Urgent (simple) mobile phone query

  The Belarussian Mafia 09:34 29 Dec 2008

I put this query in the Mobile Forum yesterday, but it appears you don't get responses in there for several days. We need to make a purchase today, however, which is why I've moved the question here. I hope the forum moderators won't mind.

A (Belarussian) relative is staying with me at the moment & wants to buy a mobile while in the UK as the prices are much cheaper. If we buy a PAYG phone will she just be able to take it back home & stick a local sim card in, or will we need to go through some kind of 'unblocking' procedure?

In case it makes a difference: I expect we'd like to put the UK sim card that comes with the phone in first, just to make sure everything functions correctly. (It comes with £10 free credit.)


(And sorry this is such a basic question - I'm one of those people who only changes their mobile every 4 or 5 years!)

  Zak 09:44 29 Dec 2008

Yes it will be blocked to work only whe provider's SIM.

You can get the phone unblocked in Highstreet shops.

However Three network is one that is problematic.

Orange T-Mobile, Vodafone should be OK.

Check out the model and unblocking on the web. If you live within easy reach of Wimbledon then there is a good store:

click here

They also sell unblocked handsets.

  Technotiger 09:49 29 Dec 2008

I suggest you telephone 02 as below, IMHO they are the best for PAYG deals too.

click here

  Terminus90 09:50 29 Dec 2008

I would have thought it would be ok, if both sim cards are by the same operator, ie "orange" or "O2" or "vodafone" etc

  birdface 09:51 29 Dec 2008

You would need the phone opened to any Sim provider.Some phones come already opened others you have to take to the local phone shop or market to be opened.Or you buy the phone Sim free which is always dearer.I bought a mobile at Xmas and tried it with a different sim card and it worked.Just a bit of luck on my part I suppose.

  howard64 10:22 29 Dec 2008

when I wanted an unlocked one a couple of months back I typed in 'unlocked payg phone' into google and was amazed how many were available. I eventually bought one through amazon.

  The Belarussian Mafia 11:15 29 Dec 2008

Wow - I'm overwhelmed by the helpful responses!

We're just about to start by typing 'unlocked...' into google as suggested by howard64.

My wife has just asked: would you have to pay to have a phone 'unblocked' in a shop? They've had their eyes on some very good deals from a particular website & are wondering whether they could go ahead, buy the PAYG phones (-incidentally Zak, I had a hunch 3 phones might be different, so thanks for confirming this) and then take them to a shop.

So grateful for the help. Thanks, people.

  birdface 11:36 29 Dec 2008

Up to £20 to have it unlocked in a shop for more expensive phones.Maybe cheaper at the market or by the provider.Check your phone here click here lets you know whats good and not so good.

  The Belarussian Mafia 12:05 29 Dec 2008

Thanks buteman.

It looks like we are in luck. We phoned the website with the good phone deals ( click here ) & they said the particular models we're interested in are all unblocked anyway!

I've learned a lot from this discussion & will be able to refer back when making future purchases.

One last big thank you!

  birdface 13:36 29 Dec 2008

[the particular models we're interested in are all unblocked anyway]I would ask again.And make sure that they are not just unblocked for the one particular provider.They have been getting a few complaints recently.I used to deal with them years ago and had no complaints with them.But none of the phones I got were unlocked.maybe that is all changed now.I was in a local phone shop at Xmas and asked if all the phones were unblocked.Yes was the reply.I said so I can use a different sim in any phone.No Just the sim card for the phone that you purchase.So what they say is not always what you get.

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