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Old 09-22-06, 09:36 PM   #1
JaredMcDonley
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Cell phones? I need a new one now....

So I always have a phone on me in a plastic zip-lock bag when I ride. After getting stuck in a flash storm (got to love florida for these) - It got wet and does not make calls now.

I have At&t and do not want to change plans for $$ reasons so this limits me to 850mhz phones in my area. Anyone know a good place other than ebay to get cheap unlocked phones? I really want something nice but I really don't want to spend over 150 - Am I being unreasonable? the phones they give out free these days are really high when paying out of contract!
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Old 09-22-06, 10:06 PM   #2
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I have a friend who has cingular (bought out AT&T, right?). She has sent back a couple phones that had problems and got free replacements. I'd check with customer service first.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:15 PM   #3
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have you tried letting it dry out for a few days?

unbelievably, I jumped into a pool with mine (after a kid who was fake drowning), and a few days later voila!

skip down the road a year later, my wife washed my pants, and in the pocket was the same cell phone.

three days later, it rose from the dead. I think this phone has 9 lives.

give it a few days, unless you really need it right away.....
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Old 09-22-06, 10:42 PM   #4
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Errr...I don't think you can buy TDMA phones anymore except perhaps used. Since Cingular bought AT&T, they've been upgrading everything to GSM, which is a little more advanced. I can't say for sure, but you may need to contact Cingular (I'd try the customer service number on your bill first...it might be specific to former AT&T accounts). By renewing your contract, you might be able to talk them into a good new phone/plan package deal. I think I know some people who did that.

Incidentally, doing so should clear up the pesky lack of service issues that occurred to a lot of AT&T customers after the buyout, assuming you experienced that.
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Old 09-23-06, 11:26 AM   #5
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My phone isn't nice, but it only cost 23 bucks and it works just fine.
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Old 09-24-06, 05:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredMcDonley
So I always have a phone on me in a plastic zip-lock bag when I ride. After getting stuck in a flash storm (got to love florida for these) - It got wet and does not make calls now.

I have At&t and do not want to change plans for $$ reasons so this limits me to 850mhz phones in my area. Anyone know a good place other than ebay to get cheap unlocked phones? I really want something nice but I really don't want to spend over 150 - Am I being unreasonable? the phones they give out free these days are really high when paying out of contract!
If you have a Best Buy in the area i reccomend you to take a look at their phones, if not get a pre-paid phone those things are cheap and work quite well.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:35 PM   #7
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in an attempt to get a new phone, my brother dropped his phone out a 2nd story window, it didnt break.. he then dropped it into a kettle of boiling water, it dried out and still worked... i think he eventually drove over it.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:48 PM   #8
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I have a friend who dropped his old Nokia into a bottle of vodka. No problems. To the OP, sorry I can't be of service -- I still don't understand why so many phones in North America are locked into certain plans. Everywhere I've been, you just buy a phone, put your SIM card in and you're good to go.
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Old 09-24-06, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcb
I have a friend who dropped his old Nokia into a bottle of vodka. No problems. To the OP, sorry I can't be of service -- I still don't understand why so many phones in North America are locked into certain plans. Everywhere I've been, you just buy a phone, put your SIM card in and you're good to go.
That's because there are various competing technologies here and some of them don't support SIM portability. Another reason is that phones are marketted differently here. The cellphone companies want to sell you phones and lock you into their service exclusively. They do this by restricting access of SIM-phone pairing so that only the provider's SIM will work in the phone they sell you and vice versa. There are of course many ways to circumvent this but it's usually not trivial to the average consumer. However, most GSM providers in the US will in fact provide you with the unlock codes for your phone. Some require a certain number of continued service months (Cingular = 3) and some will do it right away (T-Mobile). I on the otherhand just hacked my phone directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Errr...I don't think you can buy TDMA phones anymore except perhaps used.
This presumes that the OP's phone was in fact TDMA which might not be the case. GSM works over 850MHz too.


To the OP, the problem you're going to find if you have TDMA is that Cingular will most likely refuse to reregister your "new" phone's ESN in their system and force you to move to GSM.

