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I have a factory unlocked iPhone 5 bought from my home country. I'll be travelling to the US, and I was wondering if I can get a short 4G data plan (six months) from any carrier in the US?

Last year, I went to the US and T-Mobile specifically couldn't offer me a 1-month 3G for my iPhone 4, only edge speeds, but I read rumors about recent support of these features... Hence my question.

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T-Mobile's 3G/4G coverage for an iPhone 5 is better than a year ago but still limited so you are rolling the dice. They just released a carrier update for the iPhone that will give an iPhone 5 access to some of their 4G network. But it's still early days and the usefulness will greatly depend on your location.

T-Mobile also offers a pay-as-you go plan where talk and text are charged as used and data can be activated on a day-to-day basis.

StraightTalk is another option for an unlocked iPhone but is only 3G. $45/month for unlimited talk, text, and data. As usual, "unlimited" means "secret limits" that we can arbitrarily use to kick heavy users off.

The big advantage of T-Mobile is that you can walk into a T-Mobile store and get it set-up. AT&T is still officially restricting the use of non-contract iPhones on their network and walking into a store will be a bust, but they don't actively hunt them down so GoPhone is an unofficial option. You have to buy a GoPhone SIM and cut it down to size but it will work. Unofficial and a bit of a PITA but the option exists. You can buy pre-cut cards on Amazon but getting one in a store is a bit trickier.

http://www.dargadgetz.com/how-to-use-iphone-5-on-att-gophoneprepaid-with-4g-data-speeds-payasyougo/

I suspect this gives 4G/HSPA+ and not 4G/LTE.

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You can use T-Mobile's "Individual Plan". They offer three options. The first one is 50 USD a month and comes with 500 MB of data. The second one is 60 USD a month and comes with 2 GB of data. The last one is the unlimited one and costs 70 USD per month. Here's the link to their website if you want to check it for yourself.

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  • Oh, I am used to the crappy telecom websites I see in my country, so I never realized I would find the info there. Thanks a lot!
    – Mazyod
    Apr 5, 2013 at 19:42

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