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US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Old May 8th 2005, 6:12 pm
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Default US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Hello -

I've tried two of the big boys direct (Cingular and T-Mobile) and spoken to a couple of independent retailers in CA and NY - and I suspect the information they have given me is entirely true... But I thought I'd ask away here just in case:

Are there any US GSM prepaid/"pay as you go" style SIMs, which require no US credit history/address, that can be used in the UK solely to write/receive text messages and can also be topped on online/with a voucher a colleague can buy over in the US?

I appreciate the cost to send/receive while roaming will be high, but I'm trying to work with the fact that my company can send unlimited messages from within the US to a US cell (i.e. a +1 number), but has to do so to a UK mobile (+44) at cost.

Any ideas please?

Many thanks
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Old May 9th 2005, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by joelc
Hello -

I've tried two of the big boys direct (Cingular and T-Mobile) and spoken to a couple of independent retailers in CA and NY - and I suspect the information they have given me is entirely true... But I thought I'd ask away here just in case:

Are there any US GSM prepaid/"pay as you go" style SIMs, which require no US credit history/address, that can be used in the UK solely to write/receive text messages and can also be topped on online/with a voucher a colleague can buy over in the US?

I appreciate the cost to send/receive while roaming will be high, but I'm trying to work with the fact that my company can send unlimited messages from within the US to a US cell (i.e. a +1 number), but has to do so to a UK mobile (+44) at cost.

Any ideas please?

Many thanks
in short i beleive the answer is no. When i was in america on J1 i got a pay as you go phone however they don't have sim cards (well in my experience someone correct me if i'm wrong) and also we have a different network over here which is different from the US only tri-band phones work in the US and UK and i do not beleive you can buy a tri-band phone in the US specially on prepay and they also don't have sim cards so you cant switch it to a triband phone here.
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Old May 9th 2005, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

not true you can use atandt now known as cingular and they use gsm but better option is to buy prepaid sim card in uk
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Old May 9th 2005, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

As far as I know, prepaid sim cards do not work abroad. Your only realistic choice is either switch to a contract, or get a UK prepaid the other side.
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Old May 9th 2005, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by Dan725
As far as I know, prepaid sim cards do not work abroad. Your only realistic choice is either switch to a contract, or get a UK prepaid the other side.

I used to have a Cingular sim crd - cost me $30 with no credit check - I used it in my tri-band phone that I brought from the UK. I assume they still sell them?
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Old May 9th 2005, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Hi chaps,

I have an unlocked Triband phone which works with both my UK and US contracted SIMs... Was wondering about whether I could buy a prepay package of some kind (with or without a phone handset) and rip the SIM out.

Seems like it won't happen!

Thanks for your replies
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Old May 9th 2005, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by scotch03
I used to have a Cingular sim crd - cost me $30 with no credit check - I used it in my tri-band phone that I brought from the UK. I assume they still sell them?

Yes, thats correct - but we are trying to find a US prepaid sim card that works in the UK - and as far as I know, there aint one. The actual phones themselves - once unlocked, if they are triband no probs with them. It's just the bloody prepaid sims that dont work outside of the US. Contract ones do.
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Old May 11th 2005, 3:01 am
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by Dan725
As far as I know, prepaid sim cards do not work abroad. Your only realistic choice is either switch to a contract, or get a UK prepaid the other side.
I think they do, well back when I was looking, ATT said they had one's, but had to send the sim in for them to unblock the actual card, but then there weren't any proper shops only those naff booths in the mall....but now there's Cingular, who knows...
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Old May 11th 2005, 3:03 am
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by joelc
Hi chaps,

