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Mobile phones in the US

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christuffa +

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Mobile phones in the US
I'm travelling to the US for a little over a month in August. Will be taking my work iphone with me, and wondering if anyone has any ideas for the best SIM card to get for my trip...I'm travelling all over the place (SF, Colorado, Chicago to New Orleans, NY and Boston) and not in any one place more than the rest, so one with good overall coverage would be best.

I want it mainly for data, and some calls. I know I could just use free wifi places, but don't know how frequent they would be in the middle states where I'll spend most of my time...on the road a lot, in nature, etc. Will need to use phone for GPS too so need 3G everywhere.

Any suggestions?

Cheers
Chris
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You're in for a shock! Mobile telecommunications are still in the dark ages over here - it's only been within the last year that you can even get data on prepaid GSM. Last I checked, the only option is t-mobile's monthly packages. They are basically not-very-good cap plans. It's possible that AT&T have added a competing service, but I doubt it. No-one understands prepaid here and the offerings reflect that. Be aware that these are the only two GSM carriers, so don't even bother looking into Verizon, Sprint, etc. (Verizon actually have a CDMA iPhone )

I don't know how far from the cities you'll be, but you should definitely not expect to get 3G everywhere. Just doesn't exist. Offline map caching is your friend
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Mobile phone reception and data speeds/reliability is rubbish in the US. I go over to Orange County for work and the AT&T mobile service is rubbish at best. I thought Australia was bad.
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wifi is everywhere, every bar, every starbucks.

just use skype
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Tobi +

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Good thread.

Am heading over in a couple of weeks also, a friend who lives there suggested that I get a plan with no contract and then just cancel the plan the day before I leave.

Again, from what I've been told there's no pre-paid with data in NA.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

http://theclimbingcyclist.com/climbs...ark/mt-hotham/

I will run/walk/crawl that in under 7 hours no later than 31DEC14.

Your move, Tobi.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

Hotham is only 30km, I'm planning to do that as one of my long training runs.

phoneyhuh +

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Oh that sucks. I'm leaving next week for a fortnight and was really hoping there'd be prepaid 3g sim cards in convenience stores like there is here. Is it worth signing up for a no contract plan for that amount of time?
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http://www.mrsimcard.com ?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derelict

Rename thread to 'Jrod asks stupid questions, receives good answers, ignores advise'.

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$70 for a 15 day sim? GTFO
retzie +

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I forgot to mention: North American 3G runs on different bands. AT&T's is iPhone compatible, T-Mobile's is not (1900mHz). This means you are stuck with AT&T if you want 3G and don't have an NA-specific phone. Their prepaid deals are under the banner of GoPhone - look, if only to witness extreme fail.

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Originally Posted by Tobi View Post

a friend who lives there suggested that I get a plan with no contract and then just cancel the plan the day before I leave.

Huh, I wonder who/what plan they mean. As far as I know, the only thing like 'no contract' is the monthly plans I posted above. Everything else involves a contract, which means a credit check, which means impossible. (You need a US credit history - nothing anywhere else counts.) The monthly T-Mobile deals would fit the bill, but you'd be stuck without 3G, unless for some reason you have a compatible phone.

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Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

$70 for a 15 day sim? GTFO

Sounds like the best (only?) option...
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Can you walk into walmart and walk out with one of these pre-paids for 20 - 30 bucks without credit checks etc?
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att and unlock data via hax for iphone.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by phoneyhuh View Post

Can you walk into walmart and walk out with one of these pre-paids for 20 - 30 bucks without credit checks etc?

Yeah, all of the genuine prepaids won't require a credit check. If you just need to keep in touch, then a cheapy dumb phone is as easy as anything. Be careful with the CDMA ones, though, since they are regional and won't necessarily work in multiple states. You could also bring along an unlocked phone and get a prepaid SIM if you just want calls/texts - things really only get tricky if you want data.

(Having said that, the first place I lived here, an AT&T SIM wouldn't work in an unlocked handset. Apparently, they 'set it up that way' )

Also, when you are looking at bundles/prices, keep in mind that you pay to receive calls and messages as well as send them. It's easy to burn through credit pretty quickly.
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http://www.travelgear.com.au/t-mobil...d-3-34-credit/

I used this when i was in America and got a cap plan $59 for a month plus $10 for unlimited free calls and texts back to Australia.

