Moving to the US, what carrier to get for an unlocked iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by turbodelta, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. turbodelta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #1
    I've got an unlocked iPhone 5 (bought in a US apple store). Now I need to get a US number with data and minutes, no contract. What's the best option?

    1.Straight Talk - No nano sim available from them (I would have to cut down their normal GSM sim)
    2.T-Mobile, no 3G in the area I would be using it, so it would need to be always on 4G network
    3. At&t? I asked two different shops, they said pay as you go customers can't get data on their phones...

    I need it pretty soon, so I would appreciate any suggestions :)
     
  2. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #2
    U can sign up with regular AT&T service just fine, contract is only required if they sold u a subsidized phone, that's the quickest route.

    AT&T PayGo is expensive compared to MVNO (reseller) plans. Straight Talk is one of the MVNO, but yes, you will be inconvenienced to have to cut your own nano-SIM. There is a way to get AT&T PayGo to do data, but if you are even unwilling to cut a SIM, no point to direct u to more tasks to perform.
     
  3. turbodelta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #3
    I don't mind cutting down a sim, but I just find it ridiculous, after buying an iPhone having to resort to such antics :confused:

    So, if I did go with AT&T what would the best option be?
    What about tmobile? I think I saw that they offer a 70$ unlimited package with bring your own phone formula, but my worry is that I don't know if it is a real 'Unlimited 4G use', because I know that sometimes they would cut you off 4G after 400mb and then make you use Edge since 3G is not up yet...
     
  4. osofast240sx macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #4
    It's unlimited
    $50 500MB high speed
    $60 2G high speed
    $70 unlimited high speed
     
  5. turbodelta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #5
    Ok so 70 for unlimited, and it's pay as you go? Do they give you a nano sim?

    And what about AT&T? I don't know what plan would be similar? Would they also provide a nano sim?
     
  6. macandmercedes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    AT&T service

    AT&T is a good option, consider it.
     
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    AT&T would provide better coverage but a much higher price.

    T-Mobile will offer lower price and unlimited data but if you're not in a refarmed market then you won't have 3G anyway. What city will you be in?
     
  8. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #8
    Yes, 'data' in AT&T $50 Go-plan is only for non-smartphones, if you want data for your iPhone you have to buy a separate data package that's like $40 for 1GB (or something crazy like that).

    I say your best bet is Straighttalk (if you find an AT&T sim) or Net10. Net10 is $45 per month, unlimited talk and text, and 1.5 GB of data on AT&T sim cards. I cut the SIM for Net10 and it works.
     
  9. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    How long are you in the US, a few months? Longer?

    I would say go with ATT. ST has pretty bad CS and data speeds aren't all that great. Better than Edge but I wouldn't say 4G.

    If, however, you are willing to sell your current iPhone and buy the newer on that works on T-Mobile, then I would go with them.
     
  10. sash macrumors 6502a

    sash

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    #10
    Last time I was in the US, I went -- as usual -- to an ATT store to buy a SIM for my iPhone (just voice and texts) and another one for iPad (data). They refused to sell me a SIM for iPhone (I bought a SIM later at T-Mobile). Then they tried to activate my old SIM for the iPad. No activation. They threw it in the trash and gave me a new data SIM. This new SIM got activated. When I came back to Belgium after about 2 months in the US I discovered that I'm being billed for two data plans. Calling ATT, which is a hell of a job. The answer is: since we don't know the number of this first SIM, we can not block it. So they kept billing me for months till I started a legal process against ATT via my bank card company, which eventually stopped this billing and gave me a refund. I didn't get all my money though due to waiting with this procedure for too long.
     
  11. Hendoproof macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    #11
    What about Black Wireless? I've only seen their plans and they didn't seem bad. They have Nano-Sims available and run off of AT&T, but I haven't read any reviews on them.
     
  12. sash macrumors 6502a

    sash

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    #12
    If you are just visiting, ATT won't sell you a SIM for your iPhone.

    T-Mobile was quite interesting for me, as they gave me unlimited voice & text, as ATT used to give, plus unlimited data and free calls to 1 foreign country, which was extremely useful. If you're gonna travel a lot, T-mobile covering is not as good as this of ATT.
     
  13. pnoyblazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #13
    it all depends on what part of the US you are moving to... and check each carrier's coverage in that specific area
     
  14. turbodelta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #14
    thanks for all the answers...

    I'll be located in Florida, near St.Augustine.

    I'll be staying for quite a long time (more than a year)...

    According to TMobiles coverage checker, I should have very good coverage for 3G/4G, but since I know from personal experience that they don't have 3G yet in the area, it's important that I have real 4G if I go with them, otherwise I would go straight to Edge...

    Alternatively to the Tmobile unlimited, would the 2GB internet addon be 2gb 4G data? or is there an initial allowance and then the rest is 2G?

