Visiting USA with an iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by dphall, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. dphall macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2009
    Dear all,

    I'll be spending two weeks in California next month. Can I buy a pay as you go SIM to allow me to get 3G access on my iPad without paying roaming charges with my UK SIM? If so, which is the best SIM to get and where's the easiest place to buy it in San Francisco?

    Many thanks,

  2. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Jun 8, 2003
    Yes, you should be able to. The GSM iPad is unlocked for use with different carriers (unlike the iPhone which is generally tied to a specific one). AT&T will be the carrier you want to buy a SIM from, but I'm not sure what their policy is on data-only plans. Does anyone know how this would work? Does AT&T offer data only 3G plans?
  3. NismoRoadster macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2011
    Cerritos, CA
    You can go get one at any AT&T store. I think they charge $25 just for the card. The real AT&T stores will give you one for free. don't go to one thats says authorize seller. You have to activate it for the one month with your credit card. $15 for 250Mb or $25 for 2Gb.
  4. Fliesen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2010
    enjoy California, keep the iPadding to coffee shops and places where there's public wi-fi ;)
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I've heard that San Francisco's AT&T data is horrid. You might be better off sticking with coffee shops and McDonald's restaurants :p
  6. ramases macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I believe you can only do this if you have a credit card with a US registered address, as the activation request checks the zip code and won't accept a UK post code.
  7. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I believe you can get around that by buying a prepaid Visa card, then entering any US address, like the address of your hotel.
  8. pugnut, Apr 21, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

    pugnut macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    Rent a Mi-fi

    I travel a lot and have been using to rent a mi-fi. Works great for me as I have multiple devices. The process is flawless. The cost is about 17.00 per day, but considering your favorable exchange rate and the fact that some hotels charge for access it might be a bargin. You can also get a 10% discount with the first order.
  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    AT&T sells micro-SIM for iPad at $15 (plus sales tax). Not all AT&T store carries this SIM card, so you may want to call ahead or ship it to your hotel.

    Others are correct in saying that AT&T has bad coverage in SF, but it's still usable in most key parts of SF (and better in other parts of Bay Area).

    WiFi coverage is pretty good in SF and Bay Area, so you can probably get by even without 3G (if you don't mind sitting by cafe, McDonalds, or hotels).

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