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  Reply # 840954 21-Jun-2013 11:48
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pkb:But T-mobile wouldn't allow tethering - at least the option didn't seem enabled in my settings.   I didn't look into it at all though.

They do allow tethering, with restrictions (of course):
T-Mobile Smartphone Hotspot/Tethering T&Cs

It's a lot more visitor/tourist friendly than the AT&T offering.

I'd be tethering a WiFi only iPad. At this point I'm just weighing things up. There'll be WiFi access in the hotel room(s), and I doubt we'll be lugging the iPad out and about that much anyway.
However, if the WiFi is rubbish, then tethering is a nice backup option if needed.



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  Reply # 841021 21-Jun-2013 13:33
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I'm off to New York in August and I'm looking at getting a T-Mobile SIM from eBay before I go.

T-Mobile have a $3/day unlimited plan that is looking very appealing. AT&T is going to cost me ~$50 for 1GB data and some calling, which is valid for a month. But I am only there 7 days, so $3/day works out much better.

I understand that T-Mobile now have 3G in most main places on 1800mhz, and so can be used with many of the newer international smartphones - whereas in the past they had a different network configuration only that wasn't compatible with most international phones.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans




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  Reply # 841022 21-Jun-2013 13:46
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ajobbins: I'm off to New York in August and I'm looking at getting a T-Mobile SIM from eBay before I go.

T-Mobile have a $3/day unlimited plan that is looking very appealing. AT&T is going to cost me ~$50 for 1GB data and some calling, which is valid for a month. But I am only there 7 days, so $3/day works out much better.

I understand that T-Mobile now have 3G in most main places on 1800mhz, and so can be used with many of the newer international smartphones - whereas in the past they had a different network configuration only that wasn't compatible with most international phones.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans


I'm not so sure this is correct. T-mobile operate a GSM and 3G network on 1900 MHz and a 3G and LTE network on 1700 MHz upstream and 2100 MHz downstream. If you have an iPhone 5, you'd need a US model A1428 to operate on T-mobile to get good coverage throughout the US. The ones sold in NZ are A1429 models, compatible with AT&T. I suppose an A1429 could operate on 1900 MHz using T-mobile, but the coverage might not be as extensive as you think.

If you have another kind of phone (and I guess most people do), check the operating frequencies first.

David.





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  Reply # 841028 21-Jun-2013 13:54
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DrCheese:
ajobbins: I'm off to New York in August and I'm looking at getting a T-Mobile SIM from eBay before I go.

T-Mobile have a $3/day unlimited plan that is looking very appealing. AT&T is going to cost me ~$50 for 1GB data and some calling, which is valid for a month. But I am only there 7 days, so $3/day works out much better.

I understand that T-Mobile now have 3G in most main places on 1800mhz, and so can be used with many of the newer international smartphones - whereas in the past they had a different network configuration only that wasn't compatible with most international phones.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans


I'm not so sure this is correct. T-mobile operate a GSM and 3G network on 1900 MHz and a 3G and LTE network on 1700 MHz upstream and 2100 MHz downstream. If you have an iPhone 5, you'd need a US model A1428 to operate on T-mobile to get good coverage throughout the US. The ones sold in NZ are A1429 models, compatible with AT&T. I suppose an A1429 could operate on 1900 MHz using T-mobile, but the coverage might not be as extensive as you think.

If you have another kind of phone (and I guess most people do), check the operating frequencies first.

David.


Sorry, 1900mhz not 1800mhz UMTS. They began rolling this out in 2011.

http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-5736

Edit: T-Mobile call HSPA+ 4G while most of the world considers this a 3G technology.




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  Reply # 841132 21-Jun-2013 15:34
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According to these guys 1900MHz is reasonably well supported - where I'm going anyway.

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  Reply # 842226 24-Jun-2013 11:03
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I came back from the US about a month or so ago. I used a TMO SIM card which was free at the time. I bought two in the end! One my daughter send to me in NZ so I had it when I arrived. The other as a backup, sent to the hotel where I was staying.

I used their $3/day plan with unlimited data and calls since for the 8 days I was there it was cheaper than buying the $30/month plan which while having 100 unlimited data has only 100 minutes of calls.

I used both my phone (Orlando, San Francisco Bay Area) and also tethered my Android tablet with no problem.

