Okay you people are way over my head with this, I understand the 2g, 4g, parts but the rest of the techie stuff is way beyond my knowledge of phones. I have an AT&T 3g IPhone can I change the card in that to what you or talking about. Is there a site someone can go to and get information. Or is there a Cellphone for Dummies I can use?
In a BIG nutshell:
US cell phone providers SELL you a phone but it is "locked" to their service and technology. Sometimes, if you tell them you are traveling they will be so kind as to give you a code and instructions to "unlock" the phone YOU PURCHASED from them so you can use it with another company. Most, if not all of the time they will not do this with any type of smart phone.
Companies like Sprint and Verizon even use another frequency, that most of the rest of the planet does not use, so you can't use your phone with any other company in the world.
Most of the rest of the planet simply goes out and buys a phone, then chooses what company works best for them. Just like you would buy a TV, then choose Cable or a Dish, then choose what company to go with. Your flat screen will work with any provider. Imagine if you only had a "Comcast" TV...
So there is a 12 yr old kid in Cambodia who buys a phone, he then stops at 7/11 and buys a sim card. There is no contract and he can't go over his minutes and get a $1500 phone bill or insane roaming/overseas charges or have to pay hundreds of dollars to get out of his "family plan" if he doesn't get service in his own home or work. When he runs out of minutes, he simply stops at 7/11 and buys a scratch off card with a code, or more likely, goes online and orders more minutes. If he is not happy with the service, he chooses another companies sim card and gets a new phone number, instantly, no ******** activation or fees, etc.
So when you motor up the Mekong river and there are kids playing on a tire swing and each one of them has a cell phone, you know they are a smarter consumer than most of us
As usual, the USA lets corporations run the entire country through unethical, yet legal, contracts and near monopolies. What law maker, in their right mind would let cable, phone, or credit companies entice their customers into complicated legal agreements over the phone, or better yet, allow these contracts to bind them for years with the threat of ridiculous buy out fees or ruined credit for those who simply want to change their mind or change the channel?
Now that I have that out of my system,
If you need an unlocked GSM cell phone, try ebay. You can also find a multi sim card phone if that's what you want. If you want an unlocked smart phone and don't mind paying for a new one, go to the Apple store and buy an iphone, then go out and get a pay as you go plan.
If you shop around, the money you save on a "pay as you go" plan will more than pay for the cost of buying a phone outright, even an Iphone.
ATT's "iphone plan" is $35.00/ month on top of your phone bill. That is $700 over two years. A new, unlocked Iphone will run you about $700 and it's worth more if you resell it later as it is unlocked by Apple and not some internet hack (not that there is anything wrong with the hack).
Rant completed, over and out.