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53 posts

Master Geek


# 19192 8-Feb-2008 20:05
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We're off to LA in April and I need a new phone to replace my Motorola V3. I don't really know the first thing about phones, except that I'm on Vodafone and have a SIM card. My current phone was bought from Parallel Imports and I needed to set it up when I got it, and that was fine. Curiously now I can no longer add or delete sound files, but that's another matter.

I need to know what to look out for in buying a phone in the states, particularly around making sure it'll actually be able to be set up on the Vodafone network and work properly here.

Can anyone give me any advice on what I need to consider and any pitfalls of this plan? I was thinking of going for another Motorola or maybe a Nokia.

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  # 109334 8-Feb-2008 20:07
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Make sure its not SIM locked

Works on GSM 850/900 at the least and 1800mhz and if you want 3G WCDMA/HSDPA 2100

Many handsets imported from US work on 850/1800 and this is no good

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  # 109397 9-Feb-2008 02:08
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The frequency bands used for GSM in the US are at 850 and 1900 MHz (not 1800 MHz as JohnR wrote). whereas Vodafone NZ uses 900 and 1800 MHz for their network and Telecom will use only 850 MHz for their upcoming GSM network.

There are four types of GSM handsets in the market:
- American dualband (850+1900 = will work only with Telecom NZ)
- European dualband (900+1800 = will work only with Vodafone NZ)
- American triband (850+1800+1900) = will work with Telecom NZ and in some urban areas with 1800-coverage with Vodafone NZ)
- European triband (900+1800+1900 = will work only with Vodafone NZ)
- exotic triband (850+900+1900 = will work with Telecom NZ and with most of Vodafone NZ's network, however this combination is only available on a Canadian version of the Motorola V300 afaik)
- quadband (850+900+1800+1900 = will work with Vodafone & Telecom NZ)

So if you want a phone, that will work on all NZ GSM networks, you need a quadband phone.

Regarding 3G Americans use 850 (also used in Australia for Telstra's NextG), 1700 and 1900 MHz, while the rest of the world including NZ primarily uses Band I (2100 MHz). Additional bands at 900 (Europe) and other frequencies are also evolving. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands)
Unfortunately there are very few 3G-multiband phones available. The only 3G-multiband phone I can definitely name is the HTC TyTN, which supports 3G at 800, 850, 1900 and 2100 MHz.
So if you buy a 3G-capable phone look after one, that supports quadband-GSM and 3G at 2100 MHz.




router: AVM Fritz!Box Fon 7390 with Huawei K3765 USB modem attached as GSM voice gateway
VoIP-providers: intervoip.com | sipgate.de (German DID) | sipgate.co.uk (British DID) | sipcall.ch (Swiss DID)
connection: 100/5 MBit/s (DOCSIS 3.0)
mobile devices: Huawei P6 | Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM | Huawei: E5832, E1762, K3715, K3765 | Qualcomm Gobi 2000 in Sony VAIO VPC-Z12X9E/X

 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  # 109408 9-Feb-2008 08:46
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If you want a mobile to use while in the US, you could just buy a cheap phone (ie. around $20, or even free once you buy some airtime) on a pre-paid plan, then throw the phone away when you leave the US.

See, for example:
http://www.net10.com/home_page.jsp
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/
http://www.t-mobile.com/

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  # 109410 9-Feb-2008 08:52
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BobW: If you want a mobile to use while in the US, you could just buy a cheap phone (ie. around $20, or even free once you buy some airtime) on a pre-paid plan, then throw the phone away when you leave the US.

See, for example:
http://www.net10.com/home_page.jsp
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/
http://www.t-mobile.com/

Sounds like the OP needs a new handset to replace his old one...

I need a new phone to replace my Motorola V3.







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  # 109446 9-Feb-2008 11:26
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If you travelling through Singapore or HongKong, it'd be wiser (and cheaper) to get from there, than risking limited selection while in USA. It is known fact that GSM phones are quite limited and slow with new gadgets when compare to other part of the world, namely because USA is predominantly CDMA, with AT&T now slowly bringing more and more GSM phones, but very limited 3G phones.




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Master Geek


  # 109448 9-Feb-2008 11:50
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Thanks guys, I knew it'd be more of a minefield than I first thought. We're flying direct, no asian stopovers, so that's out. I might flag the idea and buy local - less hassle. I appreciate all your help.

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  # 110048 12-Feb-2008 10:04
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Just added two new triband-versions to my posting above, which were unknown to me before.





router: AVM Fritz!Box Fon 7390 with Huawei K3765 USB modem attached as GSM voice gateway
VoIP-providers: intervoip.com | sipgate.de (German DID) | sipgate.co.uk (British DID) | sipcall.ch (Swiss DID)
connection: 100/5 MBit/s (DOCSIS 3.0)
mobile devices: Huawei P6 | Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM | Huawei: E5832, E1762, K3715, K3765 | Qualcomm Gobi 2000 in Sony VAIO VPC-Z12X9E/X

 
 
 
 


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Master Geek
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# 113770 29-Feb-2008 13:16
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While we are on the topic, does anyone know of any good places to buy gsm mobiles in Hong Kong? I am heading there soon and would like to make some enquiries before I go. Hoping for a new N95 8gb or similar. Would like to email some possible suppliers before I go.

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