Author Topic: Options for pay as you go SIM in US  (Read 1888 times)

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Options for pay as you go SIM in US
« on: January 26, 2013, 12:21:19 »
We have a road trip to Florida coming up and I was wondering what experience people have had getting a pay as you go SIM card on AT&T or Tmobile for your unlocked iPhone? I've heard AT&T is tough to get one, and Tmobile for much of their coverage will only get you Edge on an iPhone.

I noticed an AT&T iPhone screenshot of model12's recent trip. Steve, was that yours? Was it pay as you go? What plan? Or were you just data roaming for the webcam.

(Edit, I looked at said pic again and noticed you were on wifi,  oops ::) )

Any other tips?

--Daryl of DCMG
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 12:54:44 by dcmg »


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Re: Options for pay as you go SIM in US
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 13:17:00 »
We recently drove down to Orlando and we bought an american pay as you go phone.  We picked up a tracfone at Target for $20 and that came with 10 minutes of airtime, and then you can put more airtime on online for as little as $10.  We bought this because we travel to the states quite a bit, and decided that this was the best direction to go for us.


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Re: Options for pay as you go SIM in US
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 12:18:45 »
We never used data roaming at all, just free wifi. Didn't use the phone either. Just used it as an iTouch for stored cache info.

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Re: Options for pay as you go SIM in US
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 12:52:26 »
You can get phones at Walmart with Data for around 40 dollars for a a weeks service.  Which might work for you, I am planning on getting a pay as you go monthly card with AT&T when I go down next.  Not sure what the logistics are but if I figure it out before you I'll let you know.


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Re: Options for pay as you go SIM in US
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 14:00:30 »
You can get PAYG cards from AT&T (full size SIMs), but as soon as they find out it is for an iPhone, they won't sell one to you. They do not want PAYG on iPhones for some reason. That is the crux of the problem. Even if you somehow get a CSR to sell you one, you then have to mess with the network settings of your phone to get data to work, although I've seen reports of websites that will help with this.

For Tmobile, the only spectrum they had 3G on up until the middle of last year, was incompatible with iphones. iphones on Tmobile would only get 2G/Edge. As part of the deal breakup with AT&T, Tmobile received a bunch of 1900 MHz spectrum from AT&T that is supported by iphones for 3G, and this is what Tmobile is now busy trying to deploy across the country. Many major urban areas have been deployed, but not all. And certainly not all along I81/I95. Tmobile has a great $1, $2, or $3 per day PAYG plan. They want iphones on their network. If I'm in a Walmart or Target on my way down, I might just grab one of these.

FYI, you can check to see reported sightings of 3G on iphones on Tmobile.

I long for the day where picking up a SIM to work in your unlocked phone is as easy in North America as it is in Europe.  :( Sigh ...