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242 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4

  Reply # 856168 15-Jul-2013 22:40
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Tethering is not allowed with the $30 plan. I would've gone with with this for the other phones if not for the fact that you only get 100 mins talk time.
Any phone activity for a new day (voice, text, or data) will trigger the $3 charge. If you have the phone off for the entire day's billing period, then you won't get charged.
You'll get charged if you're roaming. If you have a US number (in the US), you won't get billed if you receive a non-local call. However, it may cost the caller a non-insignificant fee to call you on your US number.
We have number that we roam on (has to be postpaid). I deliberately choose a number for a regular SIM, because I could simply install it into the lightweight non-smart R100 phone we use as a hotline if anyone in NZ needed to contact us. In that instance it costs $1 USD per minute (rounded to nearest minute) for us to receive a call. Because of the free minutes back to NZ, I hang up and call the caller back once they've contacted me. Good postpaid plan (if you wanted cheap roaming), is Vodafone's $10 mobile plan for ex-TC customers, assuming it's even still available.

I'm thankful I opted for the unlimited voice plans - whenever we split up we end up calling each other, and I've also had to make a number of non-family calls for other things (taxis, hotel, stores), in addition to touching base back at home for other things.
Btw, $3/day plan can't have add-ons applied (i.e. international calling, $15 day big data add-on).

All great info, thanks

Will probably end up going for unlimited plans too.  They allow tethering, I assume.

What counts as local calling in the US?  Same state, or same area code?  We will be in CA & NV - will I be ‘roaming in NV?



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 28

  Reply # 857514 16-Jul-2013 17:09
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AKT: Will probably end up going for unlimited plans too.  They allow tethering, I assume.

What counts as local calling in the US?  Same state, or same area code?  We will be in CA & NV - will I be ‘roaming in NV?



I think the cheapest respectable (data cap) prepaid plan that allows tethering is the $60/month one.
The other cheaper ones don't allow tethering.
I think others have may have tried and possibly succeeded with the $30/month plan (in making T-Mobile believe that data is not tethered), but, I didn't want to root our iPhone 5 just for that. Not forgetting the 100 minute calling cap.

Local mobile calls are the same (generally speaking) as they are here in NZ. Any calls within the continental US are "local" (not sure about Hawaii, or US territories), so calls or texts between CA & NV would be free, assuming you signed up for unlimited.

Coverage in LA is mostly good to excellent. Only hitch was when the iPhone 5 couldn't get a signal on the middle floor of the Santa Monica shopping complex. However, 3G coverage still worked, so maybe a "4G" network issue?

4805 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 862495 20-Jul-2013 10:13
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I ordered a T-Mobile SIM from eBay and it arrived yesterday. Cost me US$16.50 ($10 in store in the US - so not bad).

I won't 'activate' it until I'm on the way to the US, as it wont work outside the US anyway.

Also purchased a $10 top up from Walmart online (Pay will PayPal to get around no US credit card restriction) and just has it delivered by email.

So I should be all set to go.

Twitter: ajobbins

658 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 870031 1-Aug-2013 15:07
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Universal studios was hopeless, basically no signal at all on any of our phones.

Disneyland was okay, Outlet mall in Orange was very spotty, and I think I may have encountered network congestion a few times.

Visited Mexico, and I wish we'd simply purchased TelCel SIMs - I refused to pay the extortion prices for hotel Wifi.

In any event, once you have the (T-Mobile) SIMs, and setup the prepaid plan of your choice, topping up - if needed - is as simple as purchasing a T-Mobile prepaid card (it's just a redeemable voucher), and following on-card instructions.

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