Travelling to the US: Can I get a short term nano SIM & data plan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ipedro, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I have an unlocked iPhone 5 in Canada. I'll be traveling to NYC in a few weeks and have a few questions for our fellow US iPhone owners.

    1 - Which providers will work? I know my iPhone 5 is compatible with AT&T. Which other ones work? I know there's at least one provider that needs its own iPhone model.

    2 - Can I buy a short term data only plan? What are they called?

    3 - Are there enough nano SIMs out there now? I recall there being a shortage at launch.

    Thanks in advance for your help :)
     
  2. solo118 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #2
    You can get at&t prepaid and cut the sim card
     
  3. Cubeeless macrumors regular

    Cubeeless

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    #3
    AT&T does not allow iPhones with prepaid card on their network
     
  4. solo118 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #4
    Didnt know that, what a bummer. How about Tmobile? I am just not sure if 3G will work on it. A friend has a 4S with Tmobile and its still on Edge
     
  5. satchow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #5
    1 - TMobile (Edge only) and Straighttalk (Walmart, 3G) are your best bets
    2 - No data only plans that I can think of
    3 - TMobile will have nanosims and you can cut down a straighttalk microsim pretty easily from what I hear.
     
  6. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #6
    Not sure how long you're going to be in NY, but I just keep my AT&T sim in my card and turn off data.

    Not sure what your carrier (Rogers?) charges for roaming data and minutes, but if it's going to be a few days or a week trip it's might not cost any more than buying a pre-paid local sim would cost.

    Your carrier might even have an international plan you can add.
     
  7. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #7
    That helped. StraightTalk's BYOP program seems to be exactly what I need but if they don't have nano SIMs then I won't try cutting up a micro SIM. I tried doing that and it wasn't quite as easy as it sounds. It didn't work and I ended up going to the Apple store for a free SIM.

    Might it be a good idea to walk into an Apple store in NYC, ask them for a T-mobile nano SIM (free) and then activating it at the store?

    ----------

    Rogers is the biggest ripoff ever and Canadians are submitted to price fixing by the 3 big ones. There is no competition here. An international data roaming plan is pre-historic based on email alone. Not too long ago, I checked their data roaming plans and there was one with 10MB.

    ... That's not a typo. :eek:
     
  8. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #8
    That sucks, I usually hit at least 3 different Canadian networks as I enter Canada through Niagara falls to Toronto and usually at least two if I go up from Kingston to Ottawa. Surprised they don't offer cheaper deals with few networks they have there and being on the border.
     
  9. satchow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #9
    The Apple store can't help you with T-Mobile, only Sprint/VZW/ATT. You'll have to go to a T-Mobile store.
     
  10. ccwestcliff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    I use T-Mobile whenever I am in the States for the last 3 years now and it always worked great for me. The have a 2G plan where you only pay 2$ per day and for me that was always sufficient for maps, email and a bit of browsing.

    You can just walk into a T-Mobile store and they should have the nano SIMs.
     
  11. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #11
    I wasn't kidding:

    [​IMG]

    Hey Rogers! 1995 called and they want their data plans back!
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    That's not bad. Just this August, AT&T wanted $200 for 200MB.

    This of course changed, in September to now $120 for 800MB, but it's still very expensive.
     
  13. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #13
    I think T-Mobile and Straight Talk are your best bets, IMO.

    Just as a FYI, Straight Talk uses AT&T's network. I have been using them for over 3 months with my 4S, and it works perfectly.
     
  14. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #14
    Thank you. I think that might work. Apple Maps uses very little data. Once it downloads the city map, it seems to cache that. I'll just need internet for when I click on points of interest. I do want to do some Tweeting and Instagraming but none of those rely on speed much anyway.

    EDIT: I can't seem to find those $2 a day plans. I'm in the US for 4 days. Does that mean that I only pay $8? That's too good to be true. No activation fee?
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    T-Mobile charges $25 for a nano SIM if you're activating the $2 pay per day; if you do the $50 pay per month unlimited, then it's free (with paid $50 plan).
     
  16. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #16
    Does Straight Talk have nano SIMs? Another poster above seems to think I'd have to cut a Micro SIM.

    ----------

    I think I'll go with that. I'll just walk into a t-mobile store at the airport and be done with it.

    Questions about t-mobile's $2 per day:

    1 - Do I have to de-activate it when I leave or do I pay up front for the number of days I want? Is it charged to my CC?

    2 - Can I re-use that SIM card for whenever I go to the States and just turn back the $2 per day plan?
     
  17. ccwestcliff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #17
    Have a look here: http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans

    I bought a micro SIM back in 2010 when I travelled across the States in New York (the start) and yes, I paid a one-off fee of about 10$, I believe. You then buy a top up and I think $10 is the minimum. This top up is valid for 90 days or something (not sure here but it should be somewhere on their website) and yes, you can reuse the card, I did it for the last three years and was in the States at least twice every year so far.

    Coverage is good in the big cities and esp NYC is fantastic. Btw if 2G turns out to be too slow you can also go for 4G at 3$.
     
  18. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #18
    Thanks. Does the AT&T/Rogers iPhone work on t-mobile's LTE? $3 a day is incredible.

    This is exactly why I paid $1000 up front for an unlocked iPhone. Last year alone, I spent $600 on data roaming in Europe. No more...
     
  19. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #19
    That's amazing. That is why I want to send my number to Google voice (when my contract is up) so that I can move around easier and keep the same number. If you have google voice in Canada that would be cool to add your temp number to google voice so you'd still be able to answer your calls.


    $10 for 10 MB that's nuts.
     
  20. ccwestcliff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #20
    The frequencies of the North American iPhones (US / Canada) should be the same, so it should work.

    However, LTE coverage is a different question but I would think that in NYC you should be fine.
     
  21. xA4Hx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    #21
    You can use your iPhone on AT&T prepaid just you can't use your iPhone imie number , just other day I setup a guy iPhone on a cheap AT&T prepaid plan just use another imie. Corp standard response is no you can't
     
  22. travo112 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    VA
  23. xA4Hx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
  24. friendchet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #24
    yes.. they do allow.. I have been using a prepaid ATT micro sim card on my iphone 4. No problems till now.
     
  25. RickyB macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #25
    Would it be worth doing something different and getting a mi-fi device or whatever they're called? That would let you use CDMA providers if that was cheaper. Of course you'd still be roaming for calls.
     

Share This Page