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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 136211 18-Nov-2013 23:45
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I'm going to Hawaii pretty soon and am wondering what carrier would be best? We'll only really need two SIMs and for simplicity sakes they'll be on 900/2100 3G handsets. Also we'd only need a minimal amount of calls and texts. I've had a look at some carriers but I figure I've managed to skip the cheapest one

Also any travel tips for Hawaii are welcome

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 937467 19-Nov-2013 18:37
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Anyone?

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  Reply # 937470 19-Nov-2013 18:55
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P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Anyone?


Never been there but they have the usual companies you find in the States so the choices would be AT&T or T-Mobile

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 937671 20-Nov-2013 07:43
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No US networks use the 900 or 2100 bands so you'll firstly need to establish what your phone supports before deciding on a network. You'll need either 850, AWS (1700/2100) or 1900 support to roam on a network over there.

T-Mobile have $2 and $3 per day unlimited plans but like most US networks the performance is very average.

I just roamed using Vodafone with a data pack last time I went to Hawaii earlier in the year, and used T-Mobile in the US last month when I needed more than 200MB of data over a week.



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  Reply # 937695 20-Nov-2013 08:43
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T-Mobile is who I have used my last 4 visits. As Sbiddle said don't expect mind blowing speeds.

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  Reply # 937705 20-Nov-2013 09:13
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First thing though is to determine what bands your phone supports. This will determine what network(s) you can use.



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  Reply # 937709 20-Nov-2013 09:30
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Phones will most likely be a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Ace Plus. So 850/900/2100 and 900/2100 3G. We really don't care about data, so 2G seems a given which is fine. So it appears like Tmobile would be the best? Using a combination of the 30mins topup bonus, casual use and the $2/day pack?

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  Reply # 937713 20-Nov-2013 09:32
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P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Phones will most likely be a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Ace Plus. So 850/900/2100 and 900/2100 3G. We really don't care about data, so 2G seems a given which is fine. So it appears like Tmobile would be the best? Using a combination of the 30mins topup bonus, casual use and the $2/day pack?


Seems like it. 


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  Reply # 937731 20-Nov-2013 09:39
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P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Phones will most likely be a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Ace Plus. So 850/900/2100 and 900/2100 3G. We really don't care about data, so 2G seems a given which is fine. So it appears like Tmobile would be the best? Using a combination of the 30mins topup bonus, casual use and the $2/day pack?


You really need to work out the bands first. What you're posting isn't correct.

A 900/2100 only device is useless as neither frequency is used there, but very few phones are 900/2100 only. They will normally support AWS or 1900 on top depending on the variant.

A NZ S3 for example doesn't do AWS so that rules out T-Mobile unless Hawaii has had the new 1900 HSPA+ network deployed.

All those phones are going to support 850 GSM so if you don't require data your best bet may be AT&T if they still have 850Mhz GSM running in Hawaii.

Personally I'd just roam over there if data isn't required, its a lot simpler because you really need to do your homework first on your devices and bands.

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  Reply # 937732 20-Nov-2013 09:40
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sbiddle:
P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Phones will most likely be a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Ace Plus. So 850/900/2100 and 900/2100 3G. We really don't care about data, so 2G seems a given which is fine. So it appears like Tmobile would be the best? Using a combination of the 30mins topup bonus, casual use and the $2/day pack?


You really need to work out the bands first. What you're posting isn't correct.

A 900/2100 only device is useless as neither frequency is used there, but very few phones are 900/2100 only. They will normally support AWS or 1900 on top depending on the variant.

A NZ S3 for example doesn't do AWS so that rules out T-Mobile unless Hawaii has had the new 1900 HSPA+ network deployed.

All those phones are going to support 850 GSM so if you don't require data your best bet may be AT&T. Personally I'd just roam over there if data isn't required, its a lot simpler.


I took my S3 to Hawaii and LA, Vegas and all worked fine with calls and Data on T-Mobile

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  Reply # 937733 20-Nov-2013 09:42
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networkn:
sbiddle:
P1n3apqlExpr3ss: Phones will most likely be a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4 and a Galaxy Ace Plus. So 850/900/2100 and 900/2100 3G. We really don't care about data, so 2G seems a given which is fine. So it appears like Tmobile would be the best? Using a combination of the 30mins topup bonus, casual use and the $2/day pack?


You really need to work out the bands first. What you're posting isn't correct.

A 900/2100 only device is useless as neither frequency is used there, but very few phones are 900/2100 only. They will normally support AWS or 1900 on top depending on the variant.

A NZ S3 for example doesn't do AWS so that rules out T-Mobile unless Hawaii has had the new 1900 HSPA+ network deployed.

All those phones are going to support 850 GSM so if you don't require data your best bet may be AT&T. Personally I'd just roam over there if data isn't required, its a lot simpler.


I took my S3 to Hawaii and LA, Vegas and all worked fine with calls and Data on T-Mobile


Yip all 3 cities have the new 1900 network in place. It's still very patchy in parts while they still roll out the 1900 and decommission the 3G on the AWS band which is being used for LTE.

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  Reply # 937735 20-Nov-2013 09:54
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I've had good experiences with both T-Mobile and AT&T in Hawaii and as mentioned above they're using 1900mhz to provide 3G (HSPA+) now, though they call it 4G in the US.




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  Reply # 937739 20-Nov-2013 10:00
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paulspain: I've had good experiences with both T-Mobile and AT&T in Hawaii and as mentioned above they're using 1900mhz to provide 3G (HSPA+) now, though they call it 4G in the US.


4G is what they call their LTE network which is the same as we call it here.

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  Reply # 937789 20-Nov-2013 10:54
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They call their 3.5G network 4G over there. Confusion & marketing go hand in hand

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  Reply # 937797 20-Nov-2013 11:13
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I always use TMO when I am there on my GN. It works fine on 1900 in the SF Bay Area, LA and Las Vegas.

I use the same SIM always which I keep active and it's on the $30/month PAYG plan with unlimited data (well first 5GB at 4G they say), unlimited texts and 100 minutes.  I only keep a few dollars on it and top up when I am over there.

The minutes can be an issue with inbound calls being counted also but I use Google Voice and route all calls over 3G to save on minutes.

TMO seems to have a sale on at the moment for SIM cards. They are free.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-phone/T-Mobile-Prepaid-SIM-Activation-Kit-No-Annual-Contract

It's pretty hard to buy the $30/month plan but this is one way via Walmart. And that is e-mail delivery.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tmobile-30-Wireless-Airtime-Card/15443357?action=product_interest&action_type=title&placement_id=irs_middle&strategy=PWVUB&visitor_id=55336926094&category=0%3A1105910%3A1072335%3A1097404&client_guid=d3b907ca-8854-4be4-b2e8-381b2812c686&config_id=0&parent_item_id=24099996&guid=c211abc6-49ec-4ef5-8bc4-8ed8a0bb0965&bucket_id=irsbucketdefault&findingMethod=p13n

I have bought the plan over the phone with TMO but that took nearly 20 minutes of being on the phone, being bounced around from call centre to call centre and hearing their Welcome to T-Mobile jingle so many times!




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 

Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount


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