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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Using iPhone in the USA

Hey fellow ehmac fanatics!

I'm heading into the US of A and want to be able to use my iPhone without being charged huge-ass roaming fees. Currently using Bell as my carrier.

Can I get another SIM card from a carrier there and put it into my iPhone? What carrier or options are there that you can think of? Can I keep my phone number - the last 7 digits anyways - with a different area code?

I know there are wireless options such as Skype but I won't always be in areas with that available and just really need the basics - phone and text. Data being a nice but not necessary feature.

Any help, suggestions or point in the right direction would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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If your iPhone was supplied by Bell, it will be locked to Bell and you cannot use any other SIM. If all you need are the basics like I did, I just went to the nearest Walmart when I crossed, bought a cell phone for $10 and put $20 worth of prepaid into it. They give you a number and you can call anywhere in the lower 48. You cannot however call back to Canada. I emailed my new number home and our daughter could call us if she needed. I was there for a month and total cost was $30. I used the TracFone shown below the AT&T phone here:

Samsung A107 Prepaid Gophone (At&T) - Walmart.com
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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Other options might include using a call forwarding service. Thus your contact number may be the same on an on-going basis, but the number it redirects to can be changed as you wish. I've been looking at Voxox for this service, as I was able to get a Canadian number. I've also used voip.ms for similar purposes, though it has a small monthly cost.

You could also change your iPhone voice message to re-direct callers to dial your newly acquired phone number if you have need for folks other than family to reach you.
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rubber Ducky View Post
Hey fellow ehmac fanatics!

I'm heading into the US of A and want to be able to use my iPhone without being charged huge-ass roaming fees. Currently using Bell as my carrier.

Can I get another SIM card from a carrier there and put it into my iPhone? What carrier or options are there that you can think of? Can I keep my phone number - the last 7 digits anyways - with a different area code?

I know there are wireless options such as Skype but I won't always be in areas with that available and just really need the basics - phone and text. Data being a nice but not necessary feature.

Any help, suggestions or point in the right direction would be appreciated.
Here's one alternative

ekit, phonecards, prepaid sim cards and international cell phones for international travelers
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Can I get another SIM card from a carrier there and put it into my iPhone? What carrier or options are there that you can think of? Can I keep my phone number - the last 7 digits anyways - with a different area code?
If you jailbreak your phone, you can unlock it and use it with any carrier. I'm not going to explain how to do that, because i believe its against the forum rules.

The phone number you can get depends on if the number is available. You would need to contact a U.S. carrier at that time to see if the exact number is available.

Personally, i'd do what sinc recommended.
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Old Jan 24th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Okay, great ideas!

I had to look at Apple's site some more when it comes to locking the iPhone. Granted you can tell me how to jailbreak the iPhone, but what are the disadvantages to unlocking the iPhone? Have they figured out a way to update the software on the phone without causing issues?
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Old Jan 24th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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If you jailbreak your phone, you can unlock it and use it with any carrier. I'm not going to explain how to do that, because i believe its against the forum rules.

Personally, i'd do what sinc recommended.
Not an option if IOS 5 is installed!
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #8
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My understanding (I'm not a Bell customer) is that if you've had the phone in good standing for X number of weeks or months, they (Bell) will unlock it for you (for a small fee I think). Worth finding out from a company store (do NOT talk to franchise offices!!) or calling and finding out what "X" is.
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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My understanding (I'm not a Bell customer) is that if you've had the phone in good standing for X number of weeks or months, they (Bell) will unlock it for you (for a small fee I think). Worth finding out from a company store (do NOT talk to franchise offices!!) or calling and finding out what "X" is.
Bell does unlock phones, however the iPhone is not included. Currently only Rogers and Fido unlock the iPhone if you meet their conditions and pay $50+tax.


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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #10
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Bell does unlock phones, however the iPhone is not included. Currently only Rogers and Fido unlock the iPhone if you meet their conditions and pay $50+tax.
Telus the same - no unlock of the iPhone.
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