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Newbie Nextel question regarding the use of an unlocked phone.

Discussion in 'Sprint Forum' started by Ska8139, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Ska8139

    Ska8139 New Member

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    Greetings to everyone on this forum. As you can see by the title, I am new to this forum and I joined because I have a question on using an unlocked phone with my Nextel service. The situation is that my contract expired with Nextel about a year ago so I am finally free to go month-to-month. I enjoy that. What I don't enjoy is my 3 year old Motorolla phone; it's garbage.
    So here's the question: I like the Nokia E71 and would like to use that. My only other requirement is to be able to keep my current cell phone number. is there a way I could accomplish both tasks while still staying at Nextel? If not, what other options do I have? I have spent a decent amount of time searching for this answer but I still haven't found it.

    Any help would be appreciative,
    Sam
     
  2. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Hello and welcome to WA.

    The Nokia E71 is a GSM phone and Nextel uses IDEN, these are two incompatible technologies. So, no you can use the E71 on Nextel.

    If Nextel is a must for you then you are stuck, but if not then you can get an unlocked E71, port your number over to a GSM provider (AT&T or T-Mobile) and you are good to go.

    Does that make sense?
     
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  3. Tony E!

    Tony E! Retired Mod
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    To add to Charlyee's post if i may, if you want more choices to use with your Nextel service, you can also use Boost phones but you must unlock it first, also keep in mind that not all Boost phones have the Radio/PTT feature.
     
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  4. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Or you could purchase a new Nextel phone from Nextel for full price without re-signing a contract.
     
  5. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    Even though Nextel phones use SIM cards (like the GSM Nokia E71 phone you like does), that is the ONLY similarity with GSM.

    As others have said Nextel's iDEN network is completely incompatible with GSM networks (which AT&T and T-Mobile use). Nokia does NOT make any iDEN phones. Only Motorola makes iDEN phones.

    Another option is to find out if you can switch to the Sprint side and use the new QChat-enabled phones which work on Sprint and Nextel's Direct Connect service.
     
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  6. Ska8139

    Ska8139 New Member

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    I thank everyone for their helpful responses. I like the suggestion by Charlyee about just buying the phone and having my number ported to a GSM based provider. It seems like it might take some doing, but it makes the most sense. I am certainly not partial to Nextel in anyway, I just enjoyed not being in a contract with a cellular provider.
    My question now is that if I go that route and sign up with AT&T while provide my own phone, will I be asked to sign up for their data plan outright or could I just sign up for a individual plan and add a data plan at any time?

    Again thanks in advance,
    Sam
     
  7. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Hi there, if you port your number over all you have to do is go the carrier of your choice with your last bill from Nextel and they will take care of the rest. Your Nextel account will automatically close after the port is complete, do not terminate it prior to porting or the number can not be ported.

    As for data, I know with AT&T you can sign up and "un-sign" data plan any time you want. The only time the data plan is a requirement is when you buy a Smartphone from them that has a rebate that requires you to sign a data plan.

    Ok, here comes GSM 111A :D, you may know all of this so I hope you don't mind:

    The Nokia E71 comes in three versions of 3G, the US version comes in 850/1900 3G. The Eurasian versions have 900/2100 or 850/2100 (not sure about this one). They are all quad band 850/900/1800/1900.

    When you get the E71, make sure that you get the US version of 3G if 3G important to you and also AT&T will be a better choice for you assuming they have good coverage in your area. The reason being AT&T uses 850/1900 3G whereas T-Mobile uses 1700 and has just started deploying 3G.

    Hope this helped. Good luck :)
     
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    #7 charlyee, Sep 2, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008

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