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Best way to get SIM data in america

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones & Tablets' started by The Craig, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,481

    Location: Warwickshire

    Hi All,

    I'm going to america (california) in may and would like a sim data package so that I can use google maps and general data for whatsapp etc.

    What is the best way to do this /have reliable internet? I will be going for 16 days and doing quite a lot of driving so a fairly reliable connection would be good (I will download google maps beforehand!)

    Willing to pay whatever it costs, but if theres an option that costs circa £40 with tethering that would be good (allow me and mrs to use phones when relaxing).

    Currently we're both on BT mobile which doesnt offer good roaming options.
     
  2. Efour

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 8, 2005

    Posts: 24,261

    Location: Norrbotten, Sweden.

  3. Terminal_Boy

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 13, 2013

    Posts: 6,375

    Location: La France

    What phone or tablet do you have?
     
  4. StevieP

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,625

    Location: Chesterfield

    Just get a monthly Three SIM card and use that - they include data over there!
     
  5. whiskycycle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 31, 2004

    Posts: 1,335

    Location: The 'Toon, UK, in Europe

    This! We've done it the last 3-4 times we've been over there... not blindingly fast, but does the job.

    @The Craig try Waze over there as well... with the social element of it, it's damn good for getting about and being alerted to any incidents/fender benders etc.
     
  6. StevieP

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,625

    Location: Chesterfield

    If you do get a Three SIM just make sure you put the "+44" bit in the numbers on your phone because the plan only includes calls to UK numbers!

    In other words you will still have to pay for any calls to US numbers!
     
  7. Em3bbs

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 26, 2011

    Posts: 4,381

    Location: City of London

    I found Three to be next to useless on the West Coast. Full signal but data throttled to an extent it was unusable. I would definitely not have been able to rely on it for navigation. Even reading emails was hard.

    This was a couple of years ago though, so things may be better now. I moved to Vodafone, and although it's a fiver a day it's like being at home.
     
  8. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,481

    Location: Warwickshire

    I've got a huawei p20 Pro and a huawei m3 tablet (no sim). Mrs has a motorola g5 I think.
    I assume they will have correct bands to pick up 3g signals?

    I've heard mixed reviews about the 3 sims in America, im not bothered for speed (e.g streaming ) more just reliability. Any other experiences of 3 in California (recently?)
    Thanks I'll try waze (never use it in the UK) , can you download maps on it?
     
  9. scaramanga182

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 26, 2004

    Posts: 639

    Location: Up North

    When I was in Vegas and Hawaii last year the T-Mobile shops had 'tourist bundles' for about $30 which would get you a load of prepaid minutes and data. Can't remember how much but it seemed like it'd be enough for a couple of weeks when wifi wasn't available.
     
  10. el_dazza

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 20, 2005

    Posts: 15,004

    Location: West End, Southampton

    Glad you've mentioned this as I'm on Three and heading to the west coast in April. Hopefully it's improved, will need it for navigation!
     
  11. StevieP

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,625

    Location: Chesterfield

    Never had any coverage problems in the US while using Three - including Florida, up and down the East Coast and West Coast, Vegas and Canada!

    Granted my California experience is a few years ago but don't all providers tend to piggy back pn each other's networks anyway?
     
  12. Puppetmaster

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 17, 2005

    Posts: 6,276

    Location: Near Brighton

    I used my 3 sim in San Franciso & Vegas in September and then in San Jose (essentially San Fran) in October with no issues. Used it for emails, browsing, uber / google maps and some youtube. Generally worked fine for everything, although sometimes Youtube was a bit slow.
     
  13. malachi

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 27, 2006

    Posts: 8,907

    Location: Earth

    Three was great in Vegas and LA but pants in New York, could barely browse.
     
  14. Kol

    Don

    Joined: Jan 8, 2003

    Posts: 13,765

    Location: London

    Don't get a three sim. I've done four road trips now, three of those times I took a three sim and barely got 2g speeds.

    Best thing to do is land, go straight to an AT&T store and ask for a tourist sim. Sure it's about 30-40$ but you'll get max 4g speeds nationwide.

    It's just not worth making do when for a few quid more you get ~9GB data at 4g and then after that unlimited 3g or something like that.

    We'll be doing another road trip in November and I'll be doing the same.
     
  15. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,481

    Location: Warwickshire

    That sounds great mate. Are the stores in the Airports by any chance?
     
  16. Sone

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,642

    Last 6 trips I used a three sim no problems. Last time went (December) even connected 4g not 3g
     
  17. Nelly

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 19, 2003

    Posts: 6,910

    Location: Grimsby, UK

    Three Roaming Abroad was crap for me in New York (Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan) while staying over there through end of December to New Year. The only provider it could find was T-Mobile on 2G and that kept dropping.
     
  18. mohawk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 2, 2007

    Posts: 1,339

    Location: Winchester

    did a full west coast tour Seattle to San Diego in June and me on ee and my wife on three had no issues with signal or speed. my wife only had 1 problem which was in Canada and that's because three dont allow data in Canada!
     
  19. The Craig

    Soldato

    Joined: May 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,481

    Location: Warwickshire

    Realise im going in 2 weeks now :o, are the stores in airports?
     
  20. Kol

    Don

    Joined: Jan 8, 2003

    Posts: 13,765

    Location: London

    Good question ... I've never sought one out at the airport but I suspect so. I'm sure they will have tourist sims etc.