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When in Roam
In the growing international world it is common to see domestic iPhone users taking their phones abroad with them. This will likely put them into a roaming situation, which means that special international roaming rates are going to apply to their service. These international roaming rates are very expensive and you are going to need to avoid them if you are ever going to keep your iPhone bill down to something manageable. Here are a few tips for international roamers that will hopefully save you money when you come back from abroad.
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The best way to avoid international roaming charges is to start turning different things on your iPhone off right from the beginning. Data roaming needs to be turned off immediately, and this is going to be top priority. Start by going into Settings and then select General. Go into Network and find Data Roaming, making sure it is not set to On.
From here you will want to also turn off Enable 3G, as you are not going to be using that as often as you would domestically. Save the 3G network for emergencies and instead try to only access Wi-Fi, which may or may not have more availability when you are in other countries.
Push Notifications are going to have to go immediately as these access the internet consistently and you are not going to be able to interact with things like email and social networking sites from your iPhone anywhere near as much as normal. Push Notifications will not be useful at any point with this, so just keep them off the entire time unless you want to turn them on just briefly once you are securely connected to a Wi-Fi network.
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Avoid Texting and MMS
Text and media messages will be part of these international roaming rates, and so another clean tip for international roamers is to cut down on this type of communication entirely. This is especially going to be true for the newer video messaging, but also is very true for photos. Data rates are what is going to kill you so you need to just cut down on the amount going in and out of your iPhone.
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Using New and Alternative Features
The iPhone 4 has brought in a whole host of new features, one of which is the FaceTime video chat function. When using this with another iPhone 4 user through a Wi-Fi connection you are not going to have to pay for it, and so it will be a good option for avoiding regular calls in general that are going to run up your bill. You can also rely on more conventional call services like Skype, which you may already be operating during your travels. These alternatives are going to allow you to still communicate with the ease of your iPhone, but let you employ conventional internet connections instead.
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International Data Plans
The best iPhone tip for international roamers is to simply buy an international data plan, as long as you are going to be out of the country for a significant period of time and know you are going to need application use on your iPhone. These international data plans for the iPhone are incredibly expensive, with the 200MB data plan running $199 instead of the domestic price of $15. You will really need to decide what is right for you, but a basic international data plan to cover any emergencies is advisable for all international roamers.