Please sign in to post.

Iphone 11 Without Carrier- Apps Work?

Hello! I am pretty low tech. My Straight Talk doesn‘t work in Europe. More than anything, I need my SBB app, airline and hotel reservations and a gps.
Will apps like this work anyway?
Thank you!

Posted by
4486 posts

no, apps need a carrier. Unless you can always find wifi and perhaps they would work then, but basically no.

You can either change carriers (permanently or temporarily), or go to T Mobile and get free Euro calling, or buy an unlocked quad band phone and get a SIM card when you get there and re-download the apps.

Straight Time isn't a real provider by the way, they buy and resell airtime from the likes of AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile, Sprint. So perhaps you could move up in their ecosystem to a better plan?

Or ...

Posted by
6788 posts

It's StraightTalk, not StraightTime. My spouse and I have been using them for decades on many iPhones and iPads. As long as you don't need customer service, our experience has been great -- get everything AT&T provides at literally half the cost.

StraightTalk doesn't have any plans that work in Europe (only near-America, eg Mexico and a couple other nearby places).

We always just buy a local SIM upon arrival. Your iPhone 11 would work just fine with one. It's a pretty trivial switch, and a good "first task" to accomplish upon arrival (off the plane, you do the basics: wrap up the official formalities, hit the bathroom, visit the ATM, find a shop selling SIMs, and off you go). Bring a paper clip with you.

You may or many not need cellular service for just accessing reservations, etc, -- you could store those on your phone as PDF or image files -- depends on your actual needs. GPS works without cellular service but for the best experience, connectivity is worth having, and isn't expensive.

PS: What's SBB?

Posted by
14098 posts

PS: What's SBB

SBB is the Swiss train company.

Posted by
6788 posts

Ah, well if THAT's what the OP wants to access, then they will need some connectivity -- wifi is available in many places, but for real (reliable) connectivity, you want a cellular option for when there's no wifi handy.

Posted by
32231 posts

I've found that while WiFi will be able to access rail websites and other travel apps, it's not an ideal solution. Hotel WiFi usually requires a password and not all the systems work well. I've been in some hotels where the WiFi only worked in the lobby. I understand your predicament with Straight Talk service and lack of roaming in Europe. I've found that having a cellular connection provides a lot more flexibility as tickets can be booked "on the go" and arrangements checked while away from WiFi. However cellular roaming isn't cheap.

According to the Straight Talk Terms & Conditions.....

"International roaming is not offered by Straight Talk and is strictly prohibited. Wi-Fi Calling may be available only on phones that are Wi-Fi Calling capable and that have a Wi-Fi Calling enabled SIM card (depending on the Carrier)."

They further state.....

"If you bought or lease a phone from Straight Talk, it will be locked so you can only use it with the Straight Talk network. However, you should be able to request an unlock after 12-months of service."

If you obtained your phone from Straight Talk and have had it over 12 months, it would be a good idea to get it unlocked so that you will have the ability to operate with SIM's from other networks. BTW what type of phone are you using?

If you have an unlocked phone, you have a couple of options.....

  1. Buy a SIM from one of the European networks and use that for the duration of your trip (DON'T lose your home SIM).
  2. Use a SIM from one of the travel phone companies, such as one of these firms - https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/best-international-sim-cards/ OR https://www.cellularabroad.com/ .

You'll need some time to research the different options so that you choose the best one for your needs.

FWIW, I just use the Roam Like Home plan with my home cell network as I need to be accessible on my usual number. It's expensive but in the overall cost of a European trip it's not a big deal.

Good luck!

Posted by
6788 posts

OP's phone is an iPhone (see the thread title). StraightTalk does not/never did/probably never will sell iPhones. So there's nothing they can lock or prohibit.

OP's iPhone 11 is already unlocked and perfectly world-ready. All it needs is to swap in a foreign SIM, available on almost any street wherever the OP is headed (and probably from shops in their arrival airport).

Agree that relying on wifi sucks. Especially when the alternative (getting a local SIM) is so very easy and inexpensive.

Posted by
32231 posts

David, thanks for pointing that out. It was getting late when I posted and I wasn't focusing too well.

periscope, yes, somewhat pricey but so darn convenient!