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Old 09-09-2013, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

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First post, howdy.

I need to buy an unlocked phone for a friend in the Caribbean... it needs to be unlocked because she does not qualify for a plan. I know nothing about blackberries except that it is the phone of choice in the Caribbean. So, I'm looking for a recommendation and place to buy it.

My friend will be using it mostly for chatting, messages and the phone of course. And the internet.

I'm looking for something used and want to spend under $200. I was planning on buying something on eBay but thought I'd check here first. I understand that I'll probably end up with something cracked, but I don't think it matters. I bought a cracked iPhone for someone there and it works fine. These are the specs it needs for the carriers there:

Unlocked QUAD Band GSM.
CLARO Frequency: GSM 850/1900
Orange Frequency: GSM 900/1800/1900

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

If she does not qualify for a plan, she will not be able to use the device properly. BlackBerry devices in that price range (e.g., not the newest BB10 devices) require a special data plan in order to be used. Depending on the country, she may be able to get that service on PAYG, but you didn't provide that information so I can't help much more. Regardless, I would purchase a new device from Amazon or Expansys, not a used device.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Thanks for the response.

All the carriers offer prepaid options for both internet and voice. I travel there often and use the prepaid option. I would not be eligible for a plan either, or it would be very difficult since I am not a resident.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

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Originally Posted by gsusser View Post
Thanks for the response.

All the carriers offer prepaid options for both internet and voice. I travel there often and use the prepaid option. I would not be eligible for a plan either, or it would be very difficult since I am not a resident.
Again, it's not the same. BlackBerry devices in your price range require BlackBerry-specific data plans. What is the country in which she lives?
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Between MrSIM, Lime GO, Digicel GO, and Batelco all offering PAYG services it's not difficult to grab the service. Every country in the area has PAYG services available.

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

She lives in the Dominican Republic and the carriers are Claro, Viva and Orange. I know the Bold works without a plan. However, I don't know which model would be best or if there's a better model that would work.

This is a poor country and many people do not qualify for plans. However, they choose to buy blackberries, what can I say.

All I'm looking for is a recommendation for a model. eBay has many used unlocked blackberries for sale in my price range and lower.

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Do not buy used. Buy new. Get her a Curve 9360 or Bold 9780. They are under $200 new.

A BlackBerry without the BlackBerry-specific plan will only work for voice and SMS.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

I don't know if this helps or makes a difference, but I have an unlocked iPhone and get a prepaid minutes for voice and prepaid data and have no problems. I use Claro when in the Dominican Republic.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Older models of BlackBerry require a separate plan specifically for BlackBerry devices.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Just avoid Sprint, or any of their pre-paid subs like Virgin or Boost. In fact, avoid anything that uses Sprint's network. A recent trip to St. Croix confirmed that Sprint is useless at least on that island.

Here's a list of MVNOs and who they're partnered with: List of United States mobile virtual network operators - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Wow, now you're way over my head. I think I'm gonna get a used unlocked iPhone 3gs. I know everything works and prepaid is fine. I bought one for someone there plus I use my own iPhone there without a problem, all prepaid. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsusser View Post
Wow, now you're way over my head. I think I'm gonna get a used unlocked iPhone 3gs. I know everything works and prepaid is fine. I bought one for someone there plus I use my own iPhone there without a problem, all prepaid. Thanks for all the responses.
There you go. Now you're using your noggin.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

The funny thing is people want blackberries. I have no idea why. It's a status symbol there, just like an iPhone is or was here.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

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Originally Posted by gsusser View Post
The funny thing is people want blackberries. I have no idea why. It's a status symbol there, just like an iPhone is or was here.
I know it is. We have many people join this forum from the Caribbean and Africa that get a BlackBerry (usually outdated ones) and try to skirt the plans or use CDMA devices on GSM carriers. There are a few very unreliable workarounds, but it will never work the way it should without the plan. Newer BB10 devices don't need the special plans, but even the Q5 (which is the model made especially for emerging markets) still costs almost $500, which is just stupid.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

BlackBerrys still have a hold on the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. Dubai has a thriving "vanity PIN" thing going on. Folks pay insane amounts of money for a BlackBerry with a PIN they like. Although I suppose any place that has ATMs that spit out gold bars can afford vanity PINs.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need unlocked phone for Caribbean

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Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
BlackBerrys still have a hold on the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. Dubai has a thriving "vanity PIN" thing going on. Folks pay insane amounts of money for a BlackBerry with a PIN they like. Although I suppose any place that has ATMs that spit out gold bars can afford vanity PINs.
The Middle East is an entirely different story from Africa and the Caribbean.
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