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Sim card for the US

Has anyone purchased a sim card to use in the USA? If so, which one did you purchase? Did you like it or not, and why?

I want to put one in my iPad for a domestic trip to test it to see if I'd want to bother using one for future trips with European sim card. I see some options, but thought I'd check with those of you are experienced with it first.

Posted by
1005 posts

I've bought them at a T-Mobile store for a relative when he was visiting from France. It seems to work fine.

Posted by
886 posts

I'm not sure what you are asking. Generally, when you buy an iPad, you either purchase the one with cellular connectivity or you purchase the less expensive one with WiFi capability only. Assuming you bought the one with cellular connectivity, there should already be a SIM card in it which is installed by your cellular provider. If your device is not cellular ready, I am not certain that you can modify it to accept a SIM card to become so.

Posted by
205 posts

Hi Wray
I am assuming your iPad has both Wi-fi and cellular capabilities. And when you acquired it, you never installed a SIM card in your iPad, using it only on Wi-Fi- at least until now?

The choice of a cellular provider depends on where you are going in the US and the coverage. I have used both ATT and Verizon and both have good US coverage in major cities. So for me, either one is fine. Which company do you hate the least?

I have two iPads, one of them is Wi-Fi only, and when there is no wi-fi, I use my iPhone's cellular plan to tether (connect) them and that has also worked. And that's the scenario I have used Overseas in the past. ( i.e. my iPhone had a European SIM card with a generous data plan and I just tethered my iPad to the iPhone when there was no Wi-Fi.)

In the US, I use my other iPad (with both the Wi-Fi and Cellular data plan) on a daily basis with either ATT or Verizon, and they work just fine in major metropolitan areas.

Posted by
5847 posts

Just pop in a European SIM when you get there. The clerk in a TIM store did it for me and I took it out, replaced it with my US based SIM, on the flight home.

Posted by
2458 posts

Thanks T, that's exactly what I wanted to know.

FYI for others: The new iPad mini has an option/spot for a sim card so you don't have to rely on wifi only. I haven't used the sim card spot yet, and that is why I was asking. I don't usually want this sim in the US, but thought it would be handy internationally., However, I wanted to try it here first for the heck of it on an upcoming US trip, but I only want a short term sim, like I'd purchase in Europe, and there are occasions it might be handy here in the future. We didn't like the older cellular system on my husband's iPad. I do not have a smart phone any more and don't want one so there's no hotspot system to use.

Roamability was also mentioned, and can be topped up periodically, so I didn't know if anyone had heard of that one. T Mobile will work fine. AT&T has one, but not sure about them any more.

Thanks Everyone!

Posted by
4695 posts

If you carry your phone with you wherever you carry the tablet, one option is to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot and then tether the iPad through WiFi to your phone. You'd be using data from your phone's data plan, though. If you have unlimited data then nothing to worry about.

Posted by
2458 posts

Andrew, I don't think you can do that with a flip phone...can you?

Posted by
4695 posts

No, probably not. Didn't know you had a flip phone.

Have you considered buying a smart phone for travel? Then you could use that for everything and perhaps not even bother with the iPad when traveling.

Posted by
2458 posts

Andrew, I might do that on a whim at some point. It is always an option. I bought one in Sweden and it was handy because of the purpose of that trip. I can see doing that again sometime. But I bought this 'toy' and i want to see how it works or if it works. If the mini iPad can act as the phone on rare occasions, then I think that will work just fine for me, it easily fits in a purse, is light, and I prefer the size for texting and reading. I think I'm right in thinking with the sim I will just have a larger cell phone? Right? And for just a controlled period of time.