Post-paid GSM SIM in San Francisco

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js

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Hi,

I wonder if anyone can share any tips about getting a post paid GSM SIM card issued by a US GSM phone carrier (e.g. Cingular, AT&T, T-mobile...)

Basically trying to cut down on extortionate roaming rates (who isn't.. :mad:) but would much prefer a post-paid SIM than pre-paid as I need to make international calls and can't afford to have it drop out / run out of credit at inconvenient moments.

Sadly everywhere I've tried so far requires a U.S. SSN (Social Security Number); and attempting to order online adds the added complication of needing a credit card with a U.S. billing address too.

I do have a U.S. mailing address, just not a SSN or U.S. issued credit card.

Has anyone got any suggestions or know of anywhere that is more traveller-friendly in dealing with such things? Free slab of beer or other nominated poision if anyone can make it happen ;)

JS
 
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Tiki

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Maybe you can get a prepaid T-Mobile card on Ebay, then convert it to a post paid when you get there.
 

bfmi

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Check out vRoam Global.

It's a SIM card rental service for the countries being visited with billing either postpaid or prepaid. It has a "follow me" (number forwarding) feature which keeps you reachable on your AU number but with much lower costs since your not roaming but forwarding calls.
 

js

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Thanks for the leads so far. vRoam looks interesting although still quite expensive compared to a SIM direct with the local carrier(s).

The ebay option is tempting as I'd noticed that T-Mobile pre-paid SIMs are available very cheaply.. just figured that I would have the same problem trying to convert a pre-paid SIM into post-paid as I'd have getting a post-paid straight out, i.e. no U.S. SSN etc...

I'll follow up these suggestions but anyone else with any ideas or that has successfully converted a T-Mobile prepaid to postpaid without a SSN I'd love to hear from you.
 

straitman

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js said:
Thanks for the leads so far. vRoam looks interesting although still quite expensive compared to a SIM direct with the local carrier(s).

The ebay option is tempting as I'd noticed that T-Mobile pre-paid SIMs are available very cheaply.. just figured that I would have the same problem trying to convert a pre-paid SIM into post-paid as I'd have getting a post-paid straight out, i.e. no U.S. SSN etc...

I'll follow up these suggestions but anyone else with any ideas or that has successfully converted a T-Mobile prepaid to postpaid without a SSN I'd love to hear from you.

Please keep us 'posted' as I'm sure quite a few people will be interested in the outcome. :D
 

NM

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js said:
Basically trying to cut down on extortionate roaming rates (who isn't.. :mad:) but would much prefer a post-paid SIM than pre-paid as I need to make international calls and can't afford to have it drop out / run out of credit at inconvenient moments.
Think about whether you really need to make international calls from your mobile phone, or if you can use a calling card (very cheap to buy in the USA for international calls) from a land-line (hotel or even a public phone).

Then just use a pre-paid SIM for receiving calls and making domestic calls.
 

Tiki

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In the States, you also get charged for INCOMING calls! :shock: Yeah, I found out the hard way, I was wondering why I kept running out of credit when my friends who mostly all had plans with unlimited domestic calls for a flat monthly rate called me. The air time still came off my prepaid time. Not happy!:evil:
 
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busykate

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We have trialed pre-paid simcards in USA but there is a big catch. As soon as you leave the state were it is registered you are now roaming nationally within the US and you call costs to make and receive calls are nearly as much as normal roaming! We now use the vRoam service that bfmi mentioned as they provide fixed rates for the calls so there are no surprises like we had with the pre-paids.
 

trippin_the_rift

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if you can get onto a plan over there, do it... very cheap..very worthwhile...save you a bunch of cash.

tmobile has a good deal on prepaid if you spend around $100 each time which gets you a bunch of anytime minutes and country-wide calls

you will need an unlocked, or tmobile phone however.
 
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