Best way to place an actual phone call to my child studying in Italy


    The data connectivity where she is in Italy leaves a lot to be desired. I have a TMobile One plan, and my daughter has a One Plus plan on my account (we just got our plans a couple months ago). She is in Italy for the semester. I assume if I call her, that she will get charged $.20 a minute. Is there any plan that she or I could have that would allow unlimited talk between us without relying on data/wifi? I don't really see anything that covers this? There are plans for calling Internationally while in the states, but what about calling one of your phones while it happens to be in Italy?



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      • tidbits

        She will be locked out eventually.  Majority of her usage must be in the US. 


        Best option honestly is Skype on a local sim or similar.  Even Google Voice might be a good option with a local sim there.

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        • orodrig23

          Under the Extreme Roamer's policy you will be allowed up to 90 days out of network. But your out of network usage has to be less than 50% when compared to usage within T-Mobile's network.


          The mobile number which is out of the country will receive a warning text message and then your line may get cancelled due to the roaming.


          If the device we are we are referring to is an iPhone. The absolute best way to do this would be through FaceTime Audio. It functions as a completely normal phone call but uses data. The calls are reliable if you are on a good connection. I've used FaceTime Audio while traveling plenty of times.

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          • drnewcomb2

            tidbits and orodrig23 are making sense.

            1) You can't roam overseas for months on end and not get cut off.

            2) You have a choice: Voice, text or data. Anything that isn't standard voice or text is data. This includes Skype, Viber, Hangouts, etc. If your data connectivity is poor, then you can't use those other methods.


            Some questions: 1) What phone is she using in Italy? 2) Is that phone "unlocked" for use of a local SIM?

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            • magenta2317300

              She has a new iPhone 7 Plus. The cell network is spotty at best over there for some reason. She's in Rome right now and I would have thought that to be a better location for the cell phone. She will spend the next 3 months in Cortona. Doubting it will be better there. I was hoping that I would be able to pay $25 a month and call her unlimited to not have to deal with data/wifi issues.


              We will just hope that the data gets better. I actually did a Skype call with her yesterday. When the call was working, it was amazingly clear. When it wasn't working well, it was unusable...this all happened within one call. Not sure why it goes from bad to amazing to horrible over a 10 minute window.


              Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like we are on the right track. We used facetime audio for a bit as well. It was ok, but the network was killing us.

                • drnewcomb2

                  The iPhone 7+ is an excellent choice for international use. I can assure you that the cell network in Italy is not "spotty", particularly not in Rome. It may be that the SIM is preferring a carrier like WInd, which may not have as much capacity. She could try a manual network search and try to connect to one of the other networks to see if it performs better. The service in Cortana is going to be just fine too.

                  Here's a link to instructions on how to manually select a different network.


                  I do urge you to look into getting the iPhone unlocked, at least for international use, and have her obtain an Italian prepaid SIM for use while she's there. She may wake up some morning and find that T-Mobile has cut off her roaming due to her spending too much time roaming. One complication might be that the unlocking procedure for iPhones involves syncing the phone with iTunes. If she lacks a personal laptop this might be difficult.


                  If you think this needs more attention, I'll be happy to go personally to check it out. Just send me two* business-class round trip tickets to Rome, and I'll personally go there and look into it for you.

                  *One for me, the other for my wife.

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • magenta2317300

                      She hadn't flipped the switch on her iPhone to allow roaming. Without it, she had no data. Had call over Skype with her tonight. It was perfect. All 3g data. Was good enough to handle video too.


                      I hope that she is able to do her 3 months over there without any trouble with the service. I guess I'll have to talk to TMobile if they try to disconnect the number before then.


                      I got the TMobile service so I wouldn't have to get special service over there. I'm even giving TMobile the extra $10 a month for 3g speed.


                      I'll post back here if there are any strange developments.