I'm traveling overseas and I wish I had a regular iPod touch so that I can just use WiFi to check emails without paying a roaming fee. I have an iPhone with an AT&T sim card. I was wondering if I could remove the sim card and turn it into an iPod touch without having to pay a roaming fee? Does the phone still know it belongs to me even without the sim card?

  • You can turn on WiFi when you are in airplane mode to be able to use a network connection.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 12:27

4 Answers 4


gentmatt's answer is correct, however if you don't need to make phone calls at all you can also just turn on airplane mode. I have done this many times abroad. Turn on airplane mode in settings, then turn wifi back on. Your cellular signal stays off.

  • Never knew that, nice tip for disabling cellular.
    – Gerry
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 9:41
  • I actually do this quite often in the US when I have a reliable wifi connection and 3G isn't letting go fast enough.
    – Richard
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 11:29


You can use your iPhone's Wi-Fi without a SIM card, no matter where you are.

If you still want to be able to make calls, but avoid celluar data (data roaming) you can choose to disable just this feature.

You can get further information from Apple's support website at iPhone and iPad: Using cellular networks while in another country.

If you do not have an international data plan, turn off Cellular Data and/or Data Roaming to avoid data roaming charges:

  • iPhone: Tap Settings > General > Network
  • iPad: Tap Settings > Cellular Data

When data roaming and cellular data are off, you should not see a cellular-network indicator in the status bar.


Yes, you aren't able to text or talk though. Also, you will have the phone on Airplane mode so you don't get any roaming charges.But you are able to use camera and stuff, if you take it off airplane mode then you can connect to wifi.

  • did you read the answer from @Nate
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 13:47

The answer is Yes and No. Yes because WI-Fi can be used without SIM card where there is no authentication reqd. and NO because to use Wi-Fi at airports, railway stations you require authentication where they send one time password(OTP) to start using the Wi-Fi services available.

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