US Prepaid Solutions for Visitors
Most of my non american friends keep asking me how to bypass roaming charges when visiting the US.
Couple of years ago, it was very hard to find decent voice/data prepaid in North America but things have changed. Changed a lot.
Here is a list of Prepaid services I know of (feel free to point out new providers).
You can chose from $40 for unlimited voice/text/MMS to $60 for unlimited voice/text/MMS/data. They are my favorite as they are working in any AT&T locked devices (such as iPhones) and provide 3G/4G on AT&T bandwidth. No ID required. Free SIM. And cherry on the cake, you have $10 of FREE international calls anywhere in the world.
Any H2O Unlimited Plans include FREE $10 Int’l Calling to over 100+ countries. At 3.5cts/min to France that’s over 5 HOURS of free talk time from you cell to France. If you need more you can just add $10 and keep calling the world.
H2O also offers prepaid broadband at 4G speed for $50/month UNLIMITED (yes no cap) no contract nothing.
Pros: AT&T Network, coverage, speed, pricing, Broadband plan
Cons: Very few point of sales, top-up can complicated without a US credit card, hard to find top-up cards, expensive international rates after free $10
Simple Mobile is a H2O copycat but based on T-Mobile network (US smallest carrier). They are excellent for short visits as they offer a 15 days unlimited voice/text for $25 (no data).
Here is a list of existing Simple Mobile plan:
$25 Unlimited 15 Day Talk & Text
$40 Unlimited Talk, Text & Web
$40 Unlimited Talk, Text & Web + $10 Unlimited ILD
$60 Unlimited Talk, Text & High Speed Web
$60 Unlimited Talk, Text & High Speed Web + $10 Unlimited ILD
Simple Mobile also offers BlackBerry PREPAID plan. Just slide your SIM, sync your device with your BlackBerry ID and you’ve got your own BBM running for free in the US on 4G speed and unlimited international long distance calls.
$50 Unlimited Blackberry Talk, Text & Web
$50 Unlimited BlackBerry Talk, Text & Web + $10 Unlimited ILD
$60 Unlimited BlackBerry Talk, Text & High Speed Web
$60 Unlimited BlackBerry Talk, Text & High Speed Web + $10 Unlimited ILD
I highly recommend Simple Mobile for their incredible selection of prepaid service. They are innovative in this space, aggressive and there is actually real people handling customer support.
Pros: good customer service, easy top-up, short stay plans, blackberry plans, 4G speed, full website management, lowest international rates I’ve seen in prepaid mobile.
Cons: poor broadband, limited coverage (T-Mobile), their plans can be confusing sometimes.
Personally I don’t like CDMA as I need to use my own phone when travelling. Buying a new phone, transferring contacts, messages, bookmarks, and emails is not an option. But you might want to consider them as an option if all you want is a cheap voice/text plan for your visits in the US. Coverage is really average.
T-Mobile Prepaid http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/ too many options, they always try to upsell more expensive features.
AT&T Prepaid http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/go-phones/ same as the above.
According to BusinessWeek China Telecom is preparing a major offensive in prepaid telecom offers. First they are said to start with an MVNO but should soon work on their own infrastructure.
Bottom line there are plenty of options for tourists or business people to use a phone on US soil without spending more than $50 for all-you-can-eat talk, text and web plans. Think about it if you are coming to Las Vegas for CES.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 6:06 pm and is filed under android, Blackberry, iPhone, Technology, Telecom, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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