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Buying a mobile phone in america? Will it work here?

(6 Posts)
mumski Mon 08-Nov-10 10:04:23

So excited as we are going to New York in 2 weeks. DD has asked for a new mobile phone for christmas. If I get her one there will it work here and will it be any cheaper?
Any help gratefully grasped at grin

BertieBotts Mon 08-Nov-10 10:09:21

I think it would have to be unlocked for international use - they tend to be sold locked to a network, then you can get them unlocked to take any sim card from that country, and then there's a further unlocking process which allows it to take a sim card from any country.

You'd have to find out if the charger was the same as well as just plugging it into an adapter could be a bad idea I'd have thought.

So short answer is it's probably more trouble than it's worth! However XP used to work for a computer shop and I know his boss brought a load of iphones back from the US and unlocked them and sold them, because the price difference made it worth it.

mumski Mon 08-Nov-10 11:25:49

Bertie I think you could be right, that it's more trouble than it's worth, paticularly as I'm not very up to speed how things get unlocked.
many thanks for your help smile

lilystar Mon 08-Nov-10 13:20:25

As well as the unlocking, you'd need to check which network type it worked on. We use GSM, as do most other countries. The US has GMS carriers, but it also has some which use CDMA, for which there is no equivalent over here, so a CDMA just won't work.

NetworkGuy Tue 09-Nov-10 02:08:38

They also use different frequencies, such as 850 MHz and 1900 MHz where the UK uses 900 MHz (O2/Voda) and 1800 MHz (T-Mob/Orange).

Some Quad band phones might work in the UK, but I would suggest checking any phone your DD is after on GSMarena.com first, to see if it includes 900 and 1800 MHz.

For ones using 3G, the 2100 MHz band needs to be available (though in a while Voda and O2 will be allowed to send internet services on the 900 MHz band, and Orange+T-Mob on 1800 MHz).

NetworkGuy Tue 09-Nov-10 02:11:21

You could check prices online but do remember if you buy items in shops over there, you'd need to recover the US Sales Tax (8% - varies by location) to get the best price (as listed on websites).

Good luck if you do buy one over there...

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