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USA: Pre-paid SIM with data volume

USA: Pre-paid SIM with data volume

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Old Mar 2, 09, 1:23 am
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USA: Pre-paid SIM with data volume

For an upcoming stay in the US I am looking for a pre-paid SIM card to plug into my iPhone (yes, it's netlock-free) to avoid the roaming charges, particularly for data. So the card should include phone-time as well as some data volume (200MB or more). I checked the websites of the big mobile providers but couldn't find anything suitable. Appreciate any pointer.
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Old Mar 2, 09, 3:07 am
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Well I havent contributed for sometime so its nice to do so. Got the same problem for my team and myself when we visit the states in April for the RSA show. The answer is http://www.wireless.att.com and the gophone payugo solution. You can purchase 100mb of data for $20. Expensive by european terms but the best the US market offers. I took delivery this morning of 3 simcards (purchased from ebay) that I will activate online 7 days before we head out there - that way we can firstly qualify for the first recharge bonus and also circulate the phone numbers within the office and friends/wives/boyfriends.

Oh how I wish you could just bang in a tmobile uk sim card like we can and have unlimited pda access for 75c a day
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Old Mar 2, 09, 3:25 am
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Just to add, details can be found under gophone options, its called a feature package

Available Feature Packages:
Messaging
200 - $4.99
1000 - $9.99
Unlimited Messaging - $19.99
Data
1 MB - $4.99
100 MB - $19.99
Night & Weekend Minutes (select plans only)
Unlimited - $19.99
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Old Mar 2, 09, 4:36 am
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Thanks, I had seen these before but it confused me...

Firstly, I can't seem to find an option without a phone. All the options I see include a phone which I don't want.
Secondly, the feature packages mean that I buy the data volume on top of the regular phone volume, is that correct? When I first saw that page, it looked like an either/or choice of either phone or data.

Do you know if I can order to Germany directly from the ATT webpage?

Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old Mar 2, 09, 7:40 am
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Dont think you can order directly. I purchased 3 recently from ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=220312368558) for the same sellers current sales. I have also done this previously, buying on ebay, then activiating online - works a treat, though not quite what we europeans are used to.

While not what we are used to, it works a treat - the real pain is you dont get confirmation sms's till you get to the states as they dont allow roaming with those sim cards
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Old Mar 2, 09, 9:46 am
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Ah, now I got it. Just ordered a SIM via ebay as well.

Thanks a lot for your advice!
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Old Mar 23, 09, 10:15 am
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Did anyone make the above work with the iPhone 3G? After buying an AT&T simcard, failing to get it activated online, I just spent a long time on the phone with AT&T and in the end was told that the iPhone 3G was not "compatible" with their pay as you go plan. So I'd have to use another phone, which defeats the purpose, really.

So I'm back to square one. Does anyone have any alternative ideas?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 23, 09, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by khaberz View Post
Did anyone make the above work with the iPhone 3G? After buying an AT&T simcard, failing to get it activated online, I just spent a long time on the phone with AT&T and in the end was told that the iPhone 3G was not "compatible" with their pay as you go plan. So I'd have to use another phone, which defeats the purpose, really.

So I'm back to square one. Does anyone have any alternative ideas?

Thanks!
ATT used to have a prepaid data plan for 2g iPhones. If you tried to activate your iPhone with social number 999-99-9999, it would fail and offer you prepaid service.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by khaberz View Post
Did anyone make the above work with the iPhone 3G? After buying an AT&T simcard, failing to get it activated online, I just spent a long time on the phone with AT&T and in the end was told that the iPhone 3G was not "compatible" with their pay as you go plan. So I'd have to use another phone, which defeats the purpose, really.

So I'm back to square one. Does anyone have any alternative ideas?

Thanks!
I believe you can jailbreak it and get it activated. Then a pay as you go sim should work fine. You do not even need to unlock it as long at it is an ATT sim.

Adam

EDIT: That is assuming you have a US iPhone. Otherwise it would be locked to the home network abroad.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 2:42 pm
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My iPhone is not from the US but it has no network lock (import from a country that has the legal requirement to sell without network lock). Activating it with AT&T is not the problem, but activating it with a pre-paid plan is, according to their hotline.

Are there any other providers in the US that offer a pre-paid plan with data volume?
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Old Mar 23, 09, 11:23 pm
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Originally Posted by khaberz View Post
My iPhone is not from the US but it has no network lock (import from a country that has the legal requirement to sell without network lock). Activating it with AT&T is not the problem, but activating it with a pre-paid plan is, according to their hotline.

Are there any other providers in the US that offer a pre-paid plan with data volume?
Look at TMobile's "Flexpay" options. Flexpay is Tmobile's alternate to prepaid that lets you get month-to-month plans without a credit check or a long term commitment. You buy the monthly package up front rather than behind. You can get data on Flexpay.

Alternative change the IMEI number on your Apple and identify the phone as an HTC. Look at ziphone's IMEI changing utility.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 1:05 am
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Was the SIM registering at all on it? Could you make a call for example? If the phone is unlocked it should work. There is no need to register the phone with ATT, and they do not do any sort of IMEI filtering. If it is just data that is not working you may have not entered the APN correctly. Does the SIM card work properly in other phones?
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Old Mar 24, 09, 1:43 am
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Is it possible to use the Blackberry with this GoPhone data option as well ?
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Old Mar 24, 09, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by khaberz View Post
Did anyone make the above work with the iPhone 3G? After buying an AT&T simcard, failing to get it activated online, I just spent a long time on the phone with AT&T and in the end was told that the iPhone 3G was not "compatible" with their pay as you go plan. So I'd have to use another phone, which defeats the purpose, really.

So I'm back to square one. Does anyone have any alternative ideas?

Thanks!
That's strange, I was just using the $20 plan with my iPhone 3G. Worked fine - just popped the SIM card in, no additional configuration needed. I bought my goPhone SIM at an AT&T store though. The customer service rep was very helpful - saw that I was holding an iPhone and told me to go for the $20 data pack. Even offered to swap SIMs and add the data pack so I could try it immediately but I was in a rush so did it myself. So yes, it definitely is supported, but AT&T don't want to publicize the fact.

The SIM was activated instore, and I called the 611 automated line to buy the data pack. It deducts the $20 immediately from your account, you don't get the option to pay with a credit card so make sure you've got enough credit on it first.

Last edited by uhoo; Mar 24, 09 at 2:29 am
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Old Mar 24, 09, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
Alternative change the IMEI number on your Apple and identify the phone as an HTC. Look at ziphone's IMEI changing utility.
aside from being illegal, this only worked with 1.x firmware in the iphone 2g and from what i understand, the imei is reset when upgrading to the 2.x firmware. more importantly, since the iphone 3g can't run 1.x firmware at all, there's no way to alter anything. plus, ziphone was fairly buggy and has been known to brick iphones.

as for using a gophone sim, it should work in any iphone. the original 2g phone will need to be unlocked, however, the 3g iphone only needs to be unlocked if it's not tied to at&t (i.e., from outside the usa).

at&t does not support gophone sims on the iphone and will very likely tell you it 'does not work' when in fact it does. the easiest way use a gophone plan is to buy a $10-15 gophone at any major department store and activate it online, then swap the sim card. alternately, get a sim off ebay. at&t discontinued their unlimited gophone data plan last fall, but now there's a 100 meg plan for $20.
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