The account is still active though I don't know for how long. Not sure if they do the 12 months active process that's done here.

Just to get back on topic, when I ordered the SIM I could have ordered a microSIM for an iPhone or just cut it with a cutting tool I have.






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

 


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  Reply # 842268 24-Jun-2013 11:47
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lchiu7: The account is still active though I don't know for how long. Not sure if they do the 12 months active process that's done here.


Think I read 3 months somewhere. Others (Ie. AT&T are less, I believe)




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  Reply # 842339 24-Jun-2013 13:05
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ajobbins:
lchiu7: The account is still active though I don't know for how long. Not sure if they do the 12 months active process that's done here.


Think I read 3 months somewhere. Others (Ie. AT&T are less, I believe)


I was told 9 months on T-Mobile but AT&T were 3 months from last top-up.

As for the OP's question, I can't for the life of me find where the stores were, even Google maps is not helping jog my memory.

All I know is that AT&T were on one side of the street next to a pharmacy, T-Mobile were the other side in a block of shops with a fresh and easy supermarket and a tobacconist, we were following apple maps so could have been anywhere!

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  Reply # 842360 24-Jun-2013 13:38
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I've set up a Google Voice number, so that I have a number now (and can already get incoming calls on it). When I get to the US and get a SIM, I can just set my GV number to ring whatever number that SIM gets me. And can even set my Android to call out via Google Voice (Over the PSTN not VoIP).

That way I can keep my US number as long as I want, and just get a new SIM each time I go (Not very often)




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  Reply # 842400 24-Jun-2013 14:34
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ajobbins: I've set up a Google Voice number, so that I have a number now (and can already get incoming calls on it). When I get to the US and get a SIM, I can just set my GV number to ring whatever number that SIM gets me. And can even set my Android to call out via Google Voice (Over the PSTN not VoIP).

That way I can keep my US number as long as I want, and just get a new SIM each time I go (Not very often)


That's exactly what I've done. And using Google Voice to call out shows the caller your GV number, not the random cell phone number of the SIM.

As an aside it's relatively easy to get a GV number here but I will leave that as an exercise for the reader:-)




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

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




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  Reply # 843430 24-Jun-2013 16:00
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lchiu7: I came back from the US about a month or so ago. I used a TMO SIM card which was free at the time. I bought two in the end! One my daughter send to me in NZ so I had it when I arrived. The other as a backup, sent to the hotel where I was staying.


Interesting. Did you pre-arrange with the hotel to keep the SIM card for you to pickup on arrival, or were you at the hotel long enough that you ordered when you got there?

Also, who did you order from? (I take it getting one from Wal-mart or a T-Mobile store has strings attached?)

I must confess it's a little confusing the number of ways one can acquire a TMO SIM card.

lchiu7: I used their $3/day plan with unlimited data and calls since for the 8 days I was there it was cheaper than buying the $30/month plan which while having 100 unlimited data has only 100 minutes of calls.


The $3/day plan looks tempting.

Did you have to pay any additional up-front costs as well? (i.e. Activation Kit)

How does it work exactly?
Is it the instant any phone usage (voice/SMS/MMS/data) is registered, then the $3 chunk comes off your phone wallet/bucket?
Just that I'll be outside of the US for part of my trip, so a plan that doesn't charge while I'm not state-side seems like a definite candidate.

lchiu7: I used both my phone (Orlando, San Francisco Bay Area) and also tethered my Android tablet with no problem.


Nice.
So, just to confirm, the 200MB 3G/4G data, is also hotspot data?

lchiu7: The account is still active though I don't know for how long. Not sure if they do the 12 months active process that's done here.

Just to get back on topic, when I ordered the SIM I could have ordered a microSIM for an iPhone or just cut it with a cutting tool I have.


I am planning on buying a nano (cut) SIM from one the T-Mobile or Wal-mart stores. Although, it seems one needs to source them online.

I take it you were using a 4/4S?

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  Reply # 843477 24-Jun-2013 16:59
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I just gave the shipping address of the SIM card as my hotel. The hotel just kept it for me until I arrived. Any good hotel can do that but I did call to check first before I ordered.


I ordered it from TMO directly via their call centre. It's was too hard to do online - they kept on rejecting my credit card even though it's a US one. You might have to use something like a Airpoints card - not sure.

