• Going to WWDC? Here's how to get your iPhone Working in SF



    There will be a mass influx of Australians with iPhones hitting up San Francisco soon, for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. I've covered the topic of using your AU phone in the US before, but here's a TLDR; version. But before I explain how to get on to a US network, I'll state the obvious: make sure your iPhone is unlocked before you go! Please, do this first, then read it. Just call your telco and ask them to unlock it for you and you're done.

    There's 4 networks in the USA. Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile & AT&T. Your AU phone won't work on Sprint or Verizon, full stop. Your AU iPhone won't get LTE in the USA either, as they use a different frequency the iPhones sold here don't support. However, in AT&T and T-Mobile's infinite wisdom, "4G" is available, because what we regard as fast 3G (or 3.75G, or DC-HSPA) is called 4G in the USA. So to get your iPhone on a data plan in the USA means you're either gonna use the AT&T network, or T-Mobile, and the best you'll get is relatively fast 3G, which is still really slow compared to the luxurious wireless networks we have in Australia (even Vodafone beats data speeds in built up US cities).

    The easy way is T-Mobile. The hard way is AT&T. You'll probably get better speeds & coverage with AT&T, but it costs more and is a real pain in the arse to get going. T-Mobile is easy because they accept walk-in prepaid customers with their own iPhones (AT&T doesn't, officially) and is a bit cheaper because of it. However, T-Mobile's iPhone compatible 3G (sorry, "4G") network is still new and spotty in most parts of the USA. I dare say that they'll have pretty good coverage in the downtown San Francisco area for WWDC though.

    Just go to a T-Mobile store, tell them you've got an unlocked iPhone and want a SIM card and a pre-paid, no contract plan to go with it. Details on the T-Mobile "bring your own device" plans are on the T-Mobile website. It's pain free as T-Mobile have a system in place to allow this (unlike every other carrier in the USA)

    If you can be bothered with AT&T (maybe if you're traveling around the rest of the USA), then you can use a reseller of the AT&T network (akin to what Amaysim or iiNet do with Optus here), like Red Pocket. This requires a bit more advance planning, as the only place to get a Red Pocket SIM is online. You can also grab AT&T SIM cards off eBay if you so desire. You then need to conigure the AT&T APN yourself (which isn't hard, just use unlockit.co.nz)

    That's basically it. My advice is just to go to a T-Mobile store, but if you have time and want better coverage/speed, look into getting an AT&T SIM or an AT&T reseller SIM. But above of all, have fun in San Francisco and watch out for the bums in the Tenderloin. Or watch your bum in Tenderloin. I dunno, it's San Francisco man.
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