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iPhone in Belize?

Posted By: MMM

iPhone in Belize? - 07/10/11 09:14 PM

Looking to use iPhone 4 while in Belize. I'm not the most technologically savvy when it comes to this phone. Anyone had issues getting a micro sim card from a carrier in Belize? Also, I assume as long as I have wireless Internet access that my FaceTime chat will work? Any help would be much appreciated!
Posted By: filmmaker ben

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 12:43 AM

You'll need to jailbreak and unlock your phone (unless your phone is factory unlocked), and then buy a Digicell SIM and trim it down to the size of a micro SIM.
Posted By: Bear

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 01:42 AM

What do you plan on using it for? Honestly it may be more economical for you to simpy buy a very inexpensive GSM 1900 phone like a Nokia 1621 and buy a BTL sim + time for your stay.

Long distance calls from Belize to the States are less expnsive than using your own iPhone (unless you do somehow crack it). You do NOT want your data turned on while youre in Belize in fact you want data roaming turned off so you dont lose you shirt on your return.

We used our iP4 for txts at about 25 cents per txt. I have one of the Nokia's I spoke of and it serves me well for trips all over the world, I just need to get a local sim for it. Which is no big deal. I keep my Belize SIM "hot" or active by hitting the # with a txt about every other month so I dont lose my local # when i return "home".

I would double check with your carrier about the facetime chat, I've never been really sure whether that is a phone feature or data feature.
Posted By: Fishmonger

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 02:00 AM

You can trim any SIM cards to fit the iPhone4, there is a gadget that does that. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_9_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sim+trimmer&sprefix=sim+trimmer
Get a local SIM and trim it. Your iPhone4 must of course be unlocked.
For face time you need data service.
Posted By: changosgal

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 02:13 AM

http://www.quicksilverbz.com/ most economical way to go.
Posted By: gecko_girl

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 02:37 AM

And remember WIFI is not as "free" as it is in the US. A lot of cafes/bars offer it if you are a paying customer, and some of the bigger hotels. But the speed will likely be low for video chat. I agree that a rented phone or an unlocked phone with local SIM is a good way to go for regular phone contact, but if you really need video chat WIFI/3G is not going to cut it in Belize.
Posted By: Bear

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 02:37 PM

Originally Posted by gecko_girl
And remember WIFI is not as "free" as it is in the US. A lot of cafes/bars offer it if you are a paying customer, and some of the bigger hotels. But the speed will likely be low for video chat. I agree that a rented phone or an unlocked phone with local SIM is a good way to go for regular phone contact, but if you really need video chat WIFI/3G is not going to cut it in Belize.


Thanks for the tag team GG;

MMM my bad the Nokia I spoke of is the 1661. As I said they are nothing special they do allow SMS & they work just fine. They get a lower reviews due to people wanting more on a cell. But all will admit they work fine as your basic unlocked GSM travel phone. New 39US on Amazon, theyre less at WalMart WalMart Nokia 1661

If you want to go the unlock, trim the sim, route (hassle IMHO) it will work but I prefer not to monkey with my main cell when for less than $50 US your up and running with a local phone #

If you do use the alterante route, I would be very cautious about the data rate aspects of your phone. Foreign data rates from AT&T for example are like fifty cents per Kb, yes I said Kb.

Belize does not offer reciprocal rates like many other countries do so long disatnce rates stay high if you use your own domestic provider. Just another reason I prefer the local phone. 60 cents per minut to the US vs like 3 dollars /minute. Check with your provider. Also they may actually give you an unlock code if you ask and explain you are traveling abroad. Maybe, maybe not.

Your other option as Changosgal offers is to rent locally, but I think those run like 10US per day. Ask, I'm not sure of current rates.
Posted By: PROBUS

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/11/11 05:43 PM

If I were you I'd buy either a local Digicell SIM card and use it in your iPhone (trimmed as necessary), or buy a cheap "Smart" phone (CDMA) which will be the cheapest to use in Belize.

I recently read of people who took their smart phones to Europe on holiday from Britain and left data roaming on. When they got back they found they had bills for several times the entire cost of their holiday (many thousands of pounds). They took the UK service provider to Court and it was ruled that they had to pay. I STRONGLY recommend you turn off all services on your phone if you intend to bring the SIM card to Belize, and DO NOT use the card except when in your home country.
Posted By: changosgal

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/12/11 01:10 AM

Rates on the Go Phones are $10bz per day. If you rent 3 or more days you get $10bz phone min. free.
Posted By: hazzyy

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/12/11 02:49 PM

If you are only coming for a visit it's going to cost minimum $50USD for one of the phone stores to unlock your phone. At least that is what I charge the store and then they will upcharge you on their end to make a few bucks. Chances on that unless you have a factory unlocked iPhone4 then your phone is probably not unlockable. Only the first batch of iPhone4's are unlockable. On the phone go to Settings, then General, then About. Scroll down and if it says anything other than 01.59.00 then you can't be unlocked. Only 1.59.00 is unlockable with a software unlock and if you have ever updated the iPhone4 it's not on that software.

