SATELLITE PHONE AND SIM CARD

Can you use your International Roaming Enabled Sim Card from your mobile phone in your Sat Phone and make calls while travelling way Out Back WITHOUT being on a paid Plan?
I reckon I have seen discussion on this Forum where people have said that it is not necessary to be on a plan ( Telstra or other), so long as your Mobile Sim Card is enabled for International Roaming it will work in a Sat Phone.
Now, today I went to the Telstra Shop and the young bloke told me that it will work BUT ONLY while I am within the Mobile Phone reception area, in other words the Sat phone will be working as a Mobile.
So, how do I test it? ...... I will have to find an area where there is no Mobile coverage to test the Sat phone. I have already tested it from my back yard and it rang my house phone ok, but the Telstra bloke said that it would have been using the mobile network.
Can anyone who has used their Mobile Sim Card to make calls from a Satellite Phone WITHOUT being on a SAT PHONE PLAN while they have been well away from the mobile network please explain it to me.
Only got 18 more sleeps before I leave for Wiluna so I will need to get this sorted out before then.

Sorry about the capitols but I needed to emphasise some points.

Thanks in advance,

Scrubby
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Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:37

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:37
Scrubby,


I use my international roaming Telstra sim card in my satphone using the Iridium Satelite Service. I have used in in remote areas of QLD, NT SA VIC WA no problems whatsoever instant connection (not like Gloalstar) I have NO plan for it as it is used only in exceptional circumstances. The down side is that the cost per minute which is very high abouit $2:50 plus connection and if someone rings you, You also pay but I dont mind as I said I only use it very occasionally it's better that going onto a $30 per month plan...30x12= $360 per annum
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:16

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:16
Thanks Trouper,
Thats the way I understood it all along.
I should have added that it is an Iridium 9505a Sat Phone and that I will only be using it very occasionally also, so the cost of calls is not a huge issue.
The reason I went to the Telstra Shop was to find out what the Cost is of Sat Phone calls.
I didn`t get into an argument with him but lets call it a very warm debate.

I might go back tomorrow armed with all the info from here and see what he says,

Scrubby.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 08:11

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 08:11
Trouper do you mean no plan on the sat phone or the sim card because as far as I know only a sim card on a TELSTRA plan will work


IT is not neessary to have the satfone registered for anything , only the sim
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Reply By: George_M - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:41

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:41
"...but the Telstra bloke said that it would have been using the mobile network."

I can only speak for the Motorola satphones on the Iridium network - the 9500, 9505, and 9555 models.

That advice is rubbish.

If you have your next G (or Telstra GSM) sim in your satphone then your calls go through the Iridium satellite network. And you'll sure notice this when you get your bill, because they will scam you both incoming and outgoing.

International roaming must be activated. This works with post paid - not sure about prepaid.

Try the "search" function on this topic on this site.

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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:03

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:03
The reason that it is rubbish is that the Motorola Iridium phones operate in the frequency range 1616 to 1625.5 MHz.

Telstra Next G (850MHz), 3G (2100MHz) and GSM (lots, but not 1616-1625.5MHz) use different frequencies.

So rubbish nevertheless...

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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:24

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:24
Thanks George,
I have added a bit more info in a follow up to Trouper above.
I might take this info into the same bloke and ask him about frequencies etc.
Being armed with a bit of info I will be better prepared than I was today.

Scrubby.
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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:34

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:34
No worries, Scrubby.

If you get really stuck, Member Graham H (Qld) seems to be the local Exploroz expert on Iridium satphones.

Send him a MM.

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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 08:08

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 08:08
Well thank you for that

The sim card CANT be a PREPAID Ive tried one and it doesnt work Gives invalid account.
As there are only prepaid or plans I guess it will be on a plan.

The last and only call I made cost $3.77 fo a 1 minute call

As said above The Iridium phones simply CANT work on the cell network.

Asking in a Telstra shop about them is like hitting your head against a wall.
Its nice when it stops.

They know NOTHING about them as proved by a friend the other day so you are simply wasting time asking Telsta anything

IF you have one dont tell them anything Bung a sim in it and away you go.

It seems they are marketed through Telstra Country who are almost inaccessable to the public.

