sim card "unlocked" question


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  1. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have a question about unlocking phones for any carrier. If I wanted to use a phone on another network, like AT&T. I love my t-mobile, but this is for an example. I notice that the htc hero UK version is using ATT's 3g network (I don't know if it is, but this is for the example), so I buy and import that version. Once it's here, I see that another carrier is using it as well. If I install the other carrier's ROM to my phone, will it be locked onto their network or will it still be unlocked? Will I get updates to my phone from the UK version if I'm using it in the states with a different carrier? If I installed the sprint hero rom onto the phone, would it drop the GSM radio drivers and flip out trying to use the sprint/verizon broadcast method (I forgot the acronym)? I can see all sorts of problems with this that could brick my phone, but if I buy a phone from across the pond so I can use the right 3g frequencies, I want to be able to get updates with it as well. Is there a workaround for it or would I be hunting for news tidbits every time there's an update for a downloadable ROM leaked online?

    Thanks for your help!
    ~D
     

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  2. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    So, that's a "no idea" I'll guess. No one knows if updates will get pushed when you're overseas? If it's the htc hero, I know phandroid had a European hero at one point. Did you get updates with it in the States?
     
  3. ccinaz

    ccinaz New Member

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    The predominant technology used in the US is CDMA. In the rest of the world it is GSM. In the US, ATT and TMobile are the only GSM networks. Thus, a phone bought overseas will only work on the ATT and TMo networks in the US.

    BUT, there are two radio frequency standards for GSM and the US carriers don't use the one used in Europe. To use a phone in both places you have to buy a "quad-band" phone, which are reasonably available and most high end phones are quad-band.

    Also, the radio technology built into the GSM is different from the CDMA technology and can't be changed by a ROM change, so they can't be modified by that route.

    To further complicate the picture, some GSM phones and all CDMA phones are "locked" to a particular network via software. However, "unlocked" GSM phones are readily available overseas. To change networks with an unlocked phone only requires changing the SIM card, which is easily done by anybody. (In case you've forgotten, the SIM card controls the phone number and network. Change the SIM and you've changed your phone number and network) I've been told by TMo reps that all the phones they sell in the US are locked to TMo. But there are many unlocking services on the web that would fix that issue.
     
  4. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, I knew about that part, but thanks for responding! The big question I'm asking is this:
    If I get a GSM phone like the htc hero from the UK for use in the states and I use it on the GSM network that it would work on (I believe that is AT&T for its 3G), when the people in the UK get their update from 1.5 to 2.0, will I get the update? Are they carrier specific or something else? I know that several phones are having the custom interfaces now, so that would mean the updates for them come from somewhere else? Does the phone check the right servers no matter what part of the world you're in, or do they get pushed by carriers?
     
  5. nateo200

    nateo200 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but most phones overseas don't support 850, 1900 or 1700mhz UMTS so he'll be stuck on EDGE or GPRS.
     
  6. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    True, unless I find one that does have those bands. Do you know the answer to the question? My original questions were:
    If I get a phone from the UK and put it on a compatible GSM network, will it still receive updates OTA or will I have to try to find them? If I have to find them, will a ROM for a phone released in the US work if flashed to a UK phone, or are the GSM frequencies coded into the ROM so as to make it unusable on something made for different GSM bands?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  7. nateo200

    nateo200 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunatly the frequency bands are a physical property not a simple code to change. Its like trying to make an am radio receive fm radio signals, not possible....if you can handle (E)GPRS then by all means go for it.
     
  8. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    cool. I can live with that if the phone still gets the updates. That is what I have been asking about this whole time. I already know about the bands and frequencies. Do the android updates get pushed out even when you're out of the UK or do you have to download them yourself?
     
  9. nateo200

    nateo200 Well-Known Member

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    If its SIM free updates should come directly from HTC....ass for updates yeah they'll come and even without 3G you can use (E)GPRS and wifi. There's also a user on here with a euro GSM hero on AT&T that posts regualrly might wanna give him a quick message.
     
  10. vfxdee

    vfxdee Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    ah, thank you! That's great news and exactly what I wanted to know! I had thought they were carrier specific since tmo usually pushed out the g1 updates instead of HTC. Awesome! Thanks again!
     

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