Questions using iPhone in USA from Europe

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iphonefreak450, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. iphonefreak450 macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2014
    I recently purchased an unlocked iPhone 5S with a T-Mobile SIM card in it in Europe. I am planning to go to the USA (LA area) this Summer for 4 weeks. Now in order to get a local US number while I am there, how would this be accomplished? Will I just need to go into a T-Mobile shop and ask for a SIM with a certain amount of payment charge?
    I assume its a GSM phone since I got it at a local GSM shop there.

    My second question is.

    Here in Europe, whenever I get an unlocked phone, I have no contract. Of course.
    This is the way my credits go as far as Voice and text and I do not use Data only WiFi for internet.

    So, whenever my money has gone down to zero credits, I just go and take it to like a newspaper stand and they add more credit onto my SIM. It depends how much cash I give them. Then I am good to go again for that set amount. Is there anything similar to this payment method in the US?
    So its basically like a "refill" payment, but depends how many times I make Voice calls and Texting.

  2. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Might be a way around it but most iPhone have a data plan tied to it.

    If you go pre-paid, you likely might be able to avoid this.
  3. Idefix macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2012
    tmobile has pre-paid plans:

    they'll want to charge a setup fee...

    the $80/month plan only includes 5 GB tethering, which isn't enough for a month of tethering, if you have a laptop. you can add a cellular ipad to the above for $10/month which will give you additional tethering (but not enough for heavy use.)

    are you going to be using the iphone exclusively for internet access? or are you going to have internet access elsewhere, thru home or business broadband?

    it seems that these tmobile pre-paid plans include unlimited international texting...
  4. rsneekes macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    That's what I did last year and with my dutch unlocked 5S. On our second trip my wife bought a sim from "ready-sim" and used that in her 4S. That ready-sim can be ordered before you go there.

    I just refilled it using their website and a credit card. Because we went two times last year, I just refilled it each 90 days so I could use the same sim card again the second time.
  5. iphonefreak450, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    iphonefreak450 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2014
    Ok, so my trip to USA, what would be the best option for like 4 weeks or even 3 weeks while I am there visiting?
    I only plan to use internet there using Wi-Fi ONLY.
    But I want to have a local USA number while I am there for Voice and Text.

    And, I planning to moving back to the USA in the future taking my current iPhone 5S with me.
    So for that case, I only need Voice/Text and use Wi-Fi only.
    I DO NOT want to do the 2 year contract plan....Forget that...I just want them to give me a SIM with unlimited Voice and Text (without Data) only.
    So for moving there in the USA for good, and taking my iPhone 5S (which I bought from Europe) with me, which plan would be the best with no contract and only unlimited Voice and Text?
    Can I just walk in and they can give me a SIM for that plan?

    Again, I do not need the Data plans as I will use Wi-Fi.

    So can anyone guide me onto what would be the best option on this if I decide to move to the USA?

  6. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA

    Copy that into your browser and scroll down to see the $35 plan. I believe this is exactly what you're looking for. Unlimited talk & text without data. You should be good to go if they'll let you choose this for an iPhone. Sometimes prepaid carriers require you to have at least some data. In that case, I would get the $40 plan with 500mb. If you turn cellular data off in settings on the phone, you'll never use it.

    Note that these plans are no contract. In the US, generally all prepaid plans are no contract, and even T-Mobile's postpaid plans don't have contacts. Americans either bring their own phones or pay a monthly fee for a period of time up to two years to pay for the phone. The whole point of contracts is that you pay a low fee (usually $199 for a smartphone) for the phone to "buy" it, and you're locked into the service for two years to pay the full cost of the phone unless you break contact and pay the ETF. We're slowly moving away from that model thanks to T-Mobile, but AT&T and Verizon are holding onto the old way still.
  7. iphonefreak450, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    iphonefreak450 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2014
    Yep, that's the one I need, is the $35 plan.
    Perfect. Good deal.

    The question is now, will they offer me a SIM card with a US number as I am planning to take my iPhone with me which I purchased from Europe?

    I just do not want to be "locked" in the 2 year contract plan.
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Yes the SIM card has US phone number and it's prepaid so there is no contract. Last I checked you don't even have to use your real name if you don't want to.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The $35 plan should work. If you did want data, Wal-Mart and T-Mobile stores sell starter SIM kits for T-mobile prepaid plans. There is a $30 prepaid plan that has 100 minutes and 5GB of data.

    It would be difficult for you to get a 2 year contract anyway, since they run a credit check to do that. The only option you would have is a prepaid plan.
  10. iphonefreak450 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2014
    Then I will go ahead with the $35 plan. That seems good.
    I just prefer to use Wi-Fi anyways for data/internet.

    Another option for me, is to just walk into a local T-Mobile shop there in the USA and I will have to just explain to them that my iPhone is from Europe with a European T-Mobile SIM. Hopefully they can also provide me good guidance or options in this case.

    Thanks for all the help here.

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