If you are already on GSM then you should be okay to grab any unlocked GSM handset and use it. One option would be to purchase one of those pre-paid phones such as the Cingular Go-Phones. You will probably need to get the phone unlocked. At this point, your Cingular-Blue (aka AT&T Wireless) SIM will work in the phone.
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Old 09-24-06, 11:40 PM   #10
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I'm not sure, but I thought AT&T only used TDMA. Still, better the OP knows I might (probably am, actually) be wrong.

It also just occurred to me, there might also be some multi-protocol phones that will work for him, since GSM has an 850 MHz band.

By the way, this might be information overload, but [URL=http://www.phonescoop.com] has a lot of information about almost everyphone out there.

Otherwise you can get more limited but somewhat better organized info by browsing wirefly.com
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Old 09-24-06, 11:55 PM   #11
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I hate cell phones. throw it in the damn river
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Old 09-25-06, 12:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlucky13
I'm not sure, but I thought AT&T only used TDMA. Still, better the OP knows I might (probably am, actually) be wrong.
AT&T Wireless (ATTWS) began rolling out their GSM network inselected areas at the end of 2001 with broader rollout in mid-2002. The GSM network was an entirely different network (different databases, different billing, different customer support, etc). However, this began sucking for the TDMA users at the time (of which I was one) because they were converting nodes that were TDMA into GSM by replacing the cards in the towers. This meant that TDMA coverage was being degraded. At the same time, ATTWS and later on, Cingular used this as pressure to force people to migrate to the GSM network. And actually there is a pending lawsuit centered around all this.

They [ATTWS] had a fairly good deployment by the time Cingular took them over. As a matter of fact, this proved problems for a while for us former ATTWS customers who were already on that GSM network as Cingular took a while to begin consolidating their customer records. Additionally, Cingular was and still is in the process of merging the two network infrastructure pieces. There's still plenty of fallout from all this. I ended up converting over to Cingular-Orange after having converted from ATTWS-TDMA to Cingular-Blue. My billing got screwed up for a while.
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Old 09-25-06, 12:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcb
I still don't understand why so many phones in North America are locked into certain plans. Everywhere I've been, you just buy a phone, put your SIM card in and you're good to go.
It's just good 'ol capitalistic GREED!!! It's more profitable for a company to have customers tied to a 1-2 year contract than try to continually bring in new customers for 1-2 months at a time. Saves them labour in signing up people and creating the accout and activating it. While another company might try to compete by offering lower pricing and no contracts, their overhead will be higher and profits lower. They won't have the cash reserves to do big advertizing campaigns as the company that uses the 1-2 year contracts. Guess who wins in the market place?

This greed is also the reason our cell technology is so antiquated and behind the rest of the world. Heck, we got GSM well after the Europeans discarded it and even after some 3rd world nations adopted it. The reason was Qualcomm and Motorola were fighting for marketshare. Rather than cooperate and adopt a 3rd-party superior standard, their greed had them try to conquer the entire market with their standard. So they were in teh courts constantly fighting over patent-infringments and technological standards so that one of their standards would dominate the market. However in wasting all that time and money fighting, by the time one of them beat the other and was guaranteed market domination with their standard (greed), that technology was obsolete anyway. So grudgingly, they have finally rolled out GSM which is a less outdated technology than either of Qualcomm's or Motorola's standards.. meanwhile, the Europeans and Japanese are 5-years ahead of us.... sometimes it's better for the consumer if competing companies shared the market with each other a little more...
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Old 09-25-06, 02:27 PM   #14
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This greed is also the reason our cell technology is so antiquated and behind the rest of the world.
You think we're behind? You should see jDen which is what's used in Japan. We have it here too though. It's called iDen and is the system that Nextel handsets use.

There is also another reason why GSM took so long to be rolled out and it also somewhat relates to greed. While it's true that the NIH symptoms held back deployment plans, it's also true that GSM required a a higher tower density due to the lower power in the spec. More towers mean more sunk infrastructure expense and more right-of-way access which increases more lead-time to deploy... etc... etc... So why was GSM deployment in Europe easier? Population densities were higher in areas where obtaining land/building rights were better. And also the providers were simply more willing to work together so that a single shared tower could support multiple providers since they were all working off the same standard.
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