TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cell Phone Compatibility

Re: Cell Phone Compatibility

Joseph (
Sat, 02 Apr 2005 16:57:06 -0800

On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 08:26:26 -0700, SmarSquid <>

> I have a couple of inactive cell phones (Motorola 120e and Samsung
> GS-x426) that are lying around because I have taken phone
> upgrades. They are blanked out and ready for service, and I want to
> sell them on E-Bay. Howver, prospective buyers will want to know what
> cellular service providers the equipment will work with. How can I
> learn this? The Motorola was originally used in the Verizon Wireless
> network, and the Samsung was used in the AT&T Wireless network, but I
> have a feeling other providers could work with these phones. More
> network compatibility means a higher number of potential buyers.

As the French might say it depend. The Verizon CDMA phone will likely
work only on another CDMA carrier that allows their customers to
attach a non-native CDMA equipment to their network. Many networks
such as Sprint PCS which is also a CDMA network will not allow
connection of any device that they either do not sell or has been
formerly on their network. They will check their database to see
whether the ESN (electronic serial number) is there. If it is not
many carriers will not activate a handset that has not been on their

In the case of the AT&T Wireless phone it will depend on which kind of
phone it is. If it is a TDMA phone you will only be able to use it on
AT&T Wireless' TDMA network and not on any other network such as
cingular's TDMA network. Cingular/AT&T will not activate any new TDMA
phone service though I imagine you can switch the ESN from what
someone already has to another phone which has been on the AT&T
Wireless network.

If it was on the AT&T Wireless GSM network you could use it on another
GSM network provided that the SIM lock is defeated. AT&T Wireless did
not and will not give unlock codes for the GSM phones that it sold and
you either have to go to sites that will "remotely unlock" or find
someone to flex/flash the phone so that you can use it on another
network. Also with older GSM phones that AT&T Wireless sold they were
single band 1900 only. To get the best possible service you really
should get a dual band 850/1900 phone.

If you know which was the original provider you need to let your
perspective buyer know this. Many buyers are well aware of what will
and will not work for them so I'd strongly advise giving as much
information as possible including which networks (and technology if
you know it) the phone uses. Also you need to be sure and give the
correct full model number since some models have the same model number
but are for different technologies e.g. Motorola V60c, t or g
depending on whether it's CDMA, TDMA or GSM.

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