OK, so I have a trip coming up in a few months where I'm going to the US for about a week (don't panic, I fully intend to have internet & board access while I'm there, so you're all safe =P), and I intend to take my mobile phone with me that I bought when I visited South Africa last Autumn - specifically, that's this thing: http://www.gsmarena.com/alcatel_ot_217-3814.php First off, some shit I've worked out that I'm fairly confident I'm right on: * The USA has 4 main mobile phone networks, not counting those that leech off others' equipment: Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T Mobility, & T-Mobile USA. Of these 4, Verizon & Sprint are both useless as they use the CDMA standard that next to no-one else on Earth uses (and indeed those that do (including these two) are phasing out under the 4G standards anyway for LTE, which is GSM based). AT&T and T-Mobile both use proper GSM, therefore I will need to use one of these two. * Wikipedia says that AT&T does 850MHz & 1900MHz for GSM/EDGE (2G) and UMTS/HSPA (3G - not that this is relevant, my travel phone is 2G only). T-Mobile does the same, but has to roam on AT&T's network to do 850. My phone does quad-band GSM 850 / 1900 / 900 / 1800, so as I understand it, I should be fine with either of these networks. (For the record, it seems only AT&T currently has any sort of 4G layout - 700, 1700 & 2100MHz, where T-Mobile is scheduled to roll out just 1700MHz at some point during this next year). Now. Bearing in mind we're talking about a country whose mobile networks are so customer-unfriendly that they recently made unlocking your contract phone illegal, I have a couple of questions for locals who might know the answers of these - and if they vary state-by-state, the relevant ones will be MO (most important), FL, NV (both somewhat important), and TX (least important, any phones in it will be there a matter of hours at most): * Is it even possible to buy pre-paid SIM cards that you slap into a phone and then just work, with a US phone number, as a UK national? (I assume the foreigner bit isn't the block as I did exactly this in South Africa, but with the sillyness of the above regulation you never know) * Assuming that it is, what sort of prices will I be looking at for buying a bog-standard calls-and-texts-only SIM card, to slap straight into my own phone, with maybe $10 or $20 of credit? (I do not care for data necessarily, my phone can't do it anyway. However that might be important for someone else I know who's going) * How much is a typical phone call from a mobile to a land-line in the US from AT&T & T-Mobile? How much are domestic texts - and arguably more importantly, international ones? How about mobile-to-mobile - on the same network and to other networks? * Who has better coverage, AT&T or T-Mobile? * Are there any other pitfalls of US mobile phone networks I should be aware of? Thanks in advance!