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UK based flyer going to USA - need a decent mobile provider

UK based flyer going to USA - need a decent mobile provider

Old Feb 6, 2022, 1:05 pm
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UK based flyer going to USA - need a decent mobile provider

Hi, with o2 at the minute on a tariff that is due to end in the next couple of weeks. As part of my current tariff I get 120 min, 120 text and unlimited data in the USA. As I'm not planning on upgrading my phone, I'd like a sim only deal that has some sort of USA service. I looked at giffgaff but their roaming fees are exorbitant.

Or! I am better off getting my phone unlocked and putting a local sim in it?
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Old Feb 6, 2022, 8:15 pm
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If all you care about is data then you might check Airalo, which does eSIM if your phone supports it. Not sure if they have a physical SIM option.

Else it probably depends where you'll be. Despite our reputation for unfettered capitalism, mobile phones (like many industries) are pretty concentrated. There are 3 national providers, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. They all have coverage nationwide but each has its own coverage holes. T-mobile is probably the easiest to get set up with a prepaid account (you can do it on the app if your phone supports eSIM). Otherwise you can walk into any of their stores and get a SIM.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 5:51 am
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Without your US service requirements it's pretty hard to suggest an appropriate service. What phone do you intend to use? How many minutes, texts and how much data would be sufficient? How long will you require service while in the US?

Your phone will all most certainly need to be unlocked to function on US carriers if it was purchased from O2 as part of a plan at home. What brand and model do you intend to use? It may not have the frequency bands that US carriers use for their best speeds & coverage.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 6:55 am
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I have a Samsung s10+.

I did speak to o2 and they can give me a 2 year contract for 22 a month which still includes the US travel bolt on.

I use about 1gb a day.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer
I have a Samsung s10+.

I did speak to o2 and they can give me a 2 year contract for 22 a month which still includes the US travel bolt on.

I use about 1gb a day.
The phone is probably unlocked anyway (O2 don't lock phones these days). If you're permanently moving to the US, then you're much better off getting a US sim only contract.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
The phone is probably unlocked anyway (O2 don't lock phones these days). If you're permanently moving to the US, then you're much better off getting a US sim only contract.
Exactly. For about $70 a month you can get unlimited voice, text, and data, including calls to Canada, Mexico, and Europe. T Mobile.
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Old Feb 7, 2022, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave
If all you care about is data then you might check Airalo, which does eSIM if your phone supports it. Not sure if they have a physical SIM option.

Else it probably depends where you'll be. Despite our reputation for unfettered capitalism, mobile phones (like many industries) are pretty concentrated. There are 3 national providers, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. They all have coverage nationwide but each has its own coverage holes. T-mobile is probably the easiest to get set up with a prepaid account (you can do it on the app if your phone supports eSIM). Otherwise you can walk into any of their stores and get a SIM.
Keep in mind, that while the US cellular network infrastructure is basically those three (*there are smaller regional telcos, but they aren't recommended) every one of them has a plethora of MVNOs that provide pretty inexpensive service if you go the local SIM route. I'm currently trialing US Mobile as a way to get off Verizon's ridiculously expensive rates (I can get the BETTER data plus unlimited talk and text domestically for less than half what I'm paying to Verizon per line, on the same towers, with the same 4G (or 5G when in range) service and speeds) I've been using that one for about three months now and I'll port both my numbers over just as soon as I've paid off the remaining balance on my wife's phone.

Tom's Guide info on MVNOs may get you started there. When I travel abroad, I always buy a local SIM and then tell people back home to use my Google Plus number to reach me (which I'll get calls once I'm on wifi somewhere), and family gets the number to my local SIM so they can reach me immediately in emergencies.
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Old Feb 10, 2022, 7:16 am
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Does your S10+ allow for dual-SIM slots that you'd be willing to use for just SIMs? At times, it can be possible to have lower costs by having one SIM with a plan for traditional phone calls+texts and a separate SIM with a data-only plan.
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Old Feb 10, 2022, 10:36 am
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Depending on your length of stay in the US, Visible a Verizon prepaid service offers unlimited talk, text and data with 5GB of hotspot. If you join a party pay group, the cost is $25 per month with no commitment beyond the 1st month. Esim is a signup option.

None of your information can be seen by the other party pay group members. Reddit has a subforum dedicated to Visible and party pay groups.
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Old Feb 13, 2022, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
The phone is probably unlocked anyway (O2 don't lock phones these days). If you're permanently moving to the US, then you're much better off getting a US sim only contract.
I am emigrating but my paperwork is taking a very long time to approve. Im not ready to get a sim only deal however, once i am there, it'll be the route I take.

Originally Posted by LondonElite
Exactly. For about $70 a month you can get unlimited voice, text, and data, including calls to Canada, Mexico, and Europe. T Mobile.
Thank you.

Originally Posted by GUWonder
Does your S10+ allow for dual-SIM slots that you'd be willing to use for just SIMs? At times, it can be possible to have lower costs by having one SIM with a plan for traditional phone calls+texts and a separate SIM with a data-only plan.
Not that i am aware.

Originally Posted by TGarza
Depending on your length of stay in the US, Visible a Verizon prepaid service offers unlimited talk, text and data with 5GB of hotspot. If you join a party pay group, the cost is $25 per month with no commitment beyond the 1st month. Esim is a signup option.

None of your information can be seen by the other party pay group members. Reddit has a subforum dedicated to Visible and party pay groups.
I'll look into these guys. I don't mind paying more for a single line and the none contract route seems the best option for me right now. Thanks for the pointer.
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