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petkow (Offline)
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Default USA: Best options for multiple trips? - 10-11-2007, 19:23

It's been a while since I've looked at North American mobile options but I may have a few short trips coming up to the US and after a quick look around am still completely unimpressed by whats available in terms of prepaid SIM's. In the past I have always roamed with a UK contract, but was really hoping that things may have developed enough to finally swing me for a US prepaid.

Briefly, I will state my requirements, and was wondering if any of you North Americans (or anyone else) had and tips or tricks:

5 trips all in 1 year (all East coast). Staying 3 to 5 days max. Would ideally need to have the same phone number on all trips. I will mainly use both international and domestic SMS and stick to short domestic calls as well as receiving the odd call from overseas. Any longer calls I will be able to do on VOIP/WIFI when I get a hotspot. I will also want to use my own handset (i.e. no bundles). Ideally, the odd bit of data would also be useful.. (GPRS is enough!)

Now here's the killer: I do this sort of stuff all over the world, and my max. outlay (including SIM cost, credit, calls, validity for the period I need etc.) for a setup like the one I have descibed is around €20. (Occasionally another €10 max. for a subsequent topup). Now from initial research, I can't see anything even remotely close on price in the US, especially with regards to the validity over subsequent trips? I know it's not a caller pays model, so I have a bit of an extra allowance for that but anyone hint at what sort of a baseline price I should expect to pay for the setup I described?
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 10-11-2007, 20:38

What about an e-bay offer on a TMobile prepaid sim, e.g.

http://cgi.ebay.com/300mins-60-T-MOB...QQcmdZViewItem
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 10-11-2007, 21:21

Get tmobile on ebay. You spend $100 and you automatically become "gold rewards" and get 1 year expiration. Any additional topup, even the $10, extends it for another year. As posted above, you should be able to get one on ebay, with about $150 domestic minutes, for about $10 or so. Tmobile also charges the the same $0.10 for both local and international SMS (I have mine mainly for international sms). HecK! you can even get a basic quadband phone (Moto V195) from the tmobile prepaid page for $40. So, the prices around here are not that bad after all. My 3 siblings in the UK that visit here regular each have a tmobile prepaid sims that they use whenever they are here. They have had it for years, and the 1 year validity after topup has made it very easy for them to keep the sims alive.


Phones: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 10-11-2007, 21:43

Thanks guys. You're right...It is a fairly good deal ... but unfortunately still a $100 outlay to get a years validity after the SIM purchase!! Any other options?

There are many great things on that T-Mobile 'gold rewards' like the 15% bonus! I especially like the $10 extension... I hadn't realised that. Also hadn't realised the 10c international SMS. Wow! That's 4.7p or 6.8 euro cents!! Brilliant..that isn't even close to anything we can do here. Do you guys think that will stay, or will it eventually go up?

Thanks once again.

Last edited by petkow; 10-11-2007 at 21:49..
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 10-11-2007, 22:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by petkow View Post
Thanks guys. You're right...It is a fairly good deal ... but unfortunately still a $100 outlay to get a years validity after the SIM purchase!! Any other options?
Just use the SIM. If you must top up, then do so with a reasonable amount for you. Say $25. If you top up 4 times with $25 each, you reach the gold rewards. TRUE, the first $100 is then NOT 10 cents per minute. There are also $50 refills and 2 $50s will give you gold rewards. You seem to travel often so that should be not problem to extend the validity with a small refill.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2007, 00:24

Either that or look at Tuyo, with $10 top-up needed every 90 days, balance rolls over on top-up, 10 cent/min US calls, + 1.5 cent/min to UK, balance also usable as calling card from landlines for 3.5 c/min on 800 access
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2007, 01:00

Pony up for T-Mobile. As suggested, if you have to, spend $10 every 3 months to keep it active (or more if you run out of time, of course). Once you've hit $100, your next topup will extend expiry by a year (if you put in $100 immediately at the beginning, you get a year of validity instantly). Also, it roams at the same rate within the US, so even in areas without native T-Mobile coverage it's quite usable.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2007, 15:05

Thanks everyone. Just an open point for discussion: Can anyone shed some light onto why networks are so comparitevely miserly with validity period of credit in North America? I would have thought that as long as you keep a credit and are making some chargeable calls once in a while (either in or out) that you should automatically get extended like it appears to be the case in most other parts of the world!

To me it seems strange that only once you have passed a magical $100 threshold, everything gets so much easier, but before that any other topup only gets you a stingy 90 days useage. Are running costs (like 911 service charges) that much higher in the US than in other parts of the world that networks need to have a minimum level of cash coming in every month for every customer on their books, or is it that no network has yet shaken up the industry by breaking away from the norm?

Don't get me wrong... I do know that contract deals in the US offer excellent value for money! I just find it odd that in this day and age most of my European colleagues and associates who regularly travel to the US still shy away from mobile telephony once they are on that side of the Atlantic. It will be nice to see if the maxROAM SIM will eventually get that 10c/min in/out USA charge.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2007, 19:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by petkow View Post
Thanks everyone. Just an open point for discussion: Can anyone shed some light onto why networks are so comparitevely miserly with validity period of credit in North America? I would have thought that as long as you keep a credit and are making some chargeable calls once in a while (either in or out) that you should automatically get extended like it appears to be the case in most other parts of the world!

To me it seems strange that only once you have passed a magical $100 threshold, everything gets so much easier, but before that any other topup .....
Have only LIMITED experience with prepay in US - TMO, VZW and Virgin. Believe Virgin (on Sprint network) has longer validity but is not GSM. Prepay is in my opinion NOT big in US. Most people I know have postpay. I think carriers make more money on postpay. Prepay is a way in -- say for teens or people with poor/no credit. Prepay is no good for heavy users like business people - just too expensive. Also, if they (business people) want to write-off their phone expenses, a monthly bill is easier than receipts for top-ups.

Earlier you asked if the 10 cents intl SMS would stay. Don't know. If the start losing money on that option from heavy use, it will go away.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 11-11-2007, 19:22

If I were to guess, I would say about 5% or less of US mobile users are prapay. It's just not big here at all. Even though it's not the case, and at least it has changed recently, prepaid users are still categorized as those with poor credit that can't afford to get a contract, and for teenagers.

Also, as for tmobile's sms rate of $0.10. It's always been that rate AFAIK. I have had mine for at least 4 years. I just do not think a lot of people use it enough for them to start losing money.


Phones: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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