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AT&T's international data plans for iPad start at $25 for 20MB

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
AT&T has released official pricing for international data plans for the iPad, which come in at the same wallet-crunching prices as those offered for the iPhone -- $200 for approximately 30 minutes of YouTube streaming.

In total, four "Data Global Add-On" packages are available starting at $25 per month for 20 megabytes of data and scaling up to $200 for 200 megabytes. Users can purchase the plans, which service more than 90 countries, directly from their iPad's Cellular Data settings pane on a month-by-month basis (shown below).

Upon selecting an international data plan, users have the option of specifying the date when they want the plan will go into effect. Unlike iPhone data plans, those for iPad do not auto-renew each month, so they'll need to be repurchased each month. AT&T recommends that users purchase an international plan before departing for a trip.

International data plans for iPad
$24.99/month: 20 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 20 MB of usage within more than 90 countries
$59.99/month: 50 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 50 MB of usage within more than 90 countries
$119.99/month: 100 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 100 MB of usage within more than 90 countries
$199.99/month: 200 MB Data Global Add-On gives you 200 MB of usage within more than 90 countries


For some perspective on what these data plans will deliver content wise, the San Francisco Chronicle recently crunched some numbers based on the domestic 250MB data plan AT&T offers stateside iPad users:
About 35 minutes of YouTube video at standard-definition
OR about 8-10 minutes of YouTube or iTunes video at 720p hi-definition
OR about 70 songs from iTunes
OR a few thousand Web pages and typical email usage
OR more than 4,000 Facebook photos
More generally speaking, 250MB of data should facilitate:
Browsing a few dozen Web pages a day and typical email usage (without downloading big attachments)
Looking at a few dozen Facebook photos a day
Watching a few minutes of YouTube video a week
Downloading a few songs and podcasts from iTunes per month
Downloading a few small iPhone or iPad apps per month, light app usage
Although Apple is using a micro-SIM card in the iPad 3G measuring 12mm x 15mm -- or just under half the size of the standard size SIM card from an iPhone 3GS -- it's possible cut down a full-size SIM card and turn it into a Micro-SIM, as the contacts are fully compatible.

A standard SIM next to the micro-sim used in Apple's iPad 3G | Image Credit: iFixIt.

Therefore, data plans from international wireless operators may represent a more cost-effective alternative to AT&T's international plans, especially those that will be offered with micro-SIMs following the international launch of the iPad 3G at the end of May.
post #2 of 66
I suspect that carriers around the world will start offering prepaid data sims for the iPad pretty soon. And since the iPad is unlocked, a better way to travel will just be to buy a prepaid sim and use it while you are traveling.
post #3 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

.... based on the domestic 250MB data plan AT&T offers stateside iPad users:
About 35 minutes of YouTube video at standard-definition
OR about 8-10 minutes of YouTube or iTunes video at 720p hi-definition

Hopefully where you stay has WiFi....

Can't really fault AT&T here, don't they get banged over the head for roaming charges, too?
I think internationally the sharing between competitors is costly, so when you roam you pay dearly. Of course, I'm just going by something I remember reading and haven't done any actual research to back any of these statements up.

Someone who does travel internationally care to enlighten?
post #4 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

I suspect that carriers around the world will start offering prepaid data sims for the iPad pretty soon. And since the iPad is unlocked, a better way to travel will just be to buy a prepaid sim and use it while you are traveling.

I hope so. Those prices are incredibly high.
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post #5 of 66
AT&T should let us swap out our sim cards from our phones and use them in our iPad whenever we want. Assuming the iPhone 4G will incorporate this new micro-sim, what is the downside of popping out our sim cards and swapping them from our iphones and ipads? Only one device would be accessing the AT&T network at the same time...

Or you could just physically modify your current sim to fit inside the ipad then have an adapter so it will sit properly when you put it back in your standard GSM phone.

However, Apple and AT&T will be all too smart and find ways to disable this feature. The only alternative is to jailbreak your ipad and stick either your current iphone or existing AT&T sim card with appropriate data plan to fully access and make calls from the ipad.

Why the F$%^ not???? At least have a mode where you can have the iPhone tether to the iPad while disabling all data features of the iphone! I do not understand the mandatory additional data plan. It is so ridiculous.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by turboredmr2 View Post

AT&T should let us swap out our sim cards from our phones and use them in our iPad whenever we want. Assuming the iPhone 4G will incorporate this new micro-sim, what is the downside of popping out our sim cards and swapping them from our iphones and ipads? Only one device would be accessing the AT&T network at the same time...

Or you could just physically modify your current sim to fit inside the ipad then have an adapter so it will sit properly when you put it back in your standard GSM phone.

