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Thread: need help-coming from overseas in US - which carrier to choose????

  1. #1
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    need help-coming from overseas in US - which carrier to choose????

    Hello
    I will come to the US the next week from Europe, I am Romanian. I will stay in the US for 18 months, since I am coming through an internship program. I will enter USA in Los Angeles, where I will be staying for a few days, after that in Las Vegas for couple of days and after that in Miami for a week. After that, I will go in Washington DC's metropolitan area, in the small town of Manassas (State of Virginia, ZIPcode 20109).
    Now... here's my problem. I want a cell phone that works in those areas, but especially Manassas, because I want to stay in touch with my family and my fiance (They will be calling me, so I don't need a great rate for calling international). I want a prepaid plan that has little or no roaming charge, since I don't know what providers are in the area. And I want to buy it from LA, to be able to call and be called from the start of my US experience. It does not matter if it is a GSM or a CMDA carrier, I only want to have coverage at the minimum cost.
    I think at two options: NET10 (I really love their offer, I am only concearned by coverage issues) and T-mobile2go. Also, Virgin Mobile day2dat would be a good deal, I suppose. What do you think of those? What should I choose? Could you suggest me another good carrier?

    I will depart from Europe tomorrow, so I really need a fast answer, cause I will not have internet acces during my trip.
    Thank you
    Last edited by greenmanassas; 10-21-2005 at 06:39 AM.

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    Another carrier you may want to look at is STiMobile (MVNO operating on the SprintPCS CDMA1900/1X network). Some of their PAYG plans include calls to foreign countries (Romania proper included) as part of the standard per minute rate ($0.18/minute).

    They offer a free phone (after a $90 mail-in rebate) with the purchase of a $50 airtime card.

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    checked out their site, looks ok, rates ar ok, but I can't understand anything fromm their coverage map, it is too small, and I dont know exactly where manassas is located on the map...

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    You should have good coverage in all the areas you mention.

    You must realize that in the USA, you are charged airtime for all incoming and outgoing calls.

    The two choices you mentioned are good.

    Net10 has great coverage (if you buy it in LA it will a Cingular-based service), as it roams on various GSM carriers at no extra charge. The problem is that you have to pay $30 every month (some say its now only every 60 days). I know that Tracfone (too expensive if you're going to use the phone alot) is avilable in many stores, not so sure about Net10 (its owned by Tracfone).

    T-Mobile To Go is 10c/minute if you buy the $100 to start. You're covered anwhere on the T-Mobile USA network, which should be fine for the areas you mentioned.

    I would tend to lean towards T-Mobile To Go as you can find it in any T-Mobile store, as well as many large stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc, when you get to LA.

    Some of the other cheap services (Page Plus, STI, etc) are only available via the Internet/shipping, and it might be a hassle for you to get them.
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    I just got an email from Net10 Customer Service, they say:
    "NET10 customer are now able to make international calls to several
    countries over the world using a regular NET10 Prepaid Wireless airtime
    card. Calls will be made directly from the NET10 phones at very
    competitive rates with no additional access or connection fees. However,
    NET10 customer will not be able to receive international long distance
    calls on their phones
    ."
    DOES THIS MEAN THAT MY FAMILY FROM EUROPE WON'T BE ABLE TO CALL ME ON MY NET10 PHONE???

    how about virgin day2day, with that .35 charge per day and 10 centr per minute? how is virgin(sprint) coverage?

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    You can check Virgin coverage in the places you are going to be on their website. You only get a signal where there is Sprint PCS service (the carrier Virgin uses). The 35c/day is charged whether you use the phone or not. You MUST use Virgin Mobile phones. They are available in many stores too.

    I am not sure why Net10 customer service says you can't receive internlational long distance calls. It does not say that on their website (not that the website is all that great). That is a showstopper! One other thing about Net10 - although they are GSM and use SIMS, the phone/sim are locked together, and cant be used in any other equipment. Same goes for Tracfone.

    The cheapest way to keep in touch overseas is for you to call them with a cheap long distance card from this end. Net10's "competitive rates" are probably much higher than you could get with a long distance card (Net10 rates to Romania are 19c landline/26c mobile).

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    I understand that you can use more than a few phones on t-mobile.. and if I get a $100 refill, I have 10c per minute. I thing i'll go on t-mobile.
    What if I finish my 1000 minutes after six months and I recharge with $30? Will I still have 10 cente per minute? I mean, buying a $100 card guarantees me a 10 cents per minute cost for an entire year?

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    Your $30 card will get you more than $0.10 per minute. You'll be a gold member after your first $100 spent so you'll get 15% above the standard 120 minutes (or whatever the $30 card is worth). It works out to something like $0.235 per minute.

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    hm... don't know for shure if I should go for tmobile or net10... I guess I will speak some 300 minuter per month, cause I doscovered a cheap method to call Romania - I made an account with Stanaphone (www.stanaphone.com) and they gave me an US number. I call that number and my fiance answers in Romania at the PC (so call goes via internet), but I pay only the ammount for an US call. So, I guess it is much better to choose a net10 phone, cause I spend only about $100 for the start, and after that 30 a month. What would you say on that?

    plus I get free roaming virtually everywhere is gsm coverage, even in Canada.
    Last edited by greenmanassas; 10-21-2005 at 08:41 AM.

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    Good deal with the Stanaphone!

    I would suggest getting the Net10 Nokia 2600 or Moto v171.

    This past summer Net10 phones worked fine in Canada. Net10 says the dont work, but they do. I suppose they can stop that at any time, plus I suppose they could cut you off if they see you are roaming alot. There is not enough info to determine what they would do.

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    That was a good idea using Stanaphone! I have had an account with them for a few months and they are pretty good. Anyway, I would get the Nokia 2600. Nokias have excellent RF and this should aid you in having the most coverage. They also have great battery life.

  12. #12
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    I tell ya what, who ever teaches English in Romania sure knows their stuff. Welcome to the USA. I am nearby in Suburban Maryland which is outside of Wash DC. I am about 45 minutes or so from Manassas. Holler if ya need some local info.

    Now that I read this again, you are probably half way here, or here already.
    !
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    I'm thinking TMO if his current cell phone is GSM and has 1900 MHz. Just buy prepaid SIM on ebay, and he's set to go.

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    great prepaid service

    Go to intechwireless.com. They have prepaid services with unlimited nights and weekends and you can make international calls at great rates.

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    I would go with T-Mobile USA

    $100 = 1,000 minutes for a year. After that year just add the $10.00 card and its good for another year.

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