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Old 03-08-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
NikeeGoddess
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Default iPhone in the Mideast

i'm technologically-challenged... don't even have a mobile phone. lol! i know. insane, right?!

anyhoo -- i need some info about iPhone service in the Mideast. i have an american woman who is trying to get home from some oppressive country. she makes it to London, but is detained b/c the US put her on the "no-fly" list. but while she's waiting to be sent back she buys an iPhone at a kiosk in the airport.

question: what would she have to do to get internet service in some 3rd world country? can she just pay some service via credit card or what? would she have had to do that when she bought the phone in London?
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #2
christopher jon
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

I'm guessing you mean the Middle East.

My Razor quadband worked like a charm is Kuwait, Afghanistan Turkmenistan, BFE Talibanland etc... many many moons ago.

In Afghanistan I used a local cell provider (roshan) sim card but I was also able to use my t-mobile and att service.

I don't know about an iphone but you can use an android phone with roshan. And really, why would you even want to use an iphone?

Your American woman would be able to buy a cell phone in any middle eastern country. The stores are really easy to find since the logo for Nokia is the same everywhere you go. I'm guessing the squiggly letters say something like IED Detonators sold here.

The only big difference is that most middle eastern and 3rd world countries use pre-paid plans. You buy a sim card and charge it up with talk time.

The middle east is the same as the rest of the world, everybody has a cell phone. Running water and flushing toilets are a different story. Priorities.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

i want her to be able to take pictures, record video, and upload it to to the internet. can you do this with just any phone? that's why i said iPhone, but i'm flexible. i just want to do what works.

how do you "charge it up" with talk time? a credit card? would this be the same with getting internet service?

which phone is best for an IED Detonator?
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

Quote:
i want her to be able to take pictures, record video, and upload it to to the internet. can you do this with just any phone?
Pretty much.

It's actually rare to find a cell phone these days that doesn't do all of that.

Quote:
how do you "charge it up" with talk time? a credit card? would this be the same with getting internet service?
Scratch cards. 25 minutes of talk time or whatever. You can buy them just about anywhere. Call the special number. Type in the code on the card. Very simple. Same as US prepaid phones.

Cell phone data plans (internet) work the same way except your buying gigabytes instead of talk time.

I always paid with cash. I never used my credit/debit card except to withdraw money from ATM's on US/NATO bases. US Dollars and Euros are always accepted and often preferred.

$75-$100 would probably get a cheap smart phone plus talk time and data.

I haven't been overseas in nearly three years and it's been around five years since I was last in the middle east so my information is dated.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
i want her to be able to take pictures, record video, and upload it to to the internet. can you do this with just any phone? that's why i said iPhone, but i'm flexible. i just want to do what works.

how do you "charge it up" with talk time? a credit card? would this be the same with getting internet service?

which phone is best for an IED Detonator?
You can also do this with a good camera (Nikon D90), an EyeFi Wireless SD card, and a WiFi connection (doesn't have to be a cafe; she could be wardriving, chance upon an open wifi source or eat at a wifi-enabled restaurant). Would be a bit harder for your protag, but quite do-able.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

okay, thanks guys. i need the terminology and logistics so that's good.
btw -- she's a woman living in a rural and oppressive regime. not every place is modern (like India & Iran) with internet cafes, restaurants with wi-fi and phone shops around the corner*. she needs to do things on the sly. but i like that seattle sign. i can use that with graffiti markings or some kind of code.

*and isn't Homs (Syria) a modern city? brutal!
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
i'm technologically-challenged... don't even have a mobile phone. lol! i know. insane, right?!

anyhoo -- i need some info about iPhone service in the Mideast. i have an american woman who is trying to get home from some oppressive country. she makes it to London, but is detained b/c the US put her on the "no-fly" list. but while she's waiting to be sent back she buys an iPhone at a kiosk in the airport.

question: what would she have to do to get internet service in some 3rd world country? can she just pay some service via credit card or what? would she have had to do that when she bought the phone in London?

Most Middle Eastern countries use pre-paid cards. I have an international plan with ATT so I use my iphone like normal right now in Afghanistan. I'm only limited to the number of text messages I use and the data plan. You can use a Roshan SIM with a jalbroken Iphone. I also have a Roshan for local calls. Afghanistan has come as long way considering when I came here after 9-11 it was e-mail ( on good days) and good old fashion letter writing.

In Iraq (2007) I used a pre-paid SIM and used it in my ATT phone. In most Middle Eastern countries you can buy a pre-paid SIM and use it on most devices or jailbroken phones. You can pick up one as easily as going to the mall, airport, or souqs.

I've done several deployments to the Middle East (seven) so i'm available for information if needed.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

thanks, GI.
what's "jailbroken"?
they have malls in afghanistan?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

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Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
thanks, GI.
what's "jailbroken"?
they have malls in afghanistan?
No, they have malls in the more Westernized countries. Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, etc. The malls are usually on the high end as well to accommodate the amount of wealth those countries produce via oil and natural gas.

Jailbraking an iphone basically means it can be manipulated at the root level to go beyond the cell phone companies restrictions. So, third party apps are available and the phone can be used on a different network than originally programed. Its also extremely simple so the majority of end users can figure it out.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: iPhone in the Mideast

Quote:
she's a woman living in a rural and oppressive regime. not every place is modern (like India & Iran) with internet cafes, restaurants with wi-fi and phone shops around the corner
You'd be surprised what you'll find.

But like Jeep said, ask questions if you have them.
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