I have an unlocked Triband phone which works with both my UK and US contracted SIMs... Was wondering about whether I could buy a prepay package of some kind (with or without a phone handset) and rip the SIM out.
most phones over here don't use sim cards, so would be a waste of time...
Cingular/ATT and T-mobile are the only one's that offer them...but the rates are shite and coverage really can be flakey...
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Old May 11th 2005, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by Bob
most phones over here don't use sim cards, so would be a waste of time...
Cingular/ATT and T-mobile are the only one's that offer them...but the rates are shite and coverage really can be flakey...
Actually, it depends where you live and how you use your phone. Down here (so long as you are not in the sticks) T-Mobile works great and is one of the best prepaid packages going.
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Old May 11th 2005, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by Dan725
Actually, it depends where you live and how you use your phone. Down here (so long as you are not in the sticks) T-Mobile works great and is one of the best prepaid packages going.
That's why I said it depends on where you live....there supposed to cover most of maine, but unless your in portland, or in one half of the bangor mall, you get bugger all reception and get roaming charges stacked up which aren't fun.
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Old May 13th 2005, 6:39 am
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Hi, I have just joined the forum...

We are moving to Atlanta GA next month and I am there to set up a 3G mobile network for Cingular Wireless, a bit like 3 in the UK.

Basically, most pre-pay SIM's will not work outside of their home PLMN (mobile network) unless there is a method of auto billing your credit card. Some UK and EU providers have this facility. Each time you make a roaming call your credit card gets billed and your pre pay account isn't affected.

One thing to be aware of in the US with some providers is that they will also charge the recipient of the call airtime. Not just the caller.

Top up cards bought in country and then exported can be flakey - I tried this one with T-Mobile in DE a year or so ago. No success. I could not charge up my T-Mobile pre pay SIM here in the UK. The reason was simple: When you enter the numerical code from the scratch card, this starts a 'call' on the phone to the Home Location Register or Visitor location Register where the subscription details are retained. Often these signalling routes cannot be tracked for these prepay codes, so your cradits cannot sometimes be recorded.

Good luck.

Martin Rimmer
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Old May 13th 2005, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by martinrimmer

One thing to be aware of in the US with some providers is that they will also charge the recipient of the call airtime. Not just the caller.

Top up cards bought in country and then exported can be flakey - I tried this one with T-Mobile in DE a year or so ago. No success. I could not charge up my T-Mobile pre pay SIM here in the UK. The reason was simple: When you enter the numerical code from the scratch card, this starts a 'call' on the phone to the Home Location Register or Visitor location Register where the subscription details are retained. Often these signalling routes cannot be tracked for these prepay codes, so your cradits cannot sometimes be recorded.
Most phone accounts charge to recieve calls in the US, only the expensive monthly contracts don't because it's an extra option you choose...

As for buying pre-paid vouchers and using them on foreign SIM's, of course they ain't going to work, most of them even tell you that it won't for the reasons you said. But you can still often buy those cards online from your home country or top up using a credit card without any problem.
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Old May 13th 2005, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Hi Friends..just came back to the UK from the states after a 3 week stint there. True, phoning Cingular or popping in their many shops was pointless.
Every time you mentioned Sim Cards, the staff looked at you like you were speaking Swahili!
Result was buying a $24 Sim Card from Walmart..supplied by..CINGULAR.

Buy a Pay as you go Mobile from the UK (as America is years behind on Phones) and they have just got Colour screens!
Get it unlocked in the UK, get a Cingular sim and put it in when you`re there.
Ok phonecall charges are a bit steep, but we`re talking thousands of miles here. Fast food at amazing prices, £1.30 a gallon of petrol and tons of other stuff make phone charges insignificant.

Roll on the Visa!!
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Old May 13th 2005, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: US Prepaid/Pay as you go SIM cards internationally?

Originally Posted by mariopig
Buy a Pay as you go Mobile from the UK (as America is years behind on Phones) and they have just got Colour screens!
Get it unlocked in the UK, get a Cingular sim and put it in when you`re there.
Ok phonecall charges are a bit steep, but we`re talking thousands of miles here. Fast food at amazing prices, £1.30 a gallon of petrol and tons of other stuff make phone charges insignificant.
the pay and go route is only worth it as a short term fix and if you don't have credit, best bet really is the contract rates....as for things being cheap, it's a false economy, once your earning a US salary, it ain't that cheap and you get quick to not bother converting the exchange rate.
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