I happened to be in Denver this last Saturday when I spotted a T-Mobile store. I was using a Viaero Wireless SIM on a prepaid plan, so I only had voice and SMS services. Finding open WiFi in Denver was proving to be much harder than it had been in Baltimore, so I decided to venture into the T-Mobile store, recalling that they offer 200MB of data for free on a monthly basis if you bring in a tablet. I didn’t think a Lumia 1520 was quite a tablet, but what the hell, at six inches, why not try?
I walked into the store, it was fairly busy, but the manager was free to help me. He’s clearly one of those tech savvy guys, complete with a beard and thick rimmed glasses. I asked him if T-Mobile is still offering that free data plan for tablets that I’d heard about, and he actually has to check on the computer, which shows me that not too many people actually are taking this offer up. When he says yes, I supply nothing more than my birthday and a desired PIN number. No, not even an ID. When he sees my phone, he expresses enthusiasm for my choice, but tells me to get the IMEI off an in-store tablet for him instead, to make sure the SIM will work in my cell.
What kind of SIM does your phone use? Nano. Is it unlocked? Yes. Okay, just a minute.
The total is $15, but $16.92 with taxes, which covers the SIM. My name is no where on the account, so I basically got a rogue SIM in this post 9/11 world. I know, I was amazed too. I ask if I can add voice service to the card in the future. Yes, I can. Cool, very nice.
I pop the SIM into my Lumia 1520, power it on, and, voila, I have LTE service. Didn’t change any settings, the phone just had them. Can’t beat that. I used my newfound data connection it to navigate to another part of Denver and check a few emails before swapping my old SIM card back in so I wouldn’t miss any calls. My $16.92 experiment had worked, and now I will have data next time I desperately need it outside of my regional carrier’s coverage area.