Vienna Prague Internet Service

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Jan 12, 2015
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#1
USA travelers to the Vienna/Prague area using a smartphone, what is your suggestion for internet service (when WiFi is not available)? I'm looking for resources before we go.
My iPhone 5 with Verizon carrier has not worked internationally, unless using WiFi. No signal, no phone service, text, no internet. I do follow the instructions "before you go" given to me by Verizon.
I'm not calling home. I'm using internet for Navigation, travel apps, etc. The occasional local call.
Your advice? Thank you!
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
First, check back with Verizon. You may have to upgrade to an international calling plan for the time you are there. We have to do so for a cruise we are taking (just for that month's billing cycle), plus we are buying a roaming minutes package (in case of emergency calls). Both are needed to use our own phone.

Second, some friends of ours strongly recommended using a GPS device in Europe to defray costs. And it will work even where you do not have data coverage. They have been to Europe many times ...
 
Likes: Layla
B

bodega3

Guest
#3
To use a GPS device you have to pay to get a map of the country/counties you will be in, which costs money.
 
B

bodega3

Guest
#5
USA travelers to the Vienna/Prague area using a smartphone, what is your suggestion for internet service (when WiFi is not available)? I'm looking for resources before we go.
My iPhone 5 with Verizon carrier has not worked internationally, unless using WiFi. No signal, no phone service, text, no internet. I do follow the instructions "before you go" given to me by Verizon.
I'm not calling home. I'm using internet for Navigation, travel apps, etc. The occasional local call.
Your advice? Thank you!
Are you driving or going outside of either city? If not, you really don't need a GPS.
 
Likes: Layla
Jan 12, 2015
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#6
No driving planned. It's not essential to have GPS, but I tend to wander down alleys and have to find my way "home" when I'm not with my husband (who is blessed with a GPS in his brain). In NYC I discovered HopStop which was really nice. Traveling solo, my first trip to Big Apple, I just put in my destination and followed the app to nearest subway. That used a bit of internet of course.
I do have an older Garmin and will look into the EU update. I have not used it in years because my cell phone is so handy. Thanks for the suggestions!
 
B

bodega3

Guest
#7
In both cities there are lot of winding little side streets. Hotels do provide city maps which are very good as a back up. Old town Prague is an interesting place to wander about and easy to get confused on if you came up on little street or the other when faced with them forking. Two great cities...lucky you!
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#9
It won't help you for this trip but the next time you upgrade your phone, you might go on E-Bay and get an unlocked one. Then you should be able to buy a pre-paid phone card for whatever country you're in and top it up as needed. I say "should" because although my old "dumb" phone lent itself to this scheme for years all over the world, my new Samsung is giving me problems; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. If you just need phone and very basic internet, most countries will sell you a local (usually locked) phone that takes pre-paid cards. For example, in Switzerland you have a choice between Mucho, Lebara, Sunrise, Orange, Migros, Lyca and probably more. The cost for the phone and SIM card is about $20, which includes about 10 minutes of phone time.
 
Jan 12, 2015
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#10
It's a good tip for now too, thank you Brooklyn! (I would not want my life to depend on any smartphone on foreign soil.) I'm upgrading my iPhone this month and will have an unlocked iPhone soon. I contacted my friend in vienna who says T Mobile is her carrier and i can buy a "travel pack" which will give me some minutes, text, internet. I just might try it. My old Garmin is on life support now; it must get well if it wants to travel.
Kind of makes me nostalgic for my old quad band phone, pre-smartphone days.
 
#11
Hi Layla,
I myself just got back from Prague in December of last year and also used my Verizon iPhone 5s. Before I left I contacted Verizon Global Services and asked them to turn on my International data access for 1 month which was $25 per 100MB. I however have a corporate discount of 25% on my account which brought my service to $18.75 per 100MB. While in Prague I used Google Maps for navigation and it worked just fine, however it will eat tons of data. To get around that I loaded it on the hotel wifi before I left and then navigated with offline mode and if I needed something to update I turned it on long enough to update and then right back into offline mode.

How long are you staying for is the real question....I only opted to use Verizon because I didn't want the trouble of switching phone numbers to communicate to my friends and family back in the states over iMessage. I also did a tour of Europe/China and only spent a few days in each place so I didn't want the hassle of having to constantly switch providers. I think total I used around 300MB in 2 weeks.


Hopefully that helps a little bit. The choice ultimately is yours and if you are spending more than a week in the same country it would make sense to just get a local sim card. Have fun and enjoy the trip :)


-Tyler
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 8, 2015
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#12
It's a good tip for now too, thank you Brooklyn! (I would not want my life to depend on any smartphone on foreign soil.) I'm upgrading my iPhone this month and will have an unlocked iPhone soon. I contacted my friend in vienna who says T Mobile is her carrier and i can buy a "travel pack" which will give me some minutes, text, internet. I just might try it. My old Garmin is on life support now; it must get well if it wants to travel.
Kind of makes me nostalgic for my old quad band phone, pre-smartphone days.
Layla, I hadn't noticed that your contract is with Verizon. Mine is with T-Mobile and there was a time when that made a difference; I'm not sure that it does anymore. This article is quite helpful, but you should probably call Verizon to be sure: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/phones-tech/cell-phone-europe.
 
Likes: Layla
Jan 12, 2015
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#13
Hi Layla,
I myself just got back from Prague in December of last year and also used my Verizon iPhone 5s. Before I left I contacted Verizon Global Services and asked them to turn on my International data access for 1 month which was $25 per 100MB. I however have a corporate discount of 25% on my account which brought my service to $18.75 per 100MB. While in Prague I used Google Maps for navigation and it worked just fine, however it will eat tons of data. To get around that I loaded it on the hotel wifi before I left and then navigated with offline mode and if I needed something to update I turned it on long enough to update and then right back into offline mode.

How long are you staying for is the real question....I only opted to use Verizon because I didn't want the trouble of switching phone numbers to communicate to my friends and family back in the states over iMessage. I also did a tour of Europe/China and only spent a few days in each place so I didn't want the hassle of having to constantly switch providers. I think total I used around 300MB in 2 weeks.


Hopefully that helps a little bit. The choice ultimately is yours and if you are spending more than a week in the same country it would make sense to just get a local sim card. Have fun and enjoy the trip :)


-Tyler
Thank you. Tyler! It's very helpful to estimate the (large) amount of data usage. I do indeed have verizon but upgrade to iPhone 6 gives me an unlocked iPhone 5. This I MIGHT try using with local SIM. Cost estimates in this thread are helpful. I won't be kind enough to accept calls from home--they can reach me via WhatsApp. It is data for nav & travel apps that I want to use. We are in Eu for 15 days. Vienna 4-5 days then hopscotch ending in Prague for 5 days. And I roam around getting lost & exploring. Then I need to find my way home. Thank you for you very helpful post,
Deborah
 
B

bodega3

Guest
#15
Thank you. Tyler! It's very helpful to estimate the (large) amount of data usage. I do indeed have verizon but upgrade to iPhone 6 gives me an unlocked iPhone 5. This I MIGHT try using with local SIM. Cost estimates in this thread are helpful. I won't be kind enough to accept calls from home--they can reach me via WhatsApp. It is data for nav & travel apps that I want to use. We are in Eu for 15 days. Vienna 4-5 days then hopscotch ending in Prague for 5 days. And I roam around getting lost & exploring. Then I need to find my way home. Thank you for you very helpful post,
Deborah
A tip on Prague. Find the river and you will have your bearings. Another tip, especially for Vienna, just go into a hotel and they will assist you (know this from experience).
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 12, 2015
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#16
Thanks, Brooklyn I did follow your excellent link! Brought a tear to my eye remembering the Old Days when I just swapped out SIM's and used them each trip. I'm going with an unlocked iPhone 5 and buying a SIM in Vienna. Just turn off the Verizon iPhone 6 & check for messages. My former exchange student is now a professional living in Vienna. She should be able to help me since I'm buying there (not in USA). I did Mother her for a year when she was a high spirited 15 year old!
Any calls will be local & I don't care what phone # they give me. This will be a grand experiment.
Cheers,
Deborah
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 12, 2015
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#17
A tip on Prague. Find the river and you will have your bearings. Another tip, especially for Vienna, just go into a hotel and they will assist you (know this from experience).
WOW! Thank you! Very helpful.
I would not have tried your hotel idea--got me into trouble in Rome.
 
Likes: VoR61