    While if I went with AT&T, it seems that the unlimited talk is $70+$20 for messages and $50 for Unlimited data!!!!! Someones been smoking too much crack :rolleyes: How has there not been a rebellion in the US yet :p

    I don't want to spend more than 50-60 ideally, so I think best option is Tmobile, either initially seeing if 2gb is enough since there is wifi everywhere in the US, and eventually moving up to unlimited data if needed.
     
  15. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    Where are you getting these numbers? AT&T has three individual data packages; $20/300mb; $30/3GB; $50/5GB. The latter two are $10/gb overage, so I am not clear why a person would ever opt to pay the 5GB up front.

    Their cheapest minutes plan, at 450 minutes, 5000 nights and weekends, and rollover is $40/mo. So, the cheapest plan, with a reasonable amount of data, is $70 before taxes and fees. Texting is $20/mo on top of that, however I know a lot of people opt out of that these days because of iMessage and other alternatives. One would have to receive and send a combination of 100 SMS per month in order to break even with the $20 plan.
     
  16. heyitsfez macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #16
    AT&T Gophone does offer nano sims for unlocked iPhone 5s. Since my iPhone 5 uses a different sim card, I took it to an AT&T store and asked them to transfer my account from my old unlocked sony ericsson to the new iPhone. They gave me a brand new nano sim and everything (phone number, sim contacts) transferred over to the nano sim. All for free, walked out of the store happy. I am on the old $1 a day plan, it's since discontinued, but offers me unlimited calls to other gophone subscribers, otherwise calls are .10 a minute and charges me a dollar only on the day I use it. Messages and data can be purchased separately in packages. Otherwise it's .25 and .01 for every message and kb sent.

    As for Data, you just need to install a profile to lets you use data on the gophone network. Just follow this link

    http://www.dargadgetz.com/how-to-use-iphone-5-on-att-gophoneprepaid-with-4g-data-speeds-payasyougo/

    I get now 4G Data on AT&T prepaid but only use it when I need it. As so I have a spare 1GB/$25 plan. Not cheap, but it's the benefit of being grandfathared. Normally AT&T does not allow data to be used on their prepaid services, and the plan that I'm on allows me to buy data without being subject to a monthly fee for service.
     
  17. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #17
    I got the best deal for you currently have the A1428 model:
    - Find something defective about your iPhone 5
    - Get it replaced by a nice genius as you will get AWS....Chances of getting AWS model are highest they have ever been!
    - Get GoSmart Mobile $45 plan with Unlimited Talk, Text and 5GB of Unthrottled Data/month on T-Mobile 1700 AWS HSPA+42Mbps....
    or
    - Get a T-Mobile Prepaid plan...$50-$70 w.e floats your boat with data

    Problem solved
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    I know that if you take an iPhone purchased in the US to an Apple store outside of the US, they will send it to the US and send you back a US phone. If it's the same the other way around, he might not have this option.
     
  19. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #19
    We are talking about Go-phone (prepaid) not the postpaid option. Just checked they lowered their prices from $40 to $25 for 1GB of prepaid data

    Why on earth would someone who already paid for their phone go for $70 or $90 per month plans?
     
  20. turbodelta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #20
    exactly..i think AT&T is out of the question...

    I also don't see the point of returning an iphone and hope for a specific model...

    The model I have now, A1428, would it work with Tmobile lte bands, or only 4g speeds?
     
  21. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #21
    read what I said above...It will not work with T-Mobile 1700 unless you get it replaced.

    ----------

    He will be in USA soon...he bought the iPhone in USA...I'm not seeing the issue...
     
  22. lordofthereef, Apr 30, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013

    lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #22
    Well, because $70 was cheaper than the numbers you were posting, with more data. If data matters more, it's the better offer IMO. TMO is probably the best deal overall, in that they actually still offer unlimited data, however coverage may still be an issue depending on location.

    Also, something i didnt mention preciously, depending on where the OP works, he may get a discount. Plenty of larger corporations offer anywhere from a 8%-30% discount, something unavailable on a prepaid plan. We pay about $105 for two lines sharing 650 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends. One line has unlimited grandfathered data, the other the 3gb plan.

    ----------

    I missed that he purchased the phone in the USA. I thought he had purchased the unlocked phone overseas, hence my response.
     
  23. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030

    AppleFanatic10

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Encino, CA
  24. Prime85 macrumors 6502a

    Prime85

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #24
    You can also get a discount through T-Mobile as well.

    Through my professional organization i get 10% off my T-Mobile bill

    I get 3 lines

    1000minutes
    Unlimited texts
    2Gb unthrottled data each line

    For $103 a month.

    So i am paying about $34 a line which isnt bad at all.
     
  25. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    That's pretty good. Didn't know that. Do they do that with their "uncarrier" plans too?
     

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