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3g/4g carriers in the USA

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I've been scouring this forum and other sites trying to gain a better understanding on how most people connect to 3g/4g in the US. Does everyone use pre-paid? Do you tack on an additional device on your personal monthly plan? Seeing as how I only need data, where should I start looking to find a good carrier or pre-paid carrier that can use the more supported Huawei USB cards?

I'd love to see what other people do for 3g in the US.

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So I visited a few walmarts, targets, t-mobiles, boost mobiles, verizon, at&t stores, etc. After visiting 10+ stores, the only brick and mortar store to carry USB modems was walmart:

Walmart - inventory varies greatly from store to store:

  • at&t usb connect 900 (huawei e1815) for $69.00
  • T-Mobile Rocket 4g (ZTE MF591) for $59.88
  • Virgin Mobile broadband2go u600 3g/4g usb stick for $34.88
  • T-Mobile Jet 2.0 (Huawei UMG366) for $59.88

So I ended up not purchasing anything and buying a Huawei E173 Unlocked HSDPA 7.2Mbps GSM 3G USB Modem on amazon for $33.93 shipped and a ZTE MF591 from ebay for under $6.

Soon I'll have 2 USB modems, but no sim cards. How do you go about getting pre-paid GSM sims for these modems? I want to use cash and not sign up for a monthly plan. Any experience here would be awesome.

Edited by guybrush
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  • 2 weeks later...

just to document my findings:

I ended up buying a SIM from T-mobile and adding 3GB. $35 for data, $10 for SIM card and activation. Payed cash and SIM worked perfectly in the ZTE MF591.

Only problem is that the service will end in 30 days. I would LOVE to find a carrier that had non-expiring data plans, like buy 5 gigs for $50 and never have them expire.

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