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This might be helpful to Canadians traveling to the US with their 3G iPads (the main reason I bought a 3G version).

To activate an AT&T iPad data plan, you need an AT&T 3G micro-sim and a credit card with a billing address that is served by AT&T - e.g., it can be verified by AT&T's coverage viewer.

I read on a Mac forum that AT&T's coverage viewer appears to validate addresses that can be looked up using the USPS zip code lookup.

http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp

I bought the AT&T 3G micro-sim on eBay and a gift MasterCard from Shopper's. I went to the URL on the back of the card to set the card's name and billing address (to an address that could be found with the USPS tool).

Note, most gift credit cards start charging an monthly admin fee a few months after the card is activated.

I activated a $25/2GB plan over wifi from Canada last week and am using it now from the US. I'm not sure if I'll be able to deactivate after this month and reactivate using the same SIM card the next time I travel.
 

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I posted the same in another thread. I was lucky that my inlaws had a visa card tied to their US winter condo.

When I canceled the plan I think it said that I can sign up for another plan within 30 (or maybe 60) days. I think after that time, I'll need to get another SIM card.

For Rogers, I think you need to re-sign up within 6 months.
 

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Thanks. Good info.
 

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I bought the AT&T 3G micro-sim on eBay and a gift MasterCard from Shopper's. I went to the URL on the back of the card to set the card's name and billing address (to an address that could be found with the USPS tool).
Great info - how much did you pay for the micro-sim? Can you pick these up in retail locations in the US - like an AT&T shop?
 

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A friend of mine in the US picked up the sim card at an att store. It cost $15+tax.

I am still not sure if you need to connect your iPad to iTunes after inserting the att sim card, as was necessary with the Rogers sim. I did this before I left for the US, but I am not certain if any update was downloaded to the iPad. I suspect that the att condig is preloaded on all iPads, but that is just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I paid about $25 on eBay, but it took 2 weeks to ship to Canada via USPS.

I did not need to connect my iPad to iTunes after inserting the AT&T sim.
 

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Anybody know if you can just go to an AT&T store in the US and buy a microSIM?

edit - AT&T appears to sell a replacement micro-SIM on their website for $15.
 

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Don't see why not. But you have to activate the service on your iPad. You'll need a US based credit card to do that.
 

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Don't see why not. But you have to activate the service on your iPad. You'll need a US based credit card to do that.
True but as mentioned above a MasterCard Gift Card (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) should work for that. I used one of these to buy apps on the iPad for the period before the Canadian iPad app store was turned on as I got my original iPad in the US before they were available in Canada.
 

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I just got back from using my iPad in the US and here's a couple notes for people who plan to do so.

The sim wouldn't activate for me until I actually entered AT&T coverage area. I just show as no service outside the US. Once the plane landed and I turned it on it immediately sent me the update message.
As well the vanilla mastercard from Shoppers can't be set to a specific US address, only Canadian postal codes. It appears that they will validate to any US address as far as AT&T is concerned though so this isn't a real issue.
 

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So you entered some random US address when setting the up the service with AT&T that did not match in anyway the address on the Mastercard? (so no address validation is done on the credit card?)
 

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Yes, I just used a friends Address/Phone #. I didn't even set up an address on the mastercard when I discovered it wouldn't let me use a zip code.
 

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Just as an update with this, I was playing around with the vanilla mastercard site because I wanted to use the remaining balance with the US itunes store. It turns out to register a US address you just have to change your language to US English and then it will let you set a zip code.
 

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This is a really long reply but I have read several threads about this and there were always a lot of unanswered questions. This is based on my own personal experience.

I am currently in New York using on the internet using AT&T with my Canadian Ipad 2.
Though there were some problems, here is what you need to do.

1. Go to a Walgreen's or Duane Read pharmacy and buy a Visa Vanilla Gift card. This card is activated at the cash register as soon as it is sold. You do not need to provide any personal information to do this (no name, address and especially no SSN number). I bought a $50 card which cost $55. The card had an expiry date 7 years from now so you won't lose your money.
I went to the Duane Read in Times Square so just across the street is the AT&T store.

2.Go to the AT&T store and say you want a sim for your Ipad. They are very friendly.
They gave me a SIM card for no charge.
I recommend doing everything at the AT&T store. I was able to register my AT&T account without the internet in my hotel room but then ran into a problem and was unable to access my account because I had no internet. There is a free WIFI connection at the AT&T store so if you do everything at the store, you can stay connected to the internet.

