Cell phones

Jul 27th, 2008, 11:55 AM
  #1  
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Cell phones

We need to have a cell phone while traveling through Uganda and Kenya and need some help.
When I went to Thailand I was told my Team Mobile that my phone would work with a sim card purchased there. It did not work and I needed to buy a new phone.
So, can you tell me what types of phone's work there? Is it just easier to buy a phone there?
impacked is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:41 PM
  #2  
dmlove
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My son lives in Uganda. He took an unlocked phone that we got on ebay, and bought a sim card when he arrived in Kampala. He's been there a year and it's worked just fine. I think you should get an unlocked phone and buy a sim in Uganda, then a sim in Kenya. (The problem with your T-mobile was that it was not unlocked -- it would only work on the T-mobile network)
 
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:42 PM
  #3  
dmlove
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I should add that the unlocked phone you buy must work on the right "band", but pretty much any current tri- or quad-band phone will work.
 
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:48 PM
  #4  
 
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unlock you phone and buy the simcards and airtime in kenya and uganda.
in kenya i would by both safaricom and celtel in order to make sure i get conncetion.

http://www.kenya-advisor.com/kenya-mobile-phones.html

div
divine54 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 12:52 PM
  #5  
 
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If you have had your T-Mobile service for at least 6 months they will give you the unlock code. I unlocked my T-Mobile razr and have used it with local sim cards in Africa.
aowens is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 07:04 PM
  #6  
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Thanks, for all the helpful info. Including a great looking web site,Div.!
impacked is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 08:31 AM
  #7  
 
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impacked

PLEASURE!

happy planning and safe travels!

div
divine54 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 10:13 AM
  #8  
 
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You need a GSM phone with 900/1800 MHz frequencies. If you already have such a phone, just ask T-Mobile for the unlock code.

Celtel offers one rate (i.e. no roaming charges) across 12 African countries including Kenya and Uganda http://www.celtel.com/en/news/press-...e59/index.html

The other cell carrier in Kenya is Safaricom (but outside of Kenya, you'd be roaming or you can buy a different SIM for Uganda) and as mentioned, the two may have different coverage.
Patty is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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You'd be OK with 900 MHz only too
Patty is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 03:44 PM
  #10  
 
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Not sure if you said you bought a phone in Thailand. If you did, then it should work in Tanzania/Uganda and dthe rest of Europe/Asia/Africa. if you did not, then see if your tmobile phone has the 900/1800 bands and then get it unlocked. Or just buy a cheap unlocked phone that has the 900/1800 bands on ebay or one of the other online stores. Sim cards ar every easy to get and they are very cheap (almost free).

Even though in Africa you need a phone with the 900 band ONLY, you will rarely see a phone these days with the 900 band that does not have the 1800. Now, you may see some North American tribands that do not have the 900 band. Like the tribands sold by tmobile and AT&T. Those will not work well down there, if at all.
mrcamp is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 05:53 AM
  #11  
 
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I personally found that MTN worked in more locations in Uganda than Celtel did. However, I don't know if MTN is in Kenya.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #12  
dmlove
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Like the tribands sold by tmobile and AT&T

My son is using an old unlocked AT&T tri-band in Uganda without a problem.
 
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:51 AM
  #13  
 
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GSM tribands in the US will have 850/1900 (of very limited use outside of the US) plus either 900 or 1800. If it's the former, then it will be fine for East Africa but not if it's the latter. That's why I mentioned that 900 only would also be OK (this assumes you have a 850/900/1900 triband). I've seen both triband versions sold in the US by AT&T and T-Mobile so you need to check the specific frequencies of the particular model. Just knowing that it's a triband is not enough information.

MTN isn't in Kenya. However, they do have roaming agreements with both Safaricom and Celtel in Kenya. But in this case (as with Safaricom), you're probably better off buying separate SIMs for each country rather than pay roaming.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 02:19 PM
  #14  
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Thanks to all of you. I think I've got it handled. I called TMobile and had my old (cheap) phone unclocked and am also taking my (cheap) phone I bought in Thailand for a backup. I will buy Sim cards in both countries.
Thanks for getting me settled.
impacked is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 02:29 AM
  #15  
 
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If you buy a Zain sim card you can use it in Uganda and Kenya (and several other countries) for the same rate, and rechage locally, you dont need different cards. (Zain is the new name for Celtel). I think Safaricom works the same
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Aug 9th, 2008, 04:19 AM
  #16  
 
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OOops, sorry Patty, just seen your mail.
I think my Safaricom prepaid works in TZ but not sure about Uganda
Pumbavu is offline  
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