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Old 29-05-2013, 08:53   #1
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Best US SIMs for East Coast?

I have an Ericcson W35 on board my boat and right now have an AT&T pay as you go SIM in it. AT&T's customer service is frankly downright terrible and its very frustrating to deal with them.

We're cruising in US waters the next 6 months then off to the Caribbean and Panama and then South Pacific, so a 2 year contract is of no use to us.

Its way easier to buy this kind of thing pretty much anywhere apart from the US.

Has anyone used any other pay as you go SIM provided in the US that they've been happy with coverage/service wise? T-Mobile seems to offer something that might work.

The W35 takes a regular full size SIM and is 3G, so no need for 4G stuff. The AT&T is $65 a "month" for up to 1GB of data and 5c a MB above that.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:13   #2
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

I have 2 phones and both have straight talk sims

straighttalk.com

love the service and price 45 bucks a month and I am a power user for data and voice. works well for me and i use it for business
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:14   #3
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

They are basically just reselling services from other providers towers without a contract. Works well if you get a google voice number, that way your number will always be the same and people can leave voicemails that go to your email inbox along with missed calls, so you can get vm, email, missed calls and text messages all to the same inbox. I hate checking different places for that crap.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:16   #4
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan360 View Post
I have an Ericcson W35 on board my boat and right now have an AT&T pay as you go SIM in it. AT&T's customer service is frankly downright terrible and its very frustrating to deal with them.

We're cruising in US waters the next 6 months then off to the Caribbean and Panama and then South Pacific, so a 2 year contract is of no use to us.

Its way easier to buy this kind of thing pretty much anywhere apart from the US.

Has anyone used any other pay as you go SIM provided in the US that they've been happy with coverage/service wise? T-Mobile seems to offer something that might work.

The W35 takes a regular full size SIM and is 3G, so no need for 4G stuff. The AT&T is $65 a "month" for up to 1GB of data and 5c a MB above that.
I use T-mobile and it's worse. The thing is that I use an iPhone and AT&T want me to take a contract with a huge data subscription, while with T-Mobile I can just switch on & off without all that. But coverage is weak, very weak.

There are no other SIM (GSM) networks that I know of...
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:24   #5
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

for the east coast you ideally would have two phones.. a gsm and a cdma.. on my few trips up and down the coast, based in CT but sailed ME to FL, if you wanted service every day, you needed both.. but if you only want GSM then straightalk (ATT network) is the way to go for its prices.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:43   #6
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

Thanks for this - wasn't aware of Straighttalk. Will give that a try simply to get away from AT&T - their network is fine, its the computerized voice on the phone and their terrible web transactions I want to get away from. Perhaps straittalk won't be any better, but I'm willing to give it a try - especially since it says its unlimited for download - as opposed to AT&T which shuts you off after 1GB unless you pay more money.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:49   #7
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

If you want service outside the cities, Verizon has a much stronger network than the sim phones. We have also had pretty good luck with the trakphone from Walmart.
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:15   #8
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

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If you want service outside the cities, Verizon has a much stronger network than the sim phones. We have also had pretty good luck with the trakphone from Walmart.
Indeed, we use the Verizon network for data; it is very good and coverage is great. Be sure to check out millenicom.com for good deals (I have a 20GByte deal for $60)

Gonna research straightalk now, thanks!
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:15   #9
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

ICW cruisers on the East Coast find Verizon to have the most/best coverage the last several years, at least...AT&T is close behind. One would assume the resellers would get the same coverage, but who knows how that works out.
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:29   #10
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

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Originally Posted by Mystic38 View Post
for the east coast you ideally would have two phones.. a gsm and a cdma.. on my few trips up and down the coast, based in CT but sailed ME to FL, if you wanted service every day, you needed both.. but if you only want GSM then straightalk (ATT network) is the way to go for its prices.
I just checked out straightalk and they claim it is T-Mobile, not ATT ?? Or have the two merged? The coverage map seems much better than what I had with T-mobile last year?!
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:30   #11
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
ICW cruisers on the East Coast find Verizon to have the most/best coverage the last several years, at least...AT&T is close behind. One would assume the resellers would get the same coverage, but who knows how that works out.
The problem with Verizon is that it isn't GSM so no SIM cards... You need a Verizon phone.
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:31   #12
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

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I just checked out straightalk and they claim it is T-Mobile, not ATT ?? Or have the two merged? The coverage map seems much better than what I had with T-mobile last year?!
Well this page with the APN settings suggests its AT&T: Support | Straight Talk

APN of att.mvno and MMSC of http://mmsc.cingular.com

You can't just pick up a SIM in Walmart it turns out - they do have SIMS there, but only for CDMA devices, the GSM ones you have to buy online.
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Old 29-05-2013, 16:00   #13
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

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Well this page with the APN settings suggests its AT&T: Support | Straight Talk

APN of att.mvno and MMSC of http://mmsc.cingular.com

You can't just pick up a SIM in Walmart it turns out - they do have SIMS there, but only for CDMA devices, the GSM ones you have to buy online.
Indeed; but it looks like they are now only selling T-Mobile service: Shop | Straight Talk

It's a shame if so...

Last year I noticed a cellphone shop inside a Wallmart where they were selling this... may be all the big ones have that?
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Old 29-05-2013, 16:10   #14
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

Things change rapidly in the mobile industry. Straight Talk has discontinued sims that run on the AT&T network as of January. This website has great information on prepaid phone deals and services. Net10 still offers AT&T sims at good prices but you have to specify an AT&T-only zip code when you buy one or you end up with a T-Mobile sim I believe.
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Old 29-05-2013, 17:11   #15
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Re: Best US SIMs for East Coast?

I don't do anything more complicated than voicemail on my phone so I bought a Straighttalk phone from Walmart and have been quite happy.
Interestingly, when I first did this a couple of years ago, Walmart offered two different types of phones that were both pay as you go. The staffer I was dealing with advised me to buy the cheaper one, since they used everybody's towers and had better coverage. I think the more expensive one was using only AT&T or somesuch.
$30 a month and no contract? Works for me.
I think it's $45 for unlimited talk, don't know about other uses.
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