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How to unlock iPhone 4S for use in Norway...

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I've been researching various wifi and/or calling options while we are in Norway for a couple weeks.  My husband and I each have an iPhone 4S's....our service is through Verizon.....but we'll probably only try and convert one phone.   I've learned I can call Verizon and they'll unlock the phone, then I can insert a mini SIM I buy in Norway.  Also, I'm familiar with how to open the SIM tray, etc.

BUT that's where I get lost.  Although the Internet is full of how-to videos and websites, I'm not finding clear cut answers.  I'll list my questions below in hopes than one of you out there can answer some or all of them. 

1).  Once unlocked, what happens to my stored information with Verizon?  IE:  Contact list, past voicemails and texts?  I realize they won't show up with a foreign SIM card, but will the old information be wiped clean or still on the Verizon SIM card when I get back to the states and re-insert it back into the iPhone?

2)  Can I actually reinsert the original Verizon Sim card back into the phone when I get home then simply call Verizon to re-activate my service again?

3)  When buying a SIM card in Norway, what am I looking for?  (other than a mini card)....But what phone company is good.....what type of service?  HOw does it all work.  Will it give me wifi....or simply 3G or some other connection for calling the United States.  This is where I get lost.  I simply don't understand how cell phones work and how much we should expect to pay per minute.

4)  Can we text using a Norwegian SIM card in an American iPhone 4S? 

5)  What telephone number is used when people back home try to call us....and do they pay anything?  We certainly don't want our loved ones paying to contact us!

I think that's it for now....

HELP anyone?

Thanks,

Sheree

Feel free to reply directly to my email:  Jots4Us@aol.com. I'll probably forget how I got to this forum and therefore never read your wonderful replies!

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Re: How to unlock iPhone 4S for use in Norway...

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1) the new sim card does not wipe the phone clean, just changes the service. Your contacts, etc... I would think are still there. Voicemail may be a different story since with the different sim, you would have a new phone number.

2)Your Verizon service has not been de-activated by replacing the sim card with 1 from Norway. You should just be able to re-insert your Verizon sim when you get home and everything will be normal.

4)Yes, but it will be from the Norwegian number associated with your new card. You will be paying international rates to text to the US.

5)The sim you purchase in Norway will have its own number associated with it. They would have to call THAT number to reach your phone when that SIM is installed. Yes, they will be paying international rates when they call you and you would be paying international rates when you call them.

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Re: How to unlock iPhone 4S for use in Norway...

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rcschnoor wrote:

1) the new sim card does not wipe the phone clean, just changes the service. Your contacts, etc... I would think are still there. Voicemail may be a different story since with the different sim, you would have a new phone number.

2)Your Verizon service has not been de-activated by replacing the sim card with 1 from Norway. You should just be able to re-insert your Verizon sim when you get home and everything will be normal.

4)Yes, but it will be from the Norwegian number associated with your new card. You will be paying international rates to text to the US.

5)The sim you purchase in Norway will have its own number associated with it. They would have to call THAT number to reach your phone when that SIM is installed. Yes, they will be paying international rates when they call you and you would be paying international rates when you call them.

I agree with rcschnoor comments in the main, just not sure about 1.   Many pure GSM phones store all contacts on the SIM card (so they go with you when you move the SIM to another phone), potentially with an option to store on the phone, whereas Verizon phones without a SIM card store contacts on the phone (as there is no alternative!).  Probably the iPhone 4 stores on the phone.  But in either case, once you put the Verizon sim back in, your contacts will be there.

The other point about 4 and 5: yes, you will pay international rates, but with a good SIM these can be very cheap.  (e.g. 6 cents a min from UK to US, versus Verizon's rates of $1.19 per min, don't know about Norway.)

Also, there is cost/convenience trade off:

1) You can activate your Verizon/Vodaphone SIM:  This is the most expensive option, but allows you to keep your old number.  Friends can call you as they do now.

2) You can buy a local SIM.  This is the cheapest option, you will get a new number that you will need to communicate to people, and they will pay to call you.  You also need to purchase it there, which may or may not be a hassle!

3) You can buy a local SIM before you leave, from a company such as: http://www.onesimcard.com/cell-phone-rates/norway/

This is more expensive that 2, but you a) have a number before you leave, b) you don't need to buy it after a long plane ride in a foreign country, and c) these services allow you to select a US number for your friends to call so no extra charges for them, and some services allow you to forward your current number, so for your callers nothing changes.  Also you can see all the costs, instead of trying to work out what to get when you are at a store in Norway!

That said, I always go with option 2, but your weighting might be different.  The page I gave indicates some of the major carriers, you have to decide how much calling and data you will be using, and for two weeks only you probably want a pay as you go option rather than any longer contract.

Hope that helps.