getting UK phone to work in USA

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  1. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Hey everybody!

    I recently came back from England, and I have the UK Samsung Galaxy SII. I purchased it with Vodafone on an 18 month contract. Anyways, contract was paid off, the phone is unlocked, and Im in the hunt for a carrier here. I wanted Verizon, but the CDMA-GSM issue wont allow that.

    I went to T-Mobile, and they said that my version of the SGII is different from theirs, and works at a slightly different frequency, meaning I would in essence only get 2G data on the phone. WTF!? The guy did say that AT&T has the same SGII as mine, so maybe their frequencies will better align.

    Does anyone know about this or can verify this? I want to do a pay as you go SIM, like the $50 one that both T-Mobile and AT&T offer.

    Please let me know, as I really want to make this phone work over here!!

    Many Thanks,

  2. WA_Bob

    WA_Bob VIP Member VIP Member

    You should be able to walk into any AT&T store, pick up a SIM card & sign up for a plan, and you'll be good to go. You'll only be able to use it for 3G data, but if that's good enough for you then there should be no problems at all with using it in the US. Good luck and have fun!
  3. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Im not sure if you misread my post or not, but I already have the SIM!

    I am experiencing issues with it though, that was the point of my post. Do you see what my concern is now? Its the constant, rapid switching between the three data types and blocking of actual data download until it finally selects one and stays with it.
  4. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    First, the guy at T-mobile was correct. T-mobile uses the 1700 MHz frequency band for 3G/4G data while AT&T uses 1900 MHz, which is generally supported by foreign devices. I recently tried one of the Go Phone sims (from a feature phone) in an old Captivate and it wouldn't connect either. You will need to make sure you are using a sim provisioned for a smartphone.
  5. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is a SIM for smartphone because I was in the AT&T store and showed them my phone before I bought anything.. and I do get data to work.. But sometimes it keeps revolving on the type of data. Other times it will lock and work just fine. That's what my problem is.

    Glad the guy at T-mobile knew what he was talking about.
    muletto likes this.
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    If you have a weak 3g signal and an equally weak wifi signal, the phone can go crazy like that trying to sync up with the strongest of the weak signals. In cases like that, turn off either mobile data or wifi and force it to look for only one signal.
  7. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    The wifi is strong.

    The data was full strength in the city I was in when it first did it. But that would make sense. I'll try to see when it does it to see if anything is in common
  8. knidukdev

    knidukdev New Member

    Hi, I'm not sure if you ever resolved this issue, but I am in somewhat of a similar boat.

    I returned from the UK with the an unlocked Galaxy Note (GT-N7000).

    I have been using Pay As You Go T-Mobile, but only with EDGE as data.

    I saw that the Note uses the same frequency as AT&T and figured I could at least get 3G from them. I went into the store and one of the sales people said I need to configure the "internet settings" for my Galaxy Note to have a data connection on AT&T.

    He put the SIM card from the Galaxy Note on display and put it into my Note. I got full bars, but there was no little letter (E, 3G, H, etc.)

    Is this sales person correct? If yes, how can the internet/data settings be tweaked?

    What can be done to use my phone?

  9. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    The problem is you are using it with T-Mobile which uses a different frequency for 3G/4G data than AT&T here in the U.S. AT&T uses the 1900 MHz band while T-Mobile uses 1700 MHz. Without the appropriate frequency you will only get edge speed data.
  10. knidukdev

    knidukdev New Member

    Thanks, I was aware of the reason for T-Mobile being EDGE only.

    I just did a little bit of more research and believe I found a solution to the reason for fixing European Galaxy SII, SIII and Note connectivity on AT&T.

    Not sure if I'm allowed to link to another forum, but here is the solution:
    lunatic59 likes this.
  11. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Perfectly fine. That's some good stuff, too. :)
  12. FirebirdStud

    FirebirdStud Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link! I did get my phone working, albeit not the best, but I had no idea about this fast dormancy thing. I have now disabled it, and we shall see how it works. Thanks!

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