Relocating to the U.S.? Here’s Some Help with Your Mobile Phone

Imagine purchasing an expensive new cell phone or even several for your entire family, for your upcoming move—and after the move discovering that your equipment will not work in your new country. Here’s some helpful information that can guide you to making the right choices and beneficial planning before your move.

For expats hoping to use their mobile phones in the U.S. or investing in a mobile phone in the U.S. with hopes of using it when returning to their home land, the carrier must be GSM. There are currently 3 carriers that are GSM:

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Rogers

If you live anywhere in Europe and are planning on moving to the U.S., make sure your phone has the 1900 and 850 MHz bands. You will probably not want to use your current provider as it is not only expensive but you will want to have a local number. The best approach is to get a SIM card for the country where you will be going. One very important aspect to remember is that you must get your phone “unlocked.” Many carriers, particularly in English speaking areas of the world such as the UK, Australia, NZ, Canada and the US, lock the handsets they sell to their own network. That means that if you try to put a different carrier’s SIM card in your phone, it will be rejected. There are plenty of online companies that can unlock your phone for you – usually by simply providing you, for a small fee, an unlock code. www.gsm-unlock.com is one such company. Alternatively, many cell phone stores will provide that service.

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