Aussie using iPad in US and Canada - advice please

Discussion in 'North America' started by ozgirl, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Hi,
    will be travelling to the US (one week) and Canada (three weeks) later in the year. I know there are lots of WiFi opportunities but would like to have coverage whilst travelling in car etc.
    From what I have read here it appears that the advice is to buy an AT&T micro sim with a VISA 'gift card' - to get around the whole US visa card thing?
    My second question is should I buy the AT&T International Plan to carry me in to Canada or buy another Canadian micro sim when we get there?
    I am happy to sacrifice a little extra cost if it means we are not spending half of our holiday searching for stores to find sims!:confused:
    Lastly, we will be transiting through LAX (then on to Boston) - anywhere there to buy a micro sim?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    Not in LAX that I can remember - I picked up a prepaid SIM from a Best Buy after we left the airport. I never had problems paying for anything with my credit cards (issued from Australia).

    Alternatively, when you rent the vehicle, you could ask for them to include a GPS as well.
  3. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Hi, was that a micro sim for iPad that you got in Best Buys? I have heard of others having difficulty activating without an American credit card?
  4. Stefx
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    Stefx iPad Fan

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    I am Canadian an when I go to the US, I use a microsim I bought at an AT&T store.
    To pay for the month, I use a Visa gift card, and remember to cancel your plan whil you're still in the AT&T 3G signal, apparently it can't be cancelled once you have left.
    25$ for 2Gig / month
  5. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Thanks Stefx, what do you suggest for my time in Canada?
  6. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    I didn't have any problems on my credit card, so maybe that's just me. You can get a microsim at Best Buy, yes.

    If you're going down the Visa gift card route, I've heard that you need to "activate" the card online before it can be used, so just be aware.
  7. Stefx
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    Stefx iPad Fan

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    You can walk in a Rogers or Bell Mobility store and get a microsim.

    I don't know about foreign credit cards for paying the plan though, as I use my canadian credit card.

    Both have a no commitment 35$/5gig/month plan
  8. iVan
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    iVan iPad Ninja

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    Go with Rogers it's a subsidiary of AT&T.
  9. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Just had a look at the Rogers website, it says " Follow the instructions on your iPad screen to connect your iPad to an internet-connected computer, and then to connect to iTunes to update your iPad with the settings for the Rogers network. "

    I won't be travelling with a laptop (thats the idea of the iPad!) - can/will they do that instore? I had this issue in France but luckily found an Apple store that did it for me.
  10. Stefx
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    Stefx iPad Fan

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    I neededa computer to activate my Rogers and Bell Mobility acounts
  11. Stefx
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    Stefx iPad Fan

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    I fail to see why that would be a reason to choose Rogers.
    Pick a supplier based on the quality andvalue of itsservice, not based on its parent company.

    Try the app TowerLocator if you know where you will stay and see which supplier hs antennas close by.
    In my case it was Rogers
    Also, a year ago Bell had a horrible iPad support. It could have changed.
  12. PhotoJim
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    PhotoJim iPF Novice

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    Rogers used to be a subsidiary of AT&T but it isn't anymore.
  13. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Hi Ozgirl,
    I bought my ipad in Australia last December before heading to the US for Xmas/NY.
    I bought an AT&T micro sim from a store in Orange CA for $15 (they charge for the micro sim unlike here in Oz.) It was a hassle finding a store that sold them. I suggest you buy the micro sim here off ebay before you go. The issue I found was Best Buy and most of the electronic/mobile phone shops did not stock the micro sim for ipad. You have to go to a "Corporate AT&T store".
    Here's 4 for sale, but they come up regularly.
    AT&T ATT iPad 3G iPhone 4 Mini Micro SIM Card (eBay item 150542451605 end time 03-Apr-11 01:47:14 AEDST) : Phones

    I used a prepaid CBA Travel card to pay the $25 for 2GB and used the address of the corporate store and it activated without an issue.

    Hope this helps.
  14. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Thanks Drummo, that is very encouraging!! When you activated did you get these options and if so how did you proceed? (I have just clicked on a link from an ebay site just to have a look at options before getting sim.)



    * Which best describes your activation type?
    New customer or Add a line[​IMG] Select this option if you are:

    A new AT&T Wireless customer and you are activating your new wireless phone
    OR
    An existing AT&T Wireless customer and you are activating a phone for a new line you have added to your account.
    Upgrade phone[​IMG] Select this option if you are an existing AT&T Wireless customer and you are:

    Upgrading your phone and need to activate the new phone.
    Add a line and Upgrade a phone[​IMG] Select this option if you are an existing AT&T Wireless customer and you:

    Upgrade a phone - replaced old phone and you need to activate the new phone
    AND
    Add a line - you have added another line to your account and need to activate the new phone.

    GoPhone:
    Pay As You Go






    * Wireless number
    - -

    * Verification method
    Select method Billing or shipping ZIP code Last four digits of Social Security number Last four digits of Tax ID number

    * Verification number
  15. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Hi Ozgirl,
    when you buy the sim it allocates you a "cellular data number." The way it works is you buy 2GB for $25 or 30 days whichever comes first and then recharges automatically every 30 days. Once inserted in the iPad it takes you straight to the AT&T site where you enter an address and credit card for payment. You can then recharge the card online if you use the 2GB within the 30 day period. The only thing you have to do is cancel your account before leaving the US. Don't get caught like I did, I was planning on cancelling the account (done from inside the settings tab on your ipad) when flying out from LAX but couldn't get connection from within the airport. It hasn't mattered as there was no credit left on the card by the end of the trip.
    Sorry to be so specific but I thought you'd prefer the details.
    As mentioned earlier you can only buy ipad micro sims from AT&T Corporate Stores so check out where they are. I bought mine from the AT&T store at 1345 Sth Harbour Blvd Fullerton CA. Ph. +714 870 9912 (it's about 10 mins from Disneyland.
  16. ozgirl
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    ozgirl iPF Noob

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    Ok thanks, guess I'll work it out when the time comes. So basically any AT&T micro sim for iPad off of ebay will do the trick?
    When I get there I insert and then I will have the opportunity to select the plan?
    I think I will be going for their international plan to save the hassle of doing it all over again a week later in Canada!
  17. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Yes an AT&T micro sim, my main problem was Best Buy and mobile phone shops did not have the micro sim. I'm not sure about Canada though.
    cheers
  18. Stefx
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    Stefx iPad Fan

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    I dont think you want AT&T's international plan for Canada
    I don't remember exact numbers, but a few months ago that int'l plan was something like 90$ for 200MB, outrageous.

    *** edit ***
    I just checked AT&T's web site
    Canadian data roaming is 0.015$ per KB
    That's 15$ per MB, or 15 000$ per Gigabyte
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

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