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wisniak (Offline)
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Question Best Pre Paid data plan for Alaska? - 24-05-2015, 17:36

Hi,

I'll be traveling in Western Alaska this summer and am interested in purchasing a prepaid data sim card.

I'd appreciate your recommendations, especially regarding 3G coverage (4G/LTE is not that important).

Further, any info regarding data throttling by the various providers.

Thank you,

Daniel
   
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 30-05-2015, 00:58

Have not traveled to Alaska but other family members have.

AT&T or local carriers are probably your best bet. However, 3G or better data coverage will be best in southeastern Alaska in the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau areas (plus probably a bit of coverage on the north shore). Data coverage outside those areas is more likely to be Edge or slower speeds (at least by looking at coverage maps on the AT&T and GCI websites). You might want to consider getting an AT&T GoPhone sim card and setting it up with a data plan (or using a GoPhone sim card in a mifi device). AT&T GoPhone sim cards also roam in Canada at reasonable rates. Or get a local prepaid sim card when you travel there.

As far as I know, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all function in Alaska only through roaming agreements with other carriers...and those would work better with postpaid rather than prepaid.

If you plan on being in rural areas in Western Alaska, you might also want to consider renting a satellite data modem (thinking perhaps Iridium over Inmarsat or Globalstar). Satellite data is slow and expensive but at least it would work in rural areas without mobile phone towers.

Enjoy your trip to the USA!


Phones/Wireless Devices: Cat B100, LG Optimus Exceed 2, Motorola V3M razr, Isatphone Pro, Amazon Kindle 3G, FreedomPop USB and MiFi devices, Karma MiFi device
Sim Cards: AT&T (H2O and Kindle), Piranha
Satphone: InMarSat
Broadband US Wireless Data: Verizon, Sprint (FreedomPop or Karma Mobility)
Broadband International Data: FreedomPop
VOIP: Skype
SIP/CDMA: RingPlus
   
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wisniak (Offline)
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Default 30-05-2015, 07:06

Thank you.
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 31-05-2015, 20:13

Alaska has multiple carriers and I think you might be in a disadvantage using prepaid over contract because of the reduced roaming. I can see you are from Israel and don't know whether you are also a U.S. citizen (which is a common pattern). If you are or otherwise U.S. credit, you might be better with a month-to-month contract from a carrier that offers those. I know that if you don't need the equipment subsidy, these are available for Verizon and ATT. You need someone who'll have roaming agreements with some of the very small carriers. Otherwise, I'd go with this:


http://www.gci.com/wireless/plans/fastphone
   
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wisniak (Offline)
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Default Thanks - 31-05-2015, 20:19

I'm aware of this option and was planning to contact them as soon as I arrive in AK.
I'll need mostly data, we'll use our regular phones/plans for the few calls we'll make.
   
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default 01-06-2015, 04:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisniak View Post
........as soon as I arrive in AK.
Please report back when you have finished your visit.
   
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wisniak (Offline)
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Default 01-06-2015, 05:20

Certainly.
   
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