Any reason to NOT unlock my phone?

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May 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM
  #1
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Any reason to NOT unlock my phone?

Hi all! We're leaving for Italy and Germany in 9 days (yikes) and I just received the unlock code for my Cingular phone. Before I unlock it, is there ANY reason not to unlock it?

Also, if I may, one more quick question. I have arranged for Cingular's international roaming. It's $5.99/mo and $0.99 per minute. If I buy a sim card in Italy (assuming I unlock my phone) wouldn't calls to the US still be cheaper on Cingular? In other words, if most of the calls I make from Europe are back to the US, am I better off using my Cingular sim card, or would the Italian sim card deal be better?

H
phieaglefan is offline  
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May 16th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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I use Cingular, too, and I suspect using the Italian SIM card will be a lot cheaper.
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May 16th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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There is no reason not to unlock a phone - unless you're a complete fumblefingers and you get it into some dead-end logic state. Here's what the instructions from T-Mobile said: NOTE: If the phone displays, "Please wait to enter special code" or "Contact service provider," you will have to wait for it to change back. Please be aware that the phone must stay powered on to do this. If the battery is low, be sure to plug it in. It could take 15 minutes to an hour to change back. If the phone does not change back, the handset will need to be replaced.

The answer to your last question is: that depends on how much the Italian company charges.
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May 16th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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I have used "local" SIMs and have also used Cingular's global roaming plan (the one you mentioned.) Maybe my calling patterns are different from yours, but I saved money on the Cingular plan vs. prepaid SIM packages in several countries. If you don't use up the pre-pay amount, you end up eating it when you leave the country, which of course makes the per minute price of the calls you made that much higher. And when you factor in the initial purchase price (separate from the airtime) the net cost per minute is further increased.

However the chief advantage I've found to use the Cingular roaming service is that you keep your own phone number, allowing people to call you if they need to, and not requiring you to contact people on your "contact list" to let them know what your number is.
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May 16th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses. My initial reaction is to unlock it, but still plan to use Cingular. Then if I get there and have any problems with Cingular, or need to make alot of calls within Italy, I can go and get an Italian sim card.

Gardyloo, thanks for the reminder about the phone number. I knew that, but had forgotten. I guess that's one of the main reasons I decided to go with a provider that would work in Europe - so people could call without worrying about 'how to dial', etc.

Thanks again,
H
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May 16th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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A word of advice for Cingular..even though you have a Tri or quad band phone and you have arranged for the international roaming make certain that Cingular has enabled this before you go (a simple phone call).

I just got back from the UK a couple weeks ago and couldn't figure out why my phone wasn't registering onto the local network. It seems Cingular has "inadvertently" blocked that capability due to an error.
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May 16th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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So let's see:
You made a simple phone call to Cingular to activate International Roaming.
You made a simple phone call to make sure it happened.
You made a simple phone call to see why it stopped working.
Sounds great.

I wonder why Cingular can't just set up their web site so subscribers can activate International Roaming themselves, and not have to call Customer "Service."

The way T-Mobile did years ago. Oh, and did I mention their overseas minutes are 99¢ without paying $5.99 a month for the privilege (which is what "The New AT&T" charges)?

"Error" indeed. Cingular sucks. T-Mobile rules.
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May 16th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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Cingular sucks. T-Mobile rules.

Not where I live.
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May 16th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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no, there isn't
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May 16th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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T-Mobile is spotty in my area too (South).

I'm not sure if I have this right. If I am going with other members of the family (we each have a Cingular phone), I can use text messaging to communicate with them, my cost would be less. Is that right?

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May 16th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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The reason why international roaming isn't automatically enabled, or user-controllable, relates mainly to the need for credit checking. When you roam you can potentially run up a big bill, and provider want to ensure that you have shown your ability to settle it. Some providers set a limit to the size of the bill (monthly limit), or ask for cash deposit.
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May 16th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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T-Mobile may not have coverage in some places, but Cingular sucks everywhere.

"The reason why international roaming isn't automatically enabled, or user-controllable, relates mainly to the need for credit checking."

Huh?

If that's correct, why does T-Mobile allow its subscribers to turn International Roaming on and off any time they please?
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May 16th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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I agree with a few other posters, Cingular does not "suck" everywhere. It works great for me here, and we are using the international plan next month for our trip. I have had excellent service with them for years, and have no qualms about continuing service with them.
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May 16th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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I didn't have any "qualms" either - until they charged me for $72 worth of calls that were made 900 miles from where my phone was, and refused to credit me for them.

The well-known fact that they overcharge for international roaming speaks for itself.
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May 16th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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I will say I was a bit dismayed today when I called Cingular to turn on international roaming. I was informed that I needed to be a customer for 90 days prior to them enabling international roaming.

I was a bit peeved as I started with AT&T wireless (years ago, bought by Cingular) had Cingular for a month, then told that Cingular was forced to sell off so many markets. We were shoved to Alltel. Yup, nobody's ever heard of them! Well, big surprise, Alltel does not have international roaming capabilites.

So I finally get tired of that and go to Cingular (and paid $200 to break my Alltel contract). Then they tell me I have to be a customer for 90 days. I almost freaked, but they let me 'squeak' by.

I quizzed the person on the phone about the need for the 90 day waiting period, but she just evaded my questions citing a) it's a privilege not afforded to every customer and b) security issues.

Who knows? I just want to use my phone! Supposedly it's turned on now. We'll see!
H

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May 16th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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That's the one thing about using your US number or even a global prepaid card like United Mobile.

Some services request a phone number to reach you but would they really dial an international number and you need them to be able to reach you?
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May 16th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Ropespierre,

I agree with you regarding T-mobile. I am using my new T-mobile in Paris and it is working great. I didn't have to wait 90 days to get it unlocked or wait 90 days to be able to use it internationally. T-Mobile Rules!
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May 16th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Am I reading this right? Theoretically I could buy a pre-paid program with T-Mobile, have them convert it to a universal or European or whatever plan, and use it in Italy with a US phone number? Or have I read all these posts and gotten the wrong impression?
I'm stuck with Verizon, and have no desire to get a second contract just for a 10-day vacation, but we do need phone contact.
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May 16th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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I don't think T-Mobile allows International Roaming on a prepaid plan. See this page: tinyurl.com/ywl53u
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May 18th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Yes. It's true that you have to be with cingular for 90 days before they can activate intnl' roaming. I guess tay wanted to protect themselves against someone signing up for the sole purpose of running up a lot of charges and then takes off.

To verify that it was added correctly check your account for something like STANDARDINTLROAM or EXPANDEDINTLROAM.

With tmobile payg, you can only roam in Mexico and Canada I believe.
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