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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on taking vacation in Florida and would like to use my unlocked iPhone4 bought in Toronto Canada down in the US.

Can I buy a SIM from AT&T or T-Mobile, etc down there and put in my phone to get voice and data services to do the occasional phone call and data lookup while we are down there? I don't really care if it is 3G speed per se as my Blackberry uses Edge/GPRS and it is okay if this is a restriction of being on the 3G network.

I seem to see this reference to voice and data plans on PrePaid for AT&T (who has exclusive rights to iPhone currently) but the AT&T Corp/store seems to indicate they only do iPhone on contract.
http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...hone-plans.jsp

I came across this but it may be old as far as buying a SIM card and getting a basic voice plan for $15 + data plan for $20 as the data plan is now 100MB rather than unlimited.
http://www.punkradiocast.com/blog/?p=332

I plan on being there for a week and just want to use my unlocked iPhone as "god" Steve Jobs intended.

Can I just buy a MicroSIM from AT&T and get it activated with Voice and Data and just don't tell them it is going in an iPhone which rings in their ears as must be in a contract? Will it just work with voice and data on the prepaid card and can they do this with a SIM card setup or do you have to have a GO Phone? (Man I'm researching this way too much for what it is worth - it should be simple and transparent).

How does one go about getting a SIM card when they travel with an iPad then?

I'm about to say suck it Apple for providing me with an unlocked phone I can't use and AT&T for this exclusivity and contract crap and possibly signing a contract with AT&T to allow this crap.

Is there a way to do this?
 

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Sure, should be easy. Just go into an AT&T store and purchase a microSIM as a prepaid option. They don't need to know what kind of device it's going into.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will they just hand you a SIM card without a phone, etc? From what i could see it looks like they want to use a GO phone perhaps and seems like people have found workarounds, etc. Not sure if the go phone comes with Air Time, etc.
 

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I did this for my Android phone two months ago. They will sell you a SIM card alone. The hassle comes with using a non US credit card. It took me hours to get them to use the Cdn. Visa.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good to know. I was just going to pay cash unless they want to use credit card to charge for future months that you then cancel the contract at the end of the week.

So what I just walk into an AT&T store or Radioshack and say I just want to buy a SIM card for an existing/old phone?

How did you get around the credit card issue?
 

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If you buy a SIM card it won't actually let you do anything, other than use the phone once have a pre-paid card or a plan From what I have been able to tell, it seems no one offers pre-paid cards for data services so you'll probably just have voice.

It is a real pain!
 

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Data usage on the pre-paid plans are a rip-off

I am finding the data usage on the Android phone, while roaming, to be ridiculously expensive. It costs $2 per day for using unlimited calling in the U.S. using the AT&T Pay&Go plan. I have used the phone for about 6 days and $100 pre-paid amount is used up. I do not surf the internet and I do not allow background syncing of any of the apps, other than email. I get 30-50 emails per day and respond to about 10 of them. The data portion has eaten up over $85 of the balance. Finally, I just turned off the data usage and use just the voice. The voice for $2/day is quite reasonable. The credit is good for a year and I get charged $2 when I make my first call of the day.
 

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Are you using the $0.01/KB or $19.99 100MB option for your data roaming? It doesn't seem right - sounds like you have a background app that's chewing up your data.

If you're on the $0.01/KB then $85 = only 8.3MB

I find that when I have the 100MB plan, even over a period of two weeks with the phone on all of the time and syncing mail, casual browsing, and the occasional map, I don't even come close to the 100MB.

Some Go Phone commands (from their site) that you may or may not be aware of to help you track the usage:


  • *777# -You will receive a text message with your balance at no charge.
  • *777*1# - You will receive a text message with your Nights & Weekend minutes balance. This can only be used to check Pay As You Go Nights & Weekend Minutes Feature Package.
  • *777*2# - You will receive a text message with your remaining text messaging and picture/video messaging features available. This can only be used to check Pay As You Go Messaging (text messaging and picture/video messaging ) Feature Package, and does not apply to unlimited feature packages.
  • *777*3# - You will receive a text message with the remaining kilobytes available as part of Data Package. This can only be used to check Pay As You Go Data Package usage, and does not apply to unlimited feature packages.
 

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And to address some of the other posts in this thread:

1) They will just give you a SIM card at any of the AT&T stores for free. No hassles or charge.

2) You can pay cash or use your Canadian credit card. I've done both. The Canadian credit card they have no problems with. The online and automated voice systems want a US zip code but if you talk to a CSR on the phone or pay at a store they'll take it with no delays or problems at all. beanagee1: I don't know why it took you "hours" - I've done it half a dozen times and once you get an actual person involved either at the store or on the phone from Canada, it's been no hassle what so ever.

3) I wouldn't worry about a reoccurring charges at all if you set it up on one of the time-expiry increment dollar amounts. I've never had a problem with that.

4) whitbyterry: (as bolmsted linked to) you can go with either just voice, just data, or both. Completely up to you. For "just data", basically you pick one of the voice plans and activate the phone with it but put $0 on the account. Then add the $19.99 100MB data option. I've done that both in the store and over the phone from Canada (so that the phone will work when you get there).

Overall the whole AT&T SIM card really couldn't be easier. The only thing they could improve on would be taking our CDN credit cards via their online systems.

Actually one more thing they could improve on: if you have an AT&T SIM and you're more than 90 days past the expiration of the plan then the SIM also expires and you have to get a new one. So if you only go once per year you'll need a new SIM every year. It would be better if they kept the SIM numbers in their system for 365 or 720 days past the plan expiration but they don't. After 90 days it comes back with "invalid SIM number".
 

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Has anyone been successful in getting a SIM card and getting it set up on a prepaid plan before you entered the US?

Seems simple enough if you can get one from Amazon and then call AT&T to set everything up before you go. I was thinking of trying it but I am curious to know if any forum members have done this.

Thanks.
 

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Yes, have done that. Previous SIM had expired (the 90 day thing). Had someone in the US go by an AT&T store, grab a SIM (for free) and bring it up to me.

Activated it online. They just need your name, email, and a zipcode (from which they pick you a number). It doesn't really matter what zip you enter as their plans all include nationwide LD. I guess it might matter if you expect people to call you and be in their local calling area. The activation doesn't need an address. Just a ZIP so they can pick a DN for you.

Then had to phone in and speak to a CSR to get some money added to it because the online system doesn't take the Canadian credit cards as I previously mentioned. You could also have someone in the US buy and send you a prepaid card if you don't want to use your credit card.

Did that all from Canada.
 
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