They will tell you a sim in a 9505a wont work IT DOES

Also I found my friends who were Vodafone and Optus users couldnt send me

a text from their phones but I could send to them, something to be considered.
You pay for calls inward as well as the caller pays a normal cell charge and you pay for the diversion to the IRIDIUM network.

The reason they work is that Telstra have a billing agreement with Iridium and the other providors dont.
There is a new providor called Pivotel but dont know anything about them other than you need a plan with them.

There are other phones that will work on the cell network and satellite

Thuraya??? and the old Ericssons that were on Globalstar did but the

satellite only worked on fine fridays on the odd months of the year if you get

what I mean.

Have had mine for 2 years as an emergency phone and it has worked whenever or wherever I wanted it to.


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Reply By: Mike DiD - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:49

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:49
The "assistants" working in phone shops know little enough about mobile phones - totally ignore anything they say about Satphones.

I assume you're talking about a Motorola 9500/9505/9555 Satphone working on the Iridium Satellite Network - these work ONLY on satellites - never on the mobile network.

A Telstra SIMcard will only work in Iridium Satphones if it's on a plan, International Roaming enabled and not barred from 1900 etc services.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:28

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:28
Thanks Mike,

Yes the Iridium 9505a Sat Phone.

Scrubby.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:51

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:51
A Telstra post paid plan card with international roaming and 1900 enabled will work in an Iridium phone anywhere in the world.

A prepaid Telstra card in an Iridium won't work anywhere.

An Optus, 3, Vodaphone, dodo, etc card won't work at all.

Iridium phones connect to satellites and do not connect to GSM 3G, next G or any other Mobile network so are not even aware of their coverage.

A Global star Sat service only works about 5% of the time.

Calls made AND received of an Iridium phone using a Tlestra post paid SIM cost $4.00 per minute.

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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:44

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:44
Thanks Boobook,
Do you know what the call rates and SMS rates are for the sat phone used this way? Or where I can find them.
This was my reason for going to the Telstra Shop today but it seems I got fed a lot of crap instead.

Scrubby.
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Follow Up By: George_M - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:28

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:28
I hope you're sitting down when you're reading this, Scrubby.

Telstra call changes on an Iridium handset (with a Next G/GSM sim) are about $4.00 EACH WAY!

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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:52

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:52
Thats ok George I hope I don`t need it to get assistance, other times will be very short calls and very occasionally.

Besides, that`s not even two pots. LOL.


Thanks again,

Scrubby.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:24

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:24
Well as I said above which no one seems to have read is.

My one minute call made on the Nullabor in November on my phone bill in February reads $3.77 time 1 minute

I believe texts are 50c or if not 75c

Calls in as I also said cost the same as ringing out.


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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:42

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:42
"A Telstra post paid plan card with international roaming and 1900 enabled will work in an Iridium phone anywhere in the world."

I doubt it - my understanding is Telstra Mobile Phone SIM cards will only work in Satphones while they are in Australia.

For global service you must get a Satellite Contract SIM card (which won't work in a Mobile Phone) from Telstra or other service provider that sells Iridium satellite contracts.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:24

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:24
Mike I bought my 9505 in Hong Kong. I tested it with my Telstra Sim card at the time and it happily synch'd in and made a call to Australia.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:58

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:58
From my Phone bill

20 04 Dec 03:01 pm SATELLITE 0886252150 1:00 3.77


Clears that up
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:08

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:08
Clears what up ?
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:12

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:12
"I tested it with my Telstra Sim card at the time and it happily synch'd in and made a call to Australia."

That's the great thing about the Exploroz Forum - you can get information here that you can't even get from the suppliers ! And you can get direct user experiences

If it weren't for the great information provided here, I still wouldn't have known that you can get Satphone access using a Telstra Mobile SIMcard.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:17

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:17
Clears up
The actual price of a call which has been erroneously quoted on here at various times


20 04 Dec 03:01 pm SATELLITE 0886252150 1:00 $3.77 inc GST


Forgot to add the $ sign to signify the cost
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:19

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:19
That's the great thing about the Exploroz Forum - you can get information here that you can't even get from the suppliers ! And you can get direct user experiences .......

Ditto Mike. I have benefited from your posts many times.

