Re: [86attendees] "best" prepaid US SIM?

"John Levine" <ietf@johnlevine.com> Sat, 16 March 2013 19:52 UTC

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Date: 16 Mar 2013 19:52:21 -0000
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From: "John Levine" <ietf@johnlevine.com>
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Subject: Re: [86attendees] "best" prepaid US SIM?
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>looking at my travel calendar, I realize that I should have gotten a
>prepaid local SIM for data (and a bit of voice) a long time ago.
>
>What's the "best" plan to get for a non-resident?

I think you'll have to settle for "least cruddy".

The US has two GSM networks, AT&T and T-Mobile.  AT&T's coverage is
far better, since they have a lot of 850 MHz networks, while T-Mo
is all 1900.

If you're in an area with adequate T-Mo coverage, they have some
reasonable plans starting at $30/mo with no contract.

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/monthly-4g-plans

AT&T's prepaid service is called Gophone, and seems to have been
designed by someone with a cruel sense of humor.  They have
some reasonable data plans, but they are only available for
tablets, cameras, and other devices that are not phones.

For your phone, you can get the $25/mo plan which includes no data and
a 1GB data addon for another $25.

http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html

We also have two non-GSM carriers, Verizon and Sprint.  Virgin Mobile,
a Sprint MVNO, has some decent prepaid plans for smartphones, but you
have to buy one of their CDMA phones.

I've looked at MVNOs that resell the GSM carriers, and never found one
that was halfway decent without requiring that you use their specially
programmed phones.