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AT&T Wireless Network Is Open Too

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the me-too-is-fine-by-me dept.

Cellphones 122

narramissic writes "Following last week's much-heralded announcement that Verizon Wireless would open up its network, AT&T is making it known that its wireless network is also open to outside devices. 'By its nature, GSM technology is open,' said Michael Coe, an AT&T spokesman. 'Customers could always use GSM phones not sold by AT&T on our network. We can't guarantee the performance of the device, of course.' AT&T will start to publicize that information through salespeople at AT&T stores, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of the company's wireless business, told USA Today."

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iPhone (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21613751)

Now if I could just change that SIM card in my iPhone...

Oh...wait.

Re:iPhone (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613863)

No one said their phones were open, just the network.

OPEN COMMA TOO (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613973)

Fixed that one...

Re:iPhone (1)

Praedon (707326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614199)

Alltel beat them to the punch years ago. I've been using my Verizon phones on the Alltel network since the cows came home...

Re:iPhone (4, Insightful)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615357)

ever since AT&T had a GSM network (before Cingular bought AT&T Wireless, before SBC bought AT&T, before AT&T bought SBC, before Cingular changed its name to AT&T) you could use any GSM phone on their network.

Re:iPhone (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618315)

... you just remembered you don't have an iPhone?

I suppose... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613795)

Customers could always use GSM phones not sold by AT&T on our network. We can't guarantee the performance of the device, of course.

I assume they mean those with a roaming agreement, right and even then there might only be one roaming slot open for data services in any given area. Plenty of times I've been geocaching with a friend in some Cingular/AT&T area and one of us would have GPRS data on our T-mobile Sidekick and the other would not. I'd have to disable/enable the radio in one unit at a time to gain GPRS.

So yeah, guaranteeing the performance of the device might entail not having data at all.

Re:I suppose... (1)

sherms (15634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613891)

Look at the good side, if they are successful others might follow suite. Our business is getting hammered by Sprint/Nextel I spend most of my time on the phone correcting their mistakes. If it works in range of the business we're in, it would still be great. There is a lot I could do with an open network.

Sprint/Nextel work better when beaten with a 4x4.

Sherm

Re:I suppose... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617833)

How exactly is AT&T open?

You can sign up for an unlimited data plan, but:
-you can't stream music to your phone. Or access the iTunes store from your iPhone. Music bits are different from other bits?
-you can't forward the bits to your computer. Bits destined for your laptop are different from phone bits?
-you can't do VOIP using your phone. Audio bits [again] somehow interfere with phone bits?

Re:I suppose... (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613933)

I assume they mean those with a roaming agreement, right and even then there might only be one roaming slot open for data services in any given area. Plenty of times I've been geocaching with a friend in some Cingular/AT&T area and one of us would have GPRS data on our T-mobile Sidekick and the other would not. I'd have to disable/enable the radio in one unit at a time to gain GPRS.

So yeah, guaranteeing the performance of the device might entail not having data at all.


Actually, what happens is carriers "certify" phones to work on their network. YOu may wonder why you can buy Model X of a phone, and find that it doesn't have features while other Model X's do. Some of these features include things like call timers (carriers disable them since they like to charge from the moment you hit Send, rather than the moment the call is actually connected), byte timers (carriers can charge for every byte, including OTA packet headers and such), button color (the Send and End keys *MUST* be of a certain shade of green and red...), and so on.

But what they mean is that since it isn't tested by them, if you call customer service saying your phone doesn't work, they'll say "too bad, so sad". By its nature, GSM carriers cannot test every phone that appears on its network, and in any complex spec, there's bound to be areas where things don't work. Like taking a tri-band phone into a place only serviced by 850MHz GSM.

As for roaming - carriers are stupid if they don't allow people to roam. Roaming is a huge profit center for a carrier. (What, you think it really costs them 5 cents to transfer 1000 bytes of data?).

Re:I suppose... (4, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615377)

Actually, what happens is carriers "certify" phones to work on their network. YOu may wonder why you can buy Model X of a phone, and find that it doesn't have features while other Model X's do. Some of these features include things like call timers (carriers disable them since they like to charge from the moment you hit Send, rather than the moment the call is actually connected), byte timers (carriers can charge for every byte, including OTA packet headers and such), button color (the Send and End keys *MUST* be of a certain shade of green and red...), and so on.

I think I should point out again that in the rest of the world, carriers do not do this kind of stupid stuff.

This is an example [o2.co.uk] , it's a mobile device designed entirely by a network operator. None of this slap-windows-mobile-on-it rubbish, this is a BREW based handset (running the MSM6280). All the features and functionality have been explicity detailed, designed and managed by O2 .. and guess what?

  • It has a fully functioning bluetooth stack so you can send and received any content you like
  • It even supports A2DP and AVRCP.
  • You can set any supported music file as a ringtone, you can bluetooth it off the device directly from the music player if you want
  • You can send and receive vcard and vcalendar files
  • You can access the device in mass storage mode and pull off your pictures or video, or put some on, or set them as a wallpaper
  • You can synchronise your contacts and calendar using the supplied software with Microsoft Outlook
  • It supports SyncML 1.1.2
  • It has a fully working Java runtime environment. You can download and install unsigned Java applications if you want.
  • It has a full XHTML browser which you can use to access the web.

Only in the USA do carriers have such a massive control over their phones. This is a prime example of a device which could have been massively crippled from birth - but the operator deliberately chose not to.

Re:I suppose... (1)

VP (32928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617643)

AT&T Wireless is one of the better carriers in the US in that regard. All the features you listed are available in many AT&T branded phones, and obviously are available in third-party bought GSM phones. Verizon is the carrier with the most restrictions in their devices, which are due to the closed nature of CDMA networks...

