Chilean cellphones abroad and alternatives

My wife has only had a chilean cellphone for a long time. We are planning a trip to the US and are thinking about how to have internet service there for laptops beyond relying on hotel/cafe wifi.

The option I have come up with:

  1. buy a prepaid phone at walmart with mobile hotspot and just use that for the trip.

Is there a better option for a short US trip?
It seems like there must be. I looked into “eSIM” but none of our phones support that.

Even if the chilean phone can roam/use data its probably crazy expensive. I remember even a short phone call from argentina to Chile on a chilean phone was a big charge like a mil a minute or something

What have others done in recent times?

The last trip I made to the US back in Dec 2016, I got a chip from T-Mobile. They had a sort of prepago thing going on. I had a dual sim phone so I just put it in my phone along with the Chilean sim. Not so recent, but it worked well for me.

Ah thats a good idea. I had not considered many of the phones are dual sim now.

My Claro plan has 1GB/month of international roaming which was sufficient for me on my last two visits to the US. Of course, I had wifi available to me most of the time.

Well I have discovered that the ATT network no longer just supports any GSM based unlocked phone.

They now have a list of devices that you probably should only use if you intend to use it ever at all in the US. Reports of having to hard reset the phone if you even try to put an ATT US sim in a no support phone on the ATT US network

Here is the link. My wifes Galaxy A72 with dual sim…not on the list. My A73 not on the list. However my cracked and battered galaxy S7 and Note9…on the list. Thought i could just slap an ATT prepaid sim in the A72 but ATT store says no. I guess i could have gone to walmart and gotten a different carrier prepaid sim, but didnt have time.

Oddly enough all the lowest samsung galaxy SAR phones are not on the list.
Also learned that all S series devices have tricky SAR numbers becasue they moved the transmitter to the bottom of the phone gaining some distance from the SAR sensor.

Hope this helps someone else facing this in the future.

We did try calling entel to enable roaming for data on the postpaid plans we have, but whatever they did didnt actually work. Im guessing they misunderstood inspite of confirming when i double checked with them or just typical incompetence

Yeah this happened about 8 months ago and I found out about it when my AT&T unlocked GSM dumbphone no longer was working (via the AT&T network).

Happens that I did not bother to read all the advance notices of the discontinuation of their old global service on many devices and I was left scrambling to correct the headache of losing my 2nd factor SMS messages for various services.

I used to promote them on the past forums particularly due to them being virtually the only working wireless service immediately after the 2010 earthquake and the hit the ground running on demand international wireless service for emergencies and texts whether stepping off the plane in Buenos Aires or DFW airport.