***Official GSM/World Phone/Sim Card Discussion Thread***General


  1. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Well-Known Member


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  2. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor Moderator

    Hmmm you are right it would limit the usage overseas.

    :mad:

    TS
  3. viber

    viber Well-Known Member

    Since the Photon uses quad band GSM frequencies (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 Mhz), would it be possible use AT&T prepaid services as a backup to CDMA service domestically, by using the SIM card for a prepaid service?
  4. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Well-Known Member

    Actually, if you look at the official phone specs from Motorola, they indicate that the phone is not quad-band, rather it is triband (850/900/1900); I really hope that's a typo.

    As for whether you could you could use it as prepaid (or even postpaid) - if the GSM portion on it is sim-unlocked (haven't heard any official confirmation from Sprint whether it is or not) or if it is sim-locked and you managed to sim-unlock it, then yes, you could use it with a GSM provider. That said, if you wanted fast data you won't want to use it on T-Mobile USA since it doesn't support the WCDMA AWS 3G/4G band. Should work ok for data on AT&T though.
  5. JPSmith

    JPSmith Member

    If it is like other recent Sprint world phones (and there is no reason to suspect otherwise) the Photon will be sim-unlocked out of the box for overseas GSM use but will not work on GSM in the U.S., and Sprint will not unlock it to do so. There might be third party ways to do this though.
    busted bones and drexappeal like this.
  6. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that info. I always wondered how it was with the Touch Pro 2 (since I didn't get that phone).

    That'd definitely be a huge bonus, if/when i travel to the Philippines and/or Europe.
  7. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Well-Known Member

    Technically, how are they achieving that? Usually once you SIM unlock a device it is good on any carrier. Perhaps those other phones you are talking about didn't have the US GSM bands (i.e. they didn't have GSM-850 and GSM-1900), which at least according to the official Motorola specs, the photon specifically does include.
  8. busted bones

    busted bones Well-Known Member

    Good question since it was a quad band
    HTC Touch Pro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  9. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    I was curious and found this: Using Sprint HTC Touch Pro 2 on At&t network - HTC Touch Pro2 (Sprint) - Windows Phone Forums - HTC Community

    So it might be possible to hack the Photon in the future to work in the US GSM networks...although with the Motorola encrypted bootloader it would be a lot harder. :(
  10. JPSmith

    JPSmith Member


    It's not a matter of bands, the recent Sprint world phones including the TP2 (my current phone) are all quad band GSM. There is programming in the radio firmware that prevents them from registering on GSM towers within the U.S. In the case of the TP2 at least, it is apparently possible to hack the radio to circumvent this restriction, but it's not something I'm interested in doing.
  11. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Well-Known Member

    Either that or the device is programmed to not to accept any SIM cards from networks with NPIs starting with 310- (i.e. the United States), except perhaps for Sprint's own NPI (for SIM cards they give to users who wish to roam overseas with their Sprint number). I doubt they would block registration on towers because that could prevent a person from dialing an emergency number in area there was no CDMA coverage in but there was GSM. Anyway, just a guess.

    Yeah, I would assume if the phone gets rooted, someone would figure out how to enable GSM operation in the US. At the end of the day I don't know why Sprint would care anyway because if they sold the phone with their subsidy, the person would have had to sign up for Sprint service anyway.
    pcsperson likes this.
  12. extinctionbb

    extinctionbb Member

    can we just put a gsm sim card to get gsm service
    or must via sprint or have sim lock?
  13. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor Moderator

    I guess we will have to wait and see once we get the phone in our hands and/or test it overseas to see if its locked for Sprint international. I'm curious about this myself. But if you mean to just use GSM here in the states only, no I think it will be locked and you can only use it on Sprints network.

    TS
  14. Perestroika

    Perestroika New Member

    I did some research on GSM bands used around the world and according to Wikipedia its the least used GSM band.

    GSM frequency usage across the world:

    The Americas

    In North America, GSM operates on the primary mobile communication bands 850 MHz and 1900 MHz. In Canada, GSM-1900 is the primary band used in urban areas with 850 as a backup, and GSM-850 being the primary rural band. In the United States, regulatory requirements determine which area can use which band.