Re:I suppose... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618313)

Verizon is the carrier with the most restrictions in their devices, which are due to the closed nature of CDMA networks...
Yeah, the phones that Verizon tries to sell you have the most restrictions, but that has pretty much nothing to do with the network technology. A provider with a GSM network could just as easily sell a locked-down device if they wanted to (e.g. iPhone).

Re:I suppose... (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613935)

No, I think they mean you could use a phone acquired from somewhere besides AT&T, stick your SIM card in it, and not have any problems. As far as I know all GSM providers will allow their users to use any GSM device with their SIM card. Whether the GSM devices they provide can be used with other providers is a different story.

Re:I suppose... (1)

zieroh (307208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614225)

]I assume they mean those with a roaming agreement
No, that's not what they meant. What they mean is that you can put an AT&T SIM card into just about any GSM phone and, assuming the frequencies line up, you can use that phone on the AT&T network. I've used many GSM phones on my AT&T account, using my AT&T (ne Cingular ne PacBell Wireless) SIM card, and they just work, regardless of whether AT&T sold the phone or certified the phone.

If the frequencies don't line up, you're out of luck, but that's a hardware issue. And AT&T obviously isn't obligated to support phones they didn't sell, but if they work, they're not going to stop you from using them.

Re:I suppose... (2, Funny)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617945)

I've used many GSM phones on my AT&T account, using my AT&T (ne Cingular ne PacBell Wireless


nee PacBell nee Bell Telephone nee AT&T =)

Re:I suppose... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614239)

There's a difference between customers of other carriers roaming on their network and their own customers popping an AT&T SIM into any phone that supports the correct GSM bands (The U.S. bands are shifted slightly from the European ones, so European phones will only work in the U.S. if they support the extra bands - most phones nowadays do, quadband GSM is the norm and not the exception for new devices.) and work fine.

What Verizon said is "any customer of ours will be able to use any device approved by us sometime in 2008, we won't tell you the approval rules."

AT&T's reply was, essentially "Any customer of ours can take their SIM and put it into any FCC-approved unlocked GSM phone and it will work." An approval of some sort is still required, but note that the approval comes from an independent entity that AT&T cannot control. AT&T can't influence whether or not the FCC approves a particular device.

Re:I suppose... (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614797)

no, i have a 3'd party, unlocked motorolla on AT&T now. theres not really much they can do to prevent it, i think they are legally obligated to allow it. but i could be wrong. either way it's been allowed for a while. the trouble is making up your mind to pay $200 for a 3'd party phone or getting your phone unlocked from the old provider.

you misunderstand the point (1)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615137)

What you are talking about is whether or not you have ACCESS to the network. Obviously, you need to somehow PAY AT&T to get access to the network.

What AT&T (and Verizon) are saying is that they will make it possible to use devices on their network. Currently, Verizon is very restrictive about what devices can work on their network. Basically, you MUST buy your phone from Verizon and it MUST be one of the phones they authorize.

In the case of AT&T you were always able to buy another GSM device and put your AT&T SIM card into the device and use their network. My girlfriend uses a 5 year-old Nokia that she bought on-line from a European cell company. You can't buy the phone in the US. But it works just fine... with T-Mobile and now to AT&T (we switched since I got an iPhone).

Obviously you have to pay to use the network (as in roaming, you are paying your carrier and they are paying AT&T for allowing you to roam onto their network). Just because they limit the number of available slots for roamers doesn't mean they are "closed" to the devices.

It's two different issues.

Re:I suppose... (4, Insightful)

Sparks23 (412116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615719)

I think what they mean by 'open' is that any AT&T customer with an unlocked GSM phone can use that phone on the AT&T network. Which is true; I could take an AT&T SIM and put it into my unlocked O2 Xda IIs, and be online with AT&T just fine. This is true of any GSM network by definition, which I think was AT&T's point.

Verizon's making a big fuss about 'okay, we are going to let people use phones they DIDN'T BUY FROM US on our network! WOW!' And AT&T's response is, 'Congratulations, welcome to the world of things GSM customers take for granted.' (Which, yes, is a little silly that GSM networks will make a deal about how you can use phones they didn't sell you on their networks, but will lock down any phones they do sell you so you cannot use them on other networks.)

Roaming for customers of other networks is a whole different -- and often, more depressing -- story.

Re:I suppose... (0, Offtopic)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616223)

I assume they mean those with a roaming agreement, right and even then there might only be one roaming slot open for data services in any given area.

There are a few ways of using a GSM on a network:
  - If your already have an agrement:
      - Roaming agreement between the host network and your provider.
      - Buying a temporary agreement or a pay as you go and put into your phone. Of course these requires an unblocked phone.
  - Buying a unblocked phone off the highstreet and popping in the SIM, optionally signing up to the network if you aren't already part of it.

CDMA on the other has various levels of incompatibility and in all cases requires a phone call to the operator to get the account switched over to the new phone, even if you are on the same network.

AT&T's freedom (4, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613831)

Why, our networks are also completely open to the NSA as well.

AT&T followed up the statement with:

We enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.

Re:AT&T's freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614815)

We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in.

I've never heard of that. Is it some sort of oscillating motion sensor?

Re:AT&T's freedom (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615521)

Very Slashdot of you to put your sex-monitoring chip in your hand.

Re:AT&T's freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21615611)

AT&T Your world delivered to the government.

They always seem to forget the last 3 words....

Cool.....But what about the phones? (0, Offtopic)

Dante333 (25148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613837)

The thing that always drove me nuts was that they lock their phones up.

