04-09-2006, 07:17 PM
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
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While I am pretty sure that your 7100i is only a single mode, single band phone, I don't think that a simple quad band phone would help you out in this case. A quad band phone could simply be a GSM phone operating at 850(US)/900(EU)/1800(EU)/1900(US). What you want is a dual mode iDEN/GSM phone. I do realize that sometimes providers simply call a phone dual, tri, quad band and it can do AMPS/TDMA or TDMA/GSM (GAIT) but those really are dual mode phones. The number of bands simply refers to the frequency that it can operate on (or in the case of providers, the number of frequencies in all modes). My guess is the confusion will get even worse with 3G/UMTS on the horizon.
In the end however, the reason that you really can't get a iDEN/GSM phone or iDEN/CDMA is that the different technologies don't integrate easily. If you want a goo example just check out the GAIT fiasco from the Nokia 6340. That was an actual specification and the technologies are actually related in terms of spectrum handling and it still was a disaster. I see that Motorola has started to release some dual mode iDEN/GSM phones but ironically the specifications don't state the GSM operating bands so who knows how well it holds up internationally.
As for the Nextel SIM, I don't think that you can simply get a used international GSM phone and use the same SIM. From what I understand, they are not interoperable on all levels. My advice would be to pick up a cheap used GSM phone and then when you get overseas get a pay as you go SIM card from O2, Vodaphone, Orange, ...