use a local provider (or you can use their hideous international roaming rates if you must have your phone number.) Sprint and AT&T won’t unlock the phones. (Well, AT&T will after your contract has expired.)

    If you think it might be useful, consider getting a GSM phone & SIM for any voice calls you need to make..

  2. I always travel with an unlocked GSM phone, then buy a SIM card locally. It’s way cheaper. Just leave your Sprint phone in airplane/wifi mode till you get home, unless there’s an emergency.

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