3. Once you put the SIM card into the Ipad, the Ipad will search and then give you some bars with AT&T indicated.

4. Go to Settings - Cellular Data - View My Account.
Then you must set up your account. You can use your hotel address and zip.

5. Choose your data plane
In the credit card boxes, use the same name as you used in the account setup and then type in the Vanilla Card number, expiration date and 3 digit code on the back of the card.

Once you submit all this, you should get a window saying that AT&T is trying to update your account. If, after a few minutes, you get another message saying that the update was successful you are ready to go. Note that service may take up to an hour to start once you have successfully updated.

In my case, I got a message saying that the update failed. After much searching, the young woman from AT&T was able to access my account by using my account telephone number (General - Cellular Data - View My Account - Edit My Account to find your number). She was able to see that my card was being refused. She called up VISA, using the number on the back of the card. She went through the automated VISA telephone message sequence and at one point there was a message saying that to use the card at a gas station, you needed to provide your zip code. At this point she dialed in my zip code (the same hotel zip code I used to create my account). I think this was a necessary step because after that, I was able to successfully update my account.

If you monitor your email (using the address you use to create your account), you will see a message from AT&T for each unsuccessful or successful attempt to update your account. Once you get an email saying the update was successful, then stop. You may still get a pop up message saying the update was unsuccessful on the View My Account page but disregard this if your email says otherwise.

Don't forget that it may take up to an hour before service kicks in so don't panic. Also, if you had problems like I had, you need to be connected to the internet to do anything so stay connected at the AT&T store.

My internet seems pretty slow but at least it works.
 

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There is an easier way to do this if you have a Canadian Amex card. It appears that AT&T does not verify that the address that you entered is the official billing address for the credit card for an Amex. Therefore you can use a Canadian Amex and put in any valid US address that is in an AT&T service area. I did that on Sunday with my iPad and AT&T microSIM.

One clarification on point 2 - you need a microSIM card, not a SIM card.

One other option that is a little more expensive upfront. It which may work better is to get an unlocked Myfi type of device. On ebay I purchased a Sierra wireless 754S device for $150. I then put my iPad ST&T microSIM into this device (with an adapter as it takes full size SIMs) and it works. The advantage to this is that you can use up to five devices at once. Therefore if you have an iPhone and an iPad and if your spouse has the same you can get 3G access in the US without paying roaming fees and/or needing an AT&T SIM card for each device.

The other advantage to this option is that you can get LTE speeds if you have an LTE SIM card. And you can use the device at home in Canada with a Rogers SIM or in other countries with SIMs from those countries.

One other use for the Vanilla gift card is that you can use this as a payment method for the US iTunes store which has more apps and other content than the Canadian iTunes store.

I purchased a Visa gift card in the past at Wal-Mart. In order to use it for online purchases you had to register your address at a web site. Perhaps that is why your card failed at first. Do you have the package that came with your Vanilla Visa as it should mention this on the cardboard or on a piece of paper that came with it.
 

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You are correct. Micro-sim. But the people at the AT&T store provide the correct card at any rate.
The Vanilla card is a debit card. It is automatically registered upon purchase at the cash register. No address information is required or requested.
I think my problem was the zip code.
 

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I did the Amex trick too when I activated my AT&T iPad SIM a year and a half ago in Buffalo, NY (and my wife did the same a year ago in San Diego). Use a US mailing address and a Canadian American Express card and all should be well.

I have a $US BMO MasterCard and I'm tempted to find out if I can assign a US mailing address to it as a secondary address. If so, the problem might be able to be solved for once and for all as there are still some US sites that absolutely need a matching address to go with a credit card.
 

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Hi Wayne and PhotoJim,

I am travelling to US for 4 weeks and would like to use at least 250 MB of data. Based on your comments, would the following work for a Galaxy Nexus? I am currently with Rogers.

1. Go to an AT&T store in US.
2. Ask for a normal SIM card for data only (Pay as you go?)
3. Insert the SIM card on Galaxy Nexus.
4. Register AT&T account using US hotel address using WiFi
5. Provide Canadian CostCo AMEX card with US hotel billing address.

Will this work? Since GN is a phone, would AT&T ask me to go on a voice/data plan? I don't mind as long as there is no contract.

Thanks for your help!
Fenton, Vancouver, BC.
 

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Assuming that your phone is unlocked then that should work although I don't know about the Costco Amex as I have a regular Amex.
 
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