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Thread: Setting up new GoPhone accounts for travel to Orlando from Toronto, Canada

  1. #1
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    Setting up new GoPhone accounts for travel to Orlando from Toronto, Canada

    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to plan ahead to have cell service during an upcoming trip to Orlando (from Toronto, Ontario). I'd like to have the SIMs/accounts/service ready to go as soon as the plane touches down, and not spend any vacation time visiting AT&T stores and setting up phones.

    Can you help me make sure I understand how things work? Here's what I think needs to happen:


    1. Buy two AT&T SIMs from ebay, about $5 each. (I'm looking at this seller http://cgi.ebay.ca/New-AT-T-Cingular...item5889d6507f )
    2. Buy some refill cards from calling mart (using the coupons from the other thread) and they email PINs
    3. When I get to Orlando, I can pop the SIMs into the phones and activate the SIM/IMEI pairs on the AT&T website, AT&T assigns a phone number to each SIM
    4. Add value to the accounts from PINs sent by store
    5. Choose account config for the two phones (both $2/day unlim, one with the 100mb data pack)
    6. Use them.

    I'm wondering if there is any delay in my step 3. Does it take time for the activation, or is it essentially instantaneous?

    Is there any way for me to activate the accounts from Canada, or do I have to be within AT&T network first? (Post in another thread leads me to believe I must be in the USA to activate)

    Both our phones are unlocked and used on Rogers network, which uses the same frequencies as AT&T, as I understand things. So I don't expect any radio issues.

    Anything else you guys recommend, or issues to look out for?

    I know the refill value expires, so even if I can activate earlier from Canada, I shouldn't add the card value until right before the trip, as it will expire.

    Sorry for the big wall of text, but thanks for any advice you can offer!
    --goorpy

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    Orlando and cellphone stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by goorpy View Post
    1. I'm trying to plan ahead to have cell service during an upcoming trip to Orlando (from Toronto, Ontario). I'd like to have the SIMs/accounts/service ready to go as soon as the plane touches down, and not spend any vacation time visiting AT&T stores and setting up phones.

    2. When I get to Orlando, I can pop the SIMs into the phones and activate the SIM/IMEI pairs on the AT&T website, AT&T assigns a phone number to each SIM
    I'm wondering if there is any delay in this step. Does it take time for the activation, or is it essentially instantaneous?

    3. Is there any way for me to activate the accounts from Canada, or do I have to be within AT&T network first? (Post in another thread leads me to believe I must be in the USA to activate)

    4. Both our phones are unlocked and used on Rogers network, which uses the same frequencies as AT&T, as I understand things. So I don't expect any radio issues.

    5. I know the refill value expires, so even if I can activate earlier from Canada, I shouldn't add the card value until right before the trip, as it will expire.
    1. I think your plan is solid ; a trip to the AT&T store wouldn't take long, I wouldn't be concerned. That said, if you were visiting me (I used to live in Orlando - Dr Pepper, FL, actually.) I'd get the pieces in advance for you or, better, loan you a pair of accounts.

    2. These actions only take a few seconds, in my experiance.

    3. I've heard two stories like this. One story is that AT&T towers can be reached across Lake Ontario. The other is that AT&T towers have timing issues with the GSM system that limit access to about 39 miles.

    4. I also believe that Rogers and AT&T handsets are compatable.

    5. Most refills are active for 90 days ; should be OK.
    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    3. I've heard two stories like this. One story is that AT&T towers can be reached across Lake Ontario. The other is that AT&T towers have timing issues with the GSM system that limit access to about 39 miles.
    Anecdotally, I was able to get a very weak Verizon signal on the islands just south of Toronto, but was not able to place a call.

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    you can also ask the ebay seller to pre-activate the accounts for you with an area code of your choice. if not and it comes with a different area code, you can call at&t when you have the sim in the phone and get the number changed

    might save you some time

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    I would like to know if this works, as I am going to orlando in May and was thinking the same thing but using my iphone. I was going to activate using the free wifi in the airport

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    1. I think your plan is solid ; a trip to the AT&T store wouldn't take long, I wouldn't be concerned. That said, if you were visiting me (I used to live in Orlando - Dr Pepper, FL, actually.) I'd get the pieces in advance for you or, better, loan you a pair of accounts.

    2. These actions only take a few seconds, in my experiance.

    3. I've heard two stories like this. One story is that AT&T towers can be reached across Lake Ontario. The other is that AT&T towers have timing issues with the GSM system that limit access to about 39 miles.

    4. I also believe that Rogers and AT&T handsets are compatable.

    5. Most refills are active for 90 days ; should be OK.
    Regards
    Thanks. That's reassuring. Yea, a trip to an AT&T store wouldn't be the end of the world, but I'd rather avoid it with a bit of time spent planning at home, if possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by fshamji View Post
    you can also ask the ebay seller to pre-activate the accounts for you with an area code of your choice. if not and it comes with a different area code, you can call at&t when you have the sim in the phone and get the number changed

    might save you some time
    I asked the seller, and he said he could/would not do that, but that I could return the SIMs to him if I had issues activating.