Re:Cool.....But what about the phones? (2, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613963)

My last two phones have been bought off of eBay, unlocked, with no branding or disabled features of any kind. Both worked without a hitch on AT&T (and Cingular, at that time), though I don't use data services, so I can't speak to that.

As for the phones they sell you, I've heard that if you ask nicely, and have an account history with them, they will unlock your phone for a legitimate reason - e.g., if you are traveling overseas for a few months. Again, I didn't have to do this when I was abroad, since my phone was already unlocked.

Re:Cool.....But what about the phones? (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614151)

As for the phones they sell you, I've heard that if you ask nicely, and have an account history with them, they will unlock your phone for a legitimate reason - e.g., if you are traveling overseas for a few months.

Not as long if you are still under contract. I've been with SBMS/Cingular/ATT since 1992, and they refused to unlock my phone for an international trip (so I could use a pre-paid SIM card) because I had 6 months left on my contract.

I should have dumped them at the end of my contract. But, some of my clients are Cingular/ATT customers and have a cell base station on-site. Any other cell-phone doesn't work well.

AT&T unlocks customers in "good standing" (3, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614173)

AT&T Customer service will submit an unlock request if you meet two criteria:
-You have been a customer for 90+ days
-You have no outstanding issues with your account

I met both of those criteria, said I was going to Italy, and requested "subsidy unlock" codes for 4 phones. 1 week later, four emails and voice mails, completely free and easy. All the phones worked (I couldn't test one, I didn't have a second 3G SIM to test with).

It's not that hard, but you have to ask nicely, correctly, and meet the criteria.

Re:AT&T unlocks customers in "good standing" (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614241)

Also, I'll turn off my Karma bonus to add that I was only 6 months in a 2 year contract for two of the phones. The other 2 were 1 and 1/2 years in a 2 year contract.

So, yeah, they do unlock customers in contract. That won't save you from the ETF though...

The only issue I've heard is that, if you have phone insurance, they might give you trouble unlocking the new phone. They put the old phone on a AT&T blacklist, but I've read that AT&T does not list them on the worldwide IMEI DB blacklist, so they might suspect you of selling your old phone instead of having it lost/stolen.

Re:Cool.....But what about the phones? (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614731)

I do the same thing. If I hadn't consolidated my account with my wifes, I would be sitting on year number five without a contract. When a phone is wearing out, I just ebay a replacement (for much less than what the stores would want), slip the sim from the old one to the new one and keep on going.

I don't waste time with the AT&T stores or people, I just move the card over, and continue. Neither of us are real heavy users, so we haven't needed to upgrade our plan other than when we consolidated the two plans into one.

The first time I ebayed a phone it was because I lost my phone. That was the last time I had anything to do with a store, they canceled the old sim, coded me a new one, which I put into an old phone I borrowed from my brother. I then ebayed me a new phone and got back to having cool features. Once that phone started wearing out, I hit ebay again.

Re:Cool.....But what about the phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21617407)

What drives me nuts is that they now charge 15 cents per text message to prepaid users.

Translation (3, Interesting)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613869)

For other devices, "we will unlock the device when customers fulfill their contract; we will also unlock the device if the customer pays full price for the device," he said. "The iPhone, however, is an exception. The iPhone is exclusive to AT&T in the U.S."

Translation: Yeah, yeah openness or whatever the buzzword is, but we still gotta turn a profit. If it's any consolation I hear they are really easy to unlock on your own.

I don't blame AT&T. Apple signed the agreement and now AT&T is due their profits. However, it is quite a marvel to see the dustorm Google kicked up. Competition, when you can get it, is a powerful thing.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614149)

If you unlock an iphone, does the wireless internet work on other carriers?

Re:Translation (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615057)

Yes, with one of the firmware updates (1.1.1?) Apple added the ability to change the data connection information, so it could be used with other carriers.

I call bullsh*t (3, Interesting)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613881)

I couldn't even get a phone locked to the OLD ATT (ATT Blue, for those counting) unlocked by them to work on the NEW ATT (formerly called ATT Orange, or Cingular). It was a phone I bought FROM THEM, and that I'd been using for three years. I liked it. It had long battery life and was sturdy.

I just wanted to change my plan (I was LONG out of contract) and to use the same phone with the new plan. They refused, and even told me to go to "one of those stores at the mall" and pay to have it unlocked. I very kindly told them what they could do with themselves, and switched carriers.

Open my foot.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614005)

By the way, this experience happened a scant two months ago.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614627)

Then you talked to an idiot CSR. I did the same thing about two or three months ago as well. Old blue phone, moving to an orange iPhone plan and wanted to be able to have the old phone as a backup. Call them again.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614683)

Better yet, use the automated online form. That way, there's no potentially incompetent CSR to muck up the works. That's what I did. One week later, I had my unlock code. Unless there's some fundamental technical limitation as other people mentioned, so will you.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614049)

I know the AT&T cingluar to AT&T switchover hasn't gone all that smoothly though i do have one question was your old Phone GSM? If it was I would ahve gone to one of their stores, said I want to use my old phone and my current contract and when they started to as for payment for unlocking yelled at them.

Most of the stores I know would have unlocked the phone for free, but only if your there.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614053)

I had the same problem. When they became Cingular I was told that I would have to buy a new phone and be considered a new customer (I don't have the best credit in the world at the moment). I reminded them that I'd been a customer for 5 years. They reminded me that they didn't care. I use T-Mobile prepaid now, and it's about half as expensive as my plan was, and it's my only phone. I guess they felt they had enough customers that they could afford to treat half of them like crap.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614055)

I think you fail to understand what it takes to unlock a phone, if it really was that old as you say it's no wonder they had no rom upgrading kit available.. Maybe it sucks but it's very understandable..

