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Using a Verizon S3 in another country.Support


  1. rkaplins

    rkaplins Member

    I will be traveling out of the country soon and I imagine I can use my phone to communicate over Wi-Fi using apps like Skype. My concern is that I don't understand how international roaming works and if someone calls or texts my US cell phone number, I don't want it to call me out of the country and cost me tons of fees.

    Any thoughts on how I can disable the phone calls, texts, and data (I assume I just turn off mobile data for this one) so that I can just use the Wi-Fi?

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  2. Loco4LosChe

    Loco4LosChe Active Member

    Well, I know the S3 has a GSM radio, but I don't think it is working yet. I remember Verizon saying they would send out an OTA to activate it yet. Not sure if they've done it yet.
    rkaplins likes this.
  3. rkaplins

    rkaplins Member

    I remember this being mentioned but that is not what I am talking about. That would allow me to talk abroad but I do not want to do that and pay the fees. Basically I want to turn it into only a Wi-Fi PDA and disable the phone and texting features so I won't get any surprise charges.
  4. ylexot

    ylexot Well-Known Member

    Put it in airplane mode and then turn on the wifi.
    rkaplins likes this.
  5. Loco4LosChe

    Loco4LosChe Active Member

    Yeah, just put it in Airplane Mode and turn on Wifi like ylexot said.
    rkaplins likes this.
  6. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    Unless VZW are confused (possible?) the S3 is global ready now, but you have to activate the function with the phone number in the global roaming options.

    They now have a set price for global data. Though wimpy, better than nothing (or getting ripped off by local networks) and will help me out on trips when GPS will be handy. None the less, best to be safe and leave in plane mode and wifi on- added: unless you need data. Calls with the international plan are $1 a minute.
    rkaplins likes this.
  7. scrannel

    scrannel Well-Known Member

    The problem with dual-mode phones from Verizon, unless something has changed, is they require use through set roaming agreements. These tend to be sometimes not avail, and pricey. Having a GSM radio is probably pointless w/o a SIM card, which only GSM or true dual mode phones have. Yes, they have "fixed" data prices, but when I travel I really do want a phone I can use... as a phone. And not get ripped off on either side of the Atlantic. Which is why we have always used t-mo phones that come with either UMA or wifi-calling. It costs the same as domestic calls no matter where you are in the world. So, on the Verizon S3, is there actually a place for a SIM card?
    rkaplins likes this.
  8. rkaplins

    rkaplins Member

    Thanks everyone. I did not think you could have airplane mode on at the same time you had Wi-Fi on. That solves that problem!
  9. SpaceBolt

    SpaceBolt Well-Known Member

    I also have the S3 and I will also be traveling overseas very soon. Is there a way to receive your text messages and WhatsApp messages while in airplane mode? Maybe some sort of way to redirect them to E-mail or something?

    OP, how are you planning to secure your connection to any public Wi-Fi signals while out of the country? Maybe some sort of VPN? Of course, if you're connecting to a website using HTTP over SSL or HTTP Secure (HTTPS) then you wouldn't need to worry about it.
  10. thenew3

    thenew3 Well-Known Member

    Yes, all Verizon 4G devices have a SIM card.

    The GS3 has a micro SIM. Once verizon enables the GSM radio (through firmware), you can in theory use any micro SIM from any NON-USA GSM carrier. But you will most likely have to call verizon's global dept and get an unlock code to unlock the GSM radio in the phone to work with other carriers. Even if you do get the unlock code, it likely won't work on other USA carriers (i.e AT&T or Tmobile) At least that's what past "global" phones on Verizon has been restricted to.
  11. 767pilot

    767pilot Member

    I've been in Japan and China for a week with no problems. I keep the phone in Airplane mode with wifi on. Just to be sure, I have unselected data except for the few times when I needed it. You can habe airplane more off and data off as well. Your phone will work with no data useage.

    My problem is the opposite of yours, when I take the phone out of airplane mode the text messages all roll in ($$). You won't have to worry about getting your text messages but you will be paying per message.

    Both countries are CDMA and the only complaint that I have had is that in China (shenzen and shanghai) I was never able to get better than a 1x speed connection which was slow and seemed to heat up the phone. Verizon wasn't able to give me any good information on this other than turning the data off and back on, hoping to get a faster connection.

    Download a good data usage tracker before you travel, I recommend "My Data Manager" which has a separate tracker that you can enable for Roaming.
    g3girl likes this.
  12. BullsBeers

    BullsBeers Active Member

    I'm heading over to Germany next month and have never used Skype. So to make a call through skype, I would have to use wifi right?
  13. SpaceBolt

    SpaceBolt Well-Known Member

    Yep. Lots of coffee shops and hostels have free Wi-Fi.
  14. 767pilot

    767pilot Member

    Before you go, make sure that you have the right skype. The 1 that comes with some verizon phones only works on the verizon network. The verizon version has a white or light blue icon. Goto the play store and download skype mobile. It will have a darker blue icon and will work on wifi outside of the us. the verizon one didn't used to, but they may have changed that.
  15. Stigy

    Stigy Some say... VIP Member

  16. dr_trousers

    dr_trousers Active Member

    This is what I do everytime I am out of the country. If wifi is available, I'll want to stream, check emails, etc, but I'm always nervous about roaming. Airplane mode is the way to go!
  17. BullsBeers

    BullsBeers Active Member

    Will I also be able to text?
  18. tonytownsend

    tonytownsend Well-Known Member

  19. tdse

    tdse Well-Known Member

    Skype is great, but there's still a cost associated. I've used an app call 'Groove IP Lite" from both Jamaica and Mexico to make calls to the US over wifi. No issues, except when wifi service is spotty.

    If you're looking to text as well, I believe Talkatone will do this. Both apps integrate with Google Voice.
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