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:54

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 17:54
It must be an Iridium Motorola Satphone with a Telstra SIM card on either Next G or GSM monthly plan with International Roaming enabled.
Prepaid SIM's do not work and neither do other carriers, I've tried vodaphone and Optus and neither work in my Motorola 9500.
The call costs are very steep as you pay both i/c and o/g at approx twice the normal satphone rate. If the phone is just for emergency use then it is the way to go.
Bear in mind though that if you have a problem which entails repeated lengthy phone calls to sort it out the cost quickly adds up.
The 9500 can only receive SMS regardless of whether it has a satphone SIM or mobile SIM. The later models can send and receive SMS which is a good way for people to contact you if you don't have the phone on all the time.
If using a mobile SIM then that is the number used to contact the satphone.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:34

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 18:34
Thanks Peter,
Gee isn`t this a great place for information that is difficult to get from anywhere else particularly from the very place that is supposed to help their customers.

Scrubby.
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Reply By: Member - John & Sally W (NSW) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:09

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:09
Hi everyone,
Sorry to ask a piggyback question on this subject, but can you interchange the SIM card between the sat phone and Next G while you are away or do you have to nominate to Telstra which phone you will be using while you are away?
Thanks in advance,
Sally
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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:19

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:19
G`day Sally,
No need to apologise you are more than welcome.
Sally I was reasonably sure that I was correct going by what I had read on this forum and what I had been told personally, ( but not by Telstra who won`t tell you about this)
That was that you could get your mobile phones Next G Sim Card enabled for International Roaming (for free)and providing it was a post paid account, i.e. Not a Pre-Paid one, you could then put it in your Sat Phone and it would work anywhere that you can see the sky.
Going by what the knowledgeable people on here have said it seems that this is correct.
You can use the same Sim card in your Next G mobile while you are in a reception area and then put it in your Sat Phone (Iridium phone on the Iridium network) when you are out of the signal area of the mobile.
It uses the same account and number as your mobile but at a much higher call rate.

Regards,

Scrubby.

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Follow Up By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:28

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:28
Sally it costs a fair bit for calls but there is no need to take out an expensive Sat Phone Plan and if you only use it occasionally it is far cheaper than a plan.

Scrubby.
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:53

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:53
There does not need to be a one-to-one alignment between SIMcard provider and network provider.

A SIM card just authenticates the caller and confirms that a billing arrangement exists, so the network provider will get paid for the calls.

My "3" SIMcard gets authenticated on the Telstra NextG network, because "3" has set up a billing arrangement, so when I pay for my calls on my "3" bill, some of the money goes to Telstra for network usage.

Any Telstra Mobile phone SIM card (with Int Roaming, not Prepaid, not 1900 barred) gets recognised by the Iridium earth station in Arizona, because Telstra has a Billing arrangement to pay Iridium network usage charges.

Do not confuse Telstra Mobile Phone SIMcards with Telstra Iridium SIMcards which have an International number.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 11:43
Mike your 3 SIM card "used" to get authenticated on Telstra's Next G network.

Not any more unfortunately. Telstra pulled the pin on that agreement about 4 months ago. 3 only roams to Telstra's 3G and GSM service now. The only way to get Next G coverage is to go with Telstra now.

If you check 3's coverage maps you will see that they changed it without fanfare and instead of state coverage, you only see Capital City coverage now. It is iidentical to Telstra's 3G / GSM maps and way short of their next G maps.

:-(



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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:07

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 13:07
No, the "3" coverage maps for Sydney now show that the 2G coverage for "3" now matches that of Telstra NextG. http://xseries.three.com.au/3/three/coverage/map/coverage_map.htm#

I used my 3 phone at Bobbin Head on Friday - an area marked as having no Telstra 3G or GSM coverage.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:19

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:19
Take another look Mike.

I can tell you with a 100% cast Iron guarentee that Telstra cut off 3 from Next G in about February this year.

The map for 3 for Sydney is almost identical to the 3g/GSM Telstra Map and Waaaay short of the next G for Sydney. Same for all the states.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:05

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:05
Mike, I just found Bobbin Head. Not exactly the back blocks of Australia being about 30km as the crow flys from the Sydney CBD!

Don't forget that 3 and Vodafone now share their networks in Australia. In fact that's why Telstra stopped wholesaling Next G to 3.

Try something like driving west of Parkes. See if coverage stops after 10km or gets you all the way to Adelaide.

Of course you could just look Australia wide coverage on 3's website like you used to be able to do but for some reason they stopped that and you can only see Capital city coverage now. Strange huh?


