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How to use my phone when I visit the U.S.?


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#1 Rocketman

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 9:23 AM

I'll be making my 1st trip home to the U.S. and wondering how I can use my cell phone without signing a long-term contract. I'll just be there for 3 weeks. Any advice is appreciated!



#2 samatm

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 9:28 AM

I'll be making my 1st trip home to the U.S. and wondering how I can use my cell phone without signing a long-term contract. I'll just be there for 3 weeks. Any advice is appreciated!


Seems like all providers have Roaming. just signup before you leave. Avoid using your PI phone but have ready to text calls and texts if need be. When you get to Hou. just buy a cheapo trakfone at walmart for use while you are back in US. put it a drawer when you get back to the PI for your next trip.

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#3 Rocketman

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 9:39 AM

That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks Samatm! Now, I just have to figure out which airtime card to get and how texting fits into the plan.

#4 Lee

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:53 AM

I'll be making my 1st trip home to the U.S. and wondering how I can use my cell phone without signing a long-term contract. I'll just be there for 3 weeks. Any advice is appreciated!


First of all to use your phone the phone must be unlocked and must have US frequencies in it which are 850 and 1900 mhz. The Philippines uses 900 and 1800 mhz, so if you have a quad band phone which is not locked to a specific carrier then you will be all set or possibly better to do as Sam suggested and just buy a cheap prepaid phone for TrackPhone or Tmobile or the many other pay as you go carriers. BestBuy has a good selection of them as does Walmart. I use a TMobile sim when in the US and have been fairly happy with them. I pay $100 and get a 1000 minutes which is good for one year but they have many other cheap plans starting at $10.

A good option would be to buy an dual sim phone in the Philippines such as a Samsung c3312 which was about p3800 in the maze in Ayala Mall Cebu City earlier this year and then you can still receive text while roaming and reply if you have enough load but be sure to set your sim to roam before leaving the Philippines. For Smart you text ROAM ON and send it to 333. I am sure others can chime in with codes for other providers if you use a different company or look in your sim menu. I have both Smart and Sun roaming here in the states and both have the ability to turn the roam on in the sim menu.

#5 Rocketman

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 1:39 PM

My phone is unlocked and from the U.S. Will the plans like TrackPhone work with my phone? When I buy a plan, will it give me a phone number? I can't tell from the ads I'm looking at.

#6 burnttoast

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 2:19 PM

I bought the 1000 peso samsung entry level phone last year in SM and when I took it back to the us I tried to slip the sim card from an activated prepaid net10 phone (it was a samsung model with a very similar build) and it threw an error and wouldnt work. What I know about Net10 from about 5 years ago is they limit the phones you can swap sims in to very similar models with similar features.

#7 Lee

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 7:52 AM

My phone is unlocked and from the U.S. Will the plans like TrackPhone work with my phone? When I buy a plan, will it give me a phone number? I can't tell from the ads I'm looking at.


No, while Trackphone uses a sim card, the sim is locked to only their network and their phones and the reason I know this is because my friend has a trackphone and I gave him an unlocked Samsung and put his sim in and it would not work and he called them and they said their service will only work on their phones. You can use your phone with an ATT or TMobile sim and possibly some of the other smaller companies such as Rogers if you happen to be going to within their area.

Yes they will issue you a phone number but be aware that it might be a recycled phone number, so you may get some text and calls you have to pay for when they were not intended for you, so what I do is hit end and let them go to voice mail if the number is not one I recognize and then pick up the message from a landline where it is free to do.

Some of the phone providers use phones that do not use sim cards, so those too would be locked to their provider if you should buy one of those.

#8 TorJay

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 8:31 AM

FYI:
GSM and CDMA are competing wireless technologies with GSM enjoying about an 82% market share globally. In the U.S., however, CDMA is the more dominant standard.

Your Phil phone is in all likelihood GSM.
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#9 Smitty

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 8:56 AM

T-mobile has prepaid options available:

http://prepaid-phone...as-you-go-plans

It will work in your unlocked GSM phone (i.e your phone from the Philippines, if it is unlocked). I'm not sure how competitive the rates are compared to other options available however.

#10 Woolf

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 1:18 PM

FYI:
GSM and CDMA are competing wireless technologies with GSM enjoying about an 82% market share globally. In the U.S., however, CDMA is the more dominant standard.

Your Phil phone is in all likelihood GSM.


4 frequency bands are used for GSM

North America 850 and 1900
Most the rest of the world use 900 and 1800

So you need a quad band phone (sometimes called world phone) to cover all areas

http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html




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