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Old August 21st, 2012, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WiFi in the UK with Bionic?

I'm going to England. I know that I won't be able to use the Bionic for phone calls or cellular data. Will I be able to access the internet via the WiFi? Is there any specific way I need to configure the phone to do so?

TIA,
-Scott

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Old August 21st, 2012, 04:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm going to England. I know that I won't be able to use the Bionic for phone calls or cellular data. Will I be able to access the internet via the WiFi? Is there any specific way I need to configure the phone to do so?

TIA,
-Scott
Yes, you can.

No, there isn't.

(In my limited experience, there wasn't a ton of free WiFi available in England. But you can grab whatever there is with your Bionic.)
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Old August 21st, 2012, 07:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can do a NVM edit to unlock GSM and then put a UK sim in if you want. I had mine running on T-mob uk when I was at London Heathrow a few months back.

You can also get an app like Spare Phone if you have a google voice number and then make and receive calls over wifi super cheap.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 07:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You can do a NVM edit to unlock GSM and then put a UK sim in if you want. I had mine running on T-mob uk when I was at London Heathrow a few months back.
But the Bionic is CDMA and has no place for a GSM SIM, no?

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You can also get an app like Spare Phone if you have a google voice number and then make and receive calls over wifi super cheap.
Can someone explain how this works? I started to set up a Google Voice phone number and it said it would ring all my phone numbers if someone dialed it, which is not what I want. Can I configure it to not forward to other phones or voicemail, and just send/receive to/from the the Spare Phone VoIP app? Instructions would be very appreciated.

Thanks,
-Scott
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mcknigs View Post
I'm going to England. I know that I won't be able to use the Bionic for phone calls or cellular data. Will I be able to access the internet via the WiFi? Is there any specific way I need to configure the phone to do so?

TIA,
-Scott
Hi Scott,
I'm in the UK and all over Europe all the time. In fact, I just got back last night and to answer your question, here is what I do and it will work for you as well. You can charge your phone on the plane depending on where you are sitting. Make sure you have a strong charge as I do not recommend a converter. I have had my bionic work for as long as 4 days and when I come back, I still have 41% ish remaining. I never turn it off while I'm there because it uses a lot of battery power to turn on and start up.

I select airplane mode as soon as I get on the plane and I turn data off. I leave it this way until I am back in the US again. I turn WiFi off and on depending on where I am. If you are staying at a hotel, it is probably going to be free. McDonalds also has free Wifi but you just have to provide a phone number.

A program that I use and it works great on the bionic is VIBER from the apps store. It allows for FREE phone calls and FREE text messages as long as you have a Wifi connections (data works also if in the US). Therefore, as long as I have a WiFi connection, my bionic works as advertised.

Oh...London Heathrow and most airports over there offer FREE WiFi at the airport for 30 minutes.

Good Luck
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just came back from the UK and Ireland. I used the WiFi for Skype calls (small charge) and had no problems. I was able to use the web with no problems. I charged my phone with a usb port on my laptop. My wife charged her phone with a converter and had no problems.
I guess WiFi is just WiFi.
Have a good trip.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Try this thread for gsm. Bionic on tmobile - Page 61 - xda-developers
All that is required is a nvm edit with radiocomm and a provisioned sim. here is my phone on o2.

For spare phone, go to your google account on a pc and enable the google number to ring on google chat. Install the app and allow it access to your account. You need call credit to make outgoing calls. Use the spare phone app to make calls over wifi.
I use google voice for international calls because it is cheaper than vzw too. I also use it for voicemail.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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For spare phone, go to your google account on a pc and enable the google number to ring on google chat. Install the app and allow it access to your account. You need call credit to make outgoing calls.
I didn't understand this bit. Does this mean that I need money in a Google Voice account to place outgoing calls? Does this apply to calls to the US and Canada (which I thought were free) or to calls in the UK?

Thanks for all the good info so far.

-Scott
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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But the Bionic is CDMA and has no place for a GSM SIM, no?
CDMA is 3G. The Bionic is only CDMA when it's doing 3G.

The 4G in the Bionic is LTE, which is not yet deployed in the U.K. LTE uses a SIM. I had to install the SIM when I got my Bionic. Didn't you?

This thread is the first I've heard that the Bionic could do GSM. I don't know anything about it. If the hardware is there and just needs to be activated, then it's possible. One of the wonders of modern chipsets is that they often support multiple technologies so that the same chipset can be used in many different devices which creates better economies of scale for the chipset manufacturer.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 03:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This thread is the first I've that the Bionic could do GSM. I don't know anything about it. If the hardware is there and just needs to be activated, then it's possible.
Try this thread: The Droid:Bionic can do CMDA/4LTE and GSM/HSPA+ [IMAGE INTENSIVE]

(Haven't done it myself, as it looks too complicated for lil' ol' me, but it definitely appears doable.)
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billd View Post
CDMA is 3G. The Bionic is only CDMA when it's doing 3G.

The 4G in the Bionic is LTE, which is not yet deployed in the U.K. LTE uses a SIM. I had to install the SIM when I got my Bionic. Didn't you?

This thread is the first I've that the Bionic could do GSM. I don't know anything about it. If the hardware is there and just needs to be activated, then it's possible. One of the wonders of modern chipsets is that they often support multiple technologies so that the same chipset can be used in many different devices which creates better economies of scale for the chipset manufacturer.
Actually the Bionic can also connect to HSPA 3G. It has the diversity antenna but GSM service is not as strong as a dedicated GSM phone. Unfortunately it is unlikely that the UK LTE service will deploy on the 700mhz band. Even the verizon iphone 4 had the gobi chipset to do GSM but it didn't have a sim slot.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 05:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the information received so far, and I'm glad to see this thread is being helpful to others.

For my purposes (10 days sightseeing with a world phone also available to my party) I don't think I'll bother trying to switch the phone to GSM using the LTE sim socket.

I've set up a Google Voice number and set it to forward to chat. I've installed GrooVe IP, tested and verified that I can use it to send and receive calls over WiFi. I'm hoping that I have sufficient access to WiFi to use this system to check in with home while in the UK.

My understanding is that I'll be able to call the US free with this system. I understand that calling the UK will require putting money into the Google Voice Credits. The only way to do this is appears to be through Google Wallet, which I've been avoiding setting up. If I could set up credits for Google Voice using, say, PayPal, I would do it.

-Scott
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Old August 25th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Buy grooveip app. Setup a google voice. Unlimited calls to US or any US google voice #'s via wifi. Phone rings with incoming calls on wifi.

Also dl app heytell. Works worldwide free heytells to any other heytell user.
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