I'd follow the advice of the others and just get a second cheap phone and leave the iPhone4 at home or keep it off while you're here. If the phone is even just powered on and you receive a voicemail you will incur extra charges on your bill.
Posted By: MikeW

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/12/11 03:25 PM

Here is what I do to virtually eliminate roaming charges in BZ. Before you leave, like on the plane on the way out. Go to settings | phone | call forward. Forward your phone to a US Number with voice mail. My voicemail emails me when someone leaves a voice mail, so I know and can listen to it over wifi. If you don't have a voicemail service like this, you can use Skype with a skype in number. You can then leave your phone on without the risk of paying $3.00 per minute when someone leaves you a voice mail. You can still use your phone for outgoing calls in a pinch if you do this. Roughly $3.00 per minute.

As was stated before, make sure you turn data roaming off.

I'm at Grand Caribe and we have pretty good internet, I use a voip line to make most of my outgoing calls. The cell is forwarded to that voip line.
Posted By: Bear

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/13/11 09:54 AM

Originally Posted by PROBUS
If I were you I'd buy either a local Digicell SIM card and use it in your iPhone (trimmed as necessary), or buy a cheap "Smart" phone (CDMA) which will be the cheapest to use in Belize.


Do yourself a favor either rent a phone there or buy a cheap unlocked GSM phone and get a SIM in Belize. Or better yet leave phones completely at home. I managed to get around the world quite well without a phone at all in the 60 and 70's. cool
Posted By: ColdwellBankerSP

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/14/11 10:04 PM

I just cut my sim and unlocked my iPhone using a GEVE chip, very easy. I like how it picks up WiFi which is all over the island so I can get emails on the go. But, it doesn't need to be unlocked to do this, only need unlock to make/receive calls here with BTL.
Posted By: MMM

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/17/11 10:46 PM

Anyone use FaceTime to talk back to the us?
Posted By: PROBUS

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/18/11 01:58 AM

Originally Posted by ColdwellBankerSP
I just cut my sim and unlocked my iPhone using a GEVE chip, very easy. I like how it picks up WiFi which is all over the island so I can get emails on the go. But, it doesn't need to be unlocked to do this, only need unlock to make/receive calls here with BTL.

Soes that work even without one of BTL's Data Plans?
Posted By: Bear

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/18/11 01:48 PM

Probus,

I dont know that it does jack for data access, the SIM is just for voice. I think you have to have a "registered" Belizean digital phone account to get a BTL data plan. You can turn on the iPhone's data roaming but look out!


Facetime will work with wifi. Otherwise its data and you would need to have data roaming enabled. Not good unless youve got Warren Buffet's income, come to think of I don't think Warren Buffet would be so stupid as to turn on Data roaming. Got wifi? one should be good to go but may be pretty choppy...
Posted By: t42

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/18/11 08:51 PM

I don't know what data roaming means but my iphone/3G works fine with Sim and prepaid which gives me internet everywhere not just wifi. The BTL guy put the code in under network settings but again I may be totally out of the ballpark for what you are all talking about. Technilogically challenged big time lol
Posted By: ColdwellBankerSP

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/18/11 09:13 PM

If you want to use your iPhone outside of WiFi areas, without a data plan, you'll need to unlock or have an unlocked iPhone. 3g and 3gs is easy here, 4 is a bit tricky.


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Posted By: Alter Ego

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/18/11 11:41 PM

These are all great advices but if you do decide to go with the Iphone option you need to keep one important thing in mind...If your phone has alot of Apps make sure when you are on the Digicell Service that "Push Notifications" and "Updates" are all set to off because some Apps tend to hog up your credits on your phone if you dont keep an eye on them
Posted By: t42

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/19/11 02:55 PM

Not new have had it for long time laugh
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/19/11 03:35 PM

Another option: Before I left on a recent vacation to Panama, I called my carrier for my iPhone and activated international texting: $10.00 for 50 texts. Upon return, call the carrier to deactivate. Very simple, easy and inexpensive.
Posted By: BigSpanky

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/20/11 04:42 AM

If it's the ATT international texting package you are talking about, it is not available for Belize,,,,already checked into that.......
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/20/11 04:54 AM

It is AT&T I am referring to, and if that text package is not available in Belize, but available in Panama, then AT&T needs a big spanking! smile
Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/20/11 01:36 PM

Forget your iphone in Belize. I used to use the AT&T service with iPhone and all I got was huge bills and no service. That's right each time I tried to use the phone AT&T would not allow it. However, when I got home there were huge bills for using it. Ridiculous and that's the reason I dumped AT&T and went with TMobile. Not good either but much better than AT&T.
Posted By: tcoats

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/20/11 05:20 PM

When I bring my iPhone to Belize, I MAKE SURE I turn off data roaming before I leave the states or I will be hit with a whopping bill upon return, as others have cautioned me.

Even though I cannot get phone service with my iPhone there, I can receive and send texts with no added special international plan. I can receive texts from the US for free, and it costs me 50 cents USD to send one back to the US. It is a good, reliable way for me to communicate with home.
Posted By: Bear

Re: iPhone in Belize? - 07/21/11 03:51 AM

Originally Posted by LaurieMar
It is AT&T I am referring to, and if that text package is not available in Belize, but available in Panama, then AT&T needs a big spanking! smile


Its not AT&T its BTL!
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