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jbinbi (Offline)
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Default Can I do this? go phone US/Europe? If so, pls advise.. - 23-02-2009, 00:57

I do some travel from US to Europe, Mexico, and Carribean.

I am looking for a phone, not sure if it should be tmo or att that I can purchase here, and do the following with:

1. get phone in US with pay as you go plan. AND
2. use this phone in europe/mexico with prepaid sims purchased in other countries. (I realize I will have different phone numbers here and there, and that is OK)

If I can do this, which carrier is better? Also, which phone do I get?

Also, how does one re fill the phone here in the US? Is it via the sim card, do I get a new sim card to put in the phone each time, or do I just re fill the same card?

Thanks.
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 23-02-2009, 03:47

It's possible, but most GoPhones are not going to support the bands used in Europe. GoPhone service doesn't support roaming, so there is no need for GoPhones to support the frequencies.

If you get the phone unlocked, you can use it with carriers that use those frequencies (I got my GoPhone unlocked and I use it on Rogers in Canada, which does use those frequencies, and I put my T-Mobile and Red Pocket SIMs in it for US use sometimes). That would allow it to work in Mexico, and in some Caribbean areas, but not all (some use European frequencies), and not in Europe.

If you don't care about fancy features, you can get a cheap unlocked quad-band phone like the Motorola RAZR V3, and use it almost anywhere on Earth that has GSM service, including with GoPhone.

You refill the mobile account, not the SIM. The SIM is the piece of hardware that lets your account work in a given phone. Think of it like your cablemodem or DSL modem. It's just a tool to use the service.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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jbinbi (Offline)
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Default 23-02-2009, 05:00

Jim,

thanks for the help. Where do I get an unlocked phone? Do I have to purchase full price at ATT or Tmo for a quad band gsm? (I am assuming full price purchase since I don't want to sign up for a plan).

Second part. If I want a winmo phone, such as treo or htc, can I get one of those unlocked, and again, where?

Thanks!
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 23-02-2009, 13:36

There are many places where you can buy unlocked phones: eBay, TigerDirect, HoFo's adds, etc. Unless you want a top-end quad-band phone it might be cheaper to buy two; one for Europe another for the US.
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 23-02-2009, 15:46

You certainly can get unlocked smartphones. I got my Treo 680 unlocked from importgsm.com three years ago. It's quad-band, has EDGE data access (which is the fastest non-3G data technology), and I can use it with any provider I like that uses GSM. It's been to the US, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein and worked fine.

You will pay more for an unlocked phone than for a locked one.

You can also get locked phones unlocked. This requires some technical expertise in some cases, so I don't necessarily recommend it for the beginner. Some shops can unlock phones for you as well, and this requires no special expertise, but if you buy a phone and expect it to be easily unlockable, and it isn't, you might be disappointed, so I recommend that you do some research before you buy a locked phone with plans for future unlocking.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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Malkav (Offline)
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Default 23-02-2009, 23:10

if your going to europe you can buy a cheap dual band payg phone/ sim free for like nothing.....in france check out 'phonehouse.fr shops' and in ireland check out there sister company carphonewarehouse.ie

they will sell you an unlocked phone with a payg sim plus credit....for like nothing...or very little


Current networks: Orange 3g UK, 3 pay monthly, Virgin pay as you go UK, 3UK payg, Tesco payg, Asda mobile

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jbinbi (Offline)
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Default 24-02-2009, 01:25

so if for instance i got an unlocked centro, if i understand correctly, i could just get a pay as you go plan for here from att? Also, who assigns the phone number , and where do i get it? My idea was that I just go to say walmart with $50, and I can get a card to refill minutes.

My next question is, If I get a centro, how do I get data? Do I have to subscribe to a 'real' plan, or can i just either buy a data plan pay as you go, or do they transfer minutes fromt he calling plan?

Finally, looked on ebay for unlocked phones. How do I know phone is ok? I am very technical on vzw, when getting a used phone you have to check with them to have them check the esn and make sure it isn't locked or stolen, and that vzw will actually activate it? With a real 'unlocked' phone, I am assuming that it means that you can put any sim into it?

Sorry for all the questions, but I really appreciate the help. Thanks.
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 24-02-2009, 14:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
Finally, looked on ebay for unlocked phones. How do I know phone is ok? I am very technical on vzw, when getting a used phone you have to check with them to have them check the esn and make sure it isn't locked or stolen, and that vzw will actually activate it? With a real 'unlocked' phone, I am assuming that it means that you can put any sim into it?
Look carefully at the seller's history. I've seen cases where someone bought a phone as unlocked 900/1800 and it turned out to be the 850/1900 version of the same phone. Unfortunately manufacturers sell phones with one model number in two different versions. Once, long ago, I bought a phone as a tri-band Moto L7089 and it turned out to be the 1900-only version of the same phone. Seller had little history and vanished shortly afterward. One of a very few bad deals I've made on eBay.
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 24-02-2009, 21:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
so if for instance i got an unlocked centro, if i understand correctly, i could just get a pay as you go plan for here from att? Also, who assigns the phone number , and where do i get it? My idea was that I just go to say walmart with $50, and I can get a card to refill minutes.

My next question is, If I get a centro, how do I get data? Do I have to subscribe to a 'real' plan, or can i just either buy a data plan pay as you go, or do they transfer minutes fromt he calling plan?

Finally, looked on ebay for unlocked phones. How do I know phone is ok? I am very technical on vzw, when getting a used phone you have to check with them to have them check the esn and make sure it isn't locked or stolen, and that vzw will actually activate it? With a real 'unlocked' phone, I am assuming that it means that you can put any sim into it?

Sorry for all the questions, but I really appreciate the help. Thanks.
What is a centro? Is that a gophone? I have no clue what bands the centro has. For Europe you will need 900 and 1800. AFAIK, VZW standard phones are CDMA (esn); you need a GSM phone, quandband best.

Yes, the SIM from ATT or TMO will be assigned a phone number when you call to activate it. Or it may already come out of the box with a number. You will probably have a choice of the area code and the 3 digits AFTER the area code. They will ask you where you live and assign a number based on that.

I doubt your (ATT centro?) Walmart phone is going to work overseas with a standard ATT or TMO or other prepaid setup.

Also, as DRN suggested, check very carefully if you buy off eBay. Some uneducated sellers have no idea what UNLOCKED means. I always recommend ASKING THE SELLER at least one question. In your case maybe how do you know the phone is unlocked. The higher the seller's feedback and the fewer the neutrals and negatives, the better your chances. Stuff does happen, however.

Foreign SIMS, including the internationals, at least the ones I have bought, have the number already tied to the SIM card.

Keep asking your questions.


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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 24-02-2009, 21:46

The Centro is a Palm phone. Quad-band GSM / EDGE.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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