&"(#&"!=) US mobile phone systems

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deojuvame
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&"(#&"!=) US mobile phone systems

Post by deojuvame » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:59 am

Since I know a lot of people go back and forth from Europe to the US, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me.

I'm going to the US to visit the fam' for the holidays, and last time I went to a random cellular phone store and bought a Nokia 1261 with a prepaid service agreement. (phone was free with the service agreement)

So I'm planning to go back again, and I want to use the same phone. Do I just march into any mobile phone store in the US and say "I want to activate this phone"? And then pay a bunch of money?

I really just want something as close as possible to a prepaid SIM card over there, but I've been looking online at how to do that and it seems pretty impossible!

Will I be just silly if I bring my Finnish Nokia 3650 over ther eand try to buy a SIM card?

I just looked at the Nokia 1261 and it appears that the phone has been WELDED shut or something- I have the feeling I couldn't put a SIM card in there without the aid of a blowtorch or something.

Any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated!



&"(#&"!=) US mobile phone systems

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gavin

Post by gavin » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:05 pm

You should be able to 'top up' your US phone without any problem.

The yanks are gradually getting used to GSM as well, you might be able to buy a pre-paid GSM card for your Finnish phone.

I'd take both, and see what's the easiest/cheapest when you're there.

The Nokia geeks ( :wink: ) will be able to tell you the technical difference, but there's a difference between your cell phone and GSM - that's why your US phone would be very surprised to have a SIM card rammed up its ar$e.

Normally, when I'm out and about I'll buy a GSM pre-paid card where possible, but in canada and Argentina I had no other choice than to buy a 'local' phone.

I havn't told you anything here really :? er, but hope someone does...

Cheers
Gavin

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:06 pm

Finnish/Euro phones won't work in the US unless you have a dual band with the funny frequncies they use, and then it may not work because the local operator doesn't support it.

Just do it like the locals do and use pony express :mrgreen:
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

kultary
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Post by kultary » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:42 pm

Your 3650 is a tri-band phone. It should work in the US even with your Finnish SIM (although that would be expensive). The bigger US operators do offer GSM service (although I'm not aware that they offer pre-paid). You could try to just apply for the service and get a SIM, although this may be difficult without a US-based address & credit history

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roopemills
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Post by roopemills » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:48 pm

You probably need a tri-band GSM (900, 1800 and 1900) phone (Nokia 6310i for example) if you're planning on using it in the U.S. Over here there are typically 2 bands in use, GSM 900 and 1800 (dual-band phones work with either). In the U.S., if there is any GSM network in the area at all it's probably GSM 1900.

I travelled to Missouri and Illinois this past summer and my (tri-band) phone worked just fine. Of course you should check before-hand if your operator has any agreements with the operators in the area you're visiting. For example, Sonera has a drill-down map you can use to find out if the area you are visiting has coverage and what kind of network is available.

http://mobileplaza.sonera.fi/in/mobile_ ... index.html

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:48 pm

Ah, it *is* a tri-band. So then its not a problem. If she is going "to the farm" its going to be mom& dad who have the history and address.

The thing with these tri-bands is just *if* the "farm" is in an area they offer service or not.

So better just take it with and then if it don't work just buy another tosser and keep Nokia happy :mrgreen:
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

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deojuvame
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Post by deojuvame » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:02 pm

Thanks for the advice, everybody! Don't think I'll stick with the finnish card while I'm there, though, it would ben insanely expensive.

Times like this I wish there was a bigger market for disposable phones... that would be WONDERFUL, to just go to a vending machine, pop in my credit card, and 'voila! I have a dependable temporary commincation device! They've got it for cameras, if someone did that with phones they would make a killing :lol:

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:59 pm

Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

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deojuvame
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Post by deojuvame » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:19 pm

Hank W. wrote:Well... err... they do. Almost.
http://uk.gsmbox.com/news/mobile_news/all/54168.gsmbox
Sounds pretty interesting! But the not being able to recieve phone calls is a huge minus.

and I like the paper phone idea- it's tres eco-friendly. I do have to wonder, however, if it would cause the user to go senile at a faster rate...
Last edited by deojuvame on Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jwesthues
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Post by jwesthues » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:19 pm

Just some more thoughts for the thread...

Insanely expensive is right. An aquaintence of mine who had been studying stateside for a year, but did not get a local phone complained of the charges. He got charged for a double international call (ie US to Finland, and then Finland back to the US). You might want to check with your Finnish operator how this will be charged.

Regarding getting a SIM card for your Finnish phone in the states...a friend of mine from the states ordered a phone from Europe (this was when GPRS phones were totally new and unavailable in the states and yes, he is a gadget junkie). The only operator that would give him a SIM card was Voicestream, er T Mobile. Even with the other GSM operators (ie AT&T Wireless & Cingular), you have to be careful. They have been in the process of upgrading their networks from TDMA to GSM (similar but not compatible-I believe). Hence, Finnish GSM phones may not operate in all places.

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Mikie
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Post by Mikie » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:20 pm

I am dealing with the reverse right now, so I have a 'little' knowledge of this, but not sure if its the same both ways. I am a nextel subscriber here, and they offer a gsm phone I can purchase for 50USD that ones I put my SIM card into it from my nextel phone I use here, will work on my existing account. No surcharges, no extra fees, just pay by the minute. So I can still run by business from home without anybody knowing I'm gone (my clients aren't that bright). I know Nextel is not offered in Finland, but whatever provider they have a deal with in Finland to allow this to happen, I would be sure that they offer a reverse deal. If you'd like I could find out what Finnish provider that is.

Mikie

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eric71
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Post by eric71 » Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:55 pm

I've been trying to find info on triband phones lately, and I found this company in the US that sells prepaid sim's for many countries including a T-mobile one for use in the US.

http://www.telestial.com/

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:10 pm

If there ever is a company that actually has a working service, I'd suggest the person having one that works coming forwards with the terms to us... This is one of those questions that pops up -if not daily, almost.
Last edited by Hank W. on Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Hank W.
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deojuvame
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Post by deojuvame » Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:50 pm

eric71 wrote:I've been trying to find info on triband phones lately, and I found this company in the US that sells prepaid sim's for many countries including a T-mobile one for use in the US.

http://www.telestial.com/
Well goddamn. This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. Thanks for the eagle eye help! :ochesey:

Now I just gotta get me a 3650 recharge plug that works in th US, but that shouldn't be nearly as much of a problem... Since "Nokia" is much easier to get an international grip on than mobile calling plans... :wink:

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Post by Hank W. » Sun Sep 21, 2003 2:16 pm

Just mind that even the plug fits the charge voltage and amps are different with different phones. So check the "small print" what it says "OUTPUT" like mine says DC 5.7V 800mA... now if you gets a charger the output is say 12,5V 600mA it'll fry the battery!
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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