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Old 11-02-2011, 05:59   #1
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Cell Phone Service in the US and Caribbean

Hi, I am looking for information on unlocked cell phones in the US and the caribbean. Can I buy an unlocked cell phone in the US and then a pay as you go plan? and then in the Caribbean could I use the same phone and get simm cards as I go?

What is the best way to go?

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Old 11-02-2011, 06:03   #2
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I know with my iphone you can do this. When i went to the DR my phone worked but yeah you could just by a sim card for where you are..
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:19   #3
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I know with my iphone you can do this. When i went to the DR my phone worked but yeah you could just by a sim card for where you are..
I don't buy my phones in the US anymore for this very reason. To get my last one unlocked cost me $50 US, and a days wait, so I'm suprised to read this.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:01   #4
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Im interested too. Esp as it relates to the Iphone. Can you swap sim cards with this device?
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:35   #5
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If you use AT&T, T-Mobile, Cellular One, or any of the other GSM cellular service providers in the US and have appropriate hardware (quad-band) your phone will work throughout the Caribbean basin. You can either use international roaming or get your phone unlocked. You can pay to unlock your phone by a third party or call your service provider and ask nicely. AT&T has provided unlock codes for two phones free so I can use them with local SIMs in the Caribbean.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:03   #6
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If you don't care much about the phone you are using and you mainly want cheap communications you can just buy a phone when you get someplace. In the US I'd get a Straight Talk phone at WalMart, or maybe a Net10 prepaid, then find something else once I got to a place I needed one. Remember, there are lots of areas in the Caribbean where a cell phone is of limited use because there is no service. Actually, there are some areas on the U.S. East Coast where you'll have trouble getting a signal. Depends on where you are going. If you want something that people can reach you on at any time you're better off with Iridium or an SSB.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:05   #7
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Using US phone equipment overseas

Quote:
Originally Posted by fawcettm View Post
Can I buy an unlocked cell phone in the US and then a pay as you go plan? and then in the Caribbean could I use the same phone and get simm cards as I go?

What is the best way to go? -- Mark
In short, Yes. But do remember that the US, in their infinite wisdom, implemented GSM on different frequencies than the rest of the world. So if you're taking US phone equipment (including 3G modems) overseas, make sure it's a 4-band (actually, 4-freq) device. Also, a lot of US phone equipment does not have SIM slots. The manufacturers want to lock you into their system.

But phones & modems are pretty cheap overseas, so it might be easier to just buy one when you get there (here).

We have a cheap Nokia & buy new SIMs in each new country, as you suggested. They're only a few bucks but that does change our phone number, so we let friends & family know in a newsletter. All countries we've been to have Pre-paid (pay as you go) plans for both voice & data.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:51   #8
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if you come to the caribbean where ever the service provider DIGICEL is available thats the better network to go with.better rates and coverage.bmobile / lime networks often give trouble.
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Old 11-02-2011, 13:07   #9
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We are frequent travelers to Jamaica. I bought a cheap basic Nokia phone and a fair amount of prepaid minutes for $45 US, no monthly fees. (Digicell of Jamaica) For about $13 US, you can buy unlimited calls to the US for 1 month. Local calls are dirt cheap. You can buy minutes at the most remote country store.

The Bahamas probably has similar arrangements available and you could just get a new SIM card.
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Old 11-02-2011, 14:07   #10
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We use Skype more often than our local cell phone here in Sint maarten.
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Old 11-02-2011, 14:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
In short, Yes. But do remember that the US, in their infinite wisdom, implemented GSM on different frequencies than the rest of the world. So if you're taking US phone equipment (including 3G modems) overseas, make sure it's a 4-band (actually, 4-freq) device. Also, a lot of US phone equipment does not have SIM slots. The manufacturers want to lock you into their system.

But phones & modems are pretty cheap overseas, so it might be easier to just buy one when you get there (here).

We have a cheap Nokia & buy new SIMs in each new country, as you suggested. They're only a few bucks but that does change our phone number, so we let friends & family know in a newsletter. All countries we've been to have Pre-paid (pay as you go) plans for both voice & data.
All of my US phones (that I have had to have unlocked) have worked internationally.

I don't think it's the manufactures that want to lock you into their systems. It's the evil carriers. I was paying min $100 a month for US service when I DIDN'T use the phone while in Mexico and Indonesia. Here I've been putting about $5 a month in to "top up" my phone. I call the US directly from this phone CHEAPER THAN SKYPE.

Did I mention Evil US carriers.

I have to ask, why would you want to buy a US phone? Can see no benifit whatsoever. Bring an already unlocked phone with you.
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