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Is it possible to use my 3G US phone in India?

Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2051
    
  22

I am planning a trip to India in July. I have a AT&T 3G droid here in the US. I would like to keep my phone with me since the phone is the defacto camera and email client now. I'm out of a contract and I believe AT&T will unlock the phone if I ask them. Wil I be able to buy a SIM card in India and just plug it in my phone?
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9990
    
    7

Yup. You can purchase a prepaid SIM across the counter and you should be good to go. All you need is a photo ID/address proof (driver's license/ passport etc) and 2 photos (I think 2) If you do not have an Indian license or passport, then be prepared for anything


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Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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  22

I have a US passport and a PIO card. My dad or brother can buy a SIM card for me if I can't buy it myself. I want sure about if the phone would be compatible. I know before 3G there used to be compatibility issues if you tried to move your phone from one network to another. I wanted to know if the 3G phone will work in India.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3431
    
  47

Couldn't you ask your current operator? They should know it. You're not obliged to tell them you're not going to use their roaming, after all.
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
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    7

Dont know about 3G but my Google Nexus 4 (with 4G) works in India
Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2051
    
  22

Ok so did a little research on this, and US is screwed up. For 3G access in Europe and India you need a phone that can use the UMTS 2100 MHz band. AT&T use the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands in the US.
If you want 2G access in the Europe and India you need a phone that use the GSM 900 MHz or 1800 MHz band. The USA uses the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. I found the specs for my phone, and it supports only 800/1900, but it does support all 4 GSM bands.

So, I think I'll be able to use it as a 2G phone, not as a 3G phone, which will be fine I guess
Amit Ghorpade
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Joined: Jun 06, 2007
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    5

Maneesh Godbole wrote:Yup. You can purchase a prepaid SIM across the counter and you should be good to go. All you need is a photo ID/address proof (driver's license/ passport etc) and 2 photos (I think 2)

Not anymore. You cannot get a SIM card without AADHAR card. That's what I was told.


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Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18101
    
  39

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Ok so did a little research on this, and US is screwed up. For 3G access in Europe and India you need a phone that can use the UMTS 2100 MHz band. AT&T use the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands in the US.
If you want 2G access in the Europe and India you need a phone that use the GSM 900 MHz or 1800 MHz band. The USA uses the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. I found the specs for my phone, and it supports only 800/1900, but it does support all 4 GSM bands.

So, I think I'll be able to use it as a 2G phone, not as a 3G phone, which will be fine I guess



Don't know if this helps, but I also have AT&T service. And I have a 3G phone -- specifically a blackberry torch. I didn't buy a sim card or anything. Just using the phone roaming here in Bangalore, and it seems to work fine. The phone says it is in 3G mode.

Hope this helps,
Henry


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Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2051
    
  22

Henry,

Wouldn't you have to pay roaming charges? Few years ago, I used my cellphone in Toronto and AT&T slammed me with roaming charges
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3431
    
  47

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Wouldn't you have to pay roaming charges? Few years ago, I used my cellphone in Toronto and AT&T slammed me with roaming charges

Not if you buy a new, local SIM card. (It goes with local number obviously, so calls to the home country will then be priced by international tariffs. But that is usually still better than roaming.)
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18101
    
  39

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:Henry,

Wouldn't you have to pay roaming charges? Few years ago, I used my cellphone in Toronto and AT&T slammed me with roaming charges


Yeah. And it can get pretty expensive -- even with a world phone plan. Can't be help though, it is a business phone. And also attached to email, calendar, phone book, etc. Switching to a local phone means that I have to inform everyone.

Henry
 
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