I used their $3/day plan with unlimited data and calls since for the 8 days I was there it was cheaper than buying the $30/month plan which while having 100 unlimited data has only 100 minutes of calls.

As I mentioned the SIM was free since that was the deal at the time. Now I think they charge $10 with free shipping and you can order a regular or microSIM depending on your phone.

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

The way the plan works is, you top up the phone. I did it with the operator or you can buy top up cards in most supermarkets or Radio Shacks. Then as soon as you use the phone on a day, $3 is deducted. I think I put $30 on mine and was there for 8 days and so used $24. I just checked and the SIM still has $6 on it (some 2 months after the trip).

The plans are here

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans


I think so. And remember the 200MB is 4G whatever that means over there. Otherwise it's 3G. They do have 4G but I am not sure if it's LTE or HSPA+. They might count HSPA+ as 3G so it's unlimited basically.

I was using a Galaxy Nexus :-) But it won't make any difference so long as your phone works on the TMO network and the iPhones do fine.

But a local iPhone won't do LTE over there since it will not have the right frequency bands. So you will be HSPA+ most of the time (or just HSPA).




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

 


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https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




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  Reply # 843662 24-Jun-2013 21:58
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lchiu7:
ajobbins: I've set up a Google Voice number, so that I have a number now (and can already get incoming calls on it). When I get to the US and get a SIM, I can just set my GV number to ring whatever number that SIM gets me. And can even set my Android to call out via Google Voice (Over the PSTN not VoIP).

That way I can keep my US number as long as I want, and just get a new SIM each time I go (Not very often)


That's exactly what I've done. And using Google Voice to call out shows the caller your GV number, not the random cell phone number of the SIM.

As an aside it's relatively easy to get a GV number here but I will leave that as an exercise for the reader:-)


I was considering using Viber and Vonage while in the US (Viber for contacts who only use Viber for VoIP).

Is there anything particularly compelling about using Google Voice (over Vonage)?

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  Reply # 843755 25-Jun-2013 07:02
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Please note that I could not find prepaid sim cards at Walmart, Target, Walgreens etc.

Don't bank on being able to get one there.

If you have transport, or are in a large city it wouldn't be an issue, but I had a lot of trouble in Vegas finding a place to get a AT&T sim card. I ended up at the Fashion Mall next to Caesars where there was a mobile phone accessory shop, but they were a rip off!

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  Reply # 843812 25-Jun-2013 09:37
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zaptor:

I was considering using Viber and Vonage while in the US (Viber for contacts who only use Viber for VoIP).

Is there anything particularly compelling about using Google Voice (over Vonage)?


It all depends I guess.

They all do the same thing basically. With Vonage you can call anybody for free (so long as you have 3G or wifi). I think the deal is still on for 3000 minutes free/month.

GV is really US centric but it does allow you to have one number in the US that you can direct to any other. So if you travel frequently to the US and end up with different prepaid SIM cards each time, then you don't need to worry about it - just always provide your GV number and direct calls to the current cellphone number you are using.

It means for your local or US friends/rels who don't use Viber, they can reach you with one number.

I find GV handy in NZ since it means I can send SMS to my daughter in the US for free. She prefers SMS since all her US friends use text and so she only has one place to look for messages and to send them (even though she has a smartphone). And she is on an unlimited text plan.


dickytim: Please note that I could not find prepaid sim cards at Walmart, Target, Walgreens etc.

Don't bank on being able to get one there.

If you have transport, or are in a large city it wouldn't be an issue, but I had a lot of trouble in Vegas finding a place to get a AT&T sim card. I ended up at the Fashion Mall next to Caesars where there was a mobile phone accessory shop, but they were a rip off!


I have never purchased the ATT card in a store - always bought it online with ATT and had it delivered. But I have been able to find TMO cards in the malls. They usually have a booth in the mall (not a store) where you can buy phones and cards. The last time, before they officially supported the iPhone, they even sold me a regular SIM and punched it out for my wife's iPhone!

Anyway if you plan things properly it's easier to buy the SIM from home and have it delivered to your hotel/friend's house.

And if you can't buy the SIM card at Walmart, you can certainly buy the $30/month plan (unlimited data, text and 100 minutes online)

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tmobile-30-Wireless-Airtime-Card/15443357

and have it e-mailed to you.

But interestingly TMO won't sell that to you.




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

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 


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