Re:I call bullsh*t (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614307)

The "Old AT&T Wireless" was not a GSM system. When they merged with Cingular they went to an all GSM system (you probably had an TDMA phone). That old phone would be incapable of working on the current network. The old AT&T systems are completely separate - the start a new account on the GSM system. I had the same issue (although, it was explained to me much better).

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

meatspray (59961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614581)

Negative, It might not have been gsm in your area but I had a Nokia 6620 on AT&T long before Cingular. What ticked me off was getting the third rate treatment after Cingular took over. I had picked up a sony vaio with an integrated edge data modem. Cingular took over ATT and was sending me two bills. I asked for the accounts to be merged, they told me i'd have to scrap my old phone number. I told them I'd like it ported they said sorry it's the same company. I unlocked the phone myself and took it to T-mobile and bought a Sprint USB EVDO device.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615699)

Cingular took over ATT and was sending me two bills. I asked for the accounts to be merged, they told me i'd have to scrap my old phone number.

Interesting information and thanks for it - good to know.

I've had cell service with them (as Cingular) for years, and the home phone has been with SBC on my wife's name. When all of the mergers went through, they offered to merge the bills and reduce the rate by (I believe) $2. BUT: because the phones were set up under two different names, and SBC, AT&T and Cingular were all still incompatible, they would only allow it if I shut down either service and set them all up with the same names, with corresponding charges and loss of numbers, etc. PITA - pain in the ass.

My town is going for whole-town wireless broadband - operational in May. When that day comes, I wanna ditch the Borg.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

kurtras (65722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615759)

Wrong. Cingular Blue (the old AWS) was GSM in plenty of markets.

Do some research next time.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

Tintivilus (88810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616589)

"Old" AT&T Wireless had already stopped selling TDMA phones before being purchased by Cingular. I know plenty of people who had (fewer who have still) pre-Cingular AT&T SIMs and they always cause fits in customer service reps. Apparently their system makes it hard to discriminate between AT&T Wireless ("blue") and AT&T Mobility ("orange") accounts. I think it wasn't until after the buyout that they started really pushing TDMA customers to replace their phones.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614331)

As another person said in a reply, there is a good chance that this was a technical limitation and not a policy limitation. The phone was probably just so old that they didn't have the equipment/documentation to unlock it any more. (And as another person said, the Old ATT->Cingular transition was pretty rough.)

I see quotes in the article about AT&T unlocking phones for customers out of contract (or paying full price for the phone), I'm not sure if that's a change or "the way it has been", but the truth has been that if you have a device sold by Cingular or New AT&T, they'll happily provide an unlock code upon request if you tell them that you're going to be traveling internationally and you have been a customer in good standing for 90 days. People have been unlocking their Tilts right and left with zero hassle.

The iPhone is an exception, that's more of an Apple thing than an AT&T thing.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615309)

"People have been unlocking their Tilts right and left with zero hassle."

Sory - I read that as "unlocking their Tits" and flashed back to the horrors of rear hook bras, and the difficulty removing them in a suave manner.

Re:I call bullsh*t (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614893)

the old AT&T had a different network than the new AT&T. when cingular took over they slowly removed the old equipmetn and anyone with the Nokia brick slowly lost bars of service as this happened. the old and new AT&T wirless providers are not compatible. they were assholes about the change though.

Re:I call bullsh*t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21615419)

well, having worked for att blue when cingular bought it, the blue phones were never unlockable short of getting a tier 3 tech, and even then they would only unlock a blackberry. Cingular (att orange, or whatever the hell pre-merger phones were) were always unlockable if you bitched and moaned a lot over email. All post merger phones were technically "orange" phones that would take either old cingular or attws sim cards.

Your best bet was to buy a nokia. Unlock it yourself.

Re:I call bullsh*t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21616879)

So you wanted to use a CDMA phone (old ATT) with a GSM network (new ATT)

Good luck with that. My mom updated her phone from an old ATT phone to the iPhone and because the account was so old it took an extra day to activate because her account was on an old legacy system that only synced once a day with the new system.

This is great (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613947)

As much as Google gets skewered for not living it's motto of "do no evil" and some of the questionable privacy practices of the company, I LOVE what their android/spectrum bid announcements have done to the cellphone industry. The existing giants seem to be falling over themselves to show how customer-friendly, competition friendly, ect. they are. It's really laughable.

creators net...working open to all (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614087)

always has been, always will be. it works (perfect reception) from any location in the universe. no gadgets required. see you there?

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead greed/fear/ego based personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever.

Re:creators net...working open to all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614569)

How do I sign up? I imagine there are mass quantity of hallucinogenics involved in the procedure, and I'm all for that.

Been that way for YEARS (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614099)

Pretty much any phone is only defined by whether its based of the CDMA type techs or the GSM type techs, and regardless of who the carrier is, the phone will work. The thing is salespeople have been trained for years to rebut requests to do so with lines concerning it being "unsupported" or to just simply start with "its not a phone for our network". On the CDMA side of things a least, if you have the lock codes, you can activate it anywhere. I do not know GSM too well myself, but i believe billing and account compatibility is all in the Sim CARD is it, which is standardized across all GSM phones?

Why are we praising them for announcing what is open, when the reason no one knew before was their deceitful practices?

