freitasm:rayonline:freitasm:rayonline: The USA? ... Wow ..
Please explains this comment. I don't know what it means in the context of my reply.
Many of the countries I have visited they have the simcard providers like car rental shops. I expected USA to be like them. Show the passport, sign some papers, pay some money and they give you a simcard. Not very welcoming for tourists or those business travelers who might want to rent phones.
But again for the tourists you may not get it instant (in the USA for eg) but if one travels to the hotels, ask the concergige (sp) they could just pick any local simcard, as they should carry their passports .... While many but I guess the most of all tourists don't use simcards gps on holiday anyway. Most are still making their way to info centers and picking up pamphets and maps.
It is like that in the USA.
You wrote "It is good to hear but those inclined, picking up a simcard at the airport isn't that hard... " and what I said (and you ignored) is that there isn't many mobile shops in airports.
If you land in SFO or LAX from Auckland you won't be able to get a SIM card at the airport because there aren't at shops there selling SIM cards.
If you land in SFO and want an AT&T SIM then you can get on the train, get off on the first station, walk to the mall, get a SIM card (doing exactly what you describe here - show id, get SIM, pay), but this will be at least one hour if you don't miss the train. Hardly something a traveler in transit can bother with.
Once you are at your destination then you can go and find a mobile operator's shop and buy the SIM.
My point is that it's not just "picking up a simcard (sic) at the airport" as you think it is.
I totally agree with freitasm - I had expected to easily pick up a SIM card in the US as I expected them to be as widely available as they were here. We couldn't get them from any store or vendor (or vending machine) at the international airports we passed through.
We were staying in the tourist district in Orlando and again nowhere was I able to find any type of store that carried SIM cards. The closest I got was in a WalMart Mega store where they would have sold me one if I bought a phone... otherwise they would not sell me a SIM.
But you can order them online from all the big US network operators...