For a lot of people, visiting the US is at the top of their bucket list and why wouldn’t it be? The United States is a beautifully diverse country. There’s so much to see, so much to indulge in and so much to experience. Tourists in the US are taken aback by the unlimited choices presented to them.
You can go to a casino in Las Vegas or to a beach in Florida. Visit Mount Rushmore or the Grand Canyon. There might even possibly be an area that resembles Cinque Terre. I, being an Italian American, have been so fond of the attractions for tourists in the US that I decided to buy my separate residence there despite having one in Italy, for visiting during vacations and enjoying my time here in the US.
Your choices are unlimited! However, there is one aspect that limits your choices. By limited, I mean restricted to four service providers. Hence, the choice for tourists is not only limited but also confusing and expensive. We’re all well aware of America’s vast sources of essentially everything in the world. However, they lack in certain aspects seem when it comes to SIM companies. With incompatible technologies between providers, locked phones, and post-paid plans the norm for locals, tourists have been poorly catered for.
This obviously has a lot to do with US citizens not feeling the need for a service provider. However, what about a tourist? Service providers in other countries particularly in Asia such as Vodaphone or Wind are so incredibly spread out that nearly everyone has a SIM card. The fewer number of service providers to choose from also means that you have to be more precise about what you want since each one of them caters to a specific audience. This article is your guide to everything you need to know about these service providers and choose the one best suited for you in Italy.
Admittedly, the competition was between four SIM cards, but T-mobile is genuinely the best for tourists. You’ve probably heard of T-mobile already if it’s your second time visiting the US or even if it’s your second day in the US. T-Mobile has less coverage in rural areas (map), with particularly large gaps in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico and eastern California. On the upside, when you do have signal, data speeds will often be reasonably fast.
T-mobile t the ‘Tourist Plan’ with unlimited international and domestic texting and 1,000 minutes of domestic talk, but does not include international talk. The Tourist Plan works best for international tourists traveling to the United States who only need wireless service for 3 weeks or less. Its expiration date is 3 days, and you will have to renew it after that.
T-Mobile charges $40 for 3GB of data, $50/5 GB or $60/10Gb. If you’re planning on staying for longer than three weeks then T-mobile also has a Simply Prepaid monthly plan, you can get unlimited talk, text, and data (with up to 4GB of 4G LTE data) starting at just $45 per month per line.
AT&T has the largest (and often, most congested) network, offering coverage throughout most of the continental United States. So, consider AT&T if you’re spending time in more remote areas. However, considering the vastness of the country, there are a few lightly populated areas where you won’t get signals.
It is noteworthy that T-Mobile does not offer any prepaid data-only plan in-store. AT&T does — but only for tablets. AT&T is also comparatively more costly than T-mobile providing 2GB of internet data at $45 a month.