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Using my mobile in the USA - what's the cheapest way?

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Hello, Am off to Florida soon (yey!), and am going with 3 other people... I've been asked to take my mobile, so that if we split up over there, we can ring each other to meet up. I'm on an O2 contr… Read More
hodsey77 Avatar
8y, 9m agoPosted 8 years, 9 months ago
Hello,

Am off to Florida soon (yey!), and am going with 3 other people... I've been asked to take my mobile, so that if we split up over there, we can ring each other to meet up.

I'm on an O2 contract, and I've checked the website, and it looks like it's about £1.30 (per min) to make calls while over there, and about 70p to receive! Shocking!

So, I'm looking for alternatives...

I've looked on various other mobile websites, and T-Mobile seems to fare about the best with it costing about 55p to make and about 50p to receive calls.

What other options are there, does anyone know?

Could I go over there and buy a Pay As You Go sim, for each of our phones? Can you purchase credit in the supermarket, like you can here? Or would I need a US address to register the sim to?

Would the Sim work in my phone, in any case?

I have a Sony Ericsson K800i...

Hope someone can help :)

Many thanks in advance!
hodsey77 Avatar
8y, 9m agoPosted 8 years, 9 months ago
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#1
MAKE sure your phone is QUAD band as the US uses different frequencies than we do over here
and make sure the area your going to actually has gsm coverage as not all the US does, a lot of it is still analogue only

If your on o2 and you have free texts why not just text each other instead of phoning?

each text sent abroad costs you 4 of your free texts, so as long as you dont text TOO much the cost of keeping in touch will be zero
#2
buy some throwable PAYG phones over there would be best
#3
jackvdbuk
buy some throwable PAYG phones over there would be best


NOT a good idea
INCOMING calls in the US COST YOU MONEY to RECIEVE the call, as well as the person making the call
payg phones over there should be avoided at all costs
#4
bring some walkie talkies instead, they are so useful.
#5
not sure, but think yanks can be funny about transceivers being brought into country.
#6
karenhornby
MAKE sure your phone is QUAD band as the US uses different frequencies than we do over here
and make sure the area your going to actually has gsm coverage as not all the US does, a lot of it is still analogue only

If your on o2 and you have free texts why not just text each other instead of phoning?

each text sent abroad costs you 4 of your free texts, so as long as you dont text TOO much the cost of keeping in touch will be zero


Yea, texting is a lot cheaper... but you never really know whether they've received or not...

Will bear that in mind though...

Thanks for the suggestions :thumbsup:
#7
kk_cheung
bring some walkie talkies instead, they are so useful.


Probably cost a fortune to buy some decent walkie-talkies, I'd have thought?

And yea, might have a problem taking them into the country....
1 Like #8
Not 100% sure about this but I think if you all get your mobiles unlocked, you can use local sim cards from USA so costs are much lower.

Also, the local sim cards should not have to be registered.
1 Like #9
hodsey77
Yea, texting is a lot cheaper... but you never really know whether they've received or not...

Will bear that in mind though...

Thanks for the suggestions :thumbsup:


You can actually
force the phone to give you a delivery report

next time you send a text message to someone
at the start of the text before you type anything type the following
*0# then your message and it's a zero not the letter o
#10
karenhornby
You can actually
force the phone to give you a delivery report

next time you send a text message to someone
at the start of the text before you type anything type the following
*0# then your message and it's a zero not the letter o


Ooh, I'll try that :-) My delivery reports never work normally, so I'll test that out later!

Thanks! :thumbsup:
#11
Russ2626
Not 100% sure about this but I think if you all get your mobiles unlocked, you can use local sim cards from USA so costs are much lower.

Also, the local sim cards should not have to be registered.


Yea, that's what I was hoping... but not sure how you put credit on over there.. wonder if you can do it at cashpoints / supermarkets, etc, like you can over here?
1 Like #12
You can buy it at the airport when you lasnd. They sell sim cards there to as long as you phone is unlocked and TRI band you'll be fine.
#13
jennybubbles;2894593
and TRI band you'll be fine.


Yeah i thought it was tri band, not quad :?
#14
jennybubbles
You can buy it at the airport when you lasnd. They sell sim cards there to as long as you phone is unlocked and TRI band you'll be fine.


Thanks, Jenny!

Just need to double-check my phone is unlocked now! :)

It works with Orange or O2, so i'm guessing it is?
#15
just remember IF you buy a local sim card over there your both going to be paying for any calls made
the person making the calls get charged, AND the person RECIEVING the call gets charged too
#16
karenhornby
just remember IF you buy a local sim card over there your both going to be paying for any calls made
the person making the calls get charged, AND the person RECIEVING the call gets charged too


That's how it'll work if I use my sim from over here, though... and it'll be a lot cheaper in dollars / cents, than £1.30 a minute to make the call, and 70p a minute to receive it, I'm thinking....?
#17
might be irrelevant, but when in hong kong i bought a sim for about a fiver or less. it seemed to work on a skype sort of principle and was MUCK CHEAP to use. was on phone to england for maybe fifteen mins and it just used up pennies from the approx £3 credit. maybe usa has something similar?
#18
scrumpypaul
might be irrelevant, but when in hong kong i bought a sim for about a fiver or less. it seemed to work on a skype sort of principle and was MUCK CHEAP to use. was on phone to england for maybe fifteen mins and it just used up pennies from the approx £3 credit. maybe usa has something similar?


Yea, when I was in Thailand I remember buying a pre-pay card and was able to phone home for literally pennies!

