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Sims and Phones

i've been lookin to get a phone that just about has it all, but livin here in the states thats pretty impossible. Especially since by the time all those nice cell phones from across the seas get here, they already have ones 5 times better. Anyway, my question is can i take a random phone not out in the states yet, like a Sony ericsson w800i or a Nokia N91 which are both tri-bands, and have them activated by any gsm provider in North America? by the way people ask SIM ?s and the answers they recieve, it sounds that way. But i also hear alot talk about the providers not activating phones because it wasnt a phone they provide. And another ?, so i get a a tri- or quad- band phone, fly over to europe, and what? buy a sim from whatever country i'm in and it will come with as many minutes that i buy? and if so, i can use those minutes to call the U.S. at no extra charge?

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SIMs and Phones

In reply to: Sims and Phones

If you have a GSM phone and it is unlocked (i.e. not locked to any specific carrier) then all you do is transfer the SIM card to that phone and it works. No need to register the phone with the carrier.
If it is a tri- or quad band phone and it is "unlocked" it can be used in almost any country around the world.
e.g. if you travel to UK, you can buy a local SIM card either vrom Vodafone or Virgin Mobile or Orange, etc. and just insert thye SIM into your phone and it will work. You can call USA from there but you get charged for minutes used. Usually more expensive than a local call. Once you are low in your minutes, you add more minutes, either by calling the carrier and giving them a credit card number or by buying a card with minutes and adding to your existing card via your cell phone. Is that clear?

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SIM

In reply to: SIMs and Phones

HH, thanks for the quick reply. By transfer the SIM card to that phone, and no need to register the phone do you mean that the carriers here in U.S. provide SIM cards? All i really experienced with providers is buying a cellphone at their store and having it activated there. So say i get a Nokia N91, i can somewhere find a SIM and have cingular as my plan provider?
As far as using the phone over in europe i have a pretty good understanding, and the pricing seems way lower then the $1.99 a min and up that the providers charge here for an international call.

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SIM

In reply to: SIM

In the USA Cingular and T-Mobile operate on GSM networks (anf thus they have SIM cards). On the other hand, Verizon and Sprint are on a CDMA network (no SIM cards) different technology, and Nextel ises its own network called iDEN.
As long as you have a GSM service, and you buy a GSM phone, and the phone is UNLOCKED (very important) then you can just transfer your SIM card from your provider to the new phone and voila!
Here is a good source for GSM phone info.

http://www.slowtrav.com/europe/cell_phones.htm

let me know if you need more info.

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Sims and Phones

In reply to: SIM

Oh i think i got you. but providers like t-mobile and cingular don't sell just the sims right? you'd have to buy a phone with a sim have it activated either by phone i guess or through the provider and then your able to swap the sim into other gsm phones? but can it really be any gsm phone? any make and model, as long as its gsm?

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Yes

In reply to: Sims and Phones

Well you can always get a pay-as-you-go plan with either of these companies. They sell you a phone and a SIM card that you have to add minutes as you go. So yes you can buy a SIM card from them. If you want a onthly plan, at first you have to sign a 1 or 2 year contract, but after that you can just buy a new phone and transfer your SIM card to continue the monthly plan on a month to month basis w/out renewing the contract.
As far as GSM phones are concerned, if it is quad-band it should work with either service plus all around the world, provided it is 'UNLOCLED'.
Otherwise you can always buy a carrier specific phone and still be able to transfer the SIM card. i.e. you can buy a new or used cell phone that is locked either to Cingular and T-Mobile and transfer the SIM card from a cingular phone to a Cingular locked phone etc.

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PS

In reply to: SIM

This is one way of never having to renew your plan. You can buy a third party phone and transfer your SIM card, no need to renew a 1 or 2 year phone, just stay with your existing plan on a month-to-month basis.

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Sims

In reply to: PS

Alright hh, it makes sense now. Your knowledge is appreciated. i had to make sure i knew what i was doin before i go and spend some $600 on a good cellphone you know. thanks again.

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Sims

In reply to: Sims

One more thing, cingular is 850/1800/1900, getting a 900/1800/1900 phone and swapping the sim from a cingular phone will have no affect on anything?

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