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Reply By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:13

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:13
Regarding call costs, this is whay I got charged using my Telstra sim in my 9500 Sat phone : Date 04 June 2009
Item 247dbMn3
Place Iridium
Time 16:52
Duration 00:40
Full Price $5.290
Total $4.020

So go figure! Does't really matter in the scheme of things, only made that call to see for myself if it worked, and it did.

I am on a plan with TR Telecom, muuuuuuuch better value than Telstra, and only have to be connected to a 3 month plan if you wish.

Cheer
Peter
AnswerID: 419137

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:32

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:32
Ditto with TR Telecom.

You can leave the phone on all day without worrying about pesky incoming calls, and you can turn the subscription or or off every day. Off is $1.50 per day and of is $3.00 per day.

Call cost is cheaper and free email to SMS

ONLY problem is that Telstra and Optus users can't SMS to you ( but you can SMS to them).

Great service

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Follow Up By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:59

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:59
Howdy Boobook, don't know about your pricing but I pay $15.00 a month with account de-activated {on standby}, or $30.00 per month with my account active, if active for 9 days I only pay the $30.00 month rate for 9 days and not the whole month like Telstra. I can't sms anybody with my 9500 phone.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 18:29

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 18:29
You are right Peter,

I meant 50c per day deactivated and $1.00 activated. I was getting my daily and monthly charges mixed up.

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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:23

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:23
Well Krakka your per minute cost is higher than TELSTRAS as if you read my

post you will see I paid $3.77 for a 1 minute call In November 2009 charged

to my account in Jan 2010

And that is the only charge I have had in 2 years use of the phone

(in the very occasional time its turned on)

Optus and Voafone cant SMS to you when using a Telstra sim in the Satfone either
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Reply By: Charles Jenkinson - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:21

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:21
Hi guys,

I've also been thinking about the Iridium 9555 on Telstra using my NextG sim card. I spoke to a salesperson in Perth today from an independent supplier, aiming to find out the best price to purchase a handset outright. Looking at Ebay and some other suppliers, I know you can purchase a satellite phone for cheaper than $2695.

After some surfing, I read the Telstra Mobile Satellite Service Customer Terms available from the bottom of this page:

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/networks/network_info/satellite.cfm

Section 6 provides information pertaining to "Charges for using a Telstra cellular mobile SIM card in a satellite handset/device".

According to their Terms and Conditions Section 6.7 (as on 03 June 2010):

If you use a Telstra Mobile (GSM) SIM card in a satellite service handset/device your service coverage:

(a) in Australia will be limited to the coverage of Telstra’s GSM mobile network;

and

(b) outside Australia will be limited to the coverage of Telstra’s GSM mobile network and international roaming service.

So, by the letter of their own laws, the Salesman was correct in stating that you can use the Iridium network within the Telstra GSM mobile network.

HOWEVER:

I fail to see how Telstra could enforce this. And anecdotally, many members of this forum have recently stated that their phones work outside of usual GSM range.

So what we have is acknowledgment by Telstra that the SIM cards will indeed work in Iridium 9xxx series phones, however they only guarantee them to work in GSM coverage areas.

Denying access to stations outside of GSM coverage would be technically improbable if you consider that to do this the Satellite Phone (which operates on an entirely different band to GSM/NextG) would either have to pinpoint/use GSM towers (which they can't), or locate the station's position on the map and overly it accurately against a map of network coverage This seems unlikely for two reasons - the logistics of pinpointing someone's location accurately on a map from one satellite, and the fact that Telstra and Iridium are businesses - with the daylight robbery their users willingly let them get away with when using ordinary post-paid NextG SIM cards, why would they deny the calls?

What the Salesman did say, likely as an attempted sales pitch, was that he had spoken to many Telstra clients who had used the NextG SIM trick, who reported that the reliability of connecting to satellites with these non-satellite SIMs was decreasing. He stated that many customers were changing over to his SIM cards and billing arrangements.

Are there any Telstra post-paid users who can verify that the reliability of connecting to satellites has decreased in recent times?

Also, would people be able to kindly provide what model of Iridium phone they have had work with Telstra post-paid SIMs?

Charles

________________________
Charles Jenkinson
Perth, Western Australia

Gracie "The