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Vodafone on iPhone 5S - can't get rid of it

We are in Italy and planned on using iPhone with all data features turned off and rely on wifi. But, we still are connecting to Vodafone. "Carrier automatic" is turned off but it still hooks up to Vodafone. We don't want any surprises when we get home. Does anyone know the deal/problem? Thanks

Posted by
1994 posts

Did you go into settings/cellular/cellular data – and turn cellular data off? That should do it.

Posted by
8 posts

Yes. All cellular data functions are turned off. Thats the problem. there is another function - "carrier" that I can't turn off and it keeps hooking up to Vodafone under the category of "network selection."

Posted by
4171 posts

Did you set up any kind of special discounted phone coverage for the trip with your cellular service provider? Did you just get to Italy? Did you get a message from Vodafone welcoming you?

Somebody correct me here, but I thought Vodafone is a network provider for phone service. Similar to all our landline and cellular providers here, there are many service options.

We were in Italy last fall with data turned off and had no issues upon our return. We were also in Istanbul and Greece and got welcome messages from those countries' carriers as well.

Keep in mind that even if you set up something special for phone service in Italy, you are likely to still have per minute or per text charges that will make your next phone bill higher. Don't be surprised about that.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the reply.
No, we did not get a welcome message.
We have an international package from ATT for emergencies, but they just said to turn off the data functions when we weren't using it.
Still puzzled.

Posted by
4171 posts

We have Verizon, so I only know how we've used their discounted phone call and text options while in Europe.

If you are concerned, you should contact ATT. If your package is for "emergencies" only, that's a permutation that might affect what you can do. I would be more concerned about that and the fact that you didn't get a welcome message than who the carrier is.

If you don't have the documentation for your plan with you, it sounds like you can look it up using your hotel wi-fi. If still confused, and you can call ATT on your plan, you can do that easily in the evening in Italy due to the time difference.

One thing for sure, your phone has to use a carrier of some kind for you to make phone calls. TIM, Vodafone and Wind are the top 3 in Italy.

Posted by
715 posts

I am not a tech wiz on this subject, but which sim card are you using? Vodafone or AT&T?

Posted by
922 posts

You will need to go into airplane mode to "disconnect" from Vodafone. Otherwise, the phone will always search for cell coverage. You may then turn wifi back on and use it for data.

Posted by
8 posts

Stephen - thanks for the reply. I'm trying to find a way around that so we can use only wifi. I just can't figure out why, with all data turned off, I am still connected to a data network. I'm thinking that I'm missing something basic here. Jeff

Posted by
5687 posts

I don't know what it means to "hook up" to a data network on an iPhone. On my Android, when I connect to a cellular network, the name of the network comes up on my phone. That doesn't mean I'm connected to DATA - it just means my phone has connected to that cellular network. I could make/receive voice calls without necessarily being able to use data at all.

When I was in Italy and the T-Mobile SIM in my Android registered "Vodafone" on the phone it didn't mean I had a data connection. But my Android did display "2G" indicating it was on data. If I connected to WiFi, the 2G would fade to grey indicating it is using WiFi, but it would still say "Vodafone." If I turn off data entirely, the "2G" would go away but it would still say "Vodafone."

Posted by
15414 posts

Unless you put it on airplane mode the telephone will connect with the local cell network.
To avoid data roaming, just make sure that data roaming is off (which is the default setting) and cellular data is off. Once that is done, you will be charged by your carrier at home only for telephone calls or messages (both inbound and outbound),
You could also get an Italian SIM card for tourists (TIM Welcome or Vodafone Holiday) which cost only 20€ to 30€ for a month and would allow you to use all your phone features like at home.

Posted by
32244 posts

Jeff,

If I'm reading correctly, your home network is AT&T and you're using a roaming plan with them during travel? If that's the case, your phone may by default use Vodaphone in accordance with the roaming agreements between the two networks. If you switch off cellular data and data roaming, that should prevent any data roaming charges, but you'll still be subject to voice and text charges. If you want to switch all phone functions off and simply use the phone like an iPod for internet access in Wi-Fi areas, place the phone in "Airplane Mode" and then switch the Wi-Fi back on.

I used roaming with my home network this year, and found that it worked well and was a cost effective solution for travel, providing much the same voice, text and data service as at home. As in past years when I've done that, the phone tended to select the strongest network in each country so it was changing networks every so often.

Posted by
7209 posts

Just because it says Vodafone or TIM or any other network in Europe doesn't mean it's using data. Just turn your cell data off and don't worry about it. Be thankful that it connected to Vodafone - that's normal. Without a connection to some network you can't make a phone call.