AT&T detect unlocked smartphone with no dataplan?


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  1. MEnna

    MEnna New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi all, thanks in advance for any of your input.

    Does anyone here currently have AT&T cell service and is using an unlocked smartphone without paying a data plan?

    I just bought my son a Motorola backflip (from ebay) and planned on purchasing an unlock code so that he can use it without paying for the data plan. I figured he'd be able to use WiFifor data and of course we have an unlimited texting plan.

    2 years ago, I used to use an unlocked iphone (1st gen.) and would be able to use the wifi and AT&T never had a problem. But now I'm reading that AT&T will be able to automatically detect a smartphone by the IMEI number, and will therefore charge for the data. ...And then without having a "Plan" I will be charged a ton of money.

    Please reply if you have personal experience with this situation.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH VIP Member

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    Welcome to Android Forums! Glad you signed up! :D

    I'll move this to where you can get help! :)
     
  3. looksbetterinred

    looksbetterinred Well-Known Member

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    From my experience, they can only detect AT&T branded phones. My daughter had an AT&T blackberry and they picked it up in 2 days. I got a t-mobile one unlocked and she has been using it for almost a year with no problem.
     
  4. Baldilocks

    Baldilocks Well-Known Member

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    The Backflip will be detected and the smartphone plan will be added regardless if it's unlocked or unbranded if AT&T has that specific range of IMEI numbers on file.

    My HTC Desire, however, is getting by on the $10 Unlimited family data plan.
     
  5. nb_mitch

    nb_mitch Well-Known Member

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    I have been hearing that for years about at&t noticing the smartphone on the plan. U do have a cheaper option with the $15 200MB plan or instead of doing the At&t plan, you might try using a pre-paid SIM in the phone. There is also Wal-Mart's unlimited talk and text plan coming Monday (rumors have it) for $45 which also includes 100MB data/device. It is based on the T-Mobile network, which is somewhat compatible with At&t devices (no 3G but then you weren't looking for it anyway).
     
  6. looksbetterinred

    looksbetterinred Well-Known Member

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    From what I've heard from a friend that use to work there was if it's not branded then they don't get the list. Could be I just got lucky. Either way, I had to get it for the Captivate.
     
  7. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    ^ This. I had an AT&T branded Moto Q, then left AT&T, and now back with an N900. The N900 is "unknown device" in their system (per my online account), but when I put the SIM back in the Q (now unlocked) AT&T's system recognizes it.
     
  8. Baldilocks

    Baldilocks Well-Known Member

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    They can, and often do detect unbranded phones and switch them to smartphone plans IF AT&T also sells the same phone branded.
     
  9. RyanMeray

    RyanMeray New Member

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    Okay, so if I have one of those unlimited, grandfathered data plans that was pre-smartphones (currently using a Symbian device), and I grab an unlocked Android device, what are they going to do? Bump my plan automatically up to the higher-priced or remove the unlimited data amounts? Will that happen with both phones that are offered on AT&T and also with those that aren't? What can I expect if I ditch my Symbian device for Android?
     
  10. woody1

    woody1 Member

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    If they detect that you have a smartphone, they will bump the phone up to the lowest level smartphone data plan. They did this to me when I bought a second-hand AT&T Tilt. They detected it immediately and bumped up my data plan without asking.

    As far as which phones they can detect, that's an open question. They are very likely to detect any phone which was initially purchased from AT&T. If it's a type of phone that has never been provided by AT&T, they might not detect it. However, think about this: if you want an unlocked Android smartphone with AT&T 3G frequencies, which one will you get? If you use a phone that was designed for T-Mobile, it will not work with AT&Ts 3G network (it will use the slower Edge network for data).

    Rogers Canada uses the same 3G frequencies as AT&T, so if you got a phone provided by Rogers that was never offered by AT&T, that would work and it might or not be detected as a smartphone.

    Otherwise, be careful, or you will end up with a phone that doesn't operate at 3G speeds.
     
  11. RyanMeray

    RyanMeray New Member

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    While the rest of your post I can't dispute or confirm, I know for a fact this isn't true. My Nokia e51 runs at 3.5G speeds (despite lacking 1900 band, yay Detroit 850 3G!), and that's with my grandfathered unlimited pre-3G pre-smartphone data plan.

    So there's no speed cap, assuming the phone is both undetected and capable of 3G.
     
  12. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    ...one of the many versions of the Milestone.
     
  13. xtoast

    xtoast New Member

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    so can anyone suggest an android phone that will get 3G on AT&T?
    I also have a symbion Nokia that works fine and I can always get another one of those but I am looking for a Droid
     
  14. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

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    There are versions of the Milestone, with and without keyboards, that have At&t 3G bands. The soon to be released Milestone(s) 2 will also most likely have At&t 3G friendly bands, and should be all available unlocked, not subject to At&t "smartphone" plans, and eligible for cheaper "MediaNet" plan.
     
    RyanMeray and xtoast like this.
  15. projectpaki

    projectpaki Active Member

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    i have an at&t branded blackberry 8900 with dummy unlimited internet for the past 6 months, my friend has the captivate no data plan (medianet block option enabled, me thinks)
    getting my captivate on monday, lets see what moves at&t makes, especially since i'm not on contract
     
  16. ROYCE13

    ROYCE13 New Member

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    ok so i have an g1 unlocked im with at&t do you think at& will be able to detect it? i had the htc tilt befoe with no data plan just used wifi and they never found out but when my sister got her blackberry(with no internet just wifi) from her friend, at&t detected it pretty quick and was charging us an extra $25 bucks a month.
     
  17. projectpaki

    projectpaki Active Member

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    well, im no expert but since the g1 is a tmobile phone and not an at&t one, you should be good. i think only the at&t branded smartphones are subject to internet plans. there is no way of at&t knowing what phone you have.

    get yourself the $10 unlimited medianet plan, and happy surfings
     

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