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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default Mobile phones and Internet providers

    Hi, we are heading to the USA in May,June this year and just wondering what is the best way to acess mobile phone sevice and internet. We will bring our laptop and would like to be able to upload photos and acedd sites fro information like camping and motel bokings.We also would like a mobile phone as well. As we are only in the USA for 5 weeks can we buy a prepaid mobile account and prepaind wireless / satelite internet. We will mainly around the west coast and travelling to Yellowstone, Arizona area as well. A little bit of local knowledge could save us a lot of worries.Thanks in advance.
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Who is your local carrier

    You should be able to get the chips for your personal phones that work here. Although pre-paid plans are very convenient. Wi-Fi standards are pretty much on the protocol here as in Europe. Two of the most active RoadTrip Enthusiasts (Southwest Dave & Peter Thody) have a good deal of experience with connecting in the states as well as back home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default [Very] Limited info.

    Warning, anything electronic that doesn't have a plug attached is 'High Tec' to me!! but you should check with your phone provider for travelling overseas info. They may be able to enable 'International roaming service' where your phone automatically picks up signals from other providers, but at a higher rate to your standard service. To do this, I think your phone needs to be a Tri band type or Dual band with GSM 1900 capability, but they will know all that by your type of phone. You should ask that they give you there call rates for this service.

    Mark must have forgotten that I travel 'computer less', but most Hotels have connections/Wi Fi and all you need, that I am aware of, would be the plug adaptor to plug your laptop/charger into the mains.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You can easily buy cheap prepaid throwaway voice phones here, example is the AT&T "Go-Phone". Data is a different story, those generally require a contract and a local billing address. I travel with a voice-only phone and a wifi-equipped laptop, that serves me well enough. Almost all McDonalds and Starbucks stores have free public wifi, as do a lot of commercial campgrounds and some Interstate highway rest stops. Most hotels have wifi or wired access.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default Communication and Internet

    Hi, we are nearly ready for our road trip in the USA on the 6th MAy 2011. I think I asked this question here somewhere but cant find the post. We are wondering about mobile phones and internet. Should we get international roam for our wn mobile phone providers or purchase a prepaid account in the USA. Our laptop doed have wireless internet and can pick up free internet connectios,should we also purchase a wireless prepaid satelite internet plan as well. Any help would be appreciated and where would be the best places to buy.
    The internet is just for uploading photos to a website and blog as well as trip planning.
    John
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-16-2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Merged with existing thread about this topic

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I found my other post so Im srory for doubling up.Still intersted in some help though.
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Relax!!

    Hi John,

    Relax!! You are so well prepared, I'd be inclined to almost say, over prepared.

    If you are taking a computer, then you will find that wifi is available widely. At virtually all accommodation, including campgrounds, they have wifi. Mostly free, sometimes you need to pay. As well as that, at most truckstops, along many interstates and at a lot of rest areas you will find wifi. Only in the most remote areas will you not be able to find it, and then it is doubtful that a mobile phone would be any more effective.

    On my last (6 month) trip, I had Skype (I still use it). With an Australia wide plan, I found that making calls to a US number, was about three cents a minute. And calls to free-call numbers in the US were free (with the correct settings). Making calls back home was free. And if you purchase an Australian Skype-in number, your loved ones can call you (for the cost of a local call) if they know when you will be online. They can also leave voicemail messages.

    If you feel it is really necessary, then get a phone card. But frankly for a mere thirty three days, it would not be worth investing in extra technology. You will be at all times in an area much travelled. You are travelling at a popular time. I doubt that you will have an hour without seeing another individual.

    Reading back over your trip thread, all I can advise you is, relax and enjoy, and don't get too uptight about timings and distances. Just enjoy the moment - wherever you are.

    And of course, if you have a laptop with you, try to post a report at the end of the day in the Forum's RoadTrip Field Reports. We are all waiting to see how it goes.

    Lifey wishes you a memorable trip
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 04-16-2011 at 06:56 PM. Reason: added info

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the responce here. Definetly taking the laptop as I need it to download my daily photos and video as well as backup to hardrives etc. We went to our local provider today and got our phones on roam so we can use them during our trip.
    just liked the idea of having internet when we wanted rather than when we are near a truck stop etc.
    Hopefully we will spend most of the time camping in our van in National Parks etc. thats why I was wondering about a month long wireless prepaid account.
    Definetly will look into skype, my wife has more of an idea rather than me.
    Thanks Lifemagician for your input, I am a bit of a planning nut. I work in transport allocation so timing is my job. I have done a few trips to Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and usally spend a few months researching and planning a trip.We have extended our trip to 39 days now.Couldnt fit it all in.
    Relax I certainly will do(except for city driving). I have been googling all the places on our trip and very excited.
    Having internet available would help in forward planning as well as updating here on a trip report.
    John
    Last edited by john.waters; 04-17-2011 at 02:53 AM. Reason: more info added

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