Will a UMTS/GSM 900/GSM 1800/GSM 1900 phone work in the US?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by G5Unit, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #1
    I was looking in the the Nokia 6233, yet I want to use it in Orange County, California. Will it work?
     
  2. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #3
    What did your local cellular carriers say when you called them?
     
  4. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Okay, so there are four voice GSM bands:

    >850 MHz (US)
    >900 MHz (everywhere else)
    >1800 MHz (everywhere else)
    >1900 MHz (US)

    Each carrier will use either one or both of those bands. In the United States, AT&T/Cingular uses both 850 MHZ and 1900, whereas T-Mobile uses just the 1900 MHz bands. Both carriers are present in OC. So, your phone will work with T-Mobile, but not AT&T/Cingular.
     
  5. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #5
    So I just sign up for T Mobile and I can use most European phones?
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #6
    Yes....BUT, with a phone that doesn't have 850, if you go outside of T-Mobile's coverage area, you won't be able to roam on another carrier. So for the US, I'd definitely recommend a phone with both.
     
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #7
    That's not entirely true. Not all of T-Mobile's roaming area is 850 only, but most of it is.

    G5Unit, You should be fine.

    By the way, I've always wanted to tell you that you have a very clever name!
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #8
    I know. Almost all of it is.

    I have T-Mobile and have only roamed twice, but both times, I was glad my phone (BB Pearl) has 850 so I could roam on Cingular (and return to the land of 2 bars, static and dropped calls that I had for 2 years. I was happy when I drove back into T-Mobile coverage and saw the word Cingular disappear from my phone' screen :D)

    Hmm....maybe I didn't want 850 then ;)
     
  9. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #9
    That's been my experience with Verizon. I'm glad my phone broke with them. I used my aunt's T-Mobile phones in Asia last year, and they were amazing!

    I sort of wish I waited for an iPhone, but I'm happy with the Sidekick Santa brought. :)

    ~*~*~*~

    People have gotten 900/1800/1900 phones to work on Cingular, but I wouldn't recommend it. Besides, as yg17 said, they aren't the most reliable.
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #10
    Your service in Asia had nothing to do with T-Mobile, but nonetheless, T-Mobile kicks ass :D


    And yes, I definitely wouldn't do it if I had Cingular. I know someone who bought a Sony Ericsson phone without 850 and has Cingular. Well, they don't have any 1900 coverage down here and he ended up with a $300 paperweight. And even if your area does have 1900 towers, I wouldn't expect them to be up too much longer, they'll probably eventually get converted to 850
     
  11. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #11
    They worked well everywhere. They worked much better than our dual CDMA/GSM Sprint phones that are $0.50-1.50 more per minute than the big T!
     
  12. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #12
    Thanks this had really helped me out(=

    I'm trying to sign up for the family plan on Amazon right now. Yet the Unlimited Text messaging for the Entire Family option isn't there. Is it possible to sign up on Amazon, then go to a T Mobile store in my area and add on a texting plan?
     
  13. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Why don't you just go to a T-Mobile store to begin with? I think starting a new serive with a carrier should start at a store, especially if you're planning on getting an unlocked phone.
     
  14. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #14
    Yes but the rest of my family will be getting locked phones, which are REALLY cheap on Amazon.
     
  15. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Oh, well, then order those, and then go to the big T (or call them) and add another line with your unlocked phone.
     
  16. noknowing Itall macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Some additional info about the phones

    Some of these posts are confusing information.:confused:
    Here are some facts:

    GSM1900 is used only in USA/NorthAmerica.
    GSM850 is used also in USA/NorthAmerica, some areas of South America.
    GSM900 is NOT used in USA/NorthAmerica.
    GSM1800 is NOT used in USA/NorthAmerica.

    TMobileUSA is a GSM1900Mhz carrier, and does roaming with 850Mhz partners, which include Cingular/ATT.
    TMobileUSA can use any unlocked mobile phone which is dual-band,tri-band, or quad band, as long as GSM1900 is included as one of those bands.
    UMTS & TMobileUSA- UMTS features of any European/Asia/Cingular phone will not work. TMobileUSA not be using the frequecy bands that are curently being used by Europe, Asia and Cingular.( Cingular USA is using UMTS1900, which is different than UMTS2100 being used in Europe/Asia carriers.)

    CingularUSA is a GSM850/1900Mhz carrier. They are shifting more of network to GSM850, which is better coverage wise.
    UMTS & CingularUSA- Cingular's UMTS network is UMTS 1900, so unlocked phones from Europe(Vodaphone) or Asia will not function for UMTS features or service. :( But may European phones will support Cingular's GSM850 network.:)


    The Nokia 6233 is: WCDMA 2100 and tri-band GSM coverage on up to five continents (GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900) .
    You can follow specs for most phones from manufacturer's website(http://europe.nokia.com/A4145113) or from (GSMarena.com).

    You can use the 6233 on either TMobileUSA( GSM only) or on CingularUSA( GSM only in 1900, not supporting 850).
    This phone will not work for UMTS services on either carrier's networks.:(
     
  17. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

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    #17
    Just by the colored map I saw when I had this question I'm gonna say that 85% of the Cingular/ ATT/ Tmoblie coverage area is 850mhz only.
    There was not enough 1900 for me to get the Sony Erricson phone I wanted.
     
  18. noknowing Itall macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Cingular/ATT is a separate company from TMobile

    You may be mistaken. Whatever colored map you looked at, you wouldn't have seen Cingular/ATT's coverage combined with T-Mobile's coverage. It's possible. It may be the way you wrote in your post, but they aren't the same company.

    But, I would agree that from the coverage maps the carrier's provide, it looks like at least half of the coverage comes from 850Mhz (this lower frequency having advantages over the higher 1900Mhz).

    Was the Sony phone non-850Mhz?
     

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