Phone roaming in US

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Nermal, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm considering visiting the US in a few months and I'm trying to figure out the deal with roaming, specifically the frequencies.

    I have a Nokia 6275i, which according to Nokia's site runs at 800 or 1900 MHz. I've gone to my provider's roaming site and I'm getting confused by the results.

    First of all, I get a big green message stating "United States of America - You can roam to this country with your phone". After that are some more details about which networks I can use: Verizon at 1800 MHz or Sprint at 800/1800. While Sprint looks OK at 800, how would Verizon roaming work if they're at 1800 and the phone is 1900?

    I'm a bit confused, can someone help me out please? :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
  3. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #3
    I don't think their site is accurate. I'm almost 100% positive Sprint is only 1900MHz and Verizon is 850/1900MHz, so since your phone does 1900MHz, you should be fine as long as you're in a major city.
     
  4. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    Interesting. I think I'll email my provider and ask them to double-check the frequencies and update the site if they're wrong.

    CDMA; I didn't think I'd have to mention that since Verizon and Sprint are CDMA :)
     
  5. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    Well, that was a bit pointless. I politely emailed the roaming helpdesk (I didn't just blurt out "your site is wrong") but all I got back was "Your phone is compatible with US' network, all you have to do is to dial *22800 before leaving NZ so that it will be activated for roaming."

    I guess I'll try dialling that number and see what happens :)
     
  6. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #6
    Don't bother. They're right. People here are confusing GSM frequencies in the US (850/1900MHz) with those used on CDMA services here...which will cross over with your phone just fine. :)
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    GSM and CDMA both use a part of the 850 or 1900 MHz spectrum...I think his carrier just has the provider's wrong. Verizon uses both 850 and 1900 and Sprint uses just 1900
     
  8. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    Thread resurrection time :)

    I'm heading to the US soon and I now have a WCDMA/GSM phone with a roaming-capable SIM, that'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile. I don't foresee any problems with the roaming, however in the past the phone has died without warning.

    In case it dies again while I'm over there, I'm considering taking my old CDMA Nokia too. It is no longer connected to the NZ network. Do Sprint or Verizon allow "foreign" phones to be connected? I don't expect to need to, but would it be doable in a pinch?
     
  9. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #9
    Do you absolutely, postively NEED to use your phone/phone #/SIM while you're in the US? If not, you might just be better off buying a US GSM SIM.
     
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #10
    You can walk into Wal-Mart and buy prepaid cell phones for as little as $30. I don't know how much roaming costs for you guys to come here, assuming the cell phone frequencies are compatible, but I know when I head down from Canada to the USA, my carrier starts charging me in the dollars-per-minute range. If I was going to spend more than a day or two in the US, I'd buy one of the prepaid phones.
     
  11. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #11
    I'm going to take my good WCDMA/GSM phone with me and roam with it, using my NZ phone number. That way people can get in contact with me (such as my parents, who are currently in Europe and may need to call me). If that phone dies, my spare is CDMA and therefore a US SIM won't do me much good.

    I'm not expecting my good phone to fail, but I'm just wondering whether I should take my old CDMA one just in case. If I won't be able to use it, then there's no point in me taking it.

    I don't actually make many calls, it's more of an "in case someone needs to talk to me" system. Texting isn't too expensive and data is the same price that I was paying on CDMA in NZ, so I can afford it :)
     
  12. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #12
    I don't know why I didn't think of this before: AT&T has GSM, right? If my good phone breaks, I could presumably just transfer the SIM to my old GSM phone that I have here collecting dust.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    As long as the phone does 850 MHz and 1900 MHz GSM you can do that.
     
  14. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #14
    My good phone is mostly happily roaming on AT&T :) (although it keeps dropping back to EDGE; the stories on here are true!)

    Edit: But I can't receive texts from US users :confused:
     

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