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936 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 261668 9-Dec-2019 20:05
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My wife and I are to the USA (California, Nevada and Utah) for 3 weeks in an RV at Christmas.  My wife can take her work phone for calls home but we have to really limit the amount of data that we use on that phone.


We will mostly be using data for google maps so a couple of gigs would be plenty for the three weeks or so.


Does anyone have any experience with getting a sim in the USA for data?



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Uber Geek

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  # 2371384 9-Dec-2019 20:05
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.


We hope to see you there!


I am the Geekzone Robot and I am here to help. I am from the Internet. I do not interact. Do not expect other replies from me.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 2371390 9-Dec-2019 20:24
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I got a T-Mobile visitor sim for my tablet -- excellent with decent amount of data.  Various companies do the same sort of thing, so best to look at coverage by the mobile companies where you will be.



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  # 2371392 9-Dec-2019 20:26
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I also got a t-mobile SIM in the US about 6 years back and it was very simple with loads of data

BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 2371412 9-Dec-2019 22:14
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Master Geek

  # 2371415 9-Dec-2019 22:17
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I also used a T-Mobile prepay sim. Looked on their website for a prepay plan before I got there, then just went into the store in Glendale with my passport and the person set it all up for me.

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Master Geek

  # 2371438 10-Dec-2019 00:15
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Have recently had 6 weeks in California, 2.5 of which were with an RV, the rest an SUV. Was amazed at the huge areas where there was no signal at all, really you can only guarantee signal in the major towns. As an example, no signal for 3 days of driving through Death Valley, and that included the ‘main’ resort of Furnace Creek (don’t blink or you’ll miss it). So as @freitasm says, offline maps are the way to go. While there, for a bit of fun, I used Google, Here, TomTom Go and OsmAnd. I kept coming back to TomTom as it is the most consistently accurate, both in routing and time estimation. Pretty hopeless for planning in advance and I tended to use Google Maps for that when we had coverage.


But to the original query, I bought a fairly expensive ATT sim (USD100/mth for all you want). T-Mobile is bit cheaper and has the equivalent coverage. However, my research through up the fact that much of T-Mobile’s new cell towers operate on Band 71(600 MHz), a band which our phones did not have. Using ATT there were times I could get a signal when others on T-Mobile had a poor or none, even in the big cities. It was more often that than the other way around.


The other option is to use a NZ overseas roaming pack. E.g. 2Degrees have a $55 option for 2 weeks, 1 GB data, unlimited calls to NZ and US using ATT. But watch out which operator they use and the bands on your phone.


3 weeks to see all of that?? Man, I hope you like long days at the wheel – it’s a huge country. Have fun.

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Master Geek


  # 2371442 10-Dec-2019 03:56
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Last time I was in the US I picked up a Google Fi sim from a best buy. Works incredibly well, and everything is flatrate. $0.20/min anywhere (except when in the US, where it's free), otherwise using wifi calling, Google's rates (usually 1-2c/min). SMS/MMS included, and data is $10/GB. Too easy

Hi! I'm TheoM, but you know that already. I run Linux mirrors in NZ together with 2degrees. Like a mirror added? PM me! | | | Providing Free Mirrors Since Ages Ago™

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