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Support noob question: what happens if you remove the sim card?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by bmar29, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. bmar29

    bmar29 Member
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    As you know, the droid 3 comes with a sim card. I'm wondering what would happen if you were to remove the sim card. would you still be able to make calls and text?
     

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  2. linuxgator

    linuxgator Lurker
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    Assuming you live in the US, it is perfectly fine to remove it. It forces the phone into CDMA only mode, which prevents it from polling for GSM towers. There is discussion on other forums that this might even help with the battery drainage problems. I've done it, and I can tell you that it doesn't hurt the battery, though I can't tell if it really helped since I did a number of other power saving tweaks at the same time. The only thing that will make it obvious is that the screen says: Verizon Wireless | No SIM Card.
     
  3. christr

    christr Lurker
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    Other then the obvious "why would you want to?"... yes, you can remove it. But set your phone in CDMA Only mode first or it'll whine at you about having no SIM in it.

    Also, the SIM in the phone is NOT activated when you get it. If you expect to use the phone for global roaming in GSM mode you have to call VZ before leaving the US and have them activate that SIM.


    --Chris
     
  4. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    I've yanked mine with no adverse effects over the past week. It just says "No SIM" on the lock screen.
     
  5. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    Do I need to call VZW and activate anything before I go overseas if I use a foreign SIM? I'm going to the Bahamas and was going to buy a prepaid SIM card and just use that or Skype over WiFi. VZW's rates are ridiculous.
     
  6. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    From my reading, pretty sure you need to call them and unlock the phone for foreign SIMs. I haven't needed to do it myself yet so don't quote me on it, though, someone else speak up and confirm. Of course, you could also just be proactive and call Verizon since I think this is the case. ;)
     
  7. christr

    christr Lurker
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    Yes, as it ships, it'll only work with a VZ SIM card. If you're a Verizon subscriber in good standing, and for more than 6 months (ie, you pay your bills on time and didn't just become a customer with this phone purchase) they'll give you the unlock code if you call their global support or send an email to global support.

    --Chris
     
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  8. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    7 or 8 yrs without a late payment should be good enough. Going to the Bahamas for my honeymoon at the end of the year. I'd like to have a way to call home to talk to the kids and check up from time to time.
     
  9. bmar29

    bmar29 Member
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    Well, the main reason was because I am wondering if it would be possible to use it to get data on another device.

    Specifically, the new Archos Gen9 tablets. Archos will be selling a 3G dongle along with these devices. The way the dongle will work, its it look like a USB flashdrive, and you simply put a SIM card in the USB stick and plug it into the device. However, I don;t think this will be possible with the SIM card that comes with our Droid 3, or maybe it will?

    ‪Best Tablet in the World: Archos 80 and 101 G9, my first hands-on‬‏ - YouTube
     
  10. christr

    christr Lurker
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    Shouldn't be an issue. The only th ing that sucks is you can't test it before you leave. :( Damned thing just won't sync to US towers.

    But call them, they'll email you the unlock instructions and the code for your phone. Then when you get to the Bahamas (or, if you're cruising there, once the ship is out of US cellular range) toss the SIM in and switch to GSM only mode.

    Data may be tricky, you'll likely have to manually set up data, so get those instructions from your SIM provider ahead of time. I usually use Telestial to get my custom-country SIM's if I'm going somewhere that VZ or Orange pork you in.

    --Chris
     
  11. christr

    christr Lurker
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    Oh you want to put your Verizon SIM into another device to get data service? That'll work, but not in the US. Verizon doesn't roam on other carrier networks and they don't have a GSM network here in the US. So stateside this will be useless. Roaming it'll work, but be ready to bend over for their massive data fees. (upto like $20/megabyte!!!!)

    Also those dongles look like both flash drives and network adapters. not just flash. They show up as flash so you can keep installer software on them/etc.

