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How do I get an unlocked phone to work on Cingular?

Discussion in 'NOKIA' started by HoniBrown, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. HoniBrown

    HoniBrown New Member

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    I know I sound utterly clueless, but when you get an unlocked phone (like off E-Bay), what do you do to get it to work with your provider (specifically Cingular)? Would I have to fool around with a new SIM card or anything? I already have a Nokia 7160 with Cingular, and I want the 7210 or 6100. Basically, what's the whole process, from step one (buying the unlocked phone)?

    Any input would be really helpful, since I feel like I have to be walked through this. If there's already a post on this specific topic (I couldn't find one, but just in case I missed it), please let me know so no one's repeating him/herself.

    Thank you sooooo much!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. mpallo

    mpallo Junior Member
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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    My Phone:
    Nokia 6590i, 6820b
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile US
    You would have to purchase a SIM card and sign up for a GSM plan. Since the 7160 is TDMA you would be switching platforms to GSM. A whole new ball of wax. Just make sure they (Cingular) offer GSM service in your area before you buy the phone.
     
  3. WirelessTech

    WirelessTech Junior Member
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    Before you buy a GSM phone off of E--Bay you need to check with Cingular to be sure the phone you are wanting to buy is compatable. There alot of areas of Cingular that have not yet flipped the switch on GSM and some GSM phones will not be compatable on Cingulars new GSM technology. If the phone checks out ok then you need a SIM card.
     
  4. HoniBrown

    HoniBrown New Member

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    Thanks for your responses!!!

    Just a couple questions (please don't laugh):

    If I talk to Cingular about a phone I'm getting off E-bay, they won't give me a hard time? They'll actually help me out and everything? I don't like Cingular's selection of phones that they're offering now AT ALL, but I don't want to be hassled about getting one that's not "Cingular-approved" (if that's such a thing).

    About the SIM card -- so I just buy a Cingular SIM card and pop it in? Is there anything I need to look out for when it comes to getting a SIM card?

    I know, lots of questions, but this brown girl is totally at a loss! [​IMG]

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!
     
  5. WirelessTech

    WirelessTech Junior Member
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    Cingular will not give you hard time but if the equipment is not compatable then it wont work. Probably the only phones that will work will be the ones they are offering. If you buy one off e-bay like what they are selling it will work if it is unlocked. The SIM you would just need to purchase from Cingular and either have them activate at the store or call with the SIM #.
     
  6. tylerdurden

    tylerdurden Senior Member
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    If you're in a Cingular TDMA area now (which you are since you currently have a 7160), the 7210 and 6100 are VERY unlikely to work in your area *with cingular*, even if they do offer GSM. Most cingular TDMA areas have 800MHz licenses, so GSM in those areas will be at 800MHz as well. The 7210 and 6100 are both 900/1800/1900, so they won't work on cingular's network there.

    If they are unlocked, you could go to tmobile or (possibly) AT&T (if AT&T has GSM in your area), but both of them will require a contract even though you're bringing your own phone.
     
  7. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Motrola V3m
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint, Verizon(former), ATT(former),

    OK Botom line. In order for a GSM phone to be Cingular approved it MUST have both GSM 1900 AND GSM 800/850. If it doesn't have both then Cingular won't aprove it cause cingular uses both frequencies.
     
  8. Joe846

    Joe846 New Member

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    I believe Cingular is using 850Mhz for their new GSM network which is different than the global norm of 900/1800 and even different than the America's (North and South) norm of 1900...

    If you plan to travel internationally you should probably go to T-Mobile instead.
     

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