However, Apple and AT&T will be all too smart and find ways to disable this feature. The only alternative is to jailbreak your ipad and stick either your current iphone or existing AT&T sim card with appropriate data plan to fully access and make calls from the ipad.

Why the F$%^ not???? At least have a mode where you can have the iPhone tether to the iPad while disabling all data features of the iphone! I do not understand the mandatory additional data plan. It is so ridiculous.

How is swapping your sim card from iPhone to iPad saving you money. This is overseas charging, so the best cost-saving measure would be buying a sim overseas in the country you're visiting and using it in the iPad since it's unlocked. When you return, swap the sim out again.

Someday, we will have a worldwide EU market for data. Just before we land the first manned Mars mission.
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post #7 of 66
Capitalism!

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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post #8 of 66
Several overseas carriers have already announced that they do, or will soon have micro sim plans for the iPad.

While I paid the $25 for 20 MB when I went to London to see my daughter, I was just there for 7 days. I used up all but a tiny amount, being very careful.

With the iPad, I would have gone to O2 (what I mean is that next time I will) and bought a sim with a pre paid plan.

One good thing. When our 2 year plans here are up, and we buy the new iPhones in September, AT&T will unlock our older 3G models (at least, that's what I've been told), so we can do that when we get to London.
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by min_t View Post


Someday, we will have a worldwide EU market for data. Just before we land the first manned Mars mission.

I'm not that confident. It will be sometime after a colony is established there.

And then THEY will have a different plan.
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not that confident. It will be sometime after a colony is established there.

And then THEY will have a different plan.

No, it will be after Lieutenant Ellen Ripley returns from LV-426. The second time.

And then THEY will have a different plan.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

No, it will be after Lieutenant Ellen Ripley returns from LV-426. The second time.

And then THEY will have a different plan.

Ahhh! Now you're talking Si/Fi. We're talking about real serious space stuff here.
post #12 of 66
Forget it, the iPad is still locked to AT&T..you will have to jailbreak it.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Forget it, the iPad is still locked to AT&T..you will have to jailbreak it.

The iPad is NOT locked to AT&T. That's been made pretty clear.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

Hopefully where you stay has WiFi....

Can't really fault AT&T here, don't they get banged over the head for roaming charges, too?
I think internationally the sharing between competitors is costly, so when you roam you pay dearly. Of course, I'm just going by something I remember reading and haven't done any actual research to back any of these statements up.

Someone who does travel internationally care to enlighten?

I travel internationally a lot and only use phone roaming if absolutely necessary. In most countries it's so ridiculously cheap to buy a pay as you go SIM card that I just keep multiple cards for each country I visit (and obviously have an unlocked phone).

I never use wireless data when I travel (being on the road is actually a blessed relief at many times as I am less contactable so can just focus on whatever customer I'm dealing with), though I hope something similar to how I use my phone will be possible with the iPad.
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Forget it, the iPad is still locked to AT&T..you will have to jailbreak it.

No, it isn't.

Buying a pre-paid SIM ranges from $2 to $20 in different countries. In Thailand $50 total will give me about 400MB of data transfer. In Australia, $100 gives me about 60MB. For short trips, the roaming plans are reasonable... much more than the $25/MB that AT&T slaps you with on the iPhone.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I travel internationally a lot and only use phone roaming if absolutely necessary. In most countries it's so ridiculously cheap to buy a pay as you go SIM card that I just keep multiple cards for each country I visit (and obviously have an unlocked phone).

I never use wireless data when I travel (being on the road is actually a blessed relief at many times as I am less contactable so can just focus on whatever customer I'm dealing with), though I hope something similar to how I use my phone will be possible with the iPad.

When you travel in Europe, how exactly does roaming work? Here in the States we have one very big country, with national carriers, so unless some coverage is missing, roaming is unusual.

But in Europe, the countries are small, and there are a LOT of them. Same thing with carriers by out standards.

How far do you have to roam before coverage from one carrier becomes a problem so that you need to invoke roaming, or a different sim?
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When our 2 year plans here are up, and we buy the new iPhones in September, AT&T will unlock our older 3G models (at least, that's what I've been told)...

Good luck with that. I have been told that AT&T has no mechanism to unlock iPhones, nor does Apple. Contract or no contract... makes no difference.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

No, it isn't.

Buying a pre-paid SIM ranges from $2 to $20 in different countries. In Thailand $50 total will give me about 400MB of data transfer. In Australia, $100 gives me about 60MB. For short trips, the roaming plans are reasonable... much more than the $25/MB that AT&T slaps you with on the iPhone.

Is that $100 Australian, or $100 American?

