goel's lab

Problem

  • Need a micro sim card
  • With 3G connectivity
  • Without a social security number (I don’t work in the US, so I don’t have one)
  • should work with a iPhone4/4S
  • Short term contract free

Yadda yadda yadda (can skip this)

For the last few days I have been to a AT&T store and a T-mobile store, the only two GSM carriers in the US and called so many customer care centers. Thats a lot of valuable time wasted. The AT&T guys do not sell prepaid sim cards with data connectivity. They do sell postpaid cards with data, but to buy that you need credit history (social security number and related jazz). If you don’t have that then you need to deposit $500 USD as security. This will be returned back to you within a year of you canceling your subscription. On the other hand T-Mobile does sell prepaid cards with data but they run 3g on 1700 MHz which is not compatible with any iPhone so you would miss that last bus because your phone won’t be able to load the maps on time.

Solution

This post on Cocoanetics was a life saver. What you have to do is go to the AT&T store and ask for a GoPhone micro-sim card. Select one of the default plans for voice and text. Buy a data upgrade separately and install AT&T carrier data profile from www.unlockit.co.nz. After that you should be good to go.

Some nuances:

  • They might not have a micro sim card, in which case you can buy one from ebay or buy a regular sim and cut it.
  • The default plan may include some data with it. This is edge (slooooooow) connectivity. So you will end up buying a data plan separately.
  • The store people might tell you that data won’t work on a smart phone. Its only for a feature phone. You can tell them that you are OK with taking the risk and that you won’t need their help with getting the data to work.
  • Data does not work after putting the sim in. Make sure that you have installed the APN changing profile from www.unlockit.co.nz

Need Help

Feel free to ping me on twitter @shubhamgoel. Not that I have a working connection on my phone I should be able to respond in time.



Published

08 June 2012