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A couple cell phone questions

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A couple cell phone questions

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:38 pm

I'm trying to find a new phone to buy. I use US cellular. Can I buy ANY phone and have it compatible with US cellular service? I've tried finding an answer to this online and have had little luck. When I find an ad for a phone I want it never says anything about compatibility, they just list the hundreds of features I will never use. I realize I can probably call USC and ask them but I'd rather just ask you folks. Their website is only interested in selling contracts.

And what the fuck does unlocked mean?

Thanks
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:44 am

From Wisegeek.com

Some cell phones are designed to use a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card, or microchip that stores subscriber data. The SIM card is issued by a carrier and provides cell service by activating any phone into which it is inserted. A locked phone, however, will only recognize a SIM card from a particular carrier. If the cell phone is unlocked, it will recognize a SIM card from any carrier. The "lock" is a software setting that keeps the cell phone "loyal" to one carrier.

US Cellular is a picky carrier, and as I recall does not allow for non-USCC-branded phones to be used on its network. So you'll need to get your phone from them, or risk either reduced service capabilities (no data/text/voicemail) or flat-out rejection of service.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:35 am

Thanks Book.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby roadkill bill » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:38 pm

Awhile back, my cell phone was stolen, and I bought a new one on-line. I also use US Cellular, and simply searched for a compatible one. However, my phone was recovered before the replacement arrived, so I sent the replacement back.

Idiot US Cellular rep. didn't get any info/photo/fingerprints on the guy that tried to activate my stolen phone, even though I had reported it stolen to them and the police. Other things were stolen, and it might have helped recover some of the other items.

Also, the on-line merchant sent me the wrong phone, so I had to return it anyway. They sent me a Verizon phone, not a US Cellular phone.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby TAsunder » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:52 pm

US Cellular is a CDMA network last I checked. In other words, they don't even use SIM cards since that is (or was last I checked) exclusive to GSM-based providers. If you buy an external phone, you won't be able to simply buy a SIM card from US Cellular and plug it in. You will need to make absolutely certain it is wired to work on US Cellular's CDMA network before you can use it, or that US Cellular can easily update it to be compatible.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:17 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm glad I asked before I bought just any phone. I'm trying to get one with a low SAR level. That's right, I'm one of those guys. I sent an email to USC asking for a list of their lowest SAR phones but I have not heard back.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:23 pm

Here's a nice ranking of SAR levels.

http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-radiation-levels/

No word from CNET on how many angels fit on the head of a pin, though.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:28 pm

That's the list I'm already working off of, but thanks.

Your angels line went over my head but I'm sure I have an idea.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:31 pm

(I'm calling you silly for worrying about trivial things, but it's all in fun)
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:47 pm

Yeah, that's what I figured. I have my reasons and I'd rather err on the side of caution I guess.
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby beverlyyan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:39 am

You just need to go to your local cell phone stores. The unlocked means, the cell phone has an open line. You can use any prepaid SIM card for the cell phone.SEO Services
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby jeanlery2010 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:54 am

TAsunder wrote:US Cellular is a CDMA network last I checked. In other words, they don't even use SIM cards since that is (or was last I checked) exclusive to GSM-based providers. If you buy an external phone, you won't be able to simply buy a SIM card from US Cellular and plug it in. You will need to make absolutely certain it is wired to work on US Cellular's CDMA network before you can use it, or that US Cellular can easily update it to be compatible.


So if you are a GSM subscriber you don't have to put up SIM cards on your phone? Maybe I should subscribe for a US Cellular without any hassles in updating it. I would be able to buy now a cell phone with no doubt, since I have considered a lot of things before. Thanks!
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Re: A couple cell phone questions

Postby altcountryman » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:09 pm

jeanlery2010 wrote:
TAsunder wrote:US Cellular is a CDMA network last I checked. In other words, they don't even use SIM cards since that is (or was last I checked) exclusive to GSM-based providers. If you buy an external phone, you won't be able to simply buy a SIM card from US Cellular and plug it in. You will need to make absolutely certain it is wired to work on US Cellular's CDMA network before you can use it, or that US Cellular can easily update it to be compatible.


So if you are a GSM subscriber you don't have to put up SIM cards on your phone? Maybe I should subscribe for a US Cellular without any hassles in updating it. I would be able to buy now a cell phone with no doubt, since I have considered a lot of things before. Thanks!



GSM phones have SIM cards, CDMA phones do not. But, most GSM phones you buy here in the U.S. are "locked" which means you can't just take an AT&T GSM phone and put, say, a T-Mobile SIM card in it and switch to their service.

To my knowledge, no CDMA carrier in the States lets you bring a phone from another carrier. They are generally locked as well, and, while some of the techy folks can change the software, it still might try to stay on its original network which can give you troubles.
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