Because AT&T charges $25 per 20 MB. That comes to $75 per 60 MB.
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Good luck with that. I have been told that AT&T has no mechanism to unlock iPhones, nor does Apple. Contract or no contract... makes no difference.

Not what I was told.
post #20 of 66
In Switzerland, I'd recommend getting a Sunrise "T@keAway" prepaid USB modem and popping out the SIM, trim to size. I think it's about $3 per day of actual use, unlimited 3G. That's actually what I use here in my iPhone, the non-prepaid version is about $50 per month unlimited, and it allows voice calls and text messages as well.
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When you travel in Europe, how exactly does roaming work? Here in the States we have one very big country, with national carriers, so unless some coverage is missing, roaming is unusual.

But in Europe, the countries are small, and there are a LOT of them. Same thing with carriers by out standards.

How far do you have to roam before coverage from one carrier becomes a problem so that you need to invoke roaming, or a different sim?

Generally country to country.

International data rates aren't an AT&T issue, it goes on everywhere. Canadian carriers charge the same outlandish fees.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When you travel in Europe, how exactly does roaming work? Here in the States we have one very big country, with national carriers, so unless some coverage is missing, roaming is unusual.

But in Europe, the countries are small, and there are a LOT of them. Same thing with carriers by out standards.

How far do you have to roam before coverage from one carrier becomes a problem so that you need to invoke roaming, or a different sim?

Generally, when you cross the border into another country, you start roaming and pay a lot for it. The only exceptions are some smaller countries are served my the same infrastructure as another neighboring country (I live in Switzerland and don't roam when I go into Liechtenstein). You really don't get much coverage for your money in Europe, not like it is in the US.
post #23 of 66
I am going to the US this summer with an iphone and i am wondering if there is a way to turn off data without turning off voice cell. The only thing i see is airplane mode , which turn off eveything.

i was told by my provider that the iphone sometimes used data on its own to scan ofr updates. at the current rates i would rather turn data off and only allow wi-fi

Imo they should come up with a canada/US plan, or does that exist already?
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Although Apple is using a micro-SIM card in the iPad 3G measuring 12mm x 15mm -- or just under half the size of the standard size SIM card from an iPhone 3GS -- it's possible cut down a full-size SIM card and turn it into a Micro-SIM, as the contacts are fully compatible.

This is very very interesting. Does this mean you can use any chopped-off SIM with a 3G data plan anywhere in the World? And if so, will the allegedly 'unlocked' iPad allow it, or will this necessitate a jailbreak?
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post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When you travel in Europe, how exactly does roaming work? Here in the States we have one very big country, with national carriers, so unless some coverage is missing, roaming is unusual.

But in Europe, the countries are small, and there are a LOT of them. Same thing with carriers by out standards.

How far do you have to roam before coverage from one carrier becomes a problem so that you need to invoke roaming, or a different sim?

I should point out that I live in the US now, so my experiences from when I lived in the UK are 3 years out of date now, but I don't think much has changed.

This is a lame answer, but it depends and varies from carrier to carrier.

I was with Vodafone, who have a huge presence in Europe (actually they do worldwide, but in Europe they are particularly big). The plan I was on (an expensive one!) basically allowed me to roam Europe and not incur any charges, much like if I go around the US now, AT&T don't charge me anymore. One thing that made it more complex than in the US is that Vodafone gave me a list of carriers I was supposed to make sure I was on if they themselves didn't have a presence in the country. I don't know how much it cost if I went onto one of the "non-Vodafone approved" networks, because I never saw a bill, but I believe it wasn't that much.

Now, if you don't travel much in Europe (i.e. you're like my parents and only goto Spain once per year for a couple of weeks), you'd pick a much cheaper monthly plan, but pay through the nose if you used your phone in Spain, so they would buy a different SIM card in Spain, whereas I would just use the Vodafone network there (it's worth mentioning that if they used the Vodafone Spain network they would pay roaming charges even though their plan in the UK is with Vodafone, though the roaming charges if they were on the Vodafone Spain network would be lower than if they went on say the Telefonica network).

Once I got out of Europe, I bought different SIM cards. Vodafone does have presence in the US (they own a lot of Verizon) and that wouldn't have been especially expensive had I used it, but the place I used to spend most of my time visiting had awful Verizon coverage, so I bought a different SIM.

The only place all this SIM swapping became a problem was in Japan and Korea since they are not on GSM, so I used to just hire a phone from the airport and I was good to go.

So, in summary for Europe, you can get a plan which works basically just like in the US (i.e. you can go everywhere in Europe and it costs you no more), but that plan is more expensive than one which would limit you to a particular country.

