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I'll be travelling to Los Angeles in the summer and would like to use Google Maps on my smartphone. I have a mobile carrier here in Ireland but I'm not sure if I want to use it there given the high charges for roaming on mobile data.

Can I buy a PAYG SIM card in California that has cheap rates for mobile data?

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  • We don't know what you mean by "cheap", and pro-tip if you google for "US SIM data rates" you'll find a plethora of products
    – Peter M
    Jan 19 at 19:53
  • Will your European phone even work on a US network? Jan 19 at 21:22
  • @WeatherVane They should. Verizon used to be an issue, but CDMA is dead now.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 19 at 22:24

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Yes. Many carriers in the US offer prepaid mobile plans, though it will be more expensive than some offerings in Europe.

This article offers a decent summary of the main options, especially T-Mobile and AT&T and the numerous providers who resell their services. You can go to one of their stores in Los Angeles to get a SIM card and get setup. Or if you'd prefer to not spend part of your trip waiting at a cell phone shop, there are vendors, with varying prices, who will ship a SIM card to you in Ireland for you to bring with you. The plethora of options, virtual network operators, and resellers makes price comparisons obnoxiously difficult, but you should be able to pick up and get setup with a SIM card without too much trouble.

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would like to use Google Maps on my smartphone.

No need for data, you can download maps offline with Google Maps. You'll just miss the latest traffic info. If you need it, then https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/United_States or Google Fi.

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