UK iPhone User - Data use in the USA

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Pheo, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Pheo macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Hi All,

    Hoping some of the American MacRumors community could advise me here.

    I'm visting DC for 5 days next week. I'm also planning a longer 3 week trip in August.

    I'm just wondering if its worth bothering with a US mobile sim and some kind of data "bolt on" (I'd call it that in the UK - basically PAYG then top up, then choose a bundle - hope that makes sense)

    So my questions are:

    - Int'l GSM iPhone 4S will work on carrier networks (ATT / Tmob etc - clearly not CDMA)
    - In the UK, some providers allow you to get a Pay as you go sim card (Pre-Paid is the term in the US I think), then buy a data pack. Does a similiar product exist, and is it worthwile?

    I suspect the HYATT I'm staying at will have wifi, so its not the end of the world if I don't bother, but was just wondering if there was a good solution keeping in mind I plan a further longer trip later in the year.
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Firstly, bear in mind that your phone is probably locked to your carrier (unless you bought it from the Apple Store as unlocked), therefore another sim may not be an option.

    Personally, I tend to turn off data roaming and rely on the hotel's wifi when I'm in the US.
  3. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2011
  4. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Alternatively (especially if you're likely to be doing this more than once, there's more than one person travelling who would like to use data and/or you want to keep your own SIM card in there for the convenience of retaining your own number) you could buy an unlocked MiFi device and put a US SIM card in there. That's what we did on a recent holiday to NZ: £100(ish) for the MiFi from Amazon and £25 for a preloaded 2Gb data SIM gave mobile data access for 2 people for our whole trip. OK, there was the cost of the MiFi to consider but when I added up the cost of buying hotel wifi for the same period it would have been more expensive even counting that: also, the MiFi let us have data access when out and about as well.
  5. Pheo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    Thanks guys. iPhone is unlocked. Had forgotten the MiFi option but will have another look.

    Hotel has wifi, not sure if it's free or not, so could leave it for this trip
  6. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
  7. Azzin, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

    Azzin macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    That looks perfect for what I want, thanks.

    The only thing is that I can't actually see how to go about buying it... :confused:

    [Edit] - i really need to get my SIM sorted ASAP, as I'm of to NYC on March 18th...
  8. Azzin macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    Ok, so it looks like T-Mobile may be an option for me as they offer a variety of Prepaid options:

    Prepaid Cell Plans | No Contract Cell Phone Plans | T-Mobile

    I'm only there for a week, so their "Unlimited Web & Text" might just do me fine for $30.

    The only thing is, it doesn't appear you can add the "International Unlimited Talk & Text" bundle for $10, as that can only be added to tariffs of $50 & above-and even if I get one of the $50 tariffs, it appears the data is then only 2G, as it says "First 100MB at up to 4G speeds".

    How hard can this be??

    Maybe the answer is to go for the $70 "Monthly 4G" tariff (*First 5 GB at up to 4G speeds) and then add the $10 bundle of international calls so that I can ring home?

    That would come to $80, which is about £50 for the week.

    As I mentioned, I have a Vonage business account that gives me unlimited calls to USA landlines and mobiles, so I think what I can do is just before I take off, leave a message on my 3 voicemail telling people to call me on my Vonage number (normal landline number) and set the Vonage number to divert to my USA SIM number once I get it the next day, so when people ring my Vonage number they will get my in NYC on T-Mob number.

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