Personally I quite like the Europe model. My wife basically never travels outside of California unless we are going back to the UK, so it would be great if she could have a plan that restricts her to California which is cheaper than one that you could use country wide.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I am going to the US this summer with an iphone and i am wondering if there is a way to turn off data without turning off voice cell. The only thing i see is airplane mode , which turn off eveything.

i was told by my provider that the iphone sometimes used data on its own to scan ofr updates. at the current rates i would rather turn data off and only allow wi-fi

Imo they should come up with a canada/US plan, or does that exist already?

You can turn e-mail off as well as push services. Turn off WiFi. Turn off location services.

Go to the Settings icon. It's all there.

As long as you don't use Safari then, or other programs that go to the internet themselves, you're fine.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I should point out that I live in the US now, so my experiences from when I lived in the UK are 3 years out of date now, but I don't think much has changed.

This is a lame answer, but it depends and varies from carrier to carrier.

I was with Vodafone, who have a huge presence in Europe (actually they do worldwide, but in Europe they are particularly big). The plan I was on (an expensive one!) basically allowed me to roam Europe and not incur any charges, much like if I go around the US now, AT&T don't charge me anymore. One thing that made it more complex than in the US is that Vodafone gave me a list of carriers I was supposed to make sure I was on if they themselves didn't have a presence in the country. I don't know how much it cost if I went onto one of the "non-Vodafone approved" networks, because I never saw a bill, but I believe it wasn't that much.

Now, if you don't travel much in Europe (i.e. you're like my parents and only goto Spain once per year for a couple of weeks), you'd pick a much cheaper monthly plan, but pay through the nose if you used your phone in Spain, so they would buy a different SIM card in Spain, whereas I would just use the Vodafone network there (it's worth mentioning that if they used the Vodafone Spain network they would pay roaming charges even though their plan in the UK is with Vodafone, though the roaming charges if they were on the Vodafone Spain network would be lower than if they went on say the Telefonica network).

Once I got out of Europe, I bought different SIM cards. Vodafone does have presence in the US (they own a lot of Verizon) and that wouldn't have been especially expensive had I used it, but the place I used to spend most of my time visiting had awful Verizon coverage, so I bought a different SIM.

The only place all this SIM swapping became a problem was in Japan and Korea since they are not on GSM, so I used to just hire a phone from the airport and I was good to go.

So, in summary for Europe, you can get a plan which works basically just like in the US (i.e. you can go everywhere in Europe and it costs you no more), but that plan is more expensive than one which would limit you to a particular country.

Personally I quite like the Europe model. My wife basically never travels outside of California unless we are going back to the UK, so it would be great if she could have a plan that restricts her to California which is cheaper than one that you could use country wide.

Interesting, but confusing. What do you consider to be expensive, in American dollars, for that Vodafone plan you had. I know it's out of date, just wondering.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When you travel in Europe, how exactly does roaming work? Here in the States we have one very big country, with national carriers, so unless some coverage is missing, roaming is unusual.

But in Europe, the countries are small, and there are a LOT of them. Same thing with carriers by out standards.

How far do you have to roam before coverage from one carrier becomes a problem so that you need to invoke roaming, or a different sim?

You have to buy add-ons (of GBP 5 per month, for instance, with O2 UK) on top of your usual contract, in which case you can receive calls for free and call rather cheaply (8p per min) while roaming - but this works only within the EU.

Otherwise, you pay substantive (but no longer exorbitant) fees for both making and receiving calls while roaming. In the case of 02 UK, it's 35 pence per min for making a call, and 18 ppm for receiving.
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post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nasdarq View Post

You have to buy add-ons (of GBP 5 per month, for instance, with O2 UK) on top of your usual contract, in which case you can receive calls for free and call rather cheaply (8p per min) while roaming - but this works only within the EU.

Getting a lot of different answers here.

It's off to dinner for now though.
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Interesting, but confusing. What do you consider to be expensive, in American dollars, for that Vodafone plan you had. I know it's out of date, just wondering.

The honest answer is I don't know. I didn't have to pick the plan or pay the bill (a ghastly fat woman from the telecom department just used to hand one over whenever I broke the last one!)

However, I know you had to justify yourself if the bill ever went over GBP100 for a month (about $150 at the moment) and mine never did, and I would spend at least 3 weeks per month on the road (and was a heavy phone user - I'm waiting now for the cancerous growth to show itself!)

My parents plan costs them GBP15 per month, but if they go roaming, they end up paying GBP1/minute (I think). Like nasdarq mentioned, they could pay an addon to their plan of about GBP5 per month and that would bring the cost per minute down dramatically).

