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URGENT: US data - how do I get more than 150MB/day??

jimthing0
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I understand from reading that I can get the 150MB/day by either being on the "Travel Inclusive" customer or by buying £5/day "Travel" bolt-on, for use in the US.

(plus calls sound like they're best done by adding the £3/mth "International" bolt-on, to get cheaper calls/texts.) 

 

 

But what options (if any) do I have for getting more from either O2 or elsewhere? 

 

Am I basically forced into buying an eSIM for my iPhone XS Max from say AT&T while in NYC, and then somehow forcing all my data use (and using it for local calls on the second line) over that? Or is there some other 'magically easier' way of dealing with this now? 

 

Need help ASAP; going there in 48H! 

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jimthing0
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@PhoneChanger wrote:
$50 is quite a bit, would you not be better just getting a pay as go sim from 3 in the UK?

--------------------- PSA --------------------- 

Just got back from NYC, here's a few pointers I found... 

 

1) eSIM users.

Use T-Mo, as they support eSIM on prepaid, while ATT seemingly don't. 

 

2) Use the T-Mo app to get a line, don't waste time going to a store. 

Just download the "T-Mobile eSIM" app; no need to go to any store. This can be downloaded from the UK iOS store (and most other iOS stores worldwide). It may/may not have to be set-up on landing in the US though (to be on a US network when setting-up – not sure though, so you could try before leaving the UK??). The app has loads of details. All you need to enter is a US zip of anywhere you want (I just used "10001" for NYC central zip, though I think you could get away with entering a random Delaware zip and pay no sales tax, so try!), all other info is optional (just ignore entering it!). 

 

3) Pricing. 

The T-Mo (per 30-day) plan options I had (using NYC "10001" zip code, sales tax rate 8.875%): 

a) "Simply Prepaid" $40 plan: Unlimited talk/text + 10GB data: $43.55 ($40+sales tax) / ~£35. 

b) "One Prepaid" $70 plan: Unlimited talk/text/data: $76.21 ($70+sales tax) / ~£60. 

I used the $40 one which more than covered my week there. I think it doesn't allow tethering though, or maybe it restricts it to 3G speeds (can't remember?), so read the T+C's. 

 

4) Settings. 

Make sure you go into the Settings app and set-it up correctly. I turned off most of my O2 stuff as possible, and got data to connect via the T-Mo network. The settings I found a bit confusing though, so be aware of that. 

Note that, AFAIU, if someone tries to call you on your O2 number, you'll trigger the £4.99/day O2 charge in most instances on top of the T-Mo you paid. If travelling with a friend/relative, use third-party apps to contact each other while abroad, instead.

TIP: turn OFF or remove the US line in device settings before it connects ASAP on landing in UK, in case it conencts to a UK network or something! (I did this, and the line remains available in Settings, presumably I could re-use it if going back to the US or something??). 

 

5) Why foreign SIM? 

- While you could use one from Three, that's currently not eSIM-able yet to start with, so you couldn't just have it with your local O2 number on the same device.

- Additionally while you're travelling you often have to call a US number to sort bookings or other issues out while away, and US number calls are included in the foreign SIM plan price. It makes things a lot less stress, knowing you can call/text intra-country while there without having extra call costs (US love their 'please hold' systems too, so that's gonna get pricy if paying the standard £2.00/min!). 

 

The end.

 

Let the thread know if I missed something on pricing/settings, as it'd greatly help others (including myself TBH!) – this stuff gets soooo complicated quickly (what am I gonna be charged for exactly?...settings that are best done?...avoiding faffing around?...etc... !!). 

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Yes, I like Apple's device vertical integration, but am no fanboi – I prefer to keep my critical eyes firmly open.

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jonsie
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We advise anyone travelling to the US, whether they have Travel Inclusive or not, to take a Three sim or get a local sim. Data in the US on O2 is just that....u/s. Unusable  virtually. Many threads on here if you do a search.

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MI5
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@jimthing0 

The international bolt on only works from UK. 

You need an AT&T or TMobile sim whilst in the USA if you want to use data. 

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
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jimthing0
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Thanks to both for responses. 🙂

 

Sorry you're right about the International bolt-on (I think I meant I was going to update my package to include it for phoning US et al. from the UK in future; doh! ...I'm still on Simplicity so haven't bothered upgrading in years!) 

Is the US sim also the best way of calling US landlines/mobiles as well while there? (So basically I'm in NYC and need to call a US landline or mobile number.)

Can I order a US eSIM while in the UK, or best done when I arrive? 

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Yes, I like Apple's device vertical integration, but am no fanboi – I prefer to keep my critical eyes firmly open.
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jonsie
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It's best done when you arrive and yes, it's certainly the way to go for calling US numbers. @Bambino  can advise as to whether you need a passport to get a sim but still best to wait until you arrive. I wouldn't be looking online to pre-purchase to be honest.

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Bambino
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@jimthing0  Getting a local sim (AT&T or T-Mobile) is the only way you should make local calls. You don't need a passport for a Pay & Go local sim.

I DO NOT WORK FOR O2



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jimthing0
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Thanks again. God what a complete rigmarole, in this day and age. Really well done O2 for adding Travel bolt-ons that are basically worthless in real-world usage! 

 

Why stay on O2, they seem the worst at everything AFAICT... 

 

EE: for fastest national data speeds (certainly in London area, but most of UK too). 

Three: for best inl data speeds and plans, and intl call plans. 

 

Am I missing anything? 

List – Apple case/screen protector brands. / • WARNING: FaceTime/iMessage set-up conflict.
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iOS: iPhone XS Max: gold, 512GB / iPad Mini 4: gold, 128GB / Apple TV (4th gen): 64GB.
Yes, I like Apple's device vertical integration, but am no fanboi – I prefer to keep my critical eyes firmly open.
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Cleoriff
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@jimthing0 

We did have a post on here a few days back when someone went to the US. They were with O2, and the remaining family members were on EE and Three. All the phones worked well on EE and Three networks. The O2 phone wouldn't even connect to anything data related.

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jimthing0
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Point confirmed. So there really is no reason to stay on O2 then. 

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iOS: iPhone XS Max: gold, 512GB / iPad Mini 4: gold, 128GB / Apple TV (4th gen): 64GB.
Yes, I like Apple's device vertical integration, but am no fanboi – I prefer to keep my critical eyes firmly open.
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jonsie
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Err......well the people on the community are rather nice wink

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