Going to england from america

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
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Can you use any SIM free phone with your service provider back in the US?

If so it might be worth seeing what's available but the high street shops I've visited often only offer phones tied to a contract or only offer a small SIM free selection.

I'm currently looking to buy a new phone and the short-list is down to Nokia's 6111, N80 SonyEricsson's K800i or a Samsung P300
 

Queso

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Mar 4, 2006
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Before you buy anything remember that the UK uses a mix of GSM 900 and GSM 1800, whereas the USA is on GSM 1900. So the phone you get needs to be labelled as "tri-band", or it won't work when you get back home.
 

evoluzione

macrumors 68020
dynamicv said:
Before you buy anything remember that the UK uses a mix of GSM 900 and GSM 1800, whereas the USA is on GSM 1900. So the phone you get needs to be labelled as "tri-band", or it won't work when you get back home.


most GSM phones in the States are actually 900/1800/1900 now, but not all. of course some carriers don't use GSM at all, they use CDMA.

i love how the US has to be different from the rest of the world, in everything :rolleyes:
 

spacepower7

macrumors 68000
May 6, 2004
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In the US, I have seen three different types of GSM phones:

850/1900
850/1800/1900
900/1800/1900

And that's just 3 different Nokia's that I have had in the past year

The are many different online resources to unlock your phone (which is legal.)
 

Queso

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Mar 4, 2006
11,824
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evoluzione said:
most GSM phones in the States are actually 900/1800/1900 now, but not all. of course some carriers don't use GSM at all, they use CDMA.
True, but I'm not sure if the CDMA standard in the US is the same as the one here in Europe (known as 3G). Most GSM phones in this country are dual-band (900/1800) so definitely won't work in the US.

I don't know, maybe the OP is making life hard for himself :rolleyes:
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
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Murka
dynamicv said:
I'm not sure if the CDMA standard in the US is the same as the one here in Europe (known as 3G).

3G isn't CDMA. It's UTMS. there is a 3G equivalent to UTMS, called CDMA2000 (ooh, catchy), but it's currently US only (and very limited at that). While CDMA2000 is a kind of bolt on update to CDMAone, UTMS is a completely new system, thats backward compatible with GSM/GPRS based networks- the reason for this backward compatibility is that normal calls are carried over these existing networks, while 3G services, such as uprated data and video calls are made using the new infrastructures.


:)
 

Queso

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Mar 4, 2006
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bigandy said:
3G isn't CDMA. It's UTMS. there is a 3G equivalent to UTMS, called CDMA2000 (ooh, catchy), but it's currently US only (and very limited at that). While CDMA2000 is a kind of bolt on update to CDMAone, UTMS is a completely new system, thats backward compatible with GSM/GPRS based networks- the reason for this backward compatibility is that normal calls are carried over these existing networks, while 3G services, such as uprated data and video calls are made using the new infrastructures. :)
I was told previously that 3G was CDMA, but obviously by someone who didn't know much about the subject. Thanks for the correction.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
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sitting on your shoulder
spacepower7 said:
In the US, I have seen three different types of GSM phones:

850/1900
850/1800/1900
900/1800/1900

And that's just 3 different Nokia's that I have had in the past year

The are many different online resources to unlock your phone (which is legal.)
I know AT&T changed their network from whatever they used (I think 900 or 1800) to 850 a little while before the Cingular purchase, so they sent a new phone "upgrade" to all T68i users. Hmm, no Bluetooth, crappier screen, feels like it cost $5 to make the case. This is an upgrade how?
 

pashazade

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2004
90
15
Richmond, London, UK
Nokia N80

IDANNY said:
Is their any cell phone I should get while I am their. That I cant get here.
A good (if expensive option) would be the Nokia N80

"The N80 is the first smartphone that can be truly described as a modern world phone. With quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and either 1900 (US) or 2100 (Europe) WCDMA radios, it will work almost anywhere in the world. The dual band WCDMA means the N80 will almost certainly be making an appearance in the USA (on Cingular) which up until recently has had few S60 devices widely available. Data is well provided for with 3G (384 kbps), EDGE (236 kbps) and GPRS making up the cellular options and WLAN (802.11g) providing a further option. As on the Nokia 9500 and 9300i WLAN works like any other connection and can be used for browsing, e-mail or any other network connection application. Software built into the phone allows you to scan for and connect to any available hotspot. The WLAN is used for the UPnP support which we discuss further below."
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/Nokia_N80_Review.php

http://www.nokia.com/n80
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
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dynamicv said:
I was told previously that 3G was CDMA, but obviously by someone who didn't know much about the subject. Thanks for the correction.
You guys are both right. UMTS does indeed use CDMA technology, which is the nuts and bolts behind the system, but IS-95 or cdma2000 cell phones (offered by Sprint and Verizon in the US) use a different flavor of CDMA, so that they are not compatible with European style 3G networks.

If you buy an unlocked phone from Europe, you will most certainly have to use Cingular or T-Mobile as your service provider.
 

portent

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2004
623
2
theBB said:
You guys are both right. UMTS does indeed use CDMA technology, which is the nuts and bolts behind the system, but IS-95 or cdma2000 cell phones (offered by Sprint and Verizon in the US) use a different flavor of CDMA, so that they are not compatible with European style 3G networks.
i love how Europe has to be different from the US, in everything :rolleyes:
 

portent

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2004
623
2
oingoboingo said:
The US might well be the odd man out here. At least here in Australia, the European mobile phone standards predominate.
We are, largely because European governments have outlawed non-european standards for mobiles.

It was interesting to watch as GSM hit a capacity wall. GSM had nowhere to go, but CDMA did. So what did Europe do?

They announced a new, totally incompatible CDMA standard. Developed by European companies.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,991
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Penryn
portent said:
i love how Europe has to be different from the US, in everything :rolleyes:

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Interoperability between countries was extremely important for obvious reasons. GSM also dominates the world stage so it can't be all bad. Also, SIM cards make a lot of sense, I was able to use my T-Mobile phone in Europe simply by getting a new card and not having to bother with getting an entirely new phone. The convenience is worth if for those who travel. For those who never leave the US, who cares?