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I have an unlocked Blackberry; can I purchase a mobile plan?


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#1 +devHead

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:21

Well, I've been out of the States for several years and since coming back I've been looking at different mobile phone plans. My question is, since I have an unlocked Blackberry 8820 that I can use anywhere, how do I find a provider that will give me a number and SIM card and use it with their subscription package? Is this even possible here in the States, or am I obligated to purchase a phone if I sign a contract, for example with AT&T or Verizon Wireless. On AT&T's site, I always have to select a phone; I can't just say I have a phone and want a two-year subscription.

I have in mind eventually to get a smartphone in the future, but I love this Blackberry, and I think it would be a little sad if I can't use it. Any input? Thanks!


#2 shozilla

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:32

You can buy a simcard from TMobile's website which I have seen which you can put it in your BB phone.

If you don't see the simcard on their sites, you have to go to their local store to get it. You will contact them about the contract or not.

If you decide to go with Sprint, you will need a CDMA based phone so it would work with their network. I don't think they carry simcards unless they have it in their "Nextel" division. Contact Sprint about it. If you decide to go with Sprint, they will be happy to trade in your phone for new one for discount onto your new phone.

#3 OP +devHead

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:44

T-Mobile, really? I was hoping to avoid them if possible. Verizon has a means of checking a phone on their site, but since mine wasn't purchased through them, they direct me to call their 800 number. I might just wait; I just got a job with Arizona DOT, in their IT Group, and they probably have some kind of mobile phone plan for all ADOT employees. Thanks for the info, Shozilla.

#4 shozilla

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:49

Yup. See TMobile's page:

http://explore.t-mob.../phone-sim-card

Which you see they compare their plans prices with other provider(s).

#5 Charisma

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:51

For what it's worth, I've been using BB for two years now with T-Mobile and always had a really good experience. Coverage is good and I never have any trouble travelling anywhere with it. However, it will depend on service coverage in your area of course. I think Verizon is good too but probably more expensive. Sprint, if you can get it, would be cheapest I believe.

Good luck either way, and, welcome back :)

#6 OP +devHead

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:22

Yup. See TMobile's page:

http://explore.t-mob.../phone-sim-card

Which you see they compare their plans prices with other provider(s).


Wow, this is very good to know. Here I was thinking I wouldn't be able to use my Blackberry after coming back from Europe. It's not the newest, but this 8820 is as rock solid as a Nokia phone. Thanks again.

#7 OP +devHead

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:33

For what it's worth, I've been using BB for two years now with T-Mobile and always had a really good experience. Coverage is good and I never have any trouble travelling anywhere with it. However, it will depend on service coverage in your area of course. I think Verizon is good too but probably more expensive. Sprint, if you can get it, would be cheapest I believe.

Good luck either way, and, welcome back :)


Thanks! Man, a lot has changed in this country in 6 years. I checked out Sprint's site, but can't find anywhere about getting just a SIM card like I can with T-Mobile. And their coverage where I am is good also.

#8 shozilla

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:40

Thanks! Man, a lot has changed in this country in 6 years. I checked out Sprint's site, but can't find anywhere about getting just a SIM card like I can with T-Mobile. And their coverage where I am is good also.


Like I said in previous post, Sprint do NOT carry simcards unless they have in Nextel dept... I think Sprint might have closed Nextel dept awhile back. Contact Sprint for sure and see if they have simcards... But they are happy to take your phone and give you a new one.

AT&T have them but they can send you simcard in mail after you contact them on phone or you have to go to their store to get it.

#9 Ambroos

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:59

Thanks! Man, a lot has changed in this country in 6 years. I checked out Sprint's site, but can't find anywhere about getting just a SIM card like I can with T-Mobile. And their coverage where I am is good also.

You can only use GSM networks with a GSM phone. Verizon and Sprint both use CDMA networks (and work without a SIM-card). You can never use a 'European' phone on those networks.

Also be careful with T-Mobile US. One of their 3G frequencies isn't available on most European handsets, leaving you without 3G. I think they're adding the traditional frequency but it isn't active in many places yet. AT&T is the only network that is fully compatible with all European wireless standards and frequencies.
(But I just checked, the 8820 doesn't have 3G so you're fine with T-Mobile or AT&T anyway.)

#10 OP +devHead

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:12

You can only use GSM networks with a GSM phone. Verizon and Sprint both use CDMA networks (and work without a SIM-card). You can never use a 'European' phone on those networks.

Also be careful with T-Mobile US. One of their 3G frequencies isn't available on most European handsets, leaving you without 3G. I think they're adding the traditional frequency but it isn't active in many places yet. AT&T is the only network that is fully compatible with all European wireless standards and frequencies.
(But I just checked, the 8820 doesn't have 3G so you're fine with T-Mobile or AT&T anyway.)

Yeah, it's actually a Canadian phone (previously used with Rogers up there); I checked their compatibility and it's in the list of Blackberry's that I can use. You're right; the 8820 is too old for 3G. That explains why Verizon and Sprint have only plans where you have to get the phone through them. I chatted with a T-Mobile representative, and she showed me a link to where I can get an unactivated T-Mobile SIM card for $0.99 and then activate it with a plan when I'm ready.
I still want to wait to see whether my new employer has some plan I could join and get a good deal. I'm not against getting a newer device now, but I figured if I can save some money in the meantime and still use my faithful and trusty Blackberry, I would like to. I think I'm going to need some time getting used to paying so much for a mobile phone plan.

I can't believe some mobile companies are still using CDMA!

Like I said in previous post, Sprint do NOT carry simcards unless they have in Nextel dept... I think Sprint might have closed Nextel dept awhile back. Contact Sprint for sure and see if they have simcards... But they are happy to take your phone and give you a new one.

AT&T have them but they can send you simcard in mail after you contact them on phone or you have to go to their store to get it.


Ah, okay, so that might be an option too. But man, T-Mobile have some great rates; I'm not sure AT&T would be able to have similar plans so cheap.



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