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Advice on using mobile in the US


ed_pete

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My daughter is travelling to the US this summer for around 3 months and I wondered if anyone had any advice on what the best option is for using her phone abroad. She's on Tesco Mobile and their overseas rates are punitive so she needs to get another SIM I think. Any advice on what the best option is ? I've seen a couple of recommendations on the MSE site but wondered if anyone had any direct useful experience that they could pass on.
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Everything is easy in the US.

Cheapest I found was to use my iphone for inbound calls and wifi at restaraunts/libraries/hotels.

For US calls (if you want to use a phone as a .....phone) go to Walmart, Target or similar stores which are everywhere and buy a basic device for $14.99 + a card to top-up on calls.

that's one way. Others on here may have had different experiences.

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Check out Three Mobile's Feel At Home scheme. It's free if you're on a contract or have payg where you have bought a monthly add on. Essentially, it is free roaming calls, texts, and data in the USA. On PAYG you only have to buy a ?10 add on each month to get it. Note though that the free calls and texts are to UK numbers, not local US numbers. But rEceiving calls and texts are free.


If you want to get a local US SIM card, not all of them work in British mobile phones, as they use a different network there (CDMA). One of the few networks that support UK phones (which run on a GSM network) is T-Mobile. You can get a SIM where for $30 a month you get quite a lot of texts, minutes, and data. But you can only get it once you're in the U.S.

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Last time I was working out there, I got a prepaid T-mobile sim off amazon I think (might have been eBay), while I was still in the UK. Meant I could set up my phone ahead of time although think I had to complete the process once I landed. If you do this, use your normal card number, but a US address as your billing address. I used the hotel I was staying at for my first couple of nights. Obviously it shouldn't work, but it does. I then as above, got the something like $30 a month which gave you a month with enough texts, minutes and data to use your phone as you would here. A colleague did the same thing, but just walked into a t-mobile store once we were in the US which to be honest is probably a little less complicated and presumably you could pay in cash or use a card without requiring a local billing address. I lived over there for six years so would echo the advice about checking on network compatibility. Verizon is total no go, can't remember about the others but Tmobile worked fine with an iPhone.
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