Help me chose US carrier

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by yly3, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. yly3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #1
    Hello. I am coming to the states in the near upcoming days and I have an unlocked iphone 5 the european model so LTE is out of question (and don't care for it, it's very area-dependent and rare and HSPA+ is enough for my needs)

    I will be mostly NYC and I want a package with a decent amount of internet since it will help get around a lot. But no carrier plan, something like pay as you go, pre-paid stuff how we call it in Europe.
    At least 1gb of data would be awesome.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    Your best option would be to order a Straight Talk Sim from their website. You get unlimited talk and text with a 2GB soft data cap for $45 per month.

    T-Mobile is your other option. They have an unlimited plan with a 100MB 4G soft cap for $50 or $60 for a 2GB soft cap. They also offer a special plan through Walmart with a 5GB soft data cap and 100 minutes/unlimited text for $30 per month. Only problem is that T-Mobile 3G will be spotty around NYC until they finish refarming their network in a couple months.
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    I'd suggest straight talk too. Can't beat the price and you will get fast data speeds.
     
  4. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #4
    Ok. I want to clarify a thing about Straight Talk it's so confusing.
    So I have the unlocked GSM iPhone 5 European model (I know I can't use LTE and I don't care for it ).

    I want to get into the Bring Your Own Device Program. The "mother" network is AT&T right ? I am aware that for 45$ you can't expect to have amazing internet but I just read this article that seemed a bit outrageous here goes the quote

    " According to the carrier’s terms of service, Straight Talk users cannot stream video and music, watch Youtube, download apps from iTunes."

    Is this for real ? My internet usage will be in priority order Google Maps (points of interest etc), Twitter push notifications for news and very rarely Facebook (only when I am forced to use it in order to contact something/someobe or a POI).
    Whatsapp and calling abroad every once in a while with Skype/Viber
    It will very light usage, I don't use YouTube (got bored of it), stream music (have 80gbs of music in ipod)

    Basically I am using the internet for information and communication, no media consumption.

    But not being able to download apps and such ? WTF

    Anyone with some concrete info ?
     
  5. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    The problem with Straight Talk on AT&T is going to be the fact that Walmart.com does not ship internationally, and the only SIMs available directly through ST's website are the T-Mobile ones.

    I'd suggest Net10 instead. You can buy their SIM pack and airtime cards in store at Bestbuy, and there are many Bestbuy stores in NYC.

    Having said that, the easiest thing for someone coming here on vacation or a short visit with a GSM phone is to go with AT&T or T-Mobile proper. It might cost more, but would be less hassle on your end. Just stop by one of their locations, and let them handle everything for you.
     
  6. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #6
    Yeah. Meanwhile I was thinking of just going AT&T with the 65$ pre-paid GoPhone plan which was just recently introduced. Does it have trully unlimited national voice calls & text ? Or just AT&T network ?
    The only problem would be the 1GB of data "only". I might just go with the extra 1GB for 25$ so I guess 100$ incl taxes.
    Sure it's double than StraightTalk but at least I have a reliable service and (hopefully) I don't get nickled on data.
    I think a trully reliable service is the most important thing after all...
     
  7. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Ordinarily, AT&T will not put an iPhone on their prepaid GoPhone plans.

    They'll probably have you go with one of their individual plans instead with data and messaging services added on -- 450 minutes, unlimited texts, and 3GB data for $90 -- off contract of course.

    T-Mobile has nano SIMs and prepaid plans for the iP5, which might be cheaper. I have no idea what the service would be like with iPhone in NYC though. Others may know.
     
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    Tmobile says their network is iPhone ready in NYC now so your best bet at this point might be to just go into one of their stores and sign up for the $60 plan. Unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data.
     
  9. keitarou macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    #9
    I would go with T-mobile. T-mobile has almost all of the NYC area converted to 1900mhz. Which means you will have HSPA+. I believe if you order online from t-mobile there is a 100min plan with 5GB soft data and unlimited txt for $30 bucks. That's what I would get if you aren't much into talking. The website says great for video chat, streaming music/movies/tv.
     
  10. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #10
    Wow thanks a lot. That sounds like a steal. If it really was 30-ish $ AND the internet would be reliable I might go with that one. How is their overall nation-wide coverage ? I would like to go on a tour in the states near the summer but I will mainly be NYC until then.
     
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #11
    Nationwide you would be fine with voice coverage but for the iPhone you will only see high speed hspa+ in the areas they have reframed which for now is only the major cities. Everywhere else in between will be 2G
     
  12. yly3, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

    yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
  13. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #13
    If you're going to be traveling around, an AT&T-based plan will give you better data. Your best bet is still a Straight Talk or Net10 AT&T SIM. They don't block your account from doing things like downloading apps, but they do throttle your speed if you use a lot of data. Anecdotally, this means 100MB/day or 2GB/month.
     
  14. tgif1386 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    #14
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans

    Unlimited Web & Text with 100 Minutes Talk
    $30per month
    Talk
    100 minutes Text
    Unlimited Web
    Unlimited*
    *First 5GB at up to 4G speeds

    Great for video chat, streaming music/movies/TV, playing online games, and more.

    New activations only. Available exclusively in-store at Walmart, on Walmart.com, and T-Mobile.com.
     
  15. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #15
    The StraightTalk negative reviews kinda put me of. I'm sure for some it is a good deal but I dind't like the idea of bad customer service, and the unpredictability of limiting the bandwith.

    I know AT&T has the best coverage but I think I might go with T-Mobile at least in the beginning and see how it goes down the road.

    I am more than open to other deals, but StraightTalk is (almost) out of question by now.

    ----------

    Oh and are these unlimited text and talk thingy available regardless the US network ?
     
  16. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #16
    That's a good point. You could use T-Mobile while in NYC then maybe switch to AT&T GoPhone for your further travels.
     
  17. tgif1386 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    #17
    And users had reported is a pain to get a nano sim from T-Mobile. So, you may want to do some researches on that too.
     
  18. yly3 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 9, 2011

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