Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




68 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


Topic # 173646 31-May-2015 10:15
Send private message

Hi all,

My folks are with Spark On Account plan and are about to go to the States for 21 days. I see Spark only has a $10 per day option ($210 if they were to do that!). They will need data and they will be making the odd call to US numbers.

Is there are better way to do this?

Can they buy a prepaid sim in the US easily? Even better can I arrange that for them before they leave somehow? I really to make it super easy for them.

A.

Create new topic
27673 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 7156

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1314989 31-May-2015 10:23
Send private message

Spark's roaming these days is an exceptionally poor offering - $10 gets you 200MB of data whereas Vodafone's $5 per day which covers all voice, sms and data from your plan.

I always use Vodafone roaming, but as they're on Spark my recommendation would be forget roaming and look at T-Mobile offerings, they used to have $3 day plan which was good value.

Whatever option you use, just be aware of the network bands and whether they have a handset that will be on any use in the US. If you're going to buy a US SIM, your phone will determine that networks(s) you can or can't use. Buying a SIM over there is pretty straight forward, and you'll find them everywhere.





68 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1314994 31-May-2015 10:28
Send private message

Awesome thanks Steve, will look into that $3 option. They have an iPhone 5.

Damn, thats a shame about vodafone as $5 would have been great. Is there anyway they can buy a vodafone prepaid sim here and get a similar roaming deal?

 
 
 
 


5112 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1422

Trusted
Microsoft

  Reply # 1314996 31-May-2015 10:34
One person supports this post
Send private message

port the number over to a Vodafone On Account plan?

1593 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 632


  Reply # 1315082 31-May-2015 13:22
Send private message

If you look on ebay you can buy a T-mobile sim with the $70 unlimited everything (including overseas calls!) plan for just $20, shipped to their hotel.

Note though T-mobile only works in the big cities, if you're going rural you'll want AT&T or Verizon. (You'll most probably need to get a new phone in Walmart or something for Verizon.)



68 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1315112 31-May-2015 14:23
Send private message

Whoa, that sounds great DarkShadow! Is that legit deal via T Mobile or do these Sims come via dodgy sources? Do you have a link to the you were referring to on ebay? I had a look at a few of those deals and they look a bit dodgy... 

They are only going to San Fran and New York so no rural issues there. 

4349 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 997


  Reply # 1315168 31-May-2015 16:20
Send private message

T-mobile has good rural coverage. I used it near Sheridan, Illinois (basically in the middle of nowhere) and got a great signal.

1593 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 632


  Reply # 1315169 31-May-2015 16:27
Send private message

These are sold by TMobile dealers as a promo, from the second month onward you'll pay full price. But since you're not using it for more than one month it's fine.

You call the dealer to activate the card. It so happens that my dealer's call center broke at the moment I wanted to call so I had to wait an extra half hour to have it sorted out. After that it works perfectly. It is slightly more work than just buying a SIM when you land but it's such a great deal. It's real unlimited too, unlike so many other American "unlimited" plans where you get throttled after a few GBs.

It seems the dealer that sold mine isn't selling anymore, just take standard precautions when buying online, look for sellers with good feedback etc.



68 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 1315339 1-Jun-2015 09:48
Send private message

Thanks for that info. If it was me going, I'd definitely choose that option, but I need to make this process super simple for my folks.

Even though its a bit more cost, I might just opt for buying a Sim online from T-Mobile and getting it shipped to their hotel in San Fran. Looking at this option below, it looks like its $3 per month and them I could get them to sign up for the $10 per week plan when they activate the Sim.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-as-you-go

Remembering they have an iPhone 5, and that when I pay for the Sim and subsequent $10 per week plan fee I'd be using a NZ credit card, that should work right?

65 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 17


  Reply # 1315527 1-Jun-2015 14:23
Send private message

When we were in San Francisco last October the T-Mobile store in the big Westfield Shopping Mall on Market Street was offering Tourist Sims with "competitive rates." I didn't check the rates as were heading to Alaska but the store always seemed busy when we passed by. It's on level two.

I have tried AT&T in the past but gave up on them as soon as they realised we were tourists they seem to lose interest up but think that may have changed as their Hawaii store had promo posters up last week. Once again didn't check the rates as our unit had free wifi.

Good luck!

1593 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 632


  Reply # 1315870 2-Jun-2015 08:53
Send private message

Wyvern: 
Remembering they have an iPhone 5, and that when I pay for the Sim and subsequent $10 per week plan fee I'd be using a NZ credit card, that should work right?


Assuming they have the international version, the phone would support 3G on 1900 only. T-Mobile uses both 1700 and 1900 for 3G. I have tried it with a phone that does 1700/1900 and one that is 1900 only. While the 1700/1900 does get 3G in more areas, the 3G coverage for the 1900 phone is still pretty good.

19723 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5940

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1315880 2-Jun-2015 09:06
Send private message

I've used T-Mobile a Lot when in the US and one thing I'd warn you about, we are REALLY spoiled here for Mobile data speeds. It's TERRIBLE there. You can only get 4G (What I'd consider to be 3.5G here) if you have a locked Phone (Doesn't apply to you) so expect your data to be just slightly faster than Dial Up.

My understanding is that if you Roam with VF you get 4G but currently Spark have no 4G available via roaming?




205 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Trusted

  Reply # 1315993 2-Jun-2015 10:50
Send private message

Also Voda do 4G roaming to about 50 countries vs Spark who do 0....

Voda kinda own the roaming with $5 days atm :)

1670 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 905


  Reply # 1316068 2-Jun-2015 11:40
Send private message

Get a 3UK SIM from ebay - a few $
Buy the 10 pound pre-pay package which is similar to NZ $19 packages here
Enjoy free USA roaming

35 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 1316129 2-Jun-2015 12:40
Send private message

I used http://www.prepaidsimcard.org/payg-prepaid-sim-card-usa.html when I went to the US last year.  Not overly cheap to buy, but is fairly easy (SIM is delivered to home, put the SIM in when you arrive/on the plane) and worked fine.  It was a https://goredpocket.com/ SIM which is an AT&T MVNO.

Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Orcon announces new always-on internet service for Small Business
Posted 18-Apr-2019 10:19


Spark Sport prices for Rugby World Cup 2019 announced
Posted 16-Apr-2019 07:58


2degrees launches new unlimited mobile plan
Posted 15-Apr-2019 09:35


Redgate brings together major industry speakers for SQL in the City Summits
Posted 13-Apr-2019 12:35


Exported honey authenticated on Blockchain
Posted 10-Apr-2019 21:19


HPE and Nutanix partner to deliver hybrid cloud as a service
Posted 10-Apr-2019 21:12


Southern Cross and ASN sign contract for Southern Cross NEXT
Posted 10-Apr-2019 21:09


Data security top New Zealand consumer priority when choosing a bank
Posted 10-Apr-2019 21:07


Samsung announces first 8K screens to hit New Zealand
Posted 10-Apr-2019 21:03


New cyber-protection and insurance product for businesses launched in APAC
Posted 10-Apr-2019 20:59


Kiwis ensure streaming is never interrupted by opting for uncapped broadband plans
Posted 7-Apr-2019 09:05


DHL Express introduces new MyDHL+ online portal to make shipping easier
Posted 7-Apr-2019 08:51


RackWare hybrid cloud platform removes barriers to enterprise cloud adoption
Posted 7-Apr-2019 08:50


Top partner named at MYOB High Achievers Awards
Posted 7-Apr-2019 08:48


Great ideas start in Gisborne with hackathon event back for another round
Posted 7-Apr-2019 08:42



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.