Coming to US, need help with phone/data plan
T-Mobile's prepaid with 2GB of data per month.
+ Prepaid and good amount of data
- Only works in 2G mode with my phones
- For 3G I would need a new phone which isn't useful outside T-Mobile
+ Fast data which works with my gear
- Would need to pay for a phone plan and MIFI separately (~150$ per month together)
- Only 4-5hrs battery life
One solution would be to get an unlocked iPhone 4 from my home country but I don't know if there's any AT&T plans available with data and which don't require you to buy a phone. I'm also open to solution where I would need to get a temp phone for my visit but I need to get rid of it after 3-4 months use. Also most Droids support both Verizon and GSM/3G so that might be one if there are plans available without a phone (buy one upfront from Ebay) and it's relative cheap to cancel one after my stay. My company is also able to help out if there's some easy solutions available for companies.
Any help would be greatly appreciated :) As a side note I come from Finland where almost all phones are unlocked, you buy them separately without a contract and your phone bill is based on called minutes&texts and I have totally unlimited HSPA data plan which costs 10€/m for one year contract.
Another option, if you want to get by really cheaply (and for full disclosure, I'm definitely a huge webOS fan, and use a Pixi Plus on Sprint as my main phone): hunt down a Sprint Pixi or Pre on ebay and sign up for Sprint service for a few months. These phones are incredibly cheap, around 50 to 70 bucks with no contract, and Sprint has the cheapest all-inclusive plans that you can find in the States. You seem to be pretty open to different smart phones if you currently use an Android phone but are considering an unlocked iPhone, so this would let you try out webOS for the short time you're here. The downside to going with Sprint is that the phone will be basically useless after you leave, but since they are so cheap this may not be a big deal.
In summary, as long as you provide the phone, you can sign up with any carrier with no contract. You could get an unlocked GSM phone that supports AT&T's or T-Mobile's frequency bands, and sign up for service for the few months you're here, and potentially keep using whatever phone you buy once you go back home, but this will be pretty expensive (since you'll be buying an un-subsidized and un-locked phone). Or you could buy a Verizon or Sprint webOS phone and sign up with them for a few months. This will be much cheaper, but you won't be able to use the phone back home. Other than the fact that I love webOS, the main reason I am recommending a webOS phone if you go with Sprint or Verizon is because they are so cheap off-contract at this point.
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Also, whoever you do end up getting a plan with, make sure you are very clear that you do not want a contract, and are not required to have one since you aren't getting a subsidized device. I've had them sometimes still put me in a contract even though I supplied my own phone (and didn't sign anything) and I had to call and get it straightened out. It wasn't a huge deal, but something to keep in mind and be clear about.
Unlimited data on any of the 4 big carriers will cost you more per month just for data.
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