    Fair enough, so I bought the two cards. When they arrive I'll found out if I can activate from here.
    (Whether by AT&T towers or Roaming)

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryRosen View Post
    I would like to know if this works, as I am going to orlando in May and was thinking the same thing but using my iphone. I was going to activate using the free wifi in the airport
    I'll report back once I have the SIMs and have had a chance to try activating.

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    Would activating the sim cards from this link work?
    https://www.wireless.att.com/GoPhone...=activatePayGo

    I am going to be doing the same as the OP when we go to LA in a few weeks.

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    So I was able to perform the initial part of the activation (using the address of my hotel in Orlando), but ran into problems when I tried to log into my account online ( https://www.paygonline.com/websc/index.jsp ).

    They send you a new password via SMS, but my AT&T SIM is unable to register on the Rogers/Bell/Telus networks here in Toronto (and no visibility of AT&T network). So I can't get that SMS, and thus can't get my web password.

    I'm stuck right now until I can call AT&T back during business hours tomorrow. I guess GoPhone account users aren't worthy of 24h support.

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    I did something similar last fall:
    I bought a GoPhone SIM on ebay, registered it and picked the $2/day plan through the AT&T site then realized I couldn't get the confirmation text while still in Canada.

    So I just waited till I crossed the border, called 611 from my phone and added money to the account using my credit card. It was all pretty painless except that I had to speak to a rep to confirm my credit card info since my credit card does not have a US billing address, but it was still only a 5-minute process. (And each time I want to add more money I need to do the same).

    Have a great trip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by goorpy View Post
    They send you a new password via SMS, but my AT&T SIM is unable to register on the Rogers/Bell/Telus networks here in Toronto (and no visibility of AT&T network). So I can't get that SMS, and thus can't get my web password.
    AT&T does not allow roaming in Canada, only in Mexico. So yes, you will have to wait until you cross the border and is able to pick up a signal from AT&T before you can get the password for your online account.
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

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    Quote Originally Posted by goorpy View Post
    Thanks. That's reassuring. Yea, a trip to an AT&T store wouldn't be the end of the world, but I'd rather avoid it with a bit of time spent planning at home, if possible.



    I asked the seller, and he said he could/would not do that, but that I could return the SIMs to him if I had issues activating.

    Fair enough, so I bought the two cards. When they arrive I'll found out if I can activate from here.
    (Whether by AT&T towers or Roaming)



    I'll report back once I have the SIMs and have had a chance to try activating.

    I bought a go phone refill off ebay. Was nervous but it was for not. 25 dollar card for 16. 50 for 30. 00. Basically pay and provide ur go phone number and he refills. Nervous at first but his feedbac score was 99.5. Had no issues. Received an emails asking mt to check my acount. All was in order.

    PM me if you are interested on the ebay post\ing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goorpy View Post
    So I was able to perform the initial part of the activation (using the address of my hotel in Orlando), but ran into problems when I tried to log into my account online ( https://www.paygonline.com/websc/index.jsp ).

    They send you a new password via SMS, but my AT&T SIM is unable to register on the Rogers/Bell/Telus networks here in Toronto (and no visibility of AT&T network). So I can't get that SMS, and thus can't get my web password.

    I'm stuck right now until I can call AT&T back during business hours tomorrow. I guess GoPhone account users aren't worthy of 24h support.
    Just something to try: Insert the GoPhone SIM in one of your unlocked phones in Canada, and boot it up. When it turns on it won't find a signal; don't worry. Keep restarting the phone a few times. I have found that sometimes incoming text messages "leak through" during the first few moments of the phone trying to establish a connection, before it gets blocked due to not being in the USA. This worked on my Motorola Milestone.

    As for top-ups I went with Callingmart for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmstlist View Post
    Just something to try: Insert the GoPhone SIM in one of your unlocked phones in Canada, and boot it up. When it turns on it won't find a signal; don't worry. Keep restarting the phone a few times. I have found that sometimes incoming text messages "leak through" during the first few moments of the phone trying to establish a connection, before it gets blocked due to not being in the USA. This worked on my Motorola Milestone.
    Tried this a couple dozen times -- no such luck.

    AT&T was also unable/unwilling to provide the code over the phone, said it can only be sent via SMS. I guess I have to wait until I cross the border. Oh well.

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    Okay, I guess it was worth a try =)

    When I activated my SIM I had my university all-zone transit pass, so I hopped on a TransLink bus that got very close to the border and waited for the SMS to pop through. Not as easy to do that when you are living in Toronto though! Unless you want to make a day trip out to see Niagara Falls

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    Did the OP come back from Orlando yet? If so did the SMS come through when he arrived in the US? Was he able to sucessfully aquire data?

    Good news, as of April 17th AT&T will offer a $25 500mB package.
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/12/f...-smartphone-s/

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