Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

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Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby Lord Talan on Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:57 pm

Hi All,

l am off to the Big Apple early December and trying to plan ahead.

I am getting a little stuck about mobile phones and data packages etc.

I am not going to buy a 'booster' from T-mobile UK (who I am with atm for normal UK use and data etc), as their data packages abroad are just a RIP OFF!!

I have friends and family that have been to the states, but not one of them took their UK phone with them - so they are no help to me. Looking online is not too bad, but some advice conflicts.

So....

Have any of you from Europe been across to the USA and took your mobile phone with you, and the did you get yourself a new SIM card for when you were over there? (ie. you didn't get boosters on your current SIM).

My phone will be an unlocked quad band and I think the frequencies match what I need. I can take a physical paper map with me to NYC, but I really want to be able to use google maps over there on my phone - hence me mentioning data here, and not actual phone calls.

I have a sim package in mind that includes 200MB per day of data (slows down if I go over 200MB, I don't get charged extra, it's all pre-paid), $10 credit all in for £26 (ie. the sim delivered and pre-activated with $10 credit on it - I can top up via a website with another $20 when I am over there), so around £40 all in for a week's worth of data (up to about 1400MB at 3G speed (2G speed if I go over my daily limit), when on tmobile UK boosters I would be lucky to get a piddly 40MB from them for the same money). I'll have some data credit left over, but I won't care.

Please, only people that have been to the states and done something similar (ie bought a sim card specially for their trip) to post here, and let me know what you did?

Thanks

Alan
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Re: Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby ListerofSMEG-2 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:29 am

I've been to the US and data can get VERY expensive. Make sure you turn off roaming and 3G as soon as you board to depart. Stick to wifi hotspots only and you will be ok using your own phone. ( I forgot on one trip to Las Vegas and it cost me £75 for 10 days :S )

If you specifically want data during your stay, I would suggest buying a phone & sim package over there rather than just buying sim packages on their own. (If your regular phone is a micro/nano sim then you will need to buy a new phone). Most Walgreens (chemist chain) stock disposable phones or short 30 day contract phones with 3g access & data packages.

It can be a lot less hassle that trying to find a sim card for your phone on it's own. You may be able to switch sims with your regular phone.
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Re: Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby SkeletalBOB on Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:39 am

If it helps I went across Europe to Poland this summer using my phone as a Sat-Nav, I found that aslong as you only put the data on when you are asking for directions and then shut it off it saves tons of data usage and only sips it when needed, I did however have 30MB a day to use, costing me £3 a day with Orange. I found that after a while the map resolution looked pants, so when i was somewhere that I needed to follow directions in towns a lot, i'd turn on the data briefly and let it download the next little section automatically. This worked a lot better than the first hour in France where I used up my entire 30MB straight away due to leaving it on even though maps didn't need it.

Either way what I'm trying to convey is that Google maps seemed to work great when just sipping data, a little here and there and barely used anything when doing just that. Hope it helps :wink:
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Re: Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby Enigma on Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:57 am

There aren't any decent Data packages in US, certainly not prepaid ones. You don't need data package anyway if you're going to be in NY. Every fast food except for Wendy's has a free wifi, I used to download movies on their wifis. If you're going to stay there longer (1 month) then I would buy phone + $50 unlimited everything from Net10. Don't buy anything prepaid from T-Mobile because they have $70 activation fee.
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Re: Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby Lord Talan on Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Hi

thanks for the replies.

Enigma, there is a fairly decent data package for the US that I can get ahead of getting across there here in the UK:-

https://simcardguru.co.uk/product/sim-cards-for-the-united-states/t-mobile-usa-pay-as-you-go-mobile-phone-sim-card

I can't see anything on there that says I need to pay $70 activation, and the $10 credit you get lasts me 5 days on the 2G package which I'll probably go for, and I should be able to use it straight away for data (and calls) as soon as I land and therefore not need to worry about finding a shop to do this in. Using the Ezetop option I'll top up some more before I go and all my time there is then covered (with possibly some to spare, but I ain't too fussed about that). My fall back will be a 2nd phone with my UK tmobile sim card in and I'll pay their over the top roaming charges if I need to.

I don't want to rely on others - I am planning on doing things for myself, which means I need to be able to directly access the net, not rely on a fast food joint sharing their wifi free for me. Although I will try it out and see if that works.

Any one used this SIM card guru thing linked above?

Cheers

Alan
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Re: Phone, Sim and stuff for NYC....

Postby ListerofSMEG-2 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:46 pm

I've heard of them but not used
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