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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland
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how to purchase an unlocked phone

Last night I queried a Telus kiosk regarding their policy as if I were to purchase a unlocked CDMA smartphone, and they said they wouldn't do it ... and neither would Bell (without saying anything about Rogers, but that may have been because I was speaking CDMA).

I'm in Newfoundland -- is this the general policy across Canada??
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 08:56 AM
 
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As I understand it CDMA phones each have a unique identifier hardcoded into the phone( rather like the MAC address of Ethernet gear). Presumably they don't have an easy method of adding any random CDMA phone into that db and of course the phones may ( I don't know) function differently and have incompatibilities with the network provider.

With GSM that identification is on the SIM and because of that one can put an already registered SIM into any GSM phone that uses the correct frequencies and the the phone will work... a given GSM NETWORK provider may not support all features in a given phone but the basic phone functions will work.

To me this and the worldwide use is the reason for going GSM although I have heard a technical argument that CDMA is "better" and I understand that the new mobile phone technologies UMTS and LTE will be closer to CDMA than to GSM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 02:20 PM
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It's much easier to just get a GSM unlocked phone.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timlocke View Post
As I understand it CDMA phones each have a unique identifier hardcoded into the phone( rather like the MAC address of Ethernet gear). Presumably they don't have an easy method of adding any random CDMA phone into that db and of course the phones may ( I don't know) function differently and have incompatibilities with the network provider.

With GSM that identification is on the SIM and because of that one can put an already registered SIM into any GSM phone that uses the correct frequencies and the the phone will work... a given GSM NETWORK provider may not support all features in a given phone but the basic phone functions will work.

To me this and the worldwide use is the reason for going GSM although I have heard a technical argument that CDMA is "better" and I understand that the new mobile phone technologies UMTS and LTE will be closer to CDMA than to GSM
While it is possible to force an ESN into the carriers database, the phones features are not always compatible so the phone would be restricted and treated like an analog phone (not data, sms, etc)

GSM isn't a technology, it is a set of standards. 2G GSM is based on Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA technology). UMTS and LTE aren't closer to CDMA, they are CDMA with a wider channel width. GSM standards are just adopting what NA has been using for years.

To the OP, unfortunately a smartphone forced onto the network would be pretty much useless except for basic phone functions.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 03:31 PM
 
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Generally agreed. CDMA providers exercise deep control over the phones they permit to be used. It's partially pragmatic (the PRL, or preferred roaming list, must be correct to make sure the phone uses the appropriate towers with the appropriate priority) and partially dogmatic (they seem to like to exercise control over the hardware you use).

GSM carriers like Rogers can't and don't exercise that level of control. Their own phones are generally locked, but you can buy an unlocked phone and use it. They don't guarantee it will work perfectly, but will still provide some help if you can't get it working fully. I have used several different unlocked phones with Rogers with good success. Using an unlocked phone is useful in other ways - for example, you can buy a prepaid SIM card when you travel to other countries, and pay much less to make and receive calls or use data than you would pay roaming with Rogers.

Unfortunately, the Rogers network is very limited in the original poster's province of Newfoundland.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2008-11-27, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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That's great help! Thanx to all ...

How can I find out more regarding...
Quote:
the Rogers network is very limited in the original poster's province of Newfoundland

Last edited by rarewolf; 2008-11-28 at 06:39 AM. Reason: additional query
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