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unlocked android phones on at&t


Oct 28, 2009
Anyone using unlocked phones on AT&T? I've got a family plan w/two iPhones (none of them mine) so adding a new Android phone would be pretty affordable. I could buy a used myTouch 3G (or buy a new Android Dev Phone 2) or buy a use G1 (or Android Dev Phone 1). I know none of these are 3G-capable on AT&T but they aren't 3G in my area anyways -- I mainly use Wifi.

Thoughts anyone? Any gotchas with using these phones on AT&T?

I may be ordering a GSM Droid next week. I'll let you know how the "Edge" voice calling goes, but don't expect the Euro versions to get 3G speeds for internet. The Canadian version DROID "may" work on AT&T with 3G internet. If interested, keep an eye in the DROID forums, but I plan on going with the T-Mo 500 minute + Web2Go (full internet) for $39/mo. total.
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I bought an unlocked Rogers HTC Magic and use the $15/month data only package from AT&T. Seems to work just fine. However I have to rely on Rogers online support. Blogs don't seem to happy with Rogers.

Same here, but I have been able to rely on HTC online for support.
If you guys follow the Rogers forum, you'll find that the Rogers Magic should be getting a 1.5 upgrade with HTC sense (making it similar to Sprint's Hero) and then another one sometime this year to 2.1 Android.

As an aside, Rogers and Fido phones that are 3G capable should generally be able to take advantage of AT&T's 3G because they use the same frequencies over there. Thank you Canada.
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got a droid/milestone unlocked, it makes calls, and that's about it, won't connect on edge for mobility internet, and though it shows it's connected to my wifi, it doesn't surf. Not sure if I'm missing something, or it just won't work with att.

Maybe you have to input manually the APN settings. Check the settings of your phone. Don't remember the APN settings for AT&T but you can google that.
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thats what i use, just check leave mms enabled when you place it on your home screen
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i've heard that AT&T can automatically detect if you have a smartphone by your IMEI number, and will charge you the data plan no matter what. will turning off the APN prevent them from knowing that you have a smartphone?

No. Knowledge of the IMEI number is not dependent on APN. Think about it. Dumbphones that do not have APN have existed for eons and AT&T always knew their IMEI. Some AT&T customers got away with the $15 data plan for non-AT&T branded smartphones mainly because AT&T's database did not recognize the kind of phone that the phone's IMEI provided. If it is a smartphone sold by AT&T, AT&T will certainly know. But it seems that Google or HTC did tell AT&T enough so that AT&T will now recognize the Nexus One as a smartphone and charge you the $30 data plan.
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The IMEI number is a number that is set by a standards group and specific series of these numbers are assigned to vendors. Given a IMEI number "anyone" can find the manufacturer and model by entering the IMEI in sites similar to this one http://www.numberingplans.com/index.php?page=analysis⊂=imeinr
So, most likely, AT&T knows exactly what phone you're using on their "Data" network based on your IMEI.

They recently passed a policy that requires "Smarphones" like the N1 to have a data plan. Now, what's not clear, is if AT&T will allow you to have that phone in their network just for voice. No data whatsoever. See Data Plans and Smartphones in their terms and conditions here: PLAN TERMS - Wireless from AT&T.

Given the current animosity between Google and Apple and the tight relationship between AT&T an Apple... the fear was that AT&T would cripple or disable the N1s (specifically) when AT&T identified them on their network. This was "speculation" based on Apple pressuring AT&T to do so given that Apple has an "exclusive" contract with AT&T that prevents Apple from offering the iPhone on other networks. "Maybe" this "exclusive" contract prevented AT&T from offering a Smartphone with features similar to the iPhone. (The iPhone is AT&T cash cow and AT&T has not offered a Smartphone that challenges the iPhone's features) AT&T, so far, has done nothing to cripple N1s given their existing policy on unlocked phones shown here AT&T Choice under Can I use my non-AT&T phone.... They "might" never do anything to affect the N1 as Apple might only have a say on Smartphones offered/supported by AT&T. We all know that AT&T does not "officially" support the N1 on their network.
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Word is a 850/1900 (and heavily knee-capped) version of the desire will be subbed by AT&T making the N1 a competitor to it as well as the iphone. Most folks are still not having problems with any phone that AT&T does not sub outside of the N1 so I agree that the policy appears to be directed at the N1 specifically. I have been on medianet for a long time with unbranded non subbed smartphones and no issues.
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