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Roaming in New York: all you need to know

In this article, we are going to tell you all about roaming services in New York, and we will also going to show you other alternatives that are more accessible.

Julio Osuna

June 14, 2024

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If you are planning to travel to New York, it is very important you have the internet all the time. The problem is that roaming service there can be very expensive, no matter what operator you choose, and roaming charges will surely mess up your trip a bit.

That’s why we will talk about the roaming in New York service, bur we’ll focus on talking about other alternatives to stay connected while visiting the big city and walking around places like the Empire State Building.

eSIM for New York

>>Buy a New York City eSIM with Unlimited data<< Get 5% OFF. Code: MYESIMNOW5

What is Roaming?

Roaming is basically the chance to use your local data allowance while traveling abroad. In some cases, mobile carriers allow you to stay connected this way, but some others have a different type of service.

Basically, people can use mobile data, text messages, and phone calls. While it’s a helpful service to stay connected in the USA and other countries, the downside is the prices.

So, let’s find out what the prices are for this service, as it is an interesting thing to know from different carriers around the world.

International roaming service prices: comparison table

Mobile operatorPrice
Vodafone UK$8 per day
Telstra$10/day
Movistar Spain€6.05/MB
Orange – Everywhere€10/Day

Vodafone UK roaming in New York

Do you want to use the roaming services from Vodafone UK in the United States? Well… This service from Vodafone UK is not the cheapest.

As for now, people can visit the city and pay $8 per day to keep connected to the Vodafone service, which is great for visiting places like Times Square and the Big Apple, as surely an app like Google Maps will come in handy.

Telstra roaming in New York

With Telstra, you can access an International Day pass with coverage in the USA for $10/day. If you acquire a day pass, you will have 1GB of data, unlimited calls, and SMS in the United States. When you have used the gigabyte of data, Telstra will charge you an extra $10.

Movistar roaming in New York

Switzerland, Andorra, and all of the United States have a special price that only costs €6.05/500MB per day. You will have a monthly limit of €60.05, so you can use this alternative for 10 days. If you are a contract customer, you will be able to use this plan.

It is a great benefit because if you don’t use any mobile data during the day you don’t have to pay anything. On the other hand, you can use the Mobile data Consumption Control to manage your MB usage and receive notifications. Puerto Rico and Alaska are not included.

Orange roaming in New York

When using Orange roaming, there’s a single plan available that is actually accessible for travelers.

Roaming charges from Orange cost 10 Euros, and these include a data plan of 2 GB per day plus some minutes to make phone calls.

How to avoid roaming in New York?

You probably don’t want to pay $10 or more dollars for every MB you use. It is not much mobile data considering all you may want to do in New York. So, to help you save some money, we are going to show you below other options to connect to the internet in New York.

Prepaid eSIM card

Unlimited data eSIM for New York

The eSIM card is a virtual SIM card where you can activate the mobile data plan you want, depending on the number of days you are traveling. You have to take into account the following aspects before acquiring one:

  • Your cellphone must be eSIM-compatible. Your smartphone has to be able to manage the eSIM card from your provider. Most eSIM card providers are compatible with iPhone XR or more recent versions so far.
  • You need an active email account to activate your eSIM.
  • It is important to be connected to the internet to download the eSIM profile after you scan the QR code or the installation code.
  • Some eSIM providers may ask you to download their mobile app to get the eSIM.

eSIM card providers for New York

If you can acquire an eSIM card, you may want to know which providers offer this product. We will list them below so you can pick the eSIM card that best suits your needs and budget.

Prices and data plans from the eSIM card providers

Read the list below to know the prices and data plans of each company. They may vary depending on the coverage and the roaming accords the provider has with local operators in NY.

Holafly eSIM card for New York with unlimited data: price and data plans

  • 5 days at $21
  • 7 days at $29
  • 10 days at $37
  • 15 days at $51
  • 20 days at $62
  • 30 days at $75
  • 60 days at $107
  • 90 days at $139

YeSIM eSIM card for New York: data plans and prices

  • 3GB for five days at 10 USD

Au By KDDI eSIM card for New York: data plans and prices

  • 5GB for 30 days at 40 USD

Prepaid SIM card

The prepaid SIM cards are similar to the ones you use on your cell phone; you will only have to change the one you have on your phone with the new SIM card, and that’s it. It is effortless to use, and some companies will give you unlimited mobile data, like Holafly.

