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Hi Tertia!
Last time I was in the States I wanted to get a SIM card and they looked at me like I was a loony - but you can get a 'disposable' phone (i.e. a very cheap one) with prepaid airtime, and that worked fine (just buy enough airtime to last you, so that you don't have to mission to get it).
I also found that there was free wireless pretty much everywhere (even on buses!) so no need to take a modem.
Have fun!

I'm loving your questions as I'll just come back here and read everything for when we go to NYC one day.... hopefully soon :)

out of luck. no prepaid sim


might help

I've always had to use a US phone in the US.

I would get a disposable phone if I were you and then give out the number to those who need it. It's the cheapest option. We don't have prepaid SIMs here that I know of. Never even heard of a prepaid microsim!

Here's a link to the shops at JFK. It does look like some of the terminals have phone kiosks at least. Personally I would wait until I got into the city to do the phone thing though. Then if you have a problem with it you can easily go back to the shop. JFK is not close to Manhattan.


You can get prepaid Sim cards in the NYC. There is a place on 44th. http://www.usasims.com/

A prepaid phone card with a disposable phone is the cheapest option. Look for stores such as Radio Shack or Best Buy.
You do not need to book it in advance.
I would love the excuse to fly from Miami to NY but I have just gave birth to my miracle daughter, Emma...
Have fun!! (If you have a stopover in Miami, let me know. We can treat you to an Argentinean BBQ!)

A Danish friend of ours, who visits the U.S. often, has the same problem of cost with his Danish smart phone. He has a cheap phone (about $30 U.S.) with prepaid minutes for U.S. use. You can get minutes when you buy the phone, but they can be refilled through the phone (although it may require a U.S. credit card). I know phone calls are not your primary interest though.
Is there someone at the U.S. embassy/chancery/consulate who often travels and would know the answers you need? And, can you charge your devices on U.S. current?
All the Starbucks coffee shops here in the Washington area have free WiFi. They blanket the earth and I think that must be true in New York as well.

never heard of such a thing (I'm in the U.S). Tracfone has really cheap phones that come with some minutes. there is wireless in all hotels etc.

Just ask the desk at the hotel where to buy a prepaid phone - usually $30 for phone and 300 minutes. As others have said, you shouldn't need a data sim. Free wifi should be available. http://www.google.com/search?q=free+wifi+nyc&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

Enjoy your trip!

Tertia, if you only need data, one option that you can look at is renting a Mifi device. I don't know about a specific company that does so, but I know they do exist. Look into that option rather.

Here is what i did last summer. I used an iPad over free wifi with Skype to make calls from France back to the US. I signed up for the skype phone service (formerly Skype-out) to call phones and cells, and it was far cheaper than a new phone. The downside was that I really could not receive calls. The do have an inbound phone to skype option, but I did not try it.

Folks from home would send a short SMS to my US based cell and then I'd call them from skype.

My iPad remains my favorite travel accessory. The maps with the 'you are here' blue dot have saved me countless hours. Sharing photos, checking mail, consulting the interwebs. I do not leave home without it. :o)

If your hotel charges wifi, go to the nearest starbucks or McD :), they always have free wifi.

AT&T uses SIM cards in their phones, as does TMobile, so you could get a disposable AT&T or TMobile phone and pop its SIM into your BB. The 3G might not work, but whose 3G really does in NYC anyway? You might be better off on Edge in any case.

Sprint and Verizon use CDMA technology, so no SIM cards. Very inconvenient. Avoid those, as they will not help you.

As for your laptop card, you might be able to get a disposable GPRS-type phone that uses a microsim to swap in, but I would be less sure about that. We do have wifi in many many locations, though, so you might be able to skip that option altogether.

You don't want to buy anything at the airport, it will cost you 3-6 times what it will cost anywhere else in New York. You can get a sim card for your phone but you will have to go to a store that sells your model of phone to get the right one. AT&T sells pre-paid phones for US$21.95 that cost US$2 a day to use. You can plug your laptop or iPad into the phone and connect to the internet that way. If you go to http://www.att.com/storelocator/ and enter the hotel's address you can find the nearest stores nearest that sell GoPhone Equipment.

If your iPad has a sim slot, you can buy an AT&T microsim for $15 US. A one month data plan (250 mb) is $14.99. You can do it for a single month, or in your case 4 days, and then cancel. It is a month to month plan with no activation fee or penalty for cancelation. There may be cheaper alternatives available.

Hey Tertia
Long time lurker here...
I'm pretty certain you CAN get a pay as you go sim from ATT. It would be under their gophone plans, they have data and I don't think you have to buy a phone with it. As far as WiFi, like others have said every Starbucks Coffee has free WiFi (and most of them open at 5 am), but I think you can also get a pay as you go data plan with a tethering option (so you'll be able to connect it to your laptop for WiFi).

Go to www.att.com and get on their live chat, they should be able help you there. I'm pretty sure there is an ATT kiosk in terminal 4 at JFK. If you don't come into terminal 4 just do a Google search for an ATT store near your hotel, they're all over.in NY.

Good luck!

Wifi is EVERYWHERE and free, esp. in NYC. Your hotel will have it, the parks have it, the airplane has it, Starbucks has it, it's everywhere! I agree with everyone else, buy a cheap pre-paid in the US once you get here, and use your iPad w/the wifi.

As mentionted in one of the previous posts not all operators in US sell SIM cards - CDMA technology does not use them - you will need to go for a GSM operator.

T-Mobile sells both normal and micro-SIMs - they are about $10 each. For prepaid data you get bundles - 1GB bundle $30, 100MB bundle $10.

Here's the closest T-Mobile to where you'll be staying. Half of the long part of the block & half of the short part of the block:
(Map of location, then address.)
9th Ave & 43rd St (9153)
610 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
Distance 0.17 miles

Here are Free WiFi hotspots near your hotel:
(A google map using your hotel as the address for the search.)

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