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Buying a SIM card on arrival

England
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Buying a SIM card on arrival

On previous visits we've taken walkie-talkies to keep in touch with family members whilst in the park.

But is it worth getting a cheap Pay and Go SIM card when we arrive instead? Does the process work like it does in the UK, i.e. easy to top up, buy data bundles, etc?

Just don't want to be paying the extortionate roaming charges. Especially as my daughter will no doubt want to update her Facebook at every opportunity :)

Thanks

Sharon

Fredrikstad, Norway
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1. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

I bought mine from T-mobile at the Mall at Milennia, works like a charm.

I use it every time I visit, and just top it up online before we travel.

You can add data plans and/or international calls as you wish.

They are real helpful normally so just look for one of their kiosks or shops they are in all the malls. www.tmobile.com

I am sure Verizone and AT&T have the same deal, just never used them.

Worksop, United...
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World, Kissimmee
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2. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

Firstly, you have to ensure that you have spare handsets that are BOTH

a) unlocked (otherwise they won't work with a fresh SIM)

b) tri-band or quad-band (otherwise they won't work at all in the USA)

After that, then, yes, you can get Pre-paid SIMs.

The workings in the USA differ from the UK in that

a) top-up credit will always expire after a (usually relatively short) period of time, SIMs are deactivated and numbers lost. Any unused credit is forfeit.

b) in the USA it costs to receive calls as well as make them.

I'm looking at getting a SIM from AT&T. The card is free; usage (airtime) costs $2 per day for unlimited minutes and unlimited text. No $2 charge on days it's not used. It costs extra, though, to call or text to the UK, and smartphone data is also charged extra.

The other alternative is to buy a disposable cell package - phone, charger, SIM, all can be had for only a few $$. For this, I suggest Net10 as the most economic offering.

England
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3. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

Thanks - yes we've all got spare quad band handsets so we should be fine. My husband seemed to think it was far more difficult to get a pre-pay SIM than it is here i.e. it's a long process.

Looks like we needn't have worried

Thx again

S

Fredrikstad, Norway
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539 posts
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4. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

The expiration time is normally 90 days, but if you fill up for a certain amount, sometimes as much as $ 100 though, your SIM will not expire, or expire after 365 days. So if you do not feel the need for a smartphone, a disposable might be the way to go.

London, United...
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5. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

Great info....will need to plan for this when we get over there :)

sunderland, uk
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6. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

sorry to jump in on your post, but we were also thinking of buying a couple of pay as you go mobiles from walmart as my father-in-law wont be with us all of the time. So we thought it would be a good idea to buy a couple of cheap mobiles. I assume we can do this.

Worksop, United...
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World, Kissimmee
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7. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

Yes. For that purpose, look at Net10. Get the cheapest handsets they have as they will be throwaway when you leave. Net10 is also sold at Walgreens, Publix, Sears and several other places.

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

We bought not so fancy pay as you go mobiles in Walmart four years ago, that we just get unblocked/re-enabled onlinefor a small fee any time we travel. After getting burned on my own personal mobile once for a lot of euro, this works out way cheaper

County Galway...
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9. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

We also have cheap pay as you go mobile from Verizon save a fortune on when we used our irish mobiles

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Buying a SIM card on arrival

What a great thread!

Hopefully someone can confirm ... I have an unlocked iPhone4 that I bought from the Apple store in Canada. I would like unlimited talk, text & data, particularly data for the 1.5 months I'll be in Orlando with my family. Are you suggesting, I can simply buy a SIM card from a phone carrier, pop it in and have service?

If so ... which carrier would one recommend given I already have a phone and want unlimited for 45 or so days.

Cheers!