What I found in Europe, particularly starting in the UK and making the most of the "freebie" bonuses, is that you can get 500mb of EC-wide roaming data with high per-day allowances to augment a $30 initial investment in a pre-paid plan. That would cost thousands using TM international roaming ($15/mb).
chenderson2 wrote: Today I tried the II s with downloaded maps and had it in flight mode. It still worked, so I am hopeful it will work in Europe.
Today I tried the II s with downloaded maps and had it in flight mode. It still worked, so I am hopeful it will work in Europe.
That is a good sign. Keep us posted on your experiences.
philyew wrote: What I found in Europe, particularly starting in the UK and making the most of the "freebie" bonuses, is that you can get 500mb of EC-wide roaming data with high per-day allowances to augment a $30 initial investment in a pre-paid plan. That would cost thousands using TM international roaming ($15/mb).
That's an idea I've not tried. My "plan" was to get a pre-paid SIM for each country I visited. Most ended up being very cheap, but your idea sounds better when I have t move from country to country. Which brand had that plan? I may go for that one the next time I'm over there.
So getting a local SIM card is a good idea now?
I use Vodafone, but I imagine there will be comparable offerings from the other carriers.
You have to pay close attention to what the "freebies" are when you activate. Don't skip past their invitation to learn more about free services that comes up when you are activating.
I was able to reduce the cost of my calls home enormously, as well as picking up the roaming package, but it cost me a $20 top-up because I skipped what I thought would be time-wasting sales pitches during initial activation. Turns out the "freebies" were worth more than the original package.
philyew wrote: I use Vodafone...I was able to reduce the cost of my calls home enormously, as well as picking up the roaming package, but it cost me a $20 top-up because I skipped what I thought would be time-wasting sales pitches during initial activation. Turns out the "freebies" were worth more than the original package.
I use Vodafone
Thanks for the information. I entered the EU via Germany or Italy (depending on the trip), so my "sales pitches" were not in English. I may have missed some of the "freebies" due to my lack of competency in Italian/German. I got my information about the "best" cards from (http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/). I will try to pay more attention next time.
As an FYI, my German SIM was a Vodafone while my Italian was a TIM. Those were the best deals I could find at the time. I am going out there again in a month or two, I will keep your information just in case Vodafone Germany has a similar offer. Again, thanks for the information.
It's funny to me how just a while ago doug47 you were saying that the SIM card wasn't an option to you. But after one of the other forum members told you about some good deals SIM cards are back on the menu. Either way good for you. I'm gonna let this go now. Easy day.
Actually, what I think he said was that he had a number of different SIM cards from the countries he had time to shop in. But that approach wasn't always viable. The difference in what I talked about is using a single SIM for all countries with much more favorable roaming capabilities than are available from TM.
This all started with me trying to answer the original question that was asked. My reply was to get a local carrier's SIM Card. Not 2, 3 or however many SIM cards he's been getting. Doug47 chimed in saying that this wasn't feasible for him because he wanted to go off the grid with a good GPS smartphone. You added your answer with a little more depth and a specific carrier. Then Doug47 came back with a reply saying this was an excellent idea or something to that degree. I felt offended because he discredited my answer and confused, given the fact that you and I in essence gave the same answer, yours just had more specifics.
I think he still potentially has an issue in countries where he can't get a local SIM (Japan) or areas where he can't get a signal, if the device he selects doesn't have a strong enough antenna to hold a satellite connection for the length of time necessary to download ephemeris data without the aid of aGPS. That's why he is reluctant to rely only on the strategy of acquiring a local SIM wherever he visits and not choosing the best possible device as well.
He did say that he planned to get a local SIM wherever he could, so I don't think he ever dismissed your suggestion - just observed the possible limitations described above.
A light came on after I talked about using a single SIM to roam in multiple European locations. That at least might save Doug the trouble of acquiring multiple SIMs, but it still won't help him in Japan, or out of tower range in Bavaria, or wherever.
The bottom line is: I don't think you need to feel offended. It spoils your day. :-)
I have to reiterate that doug47 comments were and are catered to his situation and his needs. Never did he formally ask a question. He just kinda took over the post. The original poster never said anything about this not being an option for them. I'm over it as I do feel my answer was helpful to the person asking the question. Easy day.
I did try to add a postscript to the previous message but it must have been posted too late.
What I tried to add was that the background to this wasn't obvious, but this thread is a continuation of a discussion that chenderson (the OP), Doug, myself and a couple of other people have been conducting elsewhere in the forum.
We arrived at the conclusion that the GSII was probably the best device, as far as the chipset was concerned, for being able to handle GPS services without access to data. As a result of that, after our lengthy discussion, the OP was advised to bring the specific question of using the GSII without data access into this forum.
Since none of us has practical experience of using the GSII in this situation, we were looking for anyone who might be able to give us first-hand feedback.
It would have been for that reason that Doug was anxious not to let the discussion end with only the suggestion of using local SIMs, which - you will agree - is still dependent on data access. In hindsight, if we had done a better job of summarizing how we arrived at this particular question to the GSII forum, you might not have thought Doug's comment quite so pointed.
It wasn't meant, I'm sure, to have you conclude that your suggestion was being dismissed as irrelevant, just that it didn't answer the particular angle that we were pursuing.
I don't think I ever dismissed a post. If that's how it came out, I do apologize. Added information is added information. This thread is actually solving (or attempting to solve) TWO different issues that I am having. One is the "is there a smartphone that can do GPS well WITHOUT a data connection?" and the other is (lower priority to me, but still a relevant question), "Is there an alternative to carrying SIM cards for each country I visit?" (there is another question for another time, "Will this phone work in Japan?"). I now know more about BOTH questions than I did before this thread. That is good. The point of these threads is to solve problems, and this one is doing that, with EVERYONE's contributions. I specifically pointed out posts that helped ME and my issues. I can't do that for others.
Oh, and it isn't "Bavaria". I get good signal there (the Germans can be scary like that). It is actually the Colorado Rockies where I don't have much signal .
I finally bit the bullet and purchased Sygic for navigation. This is the most expensive app that I have ever purchased, but so far it seems to work. I purchased the Western Europe and US maps. Of course, I won't know if the gps works in Europe until I go there, but it is working here. I was also able to view maps of cities in Europe without having to be there. I'll let you know in June how it goes in Italy.
chenderson2 wrote: I'll let you know in June how it goes in Italy.
I'll let you know in June how it goes in Italy.
Please keep us updated on your experiences. And good luck! I hope it all works out (so that I can move in that direction).
When you are in Europe, will you be using your data plan or a local SIM card for data? Part of the issue is if the GSII GPS will work WITHOUT a data plan (or even a cell signal).
The cool thing is if your tests goes well, June is about the time my two year contract is up.
Retrieving data ...