Re:Been that way for YEARS (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614387)

On the CDMA side of things a least, if you have the lock codes, you can activate it anywhere

Not exactly. In order to provision a CDMA phone the carrier needs to put the ESN [wikipedia.org] of the phone on your account. They can easily refuse to complete an ESN change if the new ESN represents an unapproved phone model.

With GSM you don't need to involve the carrier to switch phones. All you do is move your SIM card. The only provision on GSM for blocking phones that I'm aware of is the ability to use the IMEI Database [gsmworld.com] to blacklist [wikipedia.org] certain IMEIs [wikipedia.org] , typically those belonging to stolen phones. In theory, if your phone is reported stolen it will be added to this blacklist and become a brick unless the IMEI is changed. In practice, not all carriers honor this database.

I wonder if the carriers will be nice enough to let us bring our own phones (presumably paying full price for them and avoiding any carrier subsidy) and get service under the same terms as anybody else, but without a long term contract with ETF? Somehow I kind of doubt it -- wonder what the justification for contracts will be when people pay full price for the phone?

Re:Been that way for YEARS (1)

ahecht (567934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614937)

Up until last year, Cingular would let you sign up for service with only a 1-month contract, but you had to really fight with them to get them to do it (I went through 4 customer services reps before I found the magic word COAM, which stands for Customer Owned and Maintained Equipment). However, as of January of this year, CIngular requires a minimum 11 month contract. Therefore, if you have an existing phone, you're better off getting the free phone with your 1 year contract and selling it on eBay (resellers such as inPhonics often offer free-after-rebate phones with a 1 year contract).

Re:Been that way for YEARS (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615055)

T-Mobile has an option called FlexPay [t-mobile.com] , which provides for almost all of the advantages of post-paid service, without needing a contract (if you pay full price for the phone).

They are the only (major) American carrier with anything like this though and that's a crying shame IMHO. Why the hell do I need to be locked into a contract for the benefit of having phone service? And don't anybody come back and say "prepaid" as an option -- most American prepaid plans are a joke for anything over and above "keeping the phone in the car in case I break down" usage. They certainly aren't viable options for anybody that talks on the phone for a decent amount and wants to go cellular-only.

Re:Been that way for YEARS (2, Informative)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614445)

Not sure if that is totally correct? At least with CDMA...

If I recall correctly, Verizon and Sprint (both CDMA tech) use different megahertz frequencies. So the phone also has to be capable of operating at both frequencies.

- Saj

Re:Been that way for YEARS (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614491)

"On the CDMA side of things a least, if you have the lock codes, you can activate it anywhere."

Not true. Even if you have the MSL code to unlock programming, Sprint always had an ESN whitelist. If a phone was not in that list, they would activate it. Sprint also MSL-locked all their phones with random codes (stored in a database so only they could activate them, of course.)

Verizon, on the other hand, used an MSL lock code of 0000 on ALL phones. Didn't matter since Sprint would refuse to activate them. If you could get the MSL unlock code for a Sprint device and change it to 0000, you could activate Sprint phones on VZW though - for the 6-9 month gap between Sprint releasing the Treo 650 and Verizon releasing it, this is how VZW customers got Treo 650s. (Although I hear VZW may have started ESN whitelisting policies too sometime since 2005.)

A general thing with CDMA devices is that your account is tied to your phone's ESN. To change devices, you must activate the new device with your provider, deactivating the old one. (There is a standard for SIMs for cdmaOne/CDMA2000 devices, but I have yet to see a phone that used this, at least not in the U.S.)

You are correct in that all account/billing/identification info for GSM phones is stored in the SIM. It is indeed standardized. If a phone supports the GSM bands used in the U.S. (they differ from Europe, but quad-band GSM phones are the norm and not the exception nowadays, especially for higher-end devices.), you can just pop in a U.S. SIM and go. The one exception is that phones can be locked to only accept SIMs from one carrier, so you need an unlocked phone if you want to use a device not sold by the carrier. Examples of phones not sold by any U.S. GSM provider but usable on the U.S. GSM networks include the HTC Advantage, HTC S710, HTC S730, and some of the GSM HTC Touch variants. (Although older Touches were only triband GSM, same for the 710 I think.)

Note here that while the phones sold may not be open (may be locked), the network NEVER locks out particular devices (at least I have never heard of such a thing happening.)

Ooops (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614677)

If a phone was not in Sprint's whitelist they would NOT activate it. Missed the "not". :)

I've been using it for years... (2, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614127)

I never really liked many of the phones that AT&T/Cingular/whatever sells in their stores. The last three or four phones I've owned I've always bought from places other than AT&T and I've never had any problems with them. One big reason I do this is because I want a GSM phone that will work outside the US. I recently went to New Zealand and Australia, and if I had an AT&T provided phone it wouldn't have worked down there. My current phone, a Motorola V360, worked great down there with local SIM cards I bought. I always make sure I get a quad-band GSM phone for this specific reason.

The only real advantage to buying a phone from a carrier is that it'll come fully configured to operate on their network. When I buy non-branded phones I have to set them up myself. It's basically entering information for voicemil access, WAP gateway, and similar things. It's easy enough to find out most of this information though. Just do a quick Google search of your carrier & phone and you'll probably find numerous forum posts describing how to do it.

Re:I've been using it for years... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614419)

I set my phone up for these services (MMS, web etc) by putting my phone number in the Virgin Mobile (UK) website, I then received a text message with "data settings", which I allowed to do its stuff, and all the settings were applied. I don't know if features can be disabled doing this...

Re:I've been using it for years... (1)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614771)

I think the phones can be configured over the air, I haven't looked into this but when I placed a new SIM(other carrier) in my Nokia E50 the wap gateway and other settings were there.

