Re: [87attendees] SIM purchase at the IETF (was Re: [87all] IETF 87 Berlin Meeting Review)

Yoav Nir <ynir@checkpoint.com> Fri, 16 August 2013 19:42 UTC

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From: Yoav Nir <ynir@checkpoint.com>
To: John R Levine <johnl@taugh.com>
Thread-Topic: [87attendees] SIM purchase at the IETF (was Re: [87all] IETF 87 Berlin Meeting Review)
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Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 19:41:58 +0000
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Subject: Re: [87attendees] SIM purchase at the IETF (was Re: [87all] IETF 87 Berlin Meeting Review)
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On Aug 16, 2013, at 7:39 PM, John R Levine <johnl@taugh.com> wrote:

>> In Orlando, I found out that my phone would work on the Verizon network, but not AT&T. If the booth sold AT&T sims, we could have a nice, big discussion about why we didn't have Verizon and how I've wasted $X for a card that doesn't work.
> 
> North America is unusual in having two completely incompatible cell phone systems.  Verizon and Sprint in the US and Bell in Canada are CDMA, AT&T and T-Mobile in the US and Rogers and Telus in Canada are GSM, on different bands than GSM in most of the rest of the world (850 and 1900 rather than 900 and 1800.)  Pelephone in Israel is one of the very few mobile carriers elsewhere that is compatible with American CDMA.

I think they've moved on from CDMA, and are now on the GSM and descendants bandwagon like the other operators. Anyway, my phone definitely has a SIM and I'm not using Pelephone.

> I think it's reasonable to expect people to know what kind of phone they have and what kind of networks it will work on before they go looking for SIMs.  In your case it's easy, since CDMA phones don't have SIMs.

I got a "travel to the US" phone from work with an AT&T SIM. I thought I could transfer that SIM to my phone and use that. When that didn't work, I moved the AT&T SIM back to the work phone, and put my regular (Orange) SIM card back in my phone. It happily joined the Verizon network. Roaming charges being what they are, I disabled that immediately.

It turns out that my Nokia 920 supports bands that are used in Israel and on Verizon, but not on AT&T. This is not something that I could have known beforehand, as there are phones with the exact same model number that do work on AT&T, though I don't know if there are such phones that work on both.

Yoav