Was perfect! Even kept number for when i go back in August !
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Quote:

Originally Posted by retzie View Post

Huh, I wonder who/what plan they mean. As far as I know, the only thing like 'no contract' is the monthly plans I posted above. Everything else involves a contract, which means a credit check, which means impossible. (You need a US credit history - nothing anywhere else counts.) The monthly T-Mobile deals would fit the bill, but you'd be stuck without 3G, unless for some reason you have a compatible phone.

No idea, he lives in Canada though so totally different to the US of A.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

http://theclimbingcyclist.com/climbs...ark/mt-hotham/

I will run/walk/crawl that in under 7 hours no later than 31DEC14.

Your move, Tobi.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

Hotham is only 30km, I'm planning to do that as one of my long training runs.

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That said, I was just looking into this and found this site.

http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/Canada

http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/USA


And for Canada it appears Rogers may now offer data only as they brought out Fido.

I'm personally more interested in Canada as that is where I'll be spending most of my time. I'm sure I can survive the 36 hours in San Fran with wifi only.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

http://theclimbingcyclist.com/climbs...ark/mt-hotham/

I will run/walk/crawl that in under 7 hours no later than 31DEC14.

Your move, Tobi.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astro-Boy View Post

Hotham is only 30km, I'm planning to do that as one of my long training runs.

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Honestly, if you're going to try to use the phone for a GPS just go to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or Sam's Club and buy a GPS. They aren't that expensive and the cellphone service isn't the most reliable and it isn't guaranteed you'll have 3G everywhere you go. Some of those backroads of Louisiana don't even have cellphone service .

AT&T has prepaid offers, just go into one of their stores and talk to them about the best plan and get them to set you up. I paid $50 for the month in December and got this.

All nationwide calls Unlimited
Text Messages Nationwide Unlimited
Text to Mexico, Canada & 100 countries Unlimited
Data/mobile Web browsing* (on eligible phones) Unlimited

I think you have to pay extra for data but it was only $25 for 1gb so not too bad considering it's prepaid in the US.

http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...equestid=65896
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Since when do you need 3G to use GPS? Get an offline app. Preload maps.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kellyboop View Post

Honestly, if you're going to try to use the phone for a GPS just go to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or Sam's Club and buy a GPS. They aren't that expensive and the cellphone service isn't the most reliable and it isn't guaranteed you'll have 3G everywhere you go. Some of those backroads of Louisiana don't even have cellphone service .

AT&T has prepaid offers, just go into one of their stores and talk to them about the best plan and get them to set you up. I paid $50 for the month in December and got this.

All nationwide calls Unlimited
Text Messages Nationwide Unlimited
Text to Mexico, Canada & 100 countries Unlimited
Data/mobile Web browsing��* (on eligible phones) Unlimited

I think you have to pay extra for data but it was only $25 for 1gb so not too bad considering it's prepaid in the US.

http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...equestid=65896

AT&T also sell self-branded pre-paid smartphones to allow you to use the data service if your phone isn't compatible (which mine wasn't both times I travelled).
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Quote:

Originally Posted by dAvoZ View Post

Since when do you need 3G to use GPS? Get an offline app. Preload maps.

Or this
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nortie_gess View Post

http://www.travelgear.com.au/t-mobil...d-3-34-credit/

I used this when i was in America and got a cap plan $59 for a month plus $10 for unlimited free calls and texts back to Australia.

Was perfect! Even kept number for when i go back in August !

This looks like the way to go if data isn't a big issue. I presume there were no issues with calls or text running the sim in an iPhone?

Can anyone else recommend any other carriers if data isn't a real need. Will only be using the phone for text and calls, but would like to use my iPhone over there so I can make the most of free wifi when it is available.
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It has data, was only 2g becauSe I got the smaller cap, but I'm going to go for $69 to get extra data because I'm a Facebook junkie
Still got my number from last year ready to use again this year, couldn't recommend it more!
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