Prepaid SIM cards for New York: alternative

Smart Gold: for $39.90, it offers 12GB per month, with 3G speed mobile data. It has worldwide shipping, and its prices go from $10 to $20. The SIM card is adaptable to the following sizes: nano, micro, and standard. It lasts six months.

T-Mobile: This well-known operator from the United States has activation kits where the SIM card costs $40. It has only 10 GB for navigation and includes unlimited calls and text locally.

Free Wifi

You will be able to find public networks everywhere, and it can be great if you are in an emergency and you need to send a quick message or email. But, it is not a recommended option because it is not safe or stable.

Free Wifi in New York: alternatives

pocket WiFi USA
Free Wi-Fi is available at Metro Stations in New York. Source: Transitwireless.com

Metro Stations: The Transit Wireless Wifi network is available in most of the metro stations of this city. Its connection is not that bad, and it will let you stay connected in New York if you see some of the ads of its sponsors.

AT&T network: You will find it in the main parks (Bryan Park) and yards (Union Square, Herald Square). The network is called ATTWifi.

Stores and more: You can also find public Wifi networks in places like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Apple stores, and more.

Pocket Wifi

It is a small device, similar to a router, that will let you share your mobile data with other devices and that you can take with you anywhere in your pocket. One of the disadvantages of this alternative is that if you lose it, break it, or if it is stolen, you will have to pay a lot for it.

Pocket Wifi for New York: alternatives

mobile internet new york
Telecom Square website. Source: Telecomsquare

Skyroam: It offers unlimited mobile data for a price of $8 per day, the device will cost $99, and you will be able to share your mobile data with 5 devices.

Borderless Connection: It has different plans that go from two days to two weeks, with prices that vary from $35 to $160. These prices include the renting of the device and the mobile internet service in NY.

Telecom Square: This company charges you $5.99 per day with an unlimited connection. Take into account that if you lose the device, you will have to pay a penalty of $250 to $300.

Roaming comparatives

CharacteristicseSIM cardsSIM cardsRoamingPocket WifiFree Wifi
Is it accessible?YesYesNoNoYes
Great connection?YesYesYesYesNo
Unlimited internet?YesYesNoYesYes
Additional cost?NoNoNoYesNo
Can I share mobile data with other devices?YesNoNoYesNo
Do I have to pay if I lose it?NoNoNoYesNo
Easy usage and installation?YesYesNoNoYes
Table N°2 Comparision between mobile internet options.

Basic advice for Roaming

  • If you will not use your mobile data, do not forget to deactivate it from your cellphone’s settings. When you get back to your country, activate them again.
  • Do not forget to deactivate automatic downloads from mobile apps before you travel, like app updates or receiving emails or WhatsApp.
  • It may be of help to activate the alert for data usage. Some companies like Vodafone let you put a consumption limit, and Movistar customers have a free Mobile Data Consumption Control service.
  • Once you are at your destination, let your cellphone look for the network automatically, and it will connect to the best network. If you are on the road, pay attention to border areas. you may want to configure the selection of the mobile network manually because when the coverage of your reference operator is lost, your device will automatically connect to an operator that may not be the cheapest or the one that provides the best service.
  • Ask your mobile operator about the price of the roaming service in your destination. Remember that countries are divided into zones. Zone 1, Zone 2, and Zone 3.
  • Read about the compatibility of your phone with international roaming. Even though almost all mobile phones are compatible, the oldest or simplest ones may not support the 3G and 4G frequency bands. Currently, only European operators offer 2G technology.
  • If you go on a cruise, there are satellite connections at the sea, so the price is very high. Also, not all services are available. It depends on the accords between the operator and the shipping company you travel with. You can use roaming without surcharges on port calls in European territory. If you need to connect your device during your trip, you can get the bonuses per minute offered by most shipping companies.

Our recommendation

You may feel tempted by a Pocket Wifi because it offers unlimited data and its initial price is not that high, but you have to consider that it has additional costs, like the penalty in case you lose it.

So, we recommend you acquire a Holafly eSIM New York with unlimited mobile data and the possibility of sharing it with other devices, up to 500 MB daily.

It is easy to use, it offers a great connection, and for an accessible price.