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What I should do about my mobile phone

What I should do about my mobile phone

Old May 28th 2013, 1:27 pm
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Default What I should do about my mobile phone

Hi all,
Iv recently herd that In America they don't use SIM cards. Can someone please tell me if this is true? Also if this is the case then il need to buy a new phone when I get out there. Do they do pay as you go phones aswel as contract deals? And if i wer to get a contract would I need a credit ratting (which I wouldn't have as I live In The uk) and would I need a permanent residential address? (Which I don't have as I'm staying in a hostel for the first couple weeks).

Thanks
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Old May 28th 2013, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Many US phones use SIM cards, including most if not all phones used by AT&T and T-Mobile. I hear some Verizon phones also now use SIM cards as Verizon transitions over to LTE technology (successor to GSM).

PAYG phones are common and increasingly popular, though I don't use one myself, but I'm sure others will be sleep along to advise you soon.
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Old May 28th 2013, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Verizon, Sprint and their subsidiary companies/companies that ally with them, have historically used CDMA as their technology of choice, which does not use a SIM card. As the underlying technology is different to that used through GSM in the UK, it's unlikely that you would be able to use your UK mobile on their networks.

Similarly, T-Mobile USA has historically used a different frequency set (1700/2100Mhz) to what the UK (and AT&T) uses, where 1900/2100Mhz is the norm for 3G. T-Mobile is slowly switching over, but it still isn't complete, so you would probably fall back to EDGE (2.5G).

If you want to use your existing phone, then AT&T (or any company that uses their network in a similar manner to Tesco Mobile using O2 in the UK) would be your best bet, or just buy a cheap "burner" phone on any network until you are settled.
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Old May 28th 2013, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Get your phone unlocked in the UK so at least you have the option of using it here. Little to no cost depending on the network. I had my iPhone unlocked but it took them a couple of weeks of faffing around until they finally got it right - but it was free. Probably not an option if you're locked into a contract.
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Old May 28th 2013, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

I'm still using my t mobile(UK) android phone. I had to ask Tmobile(UK) to unlock it before I left and it works with tmobile(US) just fine.
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Old May 28th 2013, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Just a note: you need to make sure your phone is triband (or quadband) to work in the US.
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Old May 28th 2013, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by Jscl View Post
Just a note: you need to make sure your phone is triband (or quadband) to work in the US.
AFAIK that's no longer an issue - I used to maintain the roaming section of a certain fruit-flavoured UK mobileco's website and if I remember right they last dual-band-only phone they soid were discontinued about 6 or 7 years ago.
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Old May 28th 2013, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
AFAIK that's no longer an issue - I used to maintain the roaming section of a certain fruit-flavoured UK mobileco's website and if I remember right they last dual-band-only phone they sold were discontinued about 6 or 7 years ago.
Sounds right for phones purchased outside the US, but in the US domestic market, it seems that dual only phones were sold much more recently.
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Old May 28th 2013, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

I bought a new phone in the UK last year, plenty of the more basic models were still just dual band. Probably not a problem with the fancy phones I'm sure most of you guys have though .
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Old May 28th 2013, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

While most phones sold today are triband or quadband and can handle the frequency differences for GSM, there is some SIGNIFICANT fragmentation when it comes to LTE. Whereas GSM has four (?) frequencies there are more than 20 'bands' for LTE, such that a popular phone like the iPhone 5 bought in the UK will not work with the US LTE frequencies.

If you have a 4G/LTE-enabled phone, you might need to dig deep into the manual to see what bands it supports and whether you can use it here.

For example here are the iPhone variants:

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

Verizon, one of the two big carriers in the USA, uses CDMA technology. While you can actually have a CDMA SIM card in some countries, in the USA Verizon had the SIM-related bits hardwired into the phones themselves rather than using a card. Verizon's iPhone 5 has a SIM card slot, but it's not used for connectivity to the CDMA network I believe.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/24/...s-regulations/
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Old May 29th 2013, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by lashawnmartin View Post
Do they do pay as you go phones aswel as contract deals? And if i wer to get a contract would I need a credit ratting (which I wouldn't have as I live In The uk) and would I need a permanent residential address? (Which I don't have as I'm staying in a hostel for the first couple weeks).
I'm pretty sure that if you wanted a contract, the company will want a fairly large deposit and you probably need a residential address also. However changing addresses usually isn't that big a hassle.

However given the cost and duration of contracts here (they're expensive, and they're 24 months) I would strongly suggest you look into the non-contract providers like Straight Talk, Go Smart Mobile and possible T-Mobile. The T-Mobile frequency issue has already been mentioned, that is something to keep in mind though.

Straight Talk used to offer SIMs that worked on AT&T's network - you can still find those on ebay, but not in the stores anymore. That might be the easiest way to convert a UK phone.
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Old May 29th 2013, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post

Straight Talk used to offer SIMs that worked on AT&T's network - you can still find those on ebay, but not in the stores anymore. That might be the easiest way to convert a UK phone.
You can still get their basic phones for cheap in Walmart, especially the refurbs and then just chuck the phone.
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Old Jun 20th 2013, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

They sell mobile phones in America
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Old Jun 20th 2013, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by megalaser View Post
They sell mobile phones in America
no they don't, they sell cell phones
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Old Jun 20th 2013, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: What I should do about my mobile phone

Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post
However given the cost and duration of contracts here (they're expensive, and they're 24 months) I would strongly suggest you look into the non-contract providers like Straight Talk, Go Smart Mobile and possible T-Mobile. The T-Mobile frequency issue has already been mentioned, that is something to keep in mind though.
I use net10 which is a pay as you go- I also get better service on mine then my ex did on his Blackberry because I guess it works off several different towers. I like net10 because if I know I will have a chatty sort of month- I buy the $50.00 for unlimited talk and text- or if it is going to be a month where I won't be talking or texting much (like when my husband is visiting) -I can buy a 200 minute card for $20 (its always 10 cents a minute) or $25 for 750 minutes a month.

I don't have a contract, I can stop using it for months and then re-activate it by buying minutes. They don't need your address or email either. I like net10 rather than Straight Talk- because with ST you have to buy your card only at Walmart, and many stores sell Net10 cards so its easier for me to access.
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