Taking UK iPhone 3GS to the US - Options?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dan14, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Dan14 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2009

    I am due to go on holiday to the US (Florida & New York) in the next month. I own a iPhone 3GS which is jailbroken on 02.

    I was looking to get my phone unlocked and to pay an AT&T sim when I was over there to use in order to get cheaper calls/texts than if I was to use my 02 one. However, do AT&T do any sort of web bundle or "bolt on" which I could buy for 1 month on a pay & go sim? If so, how would I go about doing this or would it need to be when I get over there? Will there be any activation issues/requirements?

    Many thanks for any help received.

  2. sahajesh macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2004

    You can order an AT&T prepay SIM off eBay, the sellers also provide a UK number you can call (goes through to AT&T US) to get the SIM activated. AT&T will ask for an IMEI that the SIM will be registered to, I made the mistake of giving them my iPhone IMEI and they said they wouldn't be able to register it as it was a non-US iPhone.

    I called again and gave then the IMEI from my old Nokia N95 and they activated the SIM. Being prepay, the SIM won't work in the UK so at this point, I was unsure if the SIM had actually activated so I called them again a few days before I left and they advised it had been activated.

    When I got to the US, it turned out that I could use free wifi in a few places (basically wherever AT&T had free wifi for their own wireless customers) - I also called them and they added a 100Mb data plan for $20 (much cheaper than roaming!).

    I know the data plan is still valid (see this link http://bit.ly/rp3v3) but not sure if the AT&T wireless is still running for non-contract customers.

    In addition, Starbucks have (or at least had back in April) an offer where if you get a Starbucks prepay card, you get free wifi access in any store - again very useful but please check on their US website.

    Hope this helps.

  3. blehpunk macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005
    Do you happen to have any advice for doing the reverse? I'm in the US with a 3GS and am moving to the UK in January. I don't really need many minutes, as I have no friends in UK yet, but will need data to figure out where I am and where I'm going.
  4. Dan14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2009
    Sahajesh - Thank you very much for your advice, I'll purchase a Pay and Go Sim from eBay, activate it over the phone with my Nokia IMEI and pay $20 for the 100MB data plan. Is that correct?

    Blehpunk - It depends how long you're going for? If you are here for longer than a month, the plan I am on is a rolling 30 day contract where I pay £20 per month for unlimited data, 1000 texts and 1200 minutes. Obviously you wont need this much if you're not a big texter/caller - this one may be more suited for a long-term stay - http://freesim.o2.co.uk/nvBtjrmP - £15 topup a month and unlimited internet, 500 texts.

    Alternatively, you could always purchase an 02 pay & go sim from eBay and pop it straight into your phone (no activation required) and then contact 02 for an unlimited web bolt on for I think £10 last time I checked.

    Have a look and see what suits you best - http://shop.o2.co.uk/tariffs/pay_and_go/sim_only

    Hope this helps.
  5. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2008
    Bracknell UK
    For both the OP and blehpunk:

    The only way that you can use a SIM from another carrier for phonecalls or cellular data is if you unlock the phone first. Jailbreak is not enough. It doesn't matter if the SIM is activated or not, it won't work. The phone is sold locked to your home carrier.

    The good news is that an unlock for the latest baseband is going to be released pretty shortly (blacksn0w). Watch out for news about that on this forum, Hacks section. It will be buzzing once the exploit is finally released.
  6. Dan14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2009
    Yeah I know, I can unlock with Ultrasnow though as my baseband is preserved. Just surveying my options before bothering to do it.

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