Going to Europe and don't want to get lost!

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I'm going to Europe on holiday soon and would love to be able to use my iPhone 6 (namely the data for looking at maps, getting directions, etc.). Is there any way to use data without (a) incurring massive roaming charges, and/or (b) unlocking my phone and having to find a SIM card overseas?

If not, is there any place locally (Toronto) where I might be able to get a European SIM card? Once I'm there, I'd like to spend my time enjoying the sites instead of finding a mobile supplier!
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Roni

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Posted 3 years ago

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Ivan, Mobile Master

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You'll find SIM cards at most airports. Where are you travelling to? I can give you specific carrier advice based on country. Unlocking your Koodo iPhone 6 is only $35.

There's no way to use data without massive overages. The good news is that you can get a dedicated offline navigation app:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/here-...

I've used it on my Nokia devices for years and it's the best solution in my opinion.
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Corey Janson

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Funny enough, I'm taking a similar trip to Europe around the same time.
I'll be using a Galaxy S4, however, in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
As such, I have a few clarifying questions :

Can you tell me more about unlocking the phone for these countries? It's my understanding that I will need to unlock the phone to use a SIM that I buy while in Europe?
At which point will I be asked for the unlock code?
Do I get the unlock code from Koodo? If so, do I just call customer service?
Will I need a different unlock code in each country or just the first time?

I thank you in advance for your help. I'm a newbie when it comes to this stuff...
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Robert, Mobile Master

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Can you tell me more about unlocking the phone for these countries? It's my understanding that I will need to unlock the phone to use a SIM that I buy while in Europe? Yes, unlocking the phone grants it access to any carrier in the world if it suports the frequencies (which it should). Therefore, when in Europe, you buy a prepaid card that offers what you want and you're good to go

At which point will I be asked for the unlock code? Usually, with iPhone it doesn't asks any unlock code. With the HTC one M8 I had and unlocked via a 3rd party, the code was asked after entering a special key combination which the tech selling you the unlock code will give you. In other words, you dial something like *61# and then you'll be prompted to enter the unlock code. If the unlock code is good = phone unlocked. As easy as 1, 2, 3

Do I get the unlock code from Koodo? If so, do I just call customer service? Yes you would need to call customer service and dial option #6. You need to be customer with Koodo for at least 3 months and be in good standing. Most of the people qualify for that. You could also try 3rd party unlocks that are cheaper (eBay, Amazon, etc)

Will I need a different unlock code in each country or just the first time? You need 1 time unlock and then your phone is good to work with all the SIM cards.
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Tiz

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I have the unlocking code and procedure to unlock the phone. Can I unlock my phone in Europe) Italy) or shall I unlock before leaving.
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David, Mobile Master

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You should unlock it now. You can test it with a friend's SIM to see if it worked!
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Roni

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Thanks, Ivan! We're going to the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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France - Lebara

Free SIM, 500 MB for EUR 4.99 (7.99 for 1 GB or 19.99 for 3 GB)
http://www.lebara.fr/boutique/internet

Belgium - Base

Don't know if the SIM is free, EUR 5 for 100 MB (10 for 1 GB)
https://www.base.be/en/mobile/options...

Belgium - Simyo

Same price as Base for 1 GB, but you can get 400 MB for 6 EUR
http://www.simyo.be/en/information/mo...

The Netherlands - Lebara

Free SIM, 1 GB for EUR 10
http://www.lebara.nl/mobiel-internet

I've used Lebara in the U.K. and Switzerland and they're my go to provider in Europe if they operate in the country that I'm visiting. In France, I've used SFR which is their biggest carrier, but this was before data was a big thing andaffordable MVNOs came into the picture.
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Roni

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Thanks, Ivan! So does this mean I'd need 3 separate SIM cards? I can't get one "Europe" SIM that would work in all three countries?
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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For now, yes. EU parliament will be abolishing roaming charges within the EU, but that hasn't happened yet.
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BobTheElectrician

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"Here" also available on Android. Another Android app that lets you pre-load maps is MapFactorNavigator.

Best done on wi-fi. North America alone & required system files weight in at several gigs.
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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I didn't mention Android because OP specified iPhone 6. But yes, it's available on Android.
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Roni

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I've looked at the "Here" app a little bit -- is it any different from Google Maps?
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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Yes, it's different but pretty much only in the sense that you can download entire map sets (instead of caching a specific map radius) and that navigation will work in offline mode even if you deviate from a pre-set route.

The app is free, so I suggest trying it out here (in offline mode) before you leave to get familiar with it.
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Roni

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Playing with it now! Thanks!
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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You're welcome! If you have any other questions/concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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Sygic GPS is my offline navigation app of choice for both iPhone and Android and has been for many years. 'Here' comes in at a very close second in my opinion, only because I haven't had enough exposure to the app. I started using 'Here' after getting my Lumia 635 and more recently on my iPhone 6 and Note 4. So far, no complaints.

Sygic is also a free app with options to upgrade to premium lifetime. I do run a paid version of Sygic (one-time fee) that offers lifetime map updates.

http://www.sygic.com/gps-navigation/f...

https://itunes.apple.com/sk/app/sygic...
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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I've considered Sygic before, but opted for Navigon on iOS and Co-Pilot Live on Android, but that was way before HERE was available for free on those platforms. I can't justify paying for either anymore.
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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Free is free, you can't beat that.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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This site is the bomb diggity for looking at internatiomn prepaid sims when you need data

http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.co...
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Robert, Mobile Master

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What would be the best "roaming" rate available in Europe. Like what country should I get my SIM card from?

Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, UK, Netherlands?

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