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Old 11-04-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
theshnizzle OP
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Buying a US cellphone to work in Canada

If I buy a cellphone from someone on this site that is locked to a US carrier,can I unlock it here to use with any carrier?

Thanks
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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If its locked, it's locked

If it's locked to a US carrier, then it'll still be locked in Canada - the will be either locked to the original carrier, or not locked at all.

Fear not though, your US phone will roam just fine on Canadian networks, ie if you're on AT&T , then it'll just work on Rogers here. You might might want to buy roaming and long distance package from your carrier before you leave though. That's what I do when I go to the US - I'm on Rogers, so I buy a travel pak, and then I don't get slammed with a huge roaming bill when I get home.

Hope that helps.

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Old 11-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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Hmmmm might have misunderstood the OP - my previous post is likely not fully applicable.

You might have to get the US carrier to unlock it. I suspect the carriers can't unlock each others phones, but I could be wrong. It'd be safest to see if the seller can unlock before sending it to you.

I know that Telus and Rogers charge some fee to unlock, so I assume that the US carriers would too.

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Old 11-04-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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If you can get the phone unlocked and the frequencies that the US carrier uses are the same as the carrier you intend to use it on here match your in luck. If you get the IMEI number (15-18 digits on back of phone) from the seller you can call your carrier to see if they will support it.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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Be sure to check with your phone company, to see what plans they have for Canada. Should be an easy and cheap package, for $25 or so, to get calling, text, and a little data.

I buy a travel package from Rogers when I travel South, and things are almost always cheaper in the US.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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I really want to use a iPhone as pay as you go on the bell network. Already have a iPhone on Rogers on a plan but I don't want/ need a phone plan for the second phone as I will be using to to receive about 6 to 8 phone calls a month for a duration of about 10 seconds, don't need a phone plan for that.

The Rogers coverage sucks compared to bell so I am hedging my bets by having to phones with complete coverage.

And, no, I am not a low level drug dealer......
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshnizzle View Post
I really want to use a iPhone as pay as you go on the bell network. Already have a iPhone on Rogers on a plan but I don't want/ need a phone plan for the second phone as I will be using to to receive about 6 to 8 phone calls a month for a duration of about 10 seconds, don't need a phone plan for that.

The Rogers coverage sucks compared to bell so I am hedging my bets by having to phones with complete coverage.

And, no, I am not a low level drug dealer......
The last time I tried with Telus "pay as you go" they offered no service for south of the border... Try as I might they would not offer up any kind of and kind of service for me on that plan, they wanted me on a contract plan... I'm pretty sure the other providers are in the same boat as they all seem to be in cahootz at ripping off Canadians...
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
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I used a US pay as you go phone for years as it was much cheaper than paying the roaming fees from the Cdn carrier. As wifi is so available now I just use an app on my cdn smartphone to call back home.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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US - Canada Cell Phones

What I'd like to do is keep my Telus Samsung Galaxy but get it unlocked and then get a pay as you go SIMM card from AT&T or Verizon or whoever in the US but just use the same phone. Anyone know if this can be done?
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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Used this on my Android...worked great. You then go to an AT&T store in the US to get a SIM card.

http://www.mobile-phone-unlock.com/




Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
What I'd like to do is keep my Telus Samsung Galaxy but get it unlocked and then get a pay as you go SIMM card from AT&T or Verizon or whoever in the US but just use the same phone. Anyone know if this can be done?
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
What I'd like to do is keep my Telus Samsung Galaxy but get it unlocked and then get a pay as you go SIMM card from AT&T or Verizon or whoever in the US but just use the same phone. Anyone know if this can be done?
Yes, I understand Telus now unlocks phones, for a fee, and then you do as you say....stop off in Bellingham pick up a sim card for a us carrier and away you go. IIRC it's about 40 cents us calling back home as opposed to 1.50 or cdn then tax to roam back.

That said, don't forget to get an app to phone via wifi back home for free. I Talkatone (google voice) and it works exactly like your normal phone and you can call any in NA on wifi for free. I rarely use my TMobile pay as u go phone now as wifi is so accessible.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ron from BC View Post
Yes, I understand Telus now unlocks phones, for a fee, and then you do as you say....stop off in Bellingham pick up a sim card for a us carrier and away you go. IIRC it's about 40 cents us calling back home as opposed to 1.50 or cdn then tax to roam back.

That said, don't forget to get an app to phone via wifi back home for free. I Talkatone (google voice) and it works exactly like your normal phone and you can call any in NA on wifi for free. I rarely use my TMobile pay as u go phone now as wifi is so accessible.

I have no clue what you mean by your second paragraph.i go down to the states a lot during riding season,and just got my phone bill,$47 in fees!!!!!!!! Txt,roaming.....aiieeeeee!!!! I am assuming I could buy a sim for an iPhone,but don't you have to call and get a number activated or something How does the US SIM card thingy work?
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theshnizzle View Post
I have no clue what you mean by your second paragraph.i go down to the states a lot during riding season,and just got my phone bill,$47 in fees!!!!!!!! Txt,roaming.....aiieeeeee!!!! I am assuming I could buy a sim for an iPhone,but don't you have to call and get a number activated or something How does the US SIM card thingy work?
Ok...

1. When you buy a SIM from a provider yes you will have to phone and get a number. That number will stay with you until such times as your plan expires (30,60,90 days or even a year etc). The activation process is very seamless. The caveat is that your phone must be unlocked so it will accept the new SIM.

2. Earlier I referred to a smartphone in general and not a particular manufacturer/model. I believe that the only CDN big provider that does not offer an unlock for the iPhone is Bell and there are rumors that they too will fall in line with the rest by the end of the year. Telus and Rogers currently unlock your phone for a small fee.

Regardless which option you look at they're both much cheaper than paying CDN cell fees when in the States. When I get close to the border, southbound, I turn my cell data off and then use Talkatone with a wifi connection to phone back or domestically in the States. There are many apps that will do this for both the Android and iDevices.

Hopefully the OP doesn't get too twisted that his thread has been somewhat hijacked....
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #14
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Can't you just use Skype in that case? I have used it like,twice,in the comfort of my own home,so clearly I am an expert...
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:39 PM   #15
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Can't you just use Skype in that case? I have used it like,twice,in the comfort of my own home,so clearly I am an expert...
Yeah I could but the main recipient of my calls home is not computer or PC savvy. Calling an actual phone with Skype is pretty cheap using WiFi I suppose but I would like the convenience of having my cell and contact info handy.
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