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340 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 248149 12-Mar-2019 11:53
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I'll be spending a couple of <2 week stays in the US later this year, and I'll want to have a 4G/LTE data connection (and share it wifi with my other devices) while there.  I'm asking for your recommendations or caveats.




I'll have my S7, which I'll set to Spark roaming, and get some data that way, but not enough (yes, wary of exceeding the limit).


I'll have my Amazon-sourced (so US) Lenovo Tab 4 Plus (TB-8704V), which currently has a Warehouse/2 Degrees sim in it, working well with 4G data.  It doesn't have phone or text capability, but I'm not concerned about that.
I need data on this to share with my phone and win laptop (no sim capability).  The Amazon specs simply say LTE.  GSM Arena says:
2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (TB-8704X/TB-8704N only)
  CDMA 800 & TD-SCDMA - China
3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 38(2600), 40(2300) - Global
  LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) - China


I presume I have the Global version.




T-Mobile, which I have used previously, has a Tourist Plan, but online says that the Tab 4 cannot be used with their network (via IMEI), but I wonder about this.




Do you know of any other providers that might have a Tourist Plan that would work for me?




Or should I take my spare S4, and use that as the wifi source (but T-Mobile says "Bummer" to this IMEI too); or take my old Spark WiFi hotspot (3G) and get a Tourist Sim for that? 
Or even buy a new 4G Spark hotspot and ditto?
Or is there a wifi hotspot I could buy from AliExpress that would do the trick?


All help and education about LTE and 4G appreciated!  I only know enough to know that I could be in trouble!


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2196518 12-Mar-2019 13:45
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T-Mobile have a tourist sim, for $30 - 2GB 4G data, then unlimited,


But I guess its gonna come down to hoe much data you want and at what speeds, 


(mind you, despite what they say on the box, 4G in the US is still no guarantee of speed)



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  Reply # 2196618 12-Mar-2019 16:38
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I currently have a T-Mobile sim with 10gb of data on it which work paid for. not sure what plan it is on or what not but its been great. full 4g and free roaming to Canada and mexico


340 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2197569 13-Mar-2019 22:10
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Thanks for comments so far -- anyone else who can offer some enlightenment?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2197619 13-Mar-2019 23:41
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So. I've had personal experience of the T-Mobile tourist simcards on Samsung S5's and and Apple Iphone 6.  I also posted here prior to going to the USA on family holiday and in looking at the specs, all phones should have worked - albeit some slower transfer rates.


We were in Orlando and the T-Mobile store in the mall basically charge you for the SIM and send you on your way. I hung around and tried to get them all setup and handshaking in store.  I had 3 x S5's and 1 x Apple 6 I was looking to use for 2 weeks. Bought 2 sims at first - after 35 minutes and lots of attempts by most of the salesguys in the store as well as the tech expert manager, they concluded the S5's weren't going to work. Then I walked out of the store and it found a signal and connected. Then dropped..only to partially return on and off.  Tried the 2nd sim in the Apple 6 - about 40 seconds later - full signal, no issues.


Tried for a whole week to get the S5's to pickup a local signal and hold it. Tried all 3 of the handsets and no joy. Apple just worked straight off the bat.  Just be careful that you don't get the same issues with the S7.



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  Reply # 2197634 14-Mar-2019 03:37
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we have a large volume of handsets, 130+ of all different makes and models and there is probably about 5-10% that had issues, most if not all of them were SIM issues not phone ones. phones that didn't work were tried with SIM''s that did and they worked fine, SIMs that didn't work were tried with phones that did and they still didn't work.




some have the slow data issue as you mentioned but that's likely due to the handset and its supported frequencies





340 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 61


  Reply # 2197721 14-Mar-2019 09:26
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Thanks a lot, all -- sounds a bit like a lottery, then.  If nogo, it is good to know, and be able to say, that it could be a SIM issue -- though I doubt they'll listen much.  I'll start with T-Mobile on Market in SF, which hopefully may have better tech support than a mall.


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