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U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Old Feb 12th 2005, 4:21 pm
  #1  
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Default U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Hi!

Am moving to U.S. in a couple of weeks. My wife and I currently have tri-band phones, so can we get sim cards and pay-as-you-go service from a U.S. mobile company without having to buy new phones?
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Old Feb 12th 2005, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Yes you can, but its' not worth it, pay as you go tends to be really expensive, as are mobile phones in general, and it'll really depend on where your moving to, roaming and conection and all that, so say where, and people can probably help more.

But in maine, can only get sim's off AT&T, but there's no reception to use them except in a couple places...best bet, sell your phones and get new ones here, even if they are naff ones.
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Old Feb 12th 2005, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

We'll be moving to Northern Connecticut. I take it that coverage would be the same whether it's PAYG or contract, just depending on the company. We don't want to sell our mobiles and get new ones as we are really happy with ours', and we want to go PAYG even if call costs are higher because we won't use them much.

I'll check out AT&T then. Does Virgin not supply sim cards?
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Old Feb 12th 2005, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

well with pay as you go, you have to top up every month or the phone will have to be reactivated, I think T-mobile are doing something pretty good about it though...as for virgin, wouldn't have a clue, they don't work in maine anyway.
And you'll have to pay for incoming calls and all that, it's not like you have a pay by minute rate like in England...also the phone calls are all rounded up to the min or 3.

Sim's aren't very popular either, so getting them on there own could be fun.
Mainly because GSM isn't that popular over here, so your phone won't be able to pic up the other network types....if you don't use your phone that often, why not stick with the pay as you go from blighty?
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Old Feb 12th 2005, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by tonrob
I'll check out AT&T then. Does Virgin not supply sim cards?

AT&T is now Cingular.
The only other major GSM network is T-Mobile.

Your phones will not work with the Virgin network or most others.

You should consider the expense of hanging on to your current phones compared with buying ones more suited to the US pay-as-you-go market. Staying wiith GSM just because you already have the phones may be a false economy. Phones for the P-A-Y-G market are generally < $100 to buy.

P.S. The word SIM card here is virtually unknown. Don't use it when speaking to salesmen or they may mistakenly reply in Spanish.
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Old Feb 12th 2005, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by fatbrit
P.S. The word SIM card here is virtually unknown. Don't use it when speaking to salesmen or they may mistakenly reply in Spanish.
hehe...yeah, when I first came over, looking for a sim card, had to go show the guy my phone, he kept playing with it, fasinated by the idea of a sim card being the number and address book *lol*
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 4:12 am
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by tonrob
We'll be moving to Northern Connecticut. I take it that coverage would be the same whether it's PAYG or contract, just depending on the company. We don't want to sell our mobiles and get new ones as we are really happy with ours', and we want to go PAYG even if call costs are higher because we won't use them much.

I'll check out AT&T then. Does Virgin not supply sim cards?

FYI

Pricing in the usa is different to the UK in the way that when people call YOU, you also get charged.

so even if you never made calls on a PAYG phone but had people call you, it would still cost you money

if youi like your gsm phones then i would suggest getting the cheapest monthly tariff on cingular and adding a family line for your partner

the flip side is you mention you are really happy with your mobiles... if you never use them isn't it fairly academic what mobile you use? just get the cheapest piece of crap on verizon or us cellular on like....
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 10:50 am
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

I think that the whole discussion about SIM cards is irrelevant because cell phone service in the US isn't on the same frequencies as in the UK. If so your phone won't work because the cell tower transceivers won't be able to communicate with your phone.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 13th 2005 at 12:41 pm.
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 11:55 am
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I think that the whole discussion about SIM cards is irrelevant because cell phone service in the US isn't on the same frequencies as in the UK. If so your phone won't work because the cell tower transceivers won't be able to communicate with your phone.

But I've used my phone (albeit with a UK sim card) in the U.S. on many occasions with no problems so I thought that would mean the frequency thing was ok.

Apart from that your phone number is also encided in your SIM card, and even if your phone did "work" the number wouldn't be recognized, and you'd have to reprogram it with the help of the US phone company, and they pretty much refuse to accept customer's phones from other compatible networks in the US (e.g.AT&T to Cingular - before they merged).
Couldn't I get round this by buying a T-mobile (for example) sim which therefore has it's own, new, phone number? I've seen them on e-bay last night for around $15.
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by tonrob
Couldn't I get round this by buying a T-mobile (for example) sim which therefore has it's own, new, phone number? I've seen them on e-bay last night for around $15.
Yes, you're probably right (I forget to reread exactly what you originally posted before I replied), but that won't get around the frequency - band problem.
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Couldn't I get round this by buying a T-mobile (for example) sim which therefore has it's own, new, phone number? I've seen them on e-bay last night for around $15.

Yes, that would work. I bought a T-Mobile SIM on e-bay for $9 which works fine on my UK mobile that I brought over with me. The only problem I had was unlocking my phone which was locked to UK Voadfone. However, there are various websites you can go on and post you information and someone will post an unlock code for you.

Even if you want a contract you may struggle if you have no credit history so PAYG may be your only option as first. It is more expensive than in the UK and minutes do not roll over each month.
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by THFC1
Couldn't I get round this by buying a T-mobile (for example) sim which therefore has it's own, new, phone number? I've seen them on e-bay last night for around $15.

Yes, that would work. I bought a T-Mobile SIM on e-bay for $9 which works fine on my UK mobile that I brought over with me. The only problem I had was unlocking my phone which was locked to UK Voadfone. However, there are various websites you can go on and post you information and someone will post an unlock code for you.

Even if you want a contract you may struggle if you have no credit history so PAYG may be your only option as first. It is more expensive than in the UK and minutes do not roll over each month.
Thanks for the advice. I took the precaution of having my phone unlocked already. It just would have been a pain to ditch my current phone as it's a nice easy-to-use and very reliable Nokia, and it has about a billion phone numbers stored in it! I'll probably review my usage after a year and consider going down the contract route at that point.
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by tonrob
Thanks for the advice. I took the precaution of having my phone unlocked already. It just would have been a pain to ditch my current phone as it's a nice easy-to-use and very reliable Nokia, and it has about a billion phone numbers stored in it! I'll probably review my usage after a year and consider going down the contract route at that point.

as you mentioned you have a tri band phone it will work with no issues

i;ve used 3 uk phones in the usa and they all work great
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
I think that the whole discussion about SIM cards is irrelevant because cell phone service in the US isn't on the same frequencies as in the UK. If so your phone won't work because the cell tower transceivers won't be able to communicate with your phone.
Tri-band phone will work fine if it's unlocked, the phone number is in the Sim, not the phone, so it won't matter....but being a gsm phone is limited to T-Mobile and ATT/Cingular...
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Old Feb 13th 2005, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: U.S. Sim Card into U.K. mobile?

Originally Posted by Bob
Tri-band phone will work fine if it's unlocked, the phone number is in the Sim, not the phone, so it won't matter....but being a gsm phone is limited to T-Mobile and ATT/Cingular...


looking at the flipside, if you aren't with the two aforementioned companies then you are massivly limited by the phones you can get - generic silver clamshell by moto/samsung/lg anybody?

i just like the fact that because gsm has a massive global following you get innovative phones

buy as they say - you pays your money.....
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