Tmobile lets you use your desired phone too (1)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615119)

Tmobile has a policy of allowing you to use the GSM phone of your choice on their network. (And yes, I found it in writing on their web site.) And they don't make any effort to prevent you from installing stuff on the phones they sell. This has been true since way back when I signed up with Omnipoint 8 years ago, and then Voicestream, now Tmobile.

I've been surprised that these announcements by Verizon and AT&T have been getting any attention, since this is seriously old news to me.

The amount of competition (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614215)

is still too low when it comes to roaming services and customer care. If they actually were a little more friendly when a customer comes in and wants a certain service (like buying a prepaid WITHOUT a phone) they would get a lot more credit on friendliness.

Open network =! Open devices (1)

grocer (718489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614231)

AT&T's network is GSM, any unlocked GSM device can be used on it. But access to the network must still be purchased. Android is geared toward creating standard, open devices. That's two different things. AT&T is trying to cash in on buzz for "open" but as far as I can tell, there's not good reason Android and GSM are incompatible.

Except for GPRS (0)

LuYu (519260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614411)

Knowing that the AT&T network was GSM, I bought a relative a nice GSM phone. After all the expense (including a two year contract where I purchased the phone), he did not end up using it. Why? Because AT&T refused to enable GPRS for his phone even when he called customer service.

So, yes, the network can use GSM, but do not get a phone with any features because AT&T will not let you use them.

Re:Except for GPRS (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614725)

I call BS. First of all, you don't enable access for the phone. There is no filtering based on your IMEI or any such nonsense. It is enabled in the HLR, and guess what? EVERYONE has access to the wap.cingular APN regardless of their plan unless they specifically ask for it to be disabled. You say you got locked in or 'he' got locked in or something to an agreement. If you got a 2 year agreement on an AT&T Wireless/Cingular Wireless/ATT Mobility phone, you can damned well be sure that the apn/wapgw/homepage/mmsc settings were preconfigured. Data drives revenue (kb usage, ringtones, downloadables etc).

A simple google search would have told you all you need to know about setting up your phone for data usage. Since you're obviously too lazy, let me tell you how now:

Configure the data connection:
APN: wap.cingular
User: WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM
Pass: CINGULAR1

Wap Gateway:
IP Address: 66.209.11.32
Home Page Url: http://device.home/ [device.home]

Re:Except for GPRS (2, Informative)

Tintivilus (88810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616753)

Indeed, this works for any phone or even a tethered laptop. The biggest implication of this announcement is that the data plan tiers are likely to fall away -- the only real difference between the $20 "MEdia Max", the $30 "Smartphone Max", the $40 "PDA Personal Max", and the $60 "DataConnect Unlimited" data plans are the device you tell them you have when you activate the service -- featurephone, smartphone, PDA, or data card.

Any EDGE or HSDPA data device functions quite happily at full rate with the $20 plan. Currently, you can save tons of money by signing up for MEdia Max, taking the free phone, then buying the smartphone or PDA you want independently.

Re:Except for GPRS (1)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618325)

As a person that purchasd a PDA phone when ATT was cingular I can attest that I am still engaged in arguments with ATT over getting internet access turned back on on my phone (it's almost a year now with my 8525). The phone was preconfigured but once the takeover took place many folks inmy situation were stranded in data access land. There are lots of places on the net to tell you how to get back to the original isp.cingular APN however it's got to be enabled by ATT for access (which they automatically disabled if they thought you didn't need it even if you pay for it)

Re:Except for GPRS (1)

B1 (86803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615111)

I bought an unlocked Nokia E70 a while ago, and have no trouble using it with the AT&T GPRS/EDGE network.

The phone does have to be set up with the appropriate settings to 'log on' to their network though. At least with Nokia, I was able to get the settings sent to my phone over the air from Nokia's website--they had settings for a wide range of models and carriers. You might even be able to do the same directly from the AT&T website as well.

Re:Except for GPRS (1)

clonehappy (655530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615285)

Yes, you can get GPRS/EDGE on unsupported hardware. You just have to search the proper GPRS/data settings for your particular device and configure it manually. Not one foreign phone that I have ever attempted to configure has failed. Even some unsupported phones can be automatically configured over-the-air from AT&T's website.

I think the point of this exercise is that if you want to use unsupported hardware, you had better know how to use it. That's why this only affects us geeks, and the masses still need to buy their phones from the store, making this a non-issue to everyone else.

Re:Except for GPRS (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615439)

I bought a relative a nice GSM phone. After all the expense (including a two year contract where I purchased the phone), he did not end up using it. Why? Because AT&T refused to enable GPRS for his phone even when he called customer service. So, yes, the network can use GSM, but do not get a phone with any features because AT&T will not let you use them.

I just got back from a week in the USA. I bought a Cingular/AT&T SIM card and stuck it in my Nokia E61i. GPRS worked straight out of the box, despite the fact that AT&T doesn't even sell that phone. So I am not sure I believe you. Maybe what they refused to do is provide you with phone-specific configuration instructions, perhaps because they didn't know the details about how your phone's interface works.

Re:Except for GPRS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21616711)

Indeed. As a customer service rep for AT&T, I can confirm that we only get training for phones that we currently sell, and we only have tech specs for phones that we sell now or in the past. If you're bringing over a model from another carrier, we can give basic troubleshooting and network specs, but we have to add the disclaimer that we can't guarantee that any one specific feature will work.

