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Just moved from Canada to USA
July 2, 2010
10:21 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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Hi everyone. I am starting a new thread only because most of the info on the others is rather dated. I hope that this is okay. Anyway, I need some advice from folks with current experience with US plans. I was a happy Speak Out (7-11) user while attending school in Toronto for the past several years and have now returned to the US. Could you advise me which carrier to go with for comparable service and cost? I still have my Nokia phone -- the 1208 which is a simple model but has been trouble free for years, but realize that I will probably need to get a new one to buy into a new plan. Thanks for your help.

July 2, 2010
10:55 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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647number said:

T-mobile prepaid, $100 top-up gives you 10c per min rate and lasts a year. If you got one of those old Nokia 1208 that came unlocked, you just need a T-mobile SIM card.


Thanks for your quick response. How can you tell if the phone is locked or unlocked? Is there a way to determine this before buying a new SIM card? I bought the Nokia 1208 in Sept 2008.

July 2, 2010
11:14 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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Thanks for all of your help!

July 3, 2010
2:18 am
dennismiller
BC
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As a T-Mobile user when in the US I agree. If you get a T-mobile phone within a short period you can also unlock it. No cost.

July 6, 2010
10:08 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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dennismiller said:

If you get a T-mobile phone within a short period you can also unlock it. No cost.


Thanks for your reply. If I find that I cannot use my Nokia 1208, I will go ahead and get a cheap T-mobile phone to use with their plan. Could you explain how to go about getting it unlocked? I am not familiar with how this is done.

July 6, 2010
10:44 am
bridonca
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If I recall, if you are with TMobile for a certain amount of time, like 90 days, if you call TMobile, they will unlock the phone for you for free. Your 1208 almost certainly unlocked, but even if it was locked, I would look for a 3rd party unlocked GSM phone before dealing with any phone company for a phone. The phone selection is better, the hassle is less, and the price also tends to be better in most cases.

July 6, 2010
10:50 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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bridonca said:

If I recall, if you are with TMobile for a certain amount of time, like 90 days, if you call TMobile, they will unlock the phone for you for free. Your 1208 almost certainly unlocked, but even if it was locked, I would look for a 3rd party unlocked GSM phone before dealing with any phone company for a phone. The phone selection is better, the hassle is less, and the price also tends to be better in most cases.


Thanks for your help. I am going to go ahead and start by getting a T-mobile SIM card, which is less than $10 and see how that works with the 1208. If necessary I'll look into another phone.

July 10, 2010
9:15 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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Follow-up. Yes - my Nokia 1208 turned out to be unlocked and getting onto the T-Mobile network was simple. I purchased a SIM card, inserted it into my phone, activated the phone (using the activation kit, which cost less than $10), and was ready to go.

I am still a student and will be crossing the US/Canada border frequently in the future and would like to keep my Speakout plan active for when I am in Toronto. As long as I keep it loaded with $ value, will it be okay? What happens if I let it slip? - will the whole thing be cancelled or will it just remain inactive until I can purchase a voucher to refill the account.

Also, do I just reinsert the Speakout SIM card as needed? Can I just switch SIM cards depending on which side of the border I am on? Thanks for your help.

July 10, 2010
9:59 am
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
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October 14, 2008
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Yes, as long as you have a balance, and you won't go past the expiry date on your SpeakOut account, you'll be fine. Keep in mind that SpeakOut deducts $1.25/month for the 911 fee, and this will be deducted while you are in the USA. My advice would be to make sure you have ample money (and time) in your SpeakOut account, so it doesn't expire.

Since, the phone is unlocked, yes you can reinsert the SpeakOut sim once you get back into Canada.

July 10, 2010
10:56 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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iamdrumming said:

My advice would be to make sure you have ample money (and time) in your SpeakOut account, so it doesn't expire.


Thanks for your response. If I find myself in a situation that my balance is depleted before I can refill it, what happens? Do I have some time before they close the account? Or once expired, will they reactivate it or do I have to start from scratch?

July 10, 2010
11:21 am
Reilly00
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July 2, 2010
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Reilly00 said:
Thanks for your response. If I find myself in a situation that my balance is depleted before I can refill it, what happens? Do I have some time before they close the account? Or once expired, will they reactivate it or do I have to start from scratch?


I found my own answer - I have 45 days to add value to my account provided that the airtime has not expired.