Wonder if the US would have something similar, but then I suppose calls would only be able to be made one way, and someone would still have to take their mobile and incur the ridiculous charges....

Ah well, :)
#19
karenhornby
just remember IF you buy a local sim card over there your both going to be paying for any calls made
the person making the calls get charged, AND the person RECIEVING the call gets charged too


Well if you all get USA sims it will be local calls and text so wont be a problem. Just dont answer any calls that are not your friends. But that should not be a problem as knowbody will know the number anyway.
#20
karenhornby
just remember IF you buy a local sim card over there your both going to be paying for any calls made
the person making the calls get charged, AND the person RECIEVING the call gets charged too


thats what happens if they use uk cards.

Infact the charges would be stupidly high cos they would be paing for the call to be routed back to the uk then back to the states. If they all have US sims then they would only get charged for outgoing calls NOT incoming!!!
#21
hodsey77
That's how it'll work if I use my sim from over here, though... and it'll be a lot cheaper in dollars / cents, than £1.30 a minute to make the call, and 70p a minute to receive it, I'm thinking....?


The person making the call wont actually be charged IF they have free minutes
because they will NOT be calling a US number, they still call only the UK number. thats why the person recieving the call abroad gets charged.
If you have the International Traveller Service (ITS)
then the cost of each call is only 17p
#22
karenhornby
The person making the call wont actually be charged IF they have free minutes
because they will NOT be calling a US number, they still call only the UK number. thats why the person recieving the call abroad gets charged.
If you have the International Traveller Service (ITS)
then the cost of each call is only 17p


I'm sorry but I wasn't aware that your free minutes worked overseas :? Well I know they didn't on T mobile other networks may be different
#23
jennybubbles
I'm sorry but I wasn't aware that your free minutes worked overseas :? Well I know they didn't on T mobile other networks may be different


whoops sorry forgot both of you will be abroad
#24
karenhornby
whoops sorry forgot both of you will be abroad


I was getting totally confused then, hehe!

Yea, there will be 4 of us in the US, and two phones, one for each pair... so we'd be calling each other within the US :)
1 Like #25
I bought a payg phone while over here. It cost me $15 for the phone. I bought a $25 top up and I can phone home at the standard rate of $ 0.25 a min. I bought this in walmart and there were lots available! Hope this helps
#26
ryancs
I bought a payg phone while over here. It cost me $15 for the phone. I bought a $25 top up and I can phone home at the standard rate of $ 0.25 a min. I bought this in walmart and there were lots available! Hope this helps


Yea, that is a help... thanks!
banned 1 Like #27
If the purpose is as you describe and is just to be able to call each other and make a few local calls, then definitely your best option is to buy your sims on ebay. I'd recommend the AT&T ones as part of your allowance is free calls to other AT&T mobiles. Then just use your own unlocked triple band phone. You call also use your mobiles to call the UK via third party access like we do over here with landlines.
1 Like #28
hodsey77
I was getting totally confused then, hehe!

Yea, there will be 4 of us in the US, and two phones, one for each pair... so we'd be calling each other within the US :)


So you just need 2 Tri band phones and a couple of us PAYG sims. So you have a k800i just make sure one of your friends has has a Tri band phone too. Make sure they are unlocked too.
#29
Thanks all!

I guess, unless anyone comes u with something better, we'll be best taking a couple of unlocked tri-band phones, and buying some sims over there...

I'll double-check them on ebay, thanks Guv!
#30
I've just got back from the States and used my o2 quadband phone over there. Before I went, I signed up to o2's ITS (International Traveller Service). It costs approximately £3.00 for a month, but you can sign up the day before you go, and cancel it the day you get back and pay pro rata. The ITS means that your charges for international calls are roughly half the usual price, but ask the operator when you phone and they will give you exact prices.

Additionally, I get 400 texts a month as part of my contract, these are still free, but they take 4 texts off your allowance for each one you send whilst abroad. I made stacks of texts and a few calls to the other couple we were with and I've paid approximately £10 extra this month, with includes the ITS charge.

Hope this helps!
#31
hermione25
I've just got back from the States and used my o2 quadband phone over there. Before I went, I signed up to o2's ITS (International Traveller Service). It costs approximately £3.00 for a month, but you can sign up the day before you go, and cancel it the day you get back and pay pro rata. The ITS means that your charges for international calls are roughly half the usual price, but ask the operator when you phone and they will give you exact prices.

Additionally, I get 400 texts a month as part of my contract, these are still free, but they take 4 texts off your allowance for each one you send whilst abroad. I made stacks of texts and a few calls to the other couple we were with and I've paid approximately £10 extra this month, with includes the ITS charge.

Hope this helps!


Just remember that international calls can take up to 90 days to appear on yer bill. If you have removed the international option since then you'll get charged the full whack
banned#32
hodsey77

I guess, unless anyone comes u with something better, we'll be best taking a couple of unlocked tri-band phones, and buying some sims over there...

I'll double-check them on ebay, thanks Guv!


They will be cheaper to buy here on ebay than over there.

Going into places like Walmart, you would have thought you would get a great deal, but found the opposite to be true. On buying a cheapo phone and sim, you then have to go though an awful lot of hassle to register the phone and you may find (as we did) you will run into problems by not having a registered US address.

I'd recommend you having a look at this forum site [url]www.thedibb.co.uk[/url] as there will be numerous people with the same dilema.You should be able to pick up a few tips from them.
1 Like #33
So if I had an old phone from here I can put an usa SIM card in as long as its been unblocked. And it has to be tori and?

If I make calls back to England will they also get charged? And if so how much per min x
#34
Try telaway SIM card

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