    --Chris
     
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  12. bmar29

    bmar29 Member
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    I see, well that all makes sense. I'm thinking the D3 will be rooted by the time these devices ship anyway so I can just tether it for free. Much easier solution.
     
  13. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    I don't see why people would want to use GSM roaming on the D3 in the US anyway. It's just silly. Unless they don't get coverage where they are on CDMA, but that's rare.
     
  14. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    I'd just buy a $20 pre-paid for emergencies like you just stated. I actually did find a spot last month that had *zero* Verizon coverage in the town I grew up in, and it's not exactly rural. It's just bordering one of our major state parks so I guess there are regulations preventing cell towers from being in optimal placement for coverage there. I actually had to walk to the end of their driveway (only a couple hundred feet) to get just enough signal to "eventually" send a text message, and it really struggled hard to send it. From their house or their backyard, zero signal for the 4-5 hours I was there. People that had AT&T had enough signal to make and take calls, though their service wasn't great, either. It was just a little bit better than what I had. I was very, very surprised. I haven't found a spot with zero coverage by Verizon since I switched to them years ago.
     
  15. rushmore

    rushmore Android Expert
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    Folks, unless you have loads of money (cool if so), Android and non-VZW roaming data fees ain't worth it. Pure evil in fact. Best to leave the device in airplane mode and only use if you have to- then right back to airplane mode.

    Use wifi where you can for your data fix, or be prepared to get a bill for hundreds or more $ extra and VZW saying you are stuck with it (they have to pay it if you do not).

    Anywhere outside the US mainland including cruise ships can burn you REAL quick.
     
  16. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    I wonder if you had put the phone in CDMA/GSM mode if it would have roamed to AT&T/T-Mo there. If so, I wonder if you would get hit with roaming fees.

    When I get there the card will go in and background data will be off. WiFi will be on at all times to look up things to do.
     
  17. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    No, because Verizon blocks GSM MCC 310 on their phones. You won't get a GSM signal anywhere in the United States. It's as if the GSM tower isn't even there.
     
  18. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    Hm, good to know.
     
  19. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, they eventually hacked the D2G so that 310 wasn't blocked. Hopefully they can do the same with the D3.
     
  20. aostang

    aostang Well-Known Member
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    This is all VERY true. Be VERY aware of your cost-per-minute before making or taking ANY calls outside the United States.

    Also - rule of thumb - don't use roaming data. I can't find the article now, but there was a guy a few years back that was in Mexico with his daughter on business and downloaded Shrek over cellular for her to watch. His next month's cell phone bill was somewhere around $12,000.

    EDIT:

    Not the same guy, but here's another example, and it's even for Verizon. This guy found out in Mexico the data came out to over $5/MB.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/vezizon-cell-phone-in-mexico
     
  21. ekyle

    ekyle Android Expert
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    I believe turning off data altogether and using a prepaid SIM from the country you are in would completely bypass VZW. No additional charges should be incurred. Just the prepaid SIM for voice and WiFi for data.
     
  22. mmontanaa

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    So what I should take from all of this if I'm going to go to Mexico with my Droid 3 and would like to be able to make calls without taking it up the a$$ is to disable data (use WiFi only for that) and buy a local Mexican SIM card once I'm down there, after I've called Verizon and enabled international SIM cards in the 1st place? (assuming my phone is Rooted)?

    Or is there a better way? And if I want data when I'm down there as well, I can't just pay for data on that same SIM card and be alright? Or do they rape you $$-wise that way as well?
     
  23. boatman

    boatman Android Enthusiast
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    I just called vzw to get my unlock code. gave it to me, but said i need a non vzw sim in there to unlock. I did this with my droid2 glob and thought it wasn't different, i remember it was several steps. here they said just put in a non vzw sim card, type xxxxxx , and it will ask if i want to unlock. is this all you need to do, and if so, i have an expired orange sim card from a uk trip. Can i just put that in and it will ask me for the code? thanks.
     

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