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Can I use my Australian phone in the USA?

Old Apr 5th, 2010, 03:47 AM
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Can I use my Australian phone in the USA?

My family is travelling from Australia to California this month and
I would like to know what options I have in taking and using my Australian phone. We are planning to visit a few theme parks with the kids and anticipate getting separated so would like to find each other readily! International roaming seems ridiculously expensive. Can I easily purchase a US Sim card, assuming my phone is unlocked of course, and thus access better rates. Any suggestions as to phone carriers and type of SIM card? I would like to have something both my husband and I can use to call each other inexpensively as often as required. We often travel to Hawaii as well so something that might work there too would be advantageous.
I'd appreciate any handy tips.
starofthesea is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2010, 03:59 AM
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Speak with your carrier about one month options for US service. Probably will require a SIM card change. Should be a fraction of international roaming, or don't do it.

You can purchase pre-paid disposable phones once you arrive in the U.S. Should wait until you are out of the airport and go to a retail store, like Wal Mart for more competitive prices.

I defer to another on purchasing a SIM card once you arrive.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 04:07 AM
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I would think the easiest thing to do would be to just purchase a pay-as-you-go mobile phone once you get to the States. You can find them everywhere--Walmart, Target, Kmart and many other stores as well, even convenience stores. If you aren't picky as to style, you can find them for as little as $10. Then pick up as many or as few minutes as you need. Pay-as-you-go minutes probably average around 15 - 20 cents per minute.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 04:16 AM
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The short answer is, yes, your phone will work here, provided it is an unlocked, GSM phone.

Getting a SIM card is not as easy as it is in Australia. T-mobile's prepaid SIM http://tinyurl.com/2spgy7 should work very well in your phone. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap mobile phone at Wal Mart as stumpworks73 already mentioned or at a Target store, or a Walgreens or CVS drug store (one of which is guaranteed to be found on any street corner). Even 7-11's carry TracFone prepaid cell phones http://tinyurl.com/yh8wbsm

Welcome to the U.S. and have a great time here!

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Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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Thankyou all for your help. i checked out all your ideas and liked the idea of the T-mobile prepaid SIM. They actually advertise a 'Pay by the Day' option and allow unlimited calls between T-mobiles!! I read along the way though that it can be very hard for an non-US Resident to purchase a SIM card only. Any feedback on that comment? I'd prefer to buy a SIM card rather than whole new phones (seems a waste for 2 weeks) Good to know there is an easy, cheap, backup plan though.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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"I read along the way though that it can be very hard for an non-US Resident to purchase a SIM card only. Any feedback on that comment?"

There is no problem buying a prepaid SIM. I know this to be true because some Norwegian relatives did this 1 1/2 years ago when they visited us and there were no problems at any time. Remember, you are not signing a contract for a monthly plan.

Those new, but cheap, phones may cost as little as US$20-US$25 and just may come with a SIM card included.

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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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If you have time, you can get already activated tmobile sims on ebay for quite cheap. If not, you can still purchase and have it shipped to a relative/friend in the US and just pop it into your phone when you are here. You can also topup online or buy it at walmart, target, etc.
mrcamp is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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If you do have unlocked phones, take a look at this option:

http://www.telestial.com/sim_regional.php?ID=NA
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