Not just AT&T (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614535)

T-Mobile has been doing that for years. The thing is, as another user pointed out, there is no guarantee that one of $carrier's branded phones will actually work, but speaking for t-mo, their tier 3 department seems to have some pretty decent tools to make it work. Some things don't work much of the time for non-branded phones (like downloading content from their internal wap site), but otherwise things tend to work.

hmm yeah... maybe in theory (1)

amsr (125191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614553)

Well I thought this was the case about a year ago. I had an old unlocked T-68i that was originally on T-mobile. My company had switched to ATT and I had switched and gotten a new phone, a T637. The only problem is, I had lost this phone, and my company was unable to get me a new phone for over 2 weeks. (Corp accounts have to go through a different service, can't use stores). Anyhow, I went to an ATT store and asked them if they could just sell me a sim and activate it in my T68i for the next few weeks until I got my new phone. No matter how many times I asked, they wouldn't do it. They would only activate a SIM for a phone I purchased through them. They kept giving me FUD about how the old phone "might not work", etc.. but in reality I suspect that the sale guy wouldn't get his bonus if they sold me just a SIM. So much for GSM portability.. in theory it works, but someone should tell their sales reps!

Re:hmm yeah... maybe in theory (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616003)

You must have done it wrong. I said that my phone got "stolen" (read lost), and they gave me a sim card for $30. Also if you beg, you can sometimes get it for free (I've lost my phone on many occasion).

Not really news (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614603)

Slow news day..... This is atleast 3 days old now.

This is a plain PR release to attempt to on up Verizons PR release. There is no different between the ATT today and the ATT prior to the PR release. They have always had an open network, the ATT platform is another story, its pretty closed (ATT platform == ATT customized firmwares and such), and they love to exclude wireless if they can, and generally refuse to unlock the phones they sell, unless you beg.

Too late (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614617)

I'm not going to beat the horse I killed in the Verizon thread last week (or was it the week before?) but suffice it to say that I won't be using AT&T ever again if I can in any way help it. I'd link to a comment or two there but I can't find the story, let alone comments.

I'm looking to US Cellular, any thoughts on that?

-mcgrew
Today's journal is NSFW [slashdot.org]

Re:Too late DUH i'm a moron (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614687)

The story I mentioned in the above comment was linked from this story. here [slashdot.org] is the comment, if you're interested (score:100% overrated)

Yes, it is open, and no, they don't support... (1)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614701)

I know from experience as I have used non-Cingular/AT&T devices for a few years now. Most recently is the Sony Ericsson K790a, soon to be the K850i. And they are VERY quick to blame any problems on your device.

In particular, the Blogger function of the K790a is not working for me anymore. Blogger says it's my carrier, AT&T says it's Sony Ericsson's fault, and they won't help me to even troubleshoot to provide info to SE since it's not one of their phones.

My next step is to lie to them and say it's a phone which runs the same OS just to get some help.

I keep a Cingular-branded T637 on hand so when I have problems I can swap back to it and prove that the issue is not my phone. They'll support that even though I bought it on eBay. It just has to be Cingular/AT&T branded. I went through that with my voice mail during the Cingular-to-AT&T transition, during which my voice mail would ring and never pick up or be busy. This made me miss a good number of customer calls. FRUSTRATING.

Re:Yes, it is open, and no, they don't support... (1)

VP (32928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617547)

Did you make a copy of the APN, with the AT&T proxy removed? This fixes quite a number of issues...

Outside devices operational, but still discouraged (2, Interesting)

adamfranco (600246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615181)

While AT&T allows any device to be used, they won't give you a break on the service price even though you they don't have to 'recoup the cost of the hardware'. When I went into an AT&T store two months ago they said that the only benefit I would see by purchasing my device elsewhere was to cut the contract length from 2 years to 1 year. If I use my own hardware, I don't see why they should need anything more than a valid credit card for which to reliably bill me for service. The telephone and cable companies don't require contracts for service!

Of course, they also have prepaid plans, but a monthly plan with more peak minutes than I'd ever use is the only way to get the free nights/weekends that I do use.

For the record, I ended up leaving Verizon for Unicel and love the service, the price, the plan features (free incoming calls and texts), and they don't do any locking of hardware at all. Now if only we can prevent Verizon from buying Unicel...

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615421)

What's so special about free incoming calls and texts (SMS)? It's quite normal around here, I think nobody would buy paying for incoming calls here.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615481)

What's so special about free incoming calls and texts (SMS)? It's quite normal around here, I think nobody would buy paying for incoming calls here.

That's because you're too busy paying three times as much for your outgoing calls.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

Zaitor (946692) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616131)

Interesting

I pay 0$ for incoming calls, I pay 0$ in subscription fee, I payed 0$ in start-up fee and I pay 0$ for the first 142 minutes and 99 sms every month.
I do pay a lot for everything over those limits. However I have yet to go above the monthly free min/sms. So far the only thing I have paid for is the phone itself. How cheap are your outgoing calls?

In my case, the min above the 142, is 1,5 NOK per min, that is 0,27249 US$ acording to Google. I could get a subscription that I pay from the first min, (0$ in monthly fixed subscription fees) those would cost 0,1071794 US$ for per minute.

Please tell me what is the "normal" rate in the US.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616411)

I pay 0$ for incoming calls, I pay 0$ in subscription fee, I payed 0$ in start-up fee and I pay 0$ for the first 142 minutes and 99 sms every month.

Well, either there are undisclosed costs or this is a marketing tactic based on the assumptuion that you are going to use a lot more than 142 minutes per month. Either way that's not telling us too much about the overall market.

What you need to look at is the total cost paid by all phone users for incoming and outgoing minutes.

Please tell me what is the "normal" rate in the US.

I don't know; I live in Malaysia. My outgoing rate to all US phones is US$0.05/minute, to Norwegian mobiles it's US$0.28/minute [digi.com.my] .

