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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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@Bambino Useful info, thanks! 

As a quick final on this... Where's best to get an  AT&T or T-Mo eSIM in NYC? (their city-based stores?), and how much is a low call/text pack (eg. 300 mins / 100 texts) with say ~15GB data for a month? 

 

Just wondering what to expect to pay, as I know it's generally more expensive over there, and would rather not get ripped-off due to inexperience with these things. 

 

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Cleoriff
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@jonsie wrote:

Err......well the people on the community are rather nice wink


Yes we are a good bunch rofl

Veritas Numquam Perit

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Bambino
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@jimthing0 wrote:

@Bambino Useful info, thanks! 

As a quick final on this... Where's best to get an  AT&T or T-Mo eSIM in NYC? (their city-based stores?), and how much is a low call/text pack (eg. 300 mins / 100 texts) with say ~15GB data for a month? 

 

Just wondering what to expect to pay, as I know it's generally more expensive over there, and would rather not get ripped-off due to inexperience with these things. 

 


@jimthing0  Your best bet is to go into a dedicated AT&T or T-Mobile store. Generally it's not more expensive. There's no VAT, although NYC has loads of extra taxes. It will probably cost you around $40. That's just a guess though.

I DO NOT WORK FOR O2



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PhoneChanger
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@jimthing0 one thing to point out, might be worth checking that you will be able to get an eSIM for your iPhone XS Max in the US, usually they will just issue you a sim card as you're not a US resident so won't be able to take out a contract.
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jimthing0
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@PhoneChanger wrote:
@jimthing0one thing to point out, might be worth checking that you will be able to get an eSIM for your iPhone XS Max in the US, usually they will just issue you a sim card as you're not a US resident so won't be able to take out a contract.

Sure, but AFAIU what we call "pay-as-you-go" they call "prepay", and any ATT/T-Mo stores out there have them available on 30 day deals. 

 

So In my case I'll use wifi at Newark airport while there, then buy ticket (just $13) at all Newark air terminals (A/B/C) to get into the city on the AirTrain (5 mins) & NJ Transit train  (35-45 mins) directly into NY Penn station in Midtown. Walk out the back entrance to a nearby ATT store and buy their $50 8GB talk/text/data eSim to add to my phone and make sure it's working before I leave, added as the second line. 

Then a final 10 min walk to hotel. Done. 

 

(shame I'm not there a week later as iOS 13 adds functionality to dual-sim mode, but I get to watch the next iPhone announcment before I return, ast least! haha 😉

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PhoneChanger
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$50 is quite a bit, would you not be better just getting a pay as go sim from 3 in the UK?
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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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jimthing0
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One minor correction, they charge a 911 fee on top too, so this: 

a) "Simply Prepaid" $40 plan: Unlimited talk/text + 10GB data: total was actually $44.75 ($40 + 3.55 sales tax + 1.20 "911 taxes/fees") / ~£35.

 

Just like their hotels mostly add-on "resort fees" (or whatever name each hotel chooses to call them this week!), they love to add-on unknown extras in the good old US of A! 

Advertised pricing with sales tax is rarely if ever what you pay. ;-| 

 

List – Apple case/screen protector brands. / • WARNING: FaceTime/iMessage set-up conflict.
Usefull Links for new iphone users. / • FAQs: Apple iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.).

MacOS: MacBook Pro touchbar 15" (2016) / Mac Mini 6-core i7 (2018).
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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