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miguell2

Recent experience while traveling to Europe with my HTC One (M7)

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I was not sure where to place this thread but I wanted to share my recent experience while traveling to Italy with my Sprint HTC one M7 and an AT&T iPhone 5.

 

I was not sure what to expect but I got the it unlocked with the help of Sprint. That was a fairly straight forward process but not instantaneous. Once the request was submitted (by phone) it had to get approved, an email was sent to me that explained what I needed to do, basically I was asked to go in to UICC unlock under the updates menu.

 

The iPhone unlock procedure was a bit more involved, once the unlock was approved you have to connect the phone to iTunes which will back it up and then wipe it and then restore your settings to it. It took about an hour from when you first connect it to iTunes to where you can unplug it.

 

Once we got to Italy we purchased a local SIM card, as a traveler you need to be able to provide your passport, thankfully we had a local friend that was able to provide his local documents, so I cannot speak for the ease of purchasing the SIMs as an American in Italy.

 

**A word of warning** Make sure that you activate your device at a repair shop and not at a retail location, the retail locations tend to have sales people who are not very familiar with foreign devices, this would have avoid a lot of trips back and forth to try to get the SIM cards properly activated.

 

The iPhone requires a nano SIM and we were provided with a micro SIM which when it was switched it was not activated properly, once it was we were not able to get the iPhone to work. They were blaming the device as being faulty. We had to get them to try it out with one of their own working SIMs, which confirmed that the iPhone was working properly. Turns out the SIM was bad, because it did not work with theirs.

 

Also, at least in Italy, if you purchase a SIM at a location you need to go back to that location for support if the SIM does not work and you need it replaced so that they can transfer the balance you paid for it to the new SIM. We found this out the hard way.

 

In the hand the android worked as adversided and only required that we call an activation number which may vary by country but in our case was 42070. 

 

The promotion that we purchased SMART 200 which gives you 200 talk minutes and 200 SMS and 1GB of data for 15. However you are required to purchase a recharge (the minimum is €5) of any value to activate the promotion. During that particular weekend they had a promotion for recharging so we ended up with 500 minutes and 500 SMS and a 1GB of data addtional which totalled 700 talk and SMS and 2GB of data, we paid €20. Which was more than enough for two weeks in Italy checking out sites.

 

Having the data allowed us to avoid having to pay for tours since we could pull up all the information we wanted from the internet as well as transit information and stops as well as walking directions and bus and train times (as well as delays).

 

Coverage overall was excellent with a few places with little to no coverage (mainly basements of old marble and brick buildings (as expected). Data speeds we passable (speed tests reveal on average about 0.5MB to 2MB download and consistent 3MB uploads which was fast enough for most use. We also noticed that speeds were the worst and tourist locations (also as expected). Also only HSPA coverage on both the iPhone and HTC One, even though there is LTE present in the country our phone simply cannot tune to the appropriate bands.

 

Another thing that surprised me is the good connection you get while travelling on their high speed trains (300 Km/h), and even in what appears to be the middle of no where u get HSPA service.

 

Our trip home had us stop at Istanbul Ataturk airport for a few hours (which apparently lacks AC and deodorant use). Since because of the requirement that we recharge or "Ricarica" €5 left us with that as a balance, which works out since Vodafone Italy offers what they call SMART PASSPORT, for €3 a day you get 50 minutes and SMS to call and text all over europe and unlimited data for the whole day. Which was enough to allow us to call to our Italian friends to advice them of our arrival at our first stop and to update Facebook and surf the web while we waited to our connecting flight after being thoroughly interrogated by Istanbul security before being allowed to our gate.

 

Overall we had an excellent experience and I feel the €40 spent were were spent. Also once we got back home we replaced our Italian SIM cards with our US SIM cards and our phone came right back to life without issues and we were able to call out within a few seconds for the HTC one and about a minute for the iPhone (it apparently requires a restart).

 

That is my experience, I hope that it will help others that may doing a similar trip to us. Feel free to ask me any questions.

 

IMAG0202x.jpg

 

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Remember kids, don't take vertical 16:9 photos or videos. Always use the sensor in its full mode.

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In 3 weeks tomorrow I'm going to Paris and London so I'm going to get my 5S unlocked soon. Regarding the unlock process do you have to restore because I'm currently jailbroken I really don't want to lose it but I may have to which really sucks.

