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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 199059 2-Aug-2016 21:31
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Hi all, I hope this is the correct place to post.

 

Am off to LA at the end of the month and was just wondering what the best option is to have mobile data on my phone while I'm there. Will mostly be using it to help me get around maps/uber/etc. Does anyone have any recommendations?

 

Thanks!


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  Reply # 1603243 2-Aug-2016 21:55
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How long are you there for?



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  Reply # 1603255 2-Aug-2016 22:10
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11 days


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  Reply # 1603271 2-Aug-2016 23:51
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this seems to be the best options. I'm currently also looking for the same.

 

https://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-international-tourist-plan but I understood t-mobile is not good outside urban areas :(





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  Reply # 1603274 3-Aug-2016 00:45
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That T-Mobile Tourist plan is about NZ$41... What operator you have in NZ? Vodafone does the $5/day so it could be worth depending on how long you staying (you said eleven days, so put in context a trip to the local store to get a SIM, time, etc).

 

If it's a week only I'd go with roaming at $5/day (I think Spark is $10/day but not sure as I haven't checked their site).





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  Reply # 1603288 3-Aug-2016 07:19
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I only ever roam when I'm in the US now. $5 day on Vodafone is a no brainer when it also includes all SMS and calls.

 

The only exception to this would be if data requirements where high such as over a few GB. Buying a local SIM would stack up.

 

Obviously if you're on Spark or 2d then roaming prices will potentially cost a lot more.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1603292 3-Aug-2016 07:34
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$5 daily roaming from VodafoneNZ includes Data and also all calls and SMS in the US and back to New Zealand

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  Reply # 1603300 3-Aug-2016 07:50
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I grabbed a T-mo SIM for data only to share with a group, can't recall exactly the cost or size, but it was more than the data I had on my VF plan hence buying the local SIM. I found the network a bit patchy, when it worked, it worked well. Was a straight forward process to pick up, would probably try AT&T next time.

 

As others have mentioned, it's about what you want it for, for me it was Data only, and plenty of, so local SIM was the choice, for a similar time that you are planning.


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  Reply # 1603302 3-Aug-2016 07:55
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Not long back from a trip to Washington DC. I am on Spark pay monthly, so added their $49 zone 6 roaming package for one month. Didnt use all of it because wifi is everywhere but enough each day to have made it the cheapest option in the end.




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  Reply # 1603303 3-Aug-2016 08:02
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You have a few options as mentioned above

 

  • Roaming (Specifically Vodafone with their $5 a day deal)

  • T-Mobile - If you don't care about Minutes - I would recommend T-Mobiles Walmart Sim (Only available at WalMart and the plan is better then their normal prepaid plans)

     

  • AT&T - Just grab a Go-Phone Sim (You can find these at most convenience stores, Best Buy, even the best buy vending machines at the airports)

     

    • $30 - No Data ($5 per 100MB) - Unlimited Talk/Text in the US - Unlimited International Messaging
    • $40 - Unlimited (First 3GB at 4G) - Unlimited Talk/Text in the US - Unlimited International Messaging
    • $60 - Unlimited (First 6GB at 4G) - Unlimited Talk/Text in the US - Unlimited International Messaging
    • Extra data is $10USD per 1GB
    • https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/gophone-plans.html

 

 

I've used both AT&T and T-Mobile

 

- T-Mobile - Used this in Hawaii and had no problem with 4G coverage, speeds weren't "super fast" but since then I know they have done a lot of work on their network. Only issue was getting to a walmart so that we could get the specific sim as you can't use a normal t-mobile sim on that plan. Coverage around LA looked very promising with it showing 4G almost everywhere (but didn't use it there)

 

- AT&T - Used this multiple times in the past 3 months in Houston, Orlando and Los Angeles - Service was good pretty-much everywhere we went, never had any problems with the data speed. This had far better coverage then Verizon did, especially at some of the bigger areas like Warner Brothers Studios where verizon had almost no service. The only place we did have problems was at the Cheesecake Factory at the Grove, but Verizon also didn't get service there.. so possibly just a black spot.





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  Reply # 1603304 3-Aug-2016 08:03
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If you are going to buy a SIM make sure your phone supports the network you're using. Issues with band support in the US went away for quite a few years but are now back. A lot of low - mid range handsets will not support some of the bands used by US networks (which is why there are 2 models of many phones)

 

T-mobile in particular is an issue with it's refarming of 3G on AWS 1700/2100 to 1900MHz 3G and the reuse of AWS for 4G.

 

 


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  Reply # 1603327 3-Aug-2016 09:07
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I have plans to go to California and then East Coast early next year, including travelling to some National Parks and rural places... not hiking, but not necessarily on main roads. So, just to clarify... 

 

If I was in the US using Vodafone roaming, would the $5/day deal mean I could use my Vodafone contract minutes/data on any US network I could find? Or are there only some networks that Vodafone has agreements with?

 

 


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  Reply # 1603332 3-Aug-2016 09:14
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For your mapping requirements put Here Maps on your phone and download the maps for where you're going before you leave. Here works in offline mode and or outside of data coverage. There's no need to worry about data consumption.




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  Reply # 1603348 3-Aug-2016 09:32
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frankv:

 

If I was in the US using Vodafone roaming, would the $5/day deal mean I could use my Vodafone contract minutes/data on any US network I could find? Or are there only some networks that Vodafone has agreements with?

 

 

Yes your minutes and data work on any networks. Vodafone has roaming steering enabled (this has switched between T-mobile and AT&T in the past, I'm not sure who it prefers at present) but you can override the steering with manual network selection.

 

 


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  Reply # 1603415 3-Aug-2016 10:57
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Depending on your handset, you could try Cricket Wireless which have slightly cheaper plans. They use the AT&T network and they're my go-to option whenever I'm in the US and required a large amount of data.

 

The SIM's are available at (most) Walmart's or from resellers throughout the major centres. There's a store locator on the Circket Wireless website.


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  Reply # 1788462 26-May-2017 03:29
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A new product in the market, AT&T $45 for 6GB and calling texting including Canada and Mexico roaming.

I'm using it now, free SIM from AT&T store, was slow around LAX but fine in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal so far.

https://m.att.com/shopmobile/wireless/plans/voice/sku7420265.html

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