    GSM-1900 and GSM-850 are also used in most of South and Central America, and both Ecuador and Panama use GSM-850 exclusively (Note: Since November 2008, a Panamanian operator has begun to offer GSM-1900 service). Venezuela and Brazil use GSM-850 and GSM-900/1800 mixing the European and American bands. Some countries in the Americas use GSM-900 or GSM-1800, some others use 3, GSM-850/900/1900, GSM-850/1800/1900, GSM-900/1800/1900 or GSM-850/900/1800. Soon some countries will use GSM-850/900/1800/1900 MHz like the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.

    In Brazil, the 1900 MHz band is paired with 2100 MHz to form the IMT-compliant 2100 MHz band for 3G services.

    The result is a mixture of usage in the Americas that requires travelers to confirm that the phones they have are compatible with the band of the networks at their destinations. Frequency compatibility problems can be avoided through the use of multi-band (tri-band or, especially, quad-band), phones.

    Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia

    In Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia most of the providers use 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. GSM-900 is most widely used. Fewer operators use DCS-1800 and GSM-1800. A dual-band 900/1800 phone is required to be compatible with almost all operators. At least the GSM-900 band must be supported in order to be compatible with many operators.

    Source
    mkvoran likes this.
  15. mkvoran

    mkvoran Well-Known Member

    yikes. I'm mostly planning to use this phone in Asia. (hong kong and china) but only three times a year..... I've been trying to decide between waiting for the Galaxy S II and just keeping my blackberry for those trips.... or getting the Photon.... Sounds like I'll be OK with the Photon, but I'd hate to get there and find out that I am SOL.... I'm not worried about Hong Kong, but most of the cities I visit in China are somewhat remote.... it's unfortunate that this is not a true Quad band phone. Although - maybe it doesnt matter?
  16. ljbad4life

    ljbad4life Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that many of the places that use the GSM1800 bands have functioning (compatible with sprint) cdma networks, such as china, japan and south korea

    Check sprints international coverage http://internationalroaming.sprint.com/IntlCoverage/SearchCountry.do?ECID=vanity:sww

    Take note that cdma data roaming is ridiculously cheaper than gsm data roaming
  17. simcha

    simcha Well-Known Member

    Why would they make this phone GSM capable without including the 1800 band. It makes no sense.
  18. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor Moderator

    What makes it more odd is that the other world phones in the Sprint lineup have that frequency.
    Besides the Motorola spec sheet above not showing the 1800 band.
    Yet, we do have it listed in Phone arena and in the gsmareana websites.

    TS
  19. KnowProblem

    KnowProblem Well-Known Member

    If you don't have GSM1800, in most instances, you'll still get some sort of coverage, however, it may not be with your particular desired carrier.
  20. mkvoran

    mkvoran Well-Known Member

    I never plan on 'roaming' via Sprint again since they got rid of the unlimited data roaming package. It's on a per kb usage now and I am just not going that route.

    That leaves me with local sim cards. Hong Kong is no problem. China shouldn't be but I guess I need to check with the biggest carrier throughout china (China Mobile I think) and see what their band is.
  21. wealthyrich

    wealthyrich New Member

    Ok! Every one! Yes! Motorola does have GSM: 1800 for the Photon! These's are the spec's from Motorola. Which I taked to a rep from motorola!


    • Network technology:
      • CDMA:
        • 800, 1900
      • GSM:
        • 850, 900, 1800, 1900
      • UMTS:
        • 850, 1900, 2100
  22. simcha

    simcha Well-Known Member


    This phone sounds more and more bad ass every day. It's also UMTS compatible? Wow, OK. That's expanding the options... Now if only Sprint had reasonable international roaming rates... :D
    mkvoran likes this.
  23. mkvoran

    mkvoran Well-Known Member

    Don't use Sprint's roaming(unless you can talk them into the now defunct Unlimited International DATA Roaming plan which was 40.00/mnth PRO RATED to your actual time usage.) Get a local SIM card. Trust me it's much cheaper and actually quite nice to have a local number. Especially considering the Google Voice integration, just set your # to forward to the local sim #.

    And if you are like me, and only worried primarily about data, there are typically good options for unlimited data... at least in the regions I travel.
    twospirits likes this.
  24. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor Moderator

    i was somewhat worried about the missing 1800 freq, but am glad you posted that. Just wish that they would update their spec sheet so it looks official.

    TS out
  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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