December 21, 2015

Our phones in the US

We spent Sunday in Nashville, but did not visit Opryland as planned. There was a Christmas show taking place at the convention centre, which along with a light show, attracted what looked like half of Nashville's population to the area. The traffic was gridlocked for a couple of miles around Opryland, so we stayed home in the relative peace of the Nashville KOA.

In Nashville, activated our LG smartphones, which were purchased from Rogers in Canada, on Prepaid plans with AT&T, which is hardware-compatible with Rogers. I went to a Best Buy store, and purchased SIM cards for $10 each, and activated the phones on $55 per month plans which give us unlimited talk and text, including calls to Canada, and 5 GB of high-speed data, with unlimited data at a slower speed beyond 5 GB.

Cellular service plans are less expensive in the USA. For $110 per month for the two phones, we are getting what was costing us $175 per month in Canada. Even with the exchange rate included, it is less expensive.

We have a Verizon portable hotspot which we use for most of our data needs when we are traveling. It has a flex-rate data plan, and this month we will probably use about 16 GB. We use campground wifi when possible, but we find that is often slow and unreliable. Often the wifi uses an access password given to us at check-in, and in some campgrounds this allows the connection of only one device. We have 8 devices which need internet access, so I use a Linux server with Internet Connection Sharing to allow multiple devices to connect.

We are traveling on Monday to Tupelo, MS, where we will remain for three days, and celebrate The Navigator's birthday on the 23rd. We are taking the Natchez Trace Parkway from Nashville to Tupelo, then on to Natchez, MS. The Parkway is a peaceful, scenic two lane road with no commercial traffic allowed, and no traffic lights for its entire length.

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