1. Mitlov's Avatar
    I'm on US Cellular because they've got the best coverage in rural Oregon, good prices, and good customer service. AT&T's coverage is shockingly bad in rural Oregon...but all the sexy Windows Phones (Titan, Focus S, and now Lumia 900) are for AT&T. I've been thinking about keeping my 7 Pro until Windows 8 comes out, and then getting some nice flagship Windows Phone model. I know I wouldn't get the subsidy that you get when you buy, say, a Lumia 900 from AT&T, but I'd be willing to pay the full MSRP for a really nice Windows Phone. No offense to my 7 Pro, it's a practical phone, but it just doesn't have the style or the roomy, gorgeous screen of a Focus S or Lumia 900.

    But realistically, how does this work?

    (1) Where do I buy from? All the phones on amazon.com that are "factory unlocked" also say "no warranty," even when buying direct from HTC. And the manufacturer's websites don't seem to sell you phones without a cellular contract from a carrier (Apple being a notable exception).

    (2) Is any phone compatible with any 3G data plan, or is there a risk I could buy a Lumia 900 and it wouldn't "work" with US Cellular?

    (3) Are there other pitfalls with doing this? If so, what?
    03-25-2012 08:17 PM
  2. freestaterocker's Avatar
    You need to know which bands your chosen carrier uses to provide, and whether or not the phone you want has those bands. Then you can purchase outright and unlock your device by obtaining the unlock code from either the carrier you purchased the phone from or a website like cellunlocker.net, then popping in a SIM from the carrier you wish to run the device on, and then entering the afore-mentioned unlock code when prompted.
    Mitlov likes this.
    03-25-2012 08:44 PM
  3. palandri's Avatar
    U.S. Cellular is a CDMA carrier, not a GSM carrier with a SIM card.

    You're only option are the phones the U.S. Cellular sells.
    Mitlov likes this.
    03-25-2012 11:22 PM
  4. Mitlov's Avatar
    U.S. Cellular is a CDMA carrier, not a GSM carrier with a SIM card.

    You're only option are the phones the U.S. Cellular sells.
    Thanks for the info. I'll stick it out with US Cellular for two years, and if they don't have nicer hardware by then, I guess I'll have to switch carriers. Shame, because US Cellular's plans are inexpensive and they have the best customer service of any carrier I've ever worked with.
    03-26-2012 02:00 PM
  5. Mitlov's Avatar
    Just heard that the Nokia Lumia 800C is a CDMA version of the Lumia 800 just released for the Chinese market. Here's to hoping that US Cellular gets it within the next two years...
    04-01-2012 12:50 AM
  6. Odessiter's Avatar
    Hi guys,
    i'm reading about your problems with operators not willing to release updates, operators lacking phones and many other problems.
    I'm from Ukraine (a former USSR republic), where we have Big3 GSM carriers - Kyivstar, MTS (formerly UMC, now bought by Russian MTS and rebranded into MTS), and life:) (or legal name Astelit) and couple CDMA carriers, the biggest of which is all-Ukrainian Intertelecom.
    All these carriers have contract-based and prepaid plans. You go to the Customer Service Office and pick up the plan best matching your needs.
    Of course, you may select the plan with subsidized phone (there are also few of them offered by carriers), or you may bring any compatible phone and buy a Starting Package (sim card and all paper stuff) and people will set you handheld up.
    Usually, we don't have what you call operator's lock. If you buy a phone from MTS, you may use it with Kyivstar and vice versa.
    CDMA is some different, I know that the biggest CDMA carrier in Ukraine (intertelecom) uses CDMA EVDO Rev.B+ or sort of. But anyway, you may bring any CDMA handheld and get connected to this carrier.
    Sorry for manyletters, just some observations and explanations.
    Merry All-Fools Day
    04-01-2012 01:48 PM