How does international coverage work?

Discussion in 'iPad Carriers' started by dragon499, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. dragon499
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    dragon499 iPad Fan

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    I'm leaving out the specific locations of the Apple Store and AT&T stores that gave me conflicting and wrong advice, but am very, very disapointed and shocked at the poor service, and how little the people know about international service!

    I support a mostly U.S. Based Ipad, with 3G coverage. The user was traveling to South Africa and needed coverage. I went to an Apple Store and inquired about getting coverage. The representative told me that he had no idea how to obtain the coverage and suggested I visit a local AT&T Store. I visited a local AT&T Store who assured me that AT&T offered coverage in South Africa. The user needed to use the menu on the Ipad to order the international service, and choose the data plan. Before doing so, I called AT&T who also reassured me that an international Data Plan would work in South Africa with an Ipad. I had the user use the interface and order the service. Unfortunately, when the user arrived in South Africa, the Ipad had no service. The user went to a local wireless shop and purchased a sim (I think Vodacom) and service. This worked and his Ipad had coverage.

    The user came back to the U.S. and I put back the Original sim card to get local coverage. I then went back to the Apple store and complained about the situation. A representative directed me to this web page, (The forum policy does not allow me to post links - The AT&T Page is
    Roam Zone for discounted rate plans) which DOES NOT include South Africa. The representative apologized for the way that AT&T treated me and suggested I get a full refund for the user. I then returned to the AT&T store that gave me the original bad advice. A different representative informed me that the AT&T 3G sim card that was in the Ipad, WOULD NOT WORK outside the country and the only way that I could obtain international coverage would be to purchase a different local sim card and service in each Country that I visited. He couldn't explain why the Ipad offered the international plan. I then went to a different AT&T store and asked about international coverage for the ipad. The representative had no idea how to obtain coverage and sugested calling AT&T.

    Does anybody have any idea how this works? The user that I support frequently travels outside the country. Is it possible to get 1 plan or 1 sim card that will work everywhere, or does he have to get a different sim in every country.

    I mostly support PC's. My Mac user friends are always telling me how great the Mac support community is. In this instance, I have found the support to be terrible with parties from the Mac store and AT&T to have no idea what they are talking about. Due to the bad advice, I need to have the user take his time to get the billing reversed for the non-working international plan!

    Can somebody here please give me a definite answer for how to obtain international coverage.

    Thank you
  2. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    I would suggest that, in the vast majority of cases, it is cheaper to get a payg sim in each country visited. Its a mess about I admit, but international data roaming costs are usually extortionate.
  3. dragon499
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    dragon499 iPad Fan

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'll probably suggest this to the user.

    Can you clear up the confusion about AT&T international plans -On an Ipad, Do they, or, do they not, work without having to change the domestic 3G sim card?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  4. col.bris
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    col.bris Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree it is not cost effective to get roaming if it is available where possible buy a sim card prepaid for that country assuming the phone is unlocked and allows it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. dragon499
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    dragon499 iPad Fan

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    The Ipad in question is "unlocked," as it worked with a South African Sim card. I appreciate all of the feedback. It does seem however that there is not a lot of knowledge about this product, as nobody here has answered whether it is possible to obtain International coverage without having to change the sim
  6. Prasius
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    Prasius iPad Enthusiast

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    This is the AT&T page for iPhone international usage, and even they say its expensive. One day the large global carriers might get some sense, club together, and sort it out to the benefit of the consumer, but I think that's some way off; although price caps brought in by the EU is one of the few useful things they've done!
  7. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    First off, you keep going in and complaining to apple. Apple has nothing to do with this what so ever, its all on AT&T as to what coverage they do and do not provide you with.

    International data plans with any carrier are supper expensive and can end up costing you thousands of dollars in data usage if your not careful. It is always better to get a simcard for a local carrier of where ever you go.

    also, your client may have actually had coverage in south africa but they never turned off the cellular data connection in settings and then turned it back on to make it search for new cellular towers. This doesnt only have to be done when traveling to other countries but also may need to be done when just traveling from one state to another if you get the no service message.
  8. Al Rogers
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    Al Rogers iPad Enthusiast

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    I have the 3G domestic plan here in the USA,yesterday I called AT&T to apply for the International plan for the period starting 1 Sept when I arrive in Norway,the agent told me this can all be done on the iPad and then I was talked through how to do it,very simple process, and no I did not have to change any SIM card.
    Plus you cannot have a International plan without having a domestic plan so you are paying for both while you have them. When I return to the states after my vacation I will remove both plans and stay WI-FI until next years vacation.

    Al.

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