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jdh449 (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2006, 18:38

I am traveling to Italy this summer, and have bought some unlocked Motorola V66 tri-band (900 1800 1900) phones on ebay for me and my travel companions to use there, and intend to buy an Italian SIM card in country or on ebay. However, I would like to test the phones here in San Francisco. T-Mobile Cingular and all the usual suspects offer service here. My question: what is the cheapest SIM prepaid card I can get just to place and receive a few calls to test the phones? We won't need the service here except for the test as we have Verizon cell phones already.
thanks, Jim
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2006, 21:50

The cheapest way to to borrow a SIM, but next to that you could buy a T-Mobile SIM on eBay or look into BeyondWireless' SIM-only kits.
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jdh449 (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2006, 22:22

I looked there...thanks. However I see a bewildering array of offerings, some are for for less than the face value of the card. Some prepaid with an expiration date for the minutes, some require a reload after the minutes are use up... I'm confused.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2006, 22:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh449
I looked there...thanks. However I see a bewildering array of offerings, some are for for less than the face value of the card. Some prepaid with an expiration date for the minutes, some require a reload after the minutes are use up... I'm confused.
Agree with DR....

1. Ask friends or co-workers about their cell phone service. If they have a GSM provider, ask if you can test your phone. USUALLY people will accomodate; I would. Cheapest way. Also, good if you could indeed test T-MO and Cingular/ATT for the UNLOCKED condition. You may even find a cell phone nut that has a SIM from overseas o test for unlocked.

2. Ebay is OK; DO NOT BE INTIMADTED. I do alot of shopping there. Find a good seller, one with > 50 feedbacks. Watch for RECENT negative feedback from BUYERS. Go for something with a low shipping cost, if possible. Man, for $10 - 12 -- maybe less -- you can pick up a T-MO SIM with 150 minutes on it. What did you pay for the phone? NO need to answer, but when you get to Italy, you'll need to buy a SIM for $15 or so. You can always sell both the Ebay SIM and you Italian SIM on Ebay.

Who CARES when the minutes expire unless you want to continue to use the service here; if so, then just buy a refill card shortly before the expiration. For T-MO the local #/area code does not matter FOR TESTING -- all calls within 48 US states are billed at the same rate when you dial or receive.

Good luck.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 17-04-2006, 00:43

Buy a tmobile sim card that's already activated on ebay. I have bought a couple. The last one I bought had 150 minutes and I paid $9.99 and free shipping. Tmobile sims (already activated) are a dime a dozen on ebay.


Phones: ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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jdh449 (Offline)
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Default 18-04-2006, 15:32

Thank you Bossman- I just bought a card on ebay for 9.98 including shipping with 159 minutes ($30) credit which will expire in June. I've already changed the area code and phone number to a local one.
Why are these cards so cheap, less than face value? Where are they from?
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 18-04-2006, 16:32

Good for you jdh449. Yep! All you need to change the area code is the current #. They do not ask any questions. So, the seller emailed you you the number before mailing it to you right? That's neat.

I think they are so cheap because they are sold by dealers who get to activate a lot of these in bulk. Also, the closer the expiration date is the cheaper they are.


Phones: ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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jdh449 (Offline)
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Default 18-04-2006, 16:47

Yep... He emailed me the info on the activation. The card should arrive in a few days. ebayer was kirkir02. Very responsive.
   
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jdh449 (Offline)
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Default 22-04-2006, 15:32

All my Motorola V66 phones tested fine, using the T-Mobile SIM I bought on ebay. However, some of these used phones are branded T-Mobile, but are claimed to be unlocked. Is there a way to be sure, short of buying a Cingular SIM and some minutes, that these phones are really unlocked? I read in some of the feedback comments on ebay that people have bought what they thought was an unlocked phone that wasn't.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 22-04-2006, 18:00

See if you can BORROW a Cingular or other foreign NON-T-MO SIM. My German D1 (T-MO) SIMs worked fine in several LOCKED US T-MO phones, but other SIMs (Riiing, Voda, etc) required the unlock code.

You MIGHT be able to obtain an EXPIRED Cingular or other SIM from friends, family, work/school colleagues or possibly an indepent cell phone dealer in your area -- somebody is bound to have something you can use. Even an EXPIRED SIM should suffice. Worse comes to worse, then buy a Cingular SIM.

So what was the average price you paid, with shipping and insurance?

Good luck,

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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