Dutch phone in the US
January 14, 2010 1:51 AM   Subscribe

I have an Android phone with a Dutch contract. I'll be traveling in the US.

Can I buy a prepaid SIM in the US and have a reasonably priced data plan? Or what's the best way to go about having Internet access on the phone while on the road?
posted by dhoe to Travel & Transportation (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If your phone is carrier locked to your Dutch carrier, you'll have to get it unlocked first. T-mobile has a prepaid data plan for $60/mth but keep in mind T-mobile's 3G frequency in the US is different than everywhere else in the world so you will only get EDGE speeds. T-mobile stores are pretty prevalent in cities and you just need to go into a shop to get set up. If you're interested The other GSM carrier in the US is AT&T and I believe they discontinued their prepaid data plans.

The other option is using wifi as often as you can. Wifi hotspots are pretty prevalent for free almost everywhere. At Starbucks, which are on every corner it seems, you can use its wifi for free (for 2 hours) by buying a Starbucks card for $5, register it online and get an account to log in with. Then you can spend that $5 on something to eat or drink at Starbucks to get your money back (so I guess it isn't 'free' but you don't pay extra for it).

Depending on where you go in the US, you might want to check out Boingo Wireless which has a $7.95/mth smartphone plan that lets you access a lot of paid hotspots (including the aforementioned Starbucks -- but you can use it for >2 hours a day, and also McDonalds, hotels, airports, etc) Many paid hotspots will be $9.99/day so having the Boingo account can save you a lot of money. I'm pretty sure you can't tether with that, but instead would have to buy the $9.95 plan for that.
posted by birdherder at 8:18 AM on January 14, 2010

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