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Using Verizon phones overseas


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#1 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

My boss travels to the Middle East for business quite often. He's heading home from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this evening, for example. His phone bills are completely ridiculous and I'm looking for ways to lower these bills. My first thought was the Global Data plan Verizon offers for $25/month for 100MB of data - he's using data more than voice while traveling. The Global Data plan, however, doesn't cover most of the Middle East, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

He has two phones - a blackberry and an iphone - that he takes with him. I've mentioned picking up a SIM card overseas as another option, but I don't know what else he can do to lower his bills.

Anyone have options with Verizon that I'm missing or outside options I'm likely not even aware of?

Thanks!

#2 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:47 PM

Verizon's global data plan used to be tremendous. It was unlimited data for about $60/month. Then they did away with it because (as an operator told me) "no one was using it". Well, that's bullshit, everyone was using it, but their companies were paying the bill, so they didn't really care.

Anyhow ...

You need more information as to which iPhone he has. The iPhone 4 won't work overseas (in GSM areas). The 4S will work, but Verizon will only unlock the SIM once every 10 months. The iPhone 5 for Verizon is an unlocked phone that you can use overseas to your heart's content. Blackberrys are generally global phones.

Does he need to use his number overseas? If so, he's out of luck as that is tied to his Verizon account (and the SIM). However, if that's not the case, you can save a ton just buying a local SIM either at the airport at any one of the carriers' retail stores. I can't give you Middle East specifics, but unlike the US, in Europe service is regional, and generally you are roaming if you head to a new city. I needed separate ones for Vienna and Prague two weeks ago. However, in total, I probably paid about $40 for about 3GB of data (though I forget how much talk/text I was using). You can always add money to your Skype account and call phones that way.

In short, don't go through Verizon as the option you mention is their only option.

edit -

Actually reading up, I'm seeing that in Bahrain there are public laws that say your phone number must be tied to their personal identity number (like our SS#), therefore if you're not a citizen you can't get a number there. That doesn't seem to help...

And digging a bit for Saudi Arabia, I'm really not finding any providers that are cheaper than $2/MB. Given most visitors to the region tend to come with money, that's not a total shock.

Edited by mt8thsw9th, 11 December 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#3 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

Verizon's global data plan used to be tremendous. It was unlimited data for about $60/month. Then they did away with it because (as an operator told me) "no one was using it". Well, that's bullshit, everyone was using it, but their companies were paying the bill, so they didn't really care.

Anyhow ...

You need more information as to which iPhone he has. The iPhone 4 won't work overseas (in GSM areas). The 4S will work, but Verizon will only unlock the SIM once every 10 months. The iPhone 5 for Verizon is an unlocked phone that you can use overseas to your heart's content. Blackberrys are generally global phones.

Does he need to use his number overseas? If so, he's out of luck as that is tied to his Verizon account (and the SIM). However, if that's not the case, you can save a ton just buying a local SIM either at the airport at any one of the carriers' retail stores. I can't give you Middle East specifics, but unlike the US, in Europe service is regional, and generally you are roaming if you head to a new city. I needed separate ones for Vienna and Prague two weeks ago. However, in total, I probably paid about $40 for about 3GB of data (though I forget how much talk/text I was using). You can always add money to your Skype account and call phones that way.

In short, don't go through Verizon as the option you mention is their only option.


He just got it a month ago, so I'm assuming he went with the iPhone 5. I don't think he cares about his phone number when he's overseas, it seems he uses mostly data. I'll look into the SIM cards for Middle Eastern countries.

I'll also look at AT&T to see if they still have a plan comparable to the old Verizon plan you mentioned. It would likely be worth it to pay the fee to cancel his Verizon account, if so, and be easier than walking him through the SIM steps.




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