To get a sense of the variable component of calls from a carrier's perspective, have a look at some wholesale rates [voicetrading.com] . In general, the less efficient (or aggressively regulated) the market, the higher the rates will be. In some cases (e.g., remote Pacific islands) the rates may simply be a reflection of actual transport costs rather than the factors at play in more typical markets.

The fact that termination rates for mobiles in the US are close to zero indicates that carriers have the latitude to bring their marginal usage charge close to zero as well, something that Norwegian carriers cannot do (as evidenced by your rates that - taken as a mean per-minute charge - go up rather than down as you use the phone more).

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

adamfranco (600246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615685)

What's so special about free incoming calls and texts (SMS)? It's quite normal around here, I think nobody would buy paying for incoming calls here.
In the US, just about all mobile service (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile,...) is billed per minute of air-time or per SMS-sent/recieved, regardless of the originator. If you are on a mobile phone calling another person on a mobile phone, then you are both paying for the call.

Its also common to have national plans where you aren't charged differently for calling close by or several thousand miles, unlike land-lines which generally have free incoming calls and differential pricing of outgoing calls depending on distance/region. As well, free night/weekend calling is common on most mobile plans, but not with land-lines.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21616549)

Get a prepaid phone. Transplant the SIM card from your prepaid phone to the phone you want to use.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

adamfranco (600246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616961)

Get a prepaid phone. Transplant the SIM card from your prepaid phone to the phone you want to use.
Except that the prepaid rates cost more than the "monthly plan" rates.

I don't have a home phone, so over the past six months I've averaged just over 400minutes on the phone each month with a max of 540 minutes, about half incoming and half outgoing. As well, about half is on nights and weekends, and half is during peak hours.

Since none of the prepaid SIM cards I've found provide free incoming calls or free off-peak, I'd be billed for every one of the 400minutes. At the best rate I've seen ($0.10/min) that would work out to $40-$55/month, more than any "plan".

If incoming calls were free with prepaid SIM cards in the US, then prepaid would be much more attractive.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21617375)

Of course, they also have prepaid plans, but a monthly plan with more peak minutes than I'd ever use is the only way to get the free nights/weekends that I do use.

Actually, at&t does have an unlimited nights and weekends plan. They offer two types of prepaid:
Pay-Go: Typical prepaid setup

Pick your plan: More like a typical service plan, but without a contract/commitment/credit check. The highest tier of the 'pick your plan' prepaid does unlimited nights and minutes without a contract as well as unlimited mobile to mobile.

Re:Outside devices operational, but still discoura (1)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618077)

Not locked huh?

Well just ask Verizon why you can't transfer files using OBX (bluetooth) then?

Oh, cause they disable OBX file transfers thats why.

Verizon cripples the software on their phones. Just go to PhoneScoop.com, look up your phone and see what features are disabled. You might just be shocked.

And when will they ever get a calendar app that works? Allows trnsfers to others, and my pc/yahoo account?

Good news for those... (2, Insightful)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615495)

...who anxiously await the release of OpenMoko's unlocked phone. I can't wait to get my hands on a Neo, now that I know networks in the US will support it. Who wants an iPhone tied to AT&T, when you can have a phone that runs on all GSM networks and runs Linux?

We can't guarantee the performance of the device, (1)

dubner (48575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615849)

This applies to devices they sell too, voice or data. GSM is supposed to work better than that. I'm so happy to be an ex-Cingular (now AT&T) GSM voice customer.

# Worst network ever.

Slashdot is a bunch of hypocrites (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616183)

People here praise Verizon for "opening" up their handsets, but lambast ATT for operating with any GSM device that works in their spectrum. It's reminds me of when Red Hat moved to RHEL, they got all this bad press, but when Sun releases OpenSolaris, along with the paid version they've always had, they're heralded as a leader in FOSS. Personally (I hate to say this) I agree with ATT. I've stayed with them, refusing to buy a device that was under complete control of the carrier. I've always had the ability to use buy a guaranteed non crippled device direct from a handset vendor outside my contract, or use another member of my family's phone if mine went bust (with all my contacts right there on SIM). Meanwhile Verizon has the audacity to charge my friend $15 to transfer his numbers after he buys a phone FROM THEM (because there is no other choice). I could never give up GSM flexibility. I realize that it's just human nature to compare things to the past history, but the GSM providers, TMobile, ATT, Sprit (I think) have always been a better choice.

Ripple Effect? (1)

jetpack (22743) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616637)

This news, along with recent news about Verizon opening their network, and about Google bidding for the 700 Mhz spectrum, not to mention the announcement of Android and the Open Handset Alliance, all sounds very promising. However, does anyone have any ideas how (if at all) this will affect the Canadian wireless market? I recently moved back to Canuckistan after living in the States for a number of years so I have first hand experience with wireless carriers in both countries. I can tell you that wireless service up here is at least an order of magnitude suckier than it is in the US. I'm crossing my fingers that these changes in US wireless will trickle down to the Canadian market, but I'm not sure how it would.

I tried once; they refused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21617595)

About two years ago, I bought a pre-paid SIM card to use on my (then T-Mobile) phone, to figure out if it got better reception with AT&T. I was most of the way through the activation process, but the AT&T operator refused to activate the SIM card unless it was on a supported device. While I was giving the operator a lecture about how I had bought SIM cards to use in this phone in perhaps 20 countries, and nobody ever asked me for my phone model, she hanged up on me. I returned the SIM card and stayed with T-Mobile; much later, I found out that AT&T did in fact have better reception in my home.....
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