Roaming costs have fallen a lot in Europe lately. Some EU commission or other found a few years ago that the carriers were taking the piss in terms of roaming costs (and costs in general) and forced them to lower their prices. One of the main elements of the EU is that companies are not supposed to charge more in one European country than another (I think Apple fell foul of that once with song costs on iTunes) and the phone carriers found themselves getting in trouble on those grounds.
post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Getting a lot of different answers here.

It's off to dinner for now though.

My info is one day old though Just checked the text I received from O2 when in Austria ...

By the way, some operators (like Vodafone) probably still practice that carrier-by-carrier approach, which I agree is very confusing.
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post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not that confident. It will be sometime after a colony is established there.

And then THEY will have a different plan.

Are you guys saying AT&T is anticipating costs of interplanetary data transmission? Would this be their roaming rate anywhere in the solar system, or would there be extra charges for the outer planets? It would seem kind of cheap to limit service to Earth and Mars ...

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Is that $100 Australian, or $100 American?

Because AT&T charges $25 per 20 MB. That comes to $75 per 60 MB.

Not much difference these days. AUD today is going at about 1 = 0.93 USD (check our OANDA for the latest). Cell prices here are generally pretty steep to encourage you to buy packages and even those have nasty stingers like absurdly high prices once you use up your quota. If planning on travelling to Oz, there's a good discussion of options include a Google Docs spreadsheet to calculate options on the Whirlpool forum (generally a good place to go for technical questions).

Still no word on what the data plans on iPad will be here: we only get to start pre-ordering on 10 May. I heard someone say dealers may have demos already, but one I asked told me he couldn't show it to me.

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I am going to the US this summer with an iphone and i am wondering if there is a way to turn off data without turning off voice cell. The only thing i see is airplane mode , which turn off eveything.

There is a setting for this called "data-roaming", and you should be sure to leave it turned off. Apple added this option soon after the first iPhone was introduced, when travelers started getting hit with enormous data-roaming bills. You can find this setting in the "Settings" app, under General->Network. The default is off.
post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Not what I was told.

Told by whom, when? Where can I check out this info?

I would love to explore this further, since I have a soon-to-be 3-year old first gen and 2-year old second gen iPhones. I would like to get both those unlocked.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

Are you guys saying AT&T is anticipating costs of interplanetary data transmission? Would this be their roaming rate anywhere in the solar system, or would there be extra charges for the outer planets? It would seem kind of cheap to limit service to Earth and Mars ...

They'll find a way to bleed us dry. If you pay by the message, SMS costs more per byte than communicating with Hubble Space Telescope.

Anyway, I would almost certainly leave behind the SIM if I hoped to use a cellular device internationally.
post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

I am going to the US this summer with an iphone and i am wondering if there is a way to turn off data without turning off voice cell. The only thing i see is airplane mode , which turn off eveything.

i was told by my provider that the iphone sometimes used data on its own to scan ofr updates. at the current rates i would rather turn data off and only allow wi-fi

Imo they should come up with a canada/US plan, or does that exist already?

Data Roaming is off by default. You have to turn it on in order to use data while roaming. It is separate from "voice cell".

Look in Settings -> General -> Network and you will see the Data Roaming switch

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post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Told by whom, when? Where can I check out this info?

I would love to explore this further, since I have a soon-to-be 3-year old first gen and 2-year old second gen iPhones. I would like to get both those unlocked.

It seems that these procedures vary.

In Germany and France you simply contact the carrier at the end of the contract period, confirm the serial number and IMEI, they then enter the IMEI into a database that Apple is monitoring. After normally less then 2 business days the iPhone is then permanently unlocked (iTunes will detect that the phone no longer requires activation using the original carrier SIM). Works fine, we have officially unlocked over 100 1st gen iPhones from T-Mobile Germany and Orange in France.

I am not sure about the US situation, but the official statement from AT&T still is (it seems) http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-c...&t=solutionTab

If I remember correctly, some 1st gen users received some assistance in at least making the iPhone work as an iPod touch after upgrading to a newer model; no idea if this was a "special" or a permanent policy though.
post #39 of 66
In Switzerland, Orange offers a prepaid data plan of CHF 5/day (roughly USD 5/day) for unlimited use. You only pay for the days that you actually use.
post #40 of 66
ATT has historically gouged its customers to the point that droves left the landlines and went to other carriers. ATT then ended up tying to buy them back with $20, $E50 and finally $100 checks to no avail. You would think that they have learned.

This is no different. Sure there are some ridiculous roaming charges in Europe but the governing body recently put significant pressure on the carriers.

If one is foolish to support this stupidity then one deserves ATT.
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