Travelling to the States - International Sim card/Local Provider?

nevadayz

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Morning fellow forumites,

So im travelling to the States on Fri for 3 weeks, and i need to have access to data(wifi should be available, but data needed for google maps, uber, etc).
I'm on a VC contract, and i know there are some roaming options available, but not sure how it works out.

Would it be simpler for me to get an international sim card? Not sure how readily available they are in SA..
or
Should/Can i get a local sim card from the states and load data/airtime on it?(Sprint/TMobile/Etc)?

TIA.

Cheers
 

froot

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You can buy a sim card on the airport (overseas). It's a lot cheaper than using roaming, especially if you need it for maps.
 

hyperian

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I usually get a T-Mobile SIM once I get there that lasts a month. $50 for unlimited talk and texting in the US, plus unlimited data (first 1GB is at 4G speed). There's a $10 SIM charge on top of that. I think it's actually cheaper now.

I also opted for free international landline calls, which costs an extra $10.

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

derekc

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i would go for local sim option as per above. I paid $65 (ex tax) for the TMobile unlimited voice and text option with 3gb data which is more than enough.
 

whatwhat

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I normally buy the tMobile unlimited data sim, it's around $80 and you get unlimited LTE data.

Saves me buying wifi at hotels, and you can use it for anything like streaming Hulu as well without issue.
 

mercurial

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I usually get a T-Mobile SIM once I get there that lasts a month. $50 for unlimited talk and texting in the US, plus unlimited data (first 1GB is at 4G speed). There's a $10 SIM charge on top of that. I think it's actually cheaper now.

I also opted for free international landline calls, which costs an extra $10.

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

I normally buy the tMobile unlimited data sim, it's around $80 and you get unlimited LTE data.

Saves me buying wifi at hotels, and you can use it for anything like streaming Hulu as well without issue.

Me too.
 

nevadayz

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do any of these packages also offer calls to SA cellphones? or only landlines?
 

nevadayz

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scratch that, i see SA isnt part of the free calls option. only landlines are free here.
 
A

arr0w

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Youtube is your friend[video=youtube;KlO9bYWJlwc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=KlO9bYWJlwc&app=desktop[/video]
 
A

arr0w

Guest
A breakdown of all prepaid options in usa. [video=youtube;4p3HN3ZDiRs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p3HN3ZDiRs&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop[/video]
 

mercurial

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Youtube is your friend[video=youtube;KlO9bYWJlwc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=KlO9bYWJlwc&app=desktop[/video]

Lol. I remember blowing through my data, only to be shaped/throttled :( but to be fair, if you read their terms and conditions, they do mention that.
 

Peder

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scratch that, i see SA isnt part of the free calls option. only landlines are free here.

What does work lekker is Viber, If you have a good Internet connection viber works a charm and its super cheap too.
 

Scooby_Doo

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I usually get a T-Mobile SIM once I get there that lasts a month. $50 for unlimited talk and texting in the US, plus unlimited data (first 1GB is at 4G speed). There's a $10 SIM charge on top of that. I think it's actually cheaper now.

I also opted for free international landline calls, which costs an extra $10.

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


This, its more than enough :)

You can get the SIM at the airport from a vending machine.
 
A

arr0w

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This, its more than enough :)

You can get the SIM at the airport from a vending machine.

From a vending machine? Jesus Americans are efficient. I can imagine a local employee saying : " ooh sorry ser, the stock she has not arrived yet. Ya come tomorrow ne. Sharp"
 

ebendl

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This, its more than enough :)

You can get the SIM at the airport from a vending machine.

I don't know which airport you went to but my experience with buying a SIM in the US in 2012 was horrific. I had to lie and say I have an old Nokia (instead of an iPhone) to get a SIM with decent data.

Had to do it at a store too (eventually bought one at a RadioShack).

I know T-Mobile has been quite aggressive in the states recently, perhaps this is what changed.
 

Mr Feesh

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Be careful where you buy it from, I lived in the states for 6 months about 2 years ago, Big difference with the coverage between the networks. Was on metro pc, $45 for unlimited everything, including data, worked fine in the major centres but in the outlying areas couldn't get anything. Drove from orlando to new orleans, at least half the journey I never had any signal. Friend on AT&T was fine. Would research your specific areas to make sure you're covered.

Also not sure how true it is but I have heard that re-sellers at the airports sometimes charge higher rates then standard when you buy a sim, but ya not sure how true this is. (the story applied to JFK that I heard.)
 
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