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Remember kids, don't take vertical 16:9 photos or videos. Always use the sensor in its full mode.

 

This is actually a cropped picture so that the ~200Kb limit to be met.

 

In 3 weeks tomorrow I'm going to Paris and London so I'm going to get my 5S unlocked soon. Regarding the unlock process do you have to restore because I'm currently jailbroken I really don't want to lose it but I may have to which really sucks.

I doubt it. At least with my HTC One there was no factory restore required unlike the iphone but the Galaxy might be different, although it does have the same option under updates. I appears to me is that they only need to flip a switch in order for the unlock to take affect when you select that option.

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I was not sure where to place this thread but I wanted to share my recent experience while traveling to Italy with my Sprint HTC one M7 and an AT&T iPhone 5.

 

I was not sure....

 

Glad you posted, I will be travelling to Italy in a few weeks and I been looking for info on SIMs. So Vodafone SIM is the way to go ?

 

 I have a Moto X

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Glad you posted, I will be travelling to Italy in a few weeks and I been looking for info on SIMs. So Vodafone SIM is the way to go ?

 

 I have a Moto X

 

That is what everyone I know there uses but you have Wind and TIM as other options, they all will work, I just liked the plan Vodafone is offering, Just remember you but the recharge and apply it in order to activate the promotion.

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I was not sure where to place this thread but I wanted to share my recent experience while traveling to Italy with my Sprint HTC one M7 and an AT&T iPhone 5.

 

I was not sure what to expect but I got the it unlocked with the help of Sprint. That was a fairly straight forward process but not instantaneous. Once the request was submitted (by phone) it had to get approved, an email was sent to me that explained what I needed to do, basically I was asked to go in to UICC unlock under the updates menu.

 

The iPhone unlock procedure was a bit more involved, once the unlock was approved you have to connect the phone to iTunes which will back it up and then wipe it and then restore your settings to it. It took about an hour from when you first connect it to iTunes to where you can unplug it.

 

Once we got to Italy we purchased a local SIM card, as a traveler you need to be able to provide your passport, thankfully we had a local friend that was able to provide his local documents, so I cannot speak for the ease of purchasing the SIMs as an American in Italy.

 

**A word of warning** Make sure that you activate your device at a repair shop and not at a retail location, the retail locations tend to have sales people who are not very familiar with foreign devices, this would have avoid a lot of trips back and forth to try to get the SIM cards properly activated.

 

The iPhone requires a nano SIM and we were provided with a micro SIM which when it was switched it was not activated properly, once it was we were not able to get the iPhone to work. They were blaming the device as being faulty. We had to get them to try it out with one of their own working SIMs, which confirmed that the iPhone was working properly. Turns out the SIM was bad, because it did not work with theirs.

 

Also, at least in Italy, if you purchase a SIM at a location you need to go back to that location for support if the SIM does not work and you need it replaced so that they can transfer the balance you paid for it to the new SIM. We found this out the hard way.

 

In the hand the android worked as adversided and only required that we call an activation number which may vary by country but in our case was 42070. 

 

The promotion that we purchased SMART 200 which gives you 200 talk minutes and 200 SMS and 1GB of data for 15. However you are required to purchase a recharge (the minimum is €5) of any value to activate the promotion. During that particular weekend they had a promotion for recharging so we ended up with 500 minutes and 500 SMS and a 1GB of data addtional which totalled 700 talk and SMS and 2GB of data, we paid €20. Which was more than enough for two weeks in Italy checking out sites.

 

Having the data allowed us to avoid having to pay for tours since we could pull up all the information we wanted from the internet as well as transit information and stops as well as walking directions and bus and train times (as well as delays).

 

Coverage overall was excellent with a few places with little to no coverage (mainly basements of old marble and brick buildings (as expected). Data speeds we passable (speed tests reveal on average about 0.5MB to 2MB download and consistent 3MB uploads which was fast enough for most use. We also noticed that speeds were the worst and tourist locations (also as expected). Also only HSPA coverage on both the iPhone and HTC One, even though there is LTE present in the country our phone simply cannot tune to the appropriate bands.

 

Another thing that surprised me is the good connection you get while travelling on their high speed trains (300 Km/h), and even in what appears to be the middle of no where u get HSPA service.

 

Our trip home had us stop at Istanbul Ataturk airport for a few hours (which apparently lacks AC and deodorant use). Since because of the requirement that we recharge or "Ricarica" €5 left us with that as a balance, which works out since Vodafone Italy offers what they call SMART PASSPORT, for €3 a day you get 50 minutes and SMS to call and text all over europe and unlimited data for the whole day. Which was enough to allow us to call to our Italian friends to advice them of our arrival at our first stop and to update Facebook and surf the web while we waited to our connecting flight after being thoroughly interrogated by Istanbul security before being allowed to our gate.

 

Overall we had an excellent experience and I feel the €40 spent were were spent. Also once we got back home we replaced our Italian SIM cards with our US SIM cards and our phone came right back to life without issues and we were able to call out within a few seconds for the HTC one and about a minute for the iPhone (it apparently requires a restart).

 

That is my experience, I hope that it will help others that may doing a similar trip to us. Feel free to ask me any questions.

 

 

I had a similar experience, but with HTC M8 and a Sprint iPhone 5S.  With the HTC M8, Sprint unlocked it on their end and there was nothing to be done on the M8.  The international SIMs just worked.  With the iPhone 5S, did you get any message in iTunes that phone was unlocked?  Did iTunes guide to back up / wipe / restore the phone, or was that something you had to initiate on your own?  Was there any confirmation on the phone or indication that it was unlocked?

 

When traveling, I always ended up going with just a data only SIM, since had no need to SMS or call anyone.  The phone worked fine in that mode - like a tablet - and i used skype on rare occasions when I needed to call. 

 

I find that the bonus/balance offered by SIMs confusing, since the marketing materials do not tell you how much data you get for say... 5 EU.  Sales guys kept telling me that I needed 20 EU credit, but none could tell me how much data that would get me.  

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I had a similar experience, but with HTC M8 and a Sprint iPhone 5S.  With the HTC M8, Sprint unlocked it on their end and there was nothing to be done on the M8.  The international SIMs just worked.  With the iPhone 5S, did you get any message in iTunes that phone was unlocked?  Did iTunes guide to back up / wipe / restore the phone, or was that something you had to initiate on your own?  Was there any confirmation on the phone or indication that it was unlocked?

 

When traveling, I always ended up going with just a data only SIM, since had no need to SMS or call anyone.  The phone worked fine in that mode - like a tablet - and i used skype on rare occasions when I needed to call. 

 

I find that the bonus/balance offered by SIMs confusing, since the marketing materials do not tell you how much data you get for say... 5 EU.  Sales guys kept telling me that I needed 20 EU credit, but none could tell me how much data that would get me.  

 

My girlfriend did the unlock for her phone, AT&T sent her a link that would bring up itunes and it would then prompt u to connect your phone backup/wipe/restore.

 

At least in Italy (and from what I understand most everywhere else) you get terrible rates usually with a prepaid plan. The best way to get the most out of your €'s is to sign up for a promotion that may or may not include talk and text along with data for a one time fee. Otherwise I believe you were charged €0.25 per text and €0.01/minute within the country.

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I am heading to Italy (Rome, then southern Italy by motorcycle) in October.  I have friends that live in Venice.  Would it make any sense to have them go in and buy micro-sim and mail it to me ahead of the trip?   Would that save any hassle from me getting this done in Rome upon arrival?   I would at least know the number to give to family in US prior to leaving, correct?

 

And if so..I should have them ask for this plan? Vodafone Italy offers what they call SMART PASSPORT, for €3 a day you get 50 minutes and SMS to call and text all over europe and unlimited data for the whole day. 

 

Thanks

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The SMART PASSPORT is only good when you are out of Italy, if you are going to be within Italy use the same plan I used. It looks like plans are just the same. I imagine that your friend can get the SIM for you as long as you know what size SIM you need. Have a great trip!

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I am heading to Italy (Rome, then southern Italy by motorcycle) in October. I have friends that live in Venice. Would it make any sense to have them go in and buy micro-sim and mail it to me ahead of the trip? Would that save any hassle from me getting this done in Rome upon arrival? I would at least know the number to give to family in US prior to leaving, correct?

 

And if so..I should have them ask for this plan? Vodafone Italy offers what they call SMART PASSPORT, for €3 a day you get 50 minutes and SMS to call and text all over europe and unlimited data for the whole day.

 

Thanks

If you have time to have someone send you a working SIM, do it.
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