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  1. #1
    wwt
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    I have an old GSM phone which I use in europe. I do not yet have cell phone service in the USA.
    I see that both Cingular and T Mobile also use GSM technology. My questions are :
    Looking at the Motorola RAZR specs, I see it operates on all GSM frequencies. If I sign up with one or the other US service provider, will they"unlock" the RAZR so I can plug in the european SIM card when visiting there? (I asked at a local Cingular shop & the employee said it would cost between $50 - $100, since they have to send the phone out to get it unlocked).
    If one has a GSM phone not presently on the Cingular network, does Cingular provide their own SIM card if one signs up for a domestic plan? Or do they have to "modify" a non-Cingular phone & lock it?


    See More: Cell Phone for USA & Europe ?




  2. #2
    roberts1953
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwt
    I have an old GSM phone which I use in europe. I do not yet have cell phone service in the USA.
    I see that both Cingular and T Mobile also use GSM technology. My questions are :
    Looking at the Motorola RAZR specs, I see it operates on all GSM frequencies. If I sign up with one or the other US service provider, will they"unlock" the RAZR so I can plug in the european SIM card when visiting there? (I asked at a local Cingular shop & the employee said it would cost between $50 - $100, since they have to send the phone out to get it unlocked).
    If one has a GSM phone not presently on the Cingular network, does Cingular provide their own SIM card if one signs up for a domestic plan? Or do they have to "modify" a non-Cingular phone & lock it?
    Yes the RAZR is quad band and will work in the US. The US GSM networks use 850 and 1900 only. If you havn't already bought the phone, you can look into buying one that is already "unlocked" from other vendors or ebay. If you buy it from Cingular or Tmobile it will be locked to them. There are reputable third parties that can unlock a pone for well less thn $50-100. If you want to sign up with a service in the US, one option is to buy just the SIM and put it in any "unlocked" phone with 850 and 1900 frequency. You can buy the SIM only at a Cingular or Tmobile store for $30 or more, or buy one on ebay for much less. $5-10. One other thing to consider. If you only visit the US ocassionally, look into a prepaid SIM with Tmobile or Cingular. That way you aren't locked into a contract you wont be using throughout the year.



  3. #3
    wwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by roberts1953
    Yes the RAZR is quad band and will work in the US. The US GSM networks use 850 and 1900 only. If you havn't already bought the phone, you can look into buying one that is already "unlocked" from other vendors or ebay. If you buy it from Cingular or Tmobile it will be locked to them. There are reputable third parties that can unlock a pone for well less thn $50-100. If you want to sign up with a service in the US, one option is to buy just the SIM and put it in any "unlocked" phone with 850 and 1900 frequency. You can buy the SIM only at a Cingular or Tmobile store for $30 or more, or buy one on ebay for much less. $5-10. One other thing to consider. If you only visit the US ocassionally, look into a prepaid SIM with Tmobile or Cingular. That way you aren't locked into a contract you wont be using throughout the year.
    roberts1953 : Thanks for your reply.
    Is the phone number contained in the SIM? If so then each time you buy a SIM, you get a new number?
    If buying a SIM on ebay or from Cingular or Tmobile, how is billing for usage done? Could a SIM obtained on ebay be stolen or have an outstanding balance?
    With respect to prepaid SIMS in the US, am I correct in understanding that even if not used there's a monthly fee which can cause your prepaid balance to go to zero, thus making the SIM worthless in the future?



  4. #4
    roberts1953
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwt
    roberts1953 : Thanks for your reply.
    Is the phone number contained in the SIM? If so then each time you buy a SIM, you get a new number?
    If buying a SIM on ebay or from Cingular or Tmobile, how is billing for usage done? Could a SIM obtained on ebay be stolen or have an outstanding balance?
    With respect to prepaid SIMS in the US, am I correct in understanding that even if not used there's a monthly fee which can cause your prepaid balance to go to zero, thus making the SIM worthless in the future?
    Phone # is in the sim. Each time you get a new sim it's a new phone #. Usaully the sellers on ebay are liscensed dealers of Cingular or Tmobile. Billing is handled by Cingular or Tmobile themselves according to their service. Usually the sims come with starter minutes. You can add more minutes to the account many ways. You can buy directly from the phone company by calling them from the cellphone and using a credit card, or online at their websites. You can also find refill cards at many stores throughout the US, or buy cards from third parties online and have them email you the info, then call the cell provider and add the new balance. Like buying long distance calling cards.

    Usually the SIMs on ebay are new and unactivated. So whn you activate it is a new account. Also, most resellers are company dealers or resellers at a small store and simply using ebay as an easy way to reach a larger market. If you buy from someone with lots of positive feedback, don't worry. If you would rather you can buy from an "authorized" store, but you will pay more. Usually if a sim is lost or stolen the party would report it and have the account closed. Plus, if you notice on ebay, the SIMs are selling for $0.99. with minutes, then add $5 for shipping. This gives you the an idea of how profitable stealing sims would be. Also the mark up at the brick and morter stores.

    In the US it is usually not the monthly fees that kill an account, but the expiration dates. Typical cards are for $10-20 and last for 30-60 days. You have to add more to keep it active. Once the balance is at $0 for a period of time the phone # is lost. You could probably buy a another refill card and reactivate the old sim with a different #, or just buy another SIM and put it in the phone. Some prepaids, incluing cingular do have a daily fee. Personally, I would avoid any daily fee, such as cingulars go phone, way too expensive.

    Another way to overcome expirations is to pay $100 and get 1 year cards. You can then keep the number. This is only a good idea if you will use a large amount of minutes.

    Good ideas for GSM prepaid are
    http://www.t-mobile.com/prepaid/overview.asp on its home network

    www.gobeyondwireless.com and http://www.o2wirelessservice.com/index.htmland. Both resell cingulars home network.

    all no fees and a cheaper then cingular's expensive gophone plans
    Last edited by roberts1953; 03-01-2006 at 03:03 PM.



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