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3G network mobile phone question

(33 Posts)
imonthefone Wed 29-Aug-12 23:44:09

hello-need a quick answer to mobile phone problem please

My phone isnt working. I have insurance and it should be replaced but will take approximately 3 weeks

I was going to buy a cheap phone for a tenner and use my sim in that until new one arrives; BUT because I am on 3G contract/network, I need a 3G enabled phone apparently and the cheapest is £60 shock

went to a few different phone shops and all said the same

I dont understand-what is different about 3G? and is there any way round this? I cant afford £60

minikimmi Thu 30-Aug-12 00:09:53

Your sim will still work on a 2G phone, it just won't be as fast. (I think?) My dd's Blackberry is a 2G and she uses FB and Twitter etc all the time but I don't think it copes with high volume data such as streaming videos or whatever. I may be wrong but that's the way I understand it.

imonthefone Thu 30-Aug-12 00:20:01

thanks mini

what does 2G and 3G actually mean? I thought 3G was just a name like Vodafone or Orange

i dont need to do fancy stuff-i just want the temporary phone to be able send and receive calls and texts. and i want to access the numbers i have saved as contacts

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:22:25

Way around it? Go to the supermarket and buy a SIM card on pay as you go for whichever network you choose for 99p!

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:24:12

You can put your numbers onto an SD card and transfer them to your new phone, as long as you get one with an SD slot.

Oohh, get me and my limited amount of technical knowledge!

imonthefone Thu 30-Aug-12 00:25:10

nah couthy i dont want a temporary new number--i need to keep my number. and i want the contacts off my sim. am also hoping (but doubting) my messages will be on sim; i have 25 voice messages and loads of texts that i cant read/listen to

imonthefone Thu 30-Aug-12 00:25:53

oh ok couthy thats useful thanks. whats an SD card though?

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:35:59

It's a type of memory card, you can get them reasonably cheaply in the supermarkets, most phones have a slot to put it in, then you can transfer numbers and pictures over to it and put them on your laptop to print out, or transfer numbers between phones etc.

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:37:07

Voice messages - can you go into a 3 store and ask them to put your sim into the store phone (all 3 stores have one) and listen to them in there?

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 00:39:17

And then you can read the texts too.

Do you have insurance from 3 on your handset? If so, surely they should be providing you with a temporary phone to use?

I think you need to go into the 3 store and kick up a stink.

Though a cheap £10 PAYG phone with your contacts in and a 99p SIM card is always a good back up if your decent phone breaks.

NPPF Thu 30-Aug-12 00:50:10

3G is mobile Internet, 2G is phone calls and texts.

MmeLindor Thu 30-Aug-12 00:52:35

Think you are muddling 3G (ie. using Internet on phone) and 3 (phone provider)

NovackNGood Thu 30-Aug-12 01:09:19

If it is a 3 network phone then you will need ot stick to one of their phones

If you simcard is 3g you can put it any old phone and it will work as a 2f card unless it is a smaller sim card than you old 2g phone can handle.

wheremommagone Thu 30-Aug-12 06:41:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 07:07:49

Not all phones have an SD card, so unless you know for a fact yours does, I'd ignore that piece of advice. It's correct if you do have one.

Are you on the 3 network?

If you are on the 3 network, a 2G only phone won't work, the network is 3G only.

3G and 2G are technologies. For an analogy, think of analog and digital TV. Some TVs only do analog, some do both.

Your best bet is to buy a really cheap PAYG phone from the same network. That goes for any network, really. Most phones are locked to the network who provided them. Hmm, I just looked it up and can't find one cheaper than £45.

You could also look for a cheap unlocked phone on eBay. Unlocked means it will work on any network's sim.

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 07:14:38

I just had a quick search for "unlocked 3g phone" on eBay and came up with this:

You can also look for "3 network". If you look a bit further, you might find something suitable cheap enough.

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 07:28:27

I would ask around if any of your mates have a spare phone. People often do have them in a drawer if they have had an upgrade to a new phone.

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 07:29:28

I just assumed that as the OP was told she HAD to have a 3G enabled phone to use her SIM in it, that she was on 3 Network. Didn't think to ask!

CouthyMow Thu 30-Aug-12 07:30:19

Because I have had issues with 3 Network before because you can't just stick their SIM cards in any old phone.

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 07:42:33

You can't just stick any sim in any phone, full stop. Unless the phone is unlocked, or from the same network as the sim.

Most networks have their old 2g equipment and newer 3g infrastructure, so work with both. The 3 network is 3g only, so if you are on that network, you need a 3g capable phone.

4G is coming soon.... (I used to work with 4G in another life).

Oh, and the "G" in 2G and 3G stands for "generation". It's the 2nd and 3rd generation of mobile technology.

imonthefone Thu 30-Aug-12 09:06:07

oh that is all very helpful, cheers

i am with 3 phone provider; hadnt realised 3 network and 3 phone provider were 2 different makes a bit more sense now

can i buy a 2G phone and have it 'unlocked'? or is the capability to be 3G not present on a 2G phone?

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 09:22:28

Phones are typically either 2G only, or 2G and 3G, and in the latter case, usually only 3G is specified unless you read the detailed specification.

So, you will need to make sure you get a 3G phone in particular.

The Three network is just another network, like T mobile or Vodafone. But it only uses 3G technology.

When you buy a new phone, it's typically is locked to a specific network, so only sims from that network work with it. But that is a separate issue to 3G or 2G.

Any unlocked 3G phone will work on the Three network. Or any second hand phone that is locked to the Three network.

You need to buy (or borrow) a 3G phone that is either locked to the Three network or is unlocked. Then it should work with your existing sim.

imonthefone Thu 30-Aug-12 09:26:13

thanks zonked -just looked at the ebay link you posted-think ill get that.

The annoying thing is-i have that phone in the house. I gave it to dd1 to pretend with (desperate for a mobile, but too young in my opinion) and now I cant find it anywhere

ZonkedOut Thu 30-Aug-12 09:53:24

Another alternative could be, if you or someone you know has an old phone that's locked to another network, you could pay a small fee to get it unlocked. Some shops or market stalls can do this, or the network it's locked to.

Flowe Thu 30-Aug-12 11:57:56

Could you not just set your old phone to divert all calls to temporary number on PAYG SIM?
Haven't done it myself for years but used to divert calls to a colleague's number when on hols. Bit like you do with emails. Not sure if only available on some networks. I would ask at the store.

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