Please help! iPhone question

So I got on the plane to do this thing with the military in the middle east, and my wife and I sure thought we had International calling set up on our phones. We really did think so. We have AT&T.

Since I got off the plane yesterday it’s had that No Service notice in the upper left corner. Herself got hold of Customer Service and they did something, then told her she could call me. She tried, but Customer Service told her that my phone was turned off. It hasn’t been except when the flight attendants tell me to.

I rebooted the phone, but that didn’t help. It’s turned on now. Is there some stupid toggle a few menus down that I need to switch? AT&T seem to think that it she should be able to call me.

Think of the karma points you’ll score if you can give me the right piece of information that will allow us to talk while I’m over here! Can you help?

While it’s possible, I doubt your international calling allows you to travel the world making calls anywhere. I’m pretty sure that just means you can call internationally while you’re in the U.S.

Anyway, here’s what you need to do… just go somewhere at your destination’s airport or other (cheaper) place you would expect to sell cell-phone stuff, even convenience stores in touristy areas. You need to buy a prepaid SIM card from a local service. Take out your AT&T sim card, slip in the new one and follow the directions on the package, and you’ll be set. You won’t have the same phone number, so people won’t be able to call you at your normal phone#, but you can call essential people and give them your temp number, or else forward your calls.

Also, check if the phone network where you are is compatible with your iPhone - AT&T is GSM, AFAIK, but where you are might not have a GSM network?

Just an idea: go to Settings, then Carrier. Is the “Automatic” slider set to on or off? If it’s on, switch it off and the phone should search for any available networks, not just the one it thinks it ought to be finding.

Then you can try manually connecting to any that it finds.

If your phone is talking to the local network you should know. It will have a local symbol next to your bars (instead of 3G it will say Orange, China, whatever). Also as soon as your phone signs on you should get a text message from AT&T telling you “Welcome to Country Z, data costs $$$, etc”.

If this is your first time taking your phone overseas it might take a while for it to “figure out” where it is.

Check your settings. Go through every little thing. And then try to make a call from your end - this will often force the phone into connecting to the local network.

Of course you didn’t say where in the Mideast you were going. More specifics would help - are you in Dubai (outstanding AT&T coverage) or somewhere else…

Most of the world uses GSM. As long as they sell SIM cards, they’ll be GSM, so you don’t have to worry.

But that reminds me of two things:

  1. I believe iPhones use a “micro” SIM card, so make sure that’s what you get.
  2. To use a foreign/non-AT&T SIM card, your phone has to be unlocked by AT&T. I’m not sure how that works on the iPhone, and don’t know if it’s possible over wifi, so it might be too late. If you’re lucky, it’ll just be a code AT&T gives you to punch in your phone, but I don’t think so. Anyway, just ask AT&T about unlocking your phone so you can use a foreign SIM, and see what they say.

Bump! I’m in Afghanistan. Now, I can get Safari and email on the phone via the wifi, so is it possible that I could get the magic dingus emailed to me, or downloaded from a website and install it that way?

Hi Hentzau, i’m afraid its not that kind of software you need for your phone. how about downloading skype and using that on wifi, that has the added advantage of being free.

If you have checked the automatic carrier selection someone mentioned earlier theres not a lot else you can do on your handset and its worth speaking to your carrier back in the US again.

Best of luck.