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  1. #1

    fleurya's Avatar
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    Verizon iPhone 5/4S compatability with European SIMs
    My wife and I are taking a trip to London and Paris soon and would like to drop a domestic SIM into one or both of our phones for data usage (maps, translation, etc) but I don't know if we can do it with our Verizon iPhone 4S and 5. Do we need to unlock them, or are they unlocked? Would Verizon do it? Mine is already jailbroken if that helps.

    And even if it is unlocked, are either or both even compatible with European networks? Also, can anyone call out any specific prepaid cards we should try to pick up to use with our phones when we get there? We leave next week, so we won't be able to buy before we go.

    Thanks for your help!
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  2. #2


    Member Since
    May 15, 2010
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    Kinghorn, Scotland
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    imac 27" 3.2 GHz 8GB RAM iPhone 5 32GB iPad 3 16GB iPad Mini Retina 16GB
    I use a carrier in the UK called GiffGaff which allows you to pay £10 or £12 for 2 very good monthly deals. Try searching on their forums as I think you can get a free sim delivered to the USA. You only need to purchase it for 1 month. I am visiting the USA in June myself for 3 weeks and have an unlocked iPhone 5 and was wondering if you could suggest a prepaid carrier ?

    www.giffgaff.com

    Forum Thread

    http://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Con...d/td-p/3304149

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    My wife and I are taking a trip to London and Paris soon and would like to drop a domestic SIM into one or both of our phones for data usage (maps, translation, etc) but I don't know if we can do it with our Verizon iPhone 4S and 5. Do we need to unlock them, or are they unlocked? Would Verizon do it? Mine is already jailbroken if that helps.
    It doesn't, and might actually significantly hinder the process, since Verizon would have grounds not to help you.

    My *understanding* on this topic (ie what I've been told, not verified by me) is that the SIM slot in Verizon iPhones is unused and already unlocked, but you will want to verify this with Verizon or Apple before you head out. If that's not the case, you'll need to ask Verizon about their unlocking policy. Most US carriers now claim they will unlock phones at the end of the contract (which can be bought out early) or after 90 days in good standing.

    And even if it is unlocked, are either or both even compatible with European networks?
    If it has a microSIM slot (and my understanding suggests that it does) then yes it should be compatible.

  4. #4

    milessthomas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 28, 2007
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    From what I understand the iPhone 5 sim slot is unlocked, but not unused. The sim is occupied by the 4G LTE sim for Verizon's network. Travelling abroad you will need a compatible micro sim from a foreign mobile operator.

    The Verizon iPhone 4 does not have a sim slot, and the 4S has a sim slot but it is locked to the verizon/vodaphone sim card for global use. If you've been on Verizon for more than I believe 6 months, they will unlock the 4S sim slot per this thread on the Verizon forum...

    https://community.verizonwireless.com/message/696707

    I used the 4S abroad in Paris after having Verizon unlock it, on SFR who provided a sim and a plan for 20 euros. I think I had about 50 minutes, unlimited texts, and limited data. This was two years ago so I'm not sure what plans they have now.

  5. #5

    milessthomas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    MBP 3.06Ghz, MBP 2.2Ghz, Mini G4, B/W G3 (Media Server), LCII, Beige G3
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzywuzy View Post
    I use a carrier in the UK called GiffGaff which allows you to pay £10 or £12 for 2 very good monthly deals. Try searching on their forums as I think you can get a free sim delivered to the USA. You only need to purchase it for 1 month. I am visiting the USA in June myself for 3 weeks and have an unlocked iPhone 5 and was wondering if you could suggest a prepaid carrier ?

    SIM Card Deals | giffgaff.com

    Forum Thread

    Want a sim but you're abroad? - The giffgaff community
    If you're only here for three weeks I'd suggest Straight Talk or T-Mobile Prepaid. Neither offer free sim cards, but other members may be able to suggest a service that does. Straight talk now uses t-mobile for their GSM service anyway and they both work out to the same price, although T-Mobile appears to be actually unlimited.

    T-Mobile is 10$ for the micro-sim, and 50$ for unlimited everything (100mb of data at 4G speeds)

    Straight talk is 15$ for the micro-sim, and 45$ for unlimited everything (although mixed reviews as to what they constitute as unlimited data and to what max is at 4G speeds)

    Although, your iPhone 5 may not work on their 4g plans at all if the antenna frequencies are not the same, but will work on 3g.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    T-Mobile has recently switched over to compatible 4G LTE frequencies, however, it's not available in all locations. If you're visiting someplace like NYC, LA, Chicago, Dallas, etc, you should have no problem.

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