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Old 07-22-2011, 02:35 PM
Location: Lancashire, England
2,510 posts, read 4,769,361 times
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I visit the US once or twice a year on holiday, staying 2 or 3 weeks each time. What I need is a basic cellphone which I can use in the US each time I come over. AS far as I'm aware I can't buy a US cellphone in the UK which would be ready to use as soon as I arrive in the US.

In the past I've had a 3-month contract with a basic phone, which I've usually bought at Radioshack, and then either a new sim card for it the next time I came over or bought a new cellphone.

Any suggestions for what's best for me?
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:14 PM
Location: Texas State Fair
8,563 posts, read 10,555,957 times
Reputation: 4249
I posted the following in another thread so just copied it here for your reference:
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Take a look at MetroPCS dot com. You can have your current phone flashed to Metro. Wide coverage.

Take a look at Net10 dot com for Pay as You go. Many of their phones can be purchased at WalMart. I got a pretty basic LG for $15 w/200min (texting is one/half minute). 200 mins is $15.

Take a look at PagePlus Cellular dot com for 1200min/2000txt/100meg @ $30 month and can use some Verizon phones (I think not BB's or Pantex). Works on Verizon network (even Txt msgs are @vtext.

I have used VirginMobile (Sir Richard) a couple of times with complete satisfaction. Their service leases SprintPCS.

Take a look at HowardForums dot com for an excellent cellular reference.
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In your case, you might purchase an inexpensive hand set at WalMart or other place then use a hotel (or your option) internet to have the phone activated with credit card. Not sure if you can do that with a foreign address. But if you're visiting a friend or relative then that address may suffice.


You might also take a look at the FlyerTalk dot com forum. Under the Travel Products forum there's a link in the description to Travel Technology where there is cellular service discussion that may be of interest to you. Many of these users are heavily traveled and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge for the benefit of other travelers.


Here's a good thread...

Pre-paid data SIM cards - consolidated thread - FlyerTalk Forums
- Post #3

Last edited by Willsson; 07-22-2011 at 04:08 PM..
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:41 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
3,683 posts, read 9,270,547 times
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Can't you buy an unlocked quad-band GSM cell phone in the UK? If you can, you can just pop in to a T-Mobile store when you arrive in the USA and pick up a prepaid SIM card for $10, and buy minutes as you need them. If you can't get an unlocked quad-band GSM phone in the UK, you can easily buy one once you arrive in the USA. For AT&T and T-Mobile coverage in the USA you need a phone that supports the 850 and 1900MHz bands. As long as you don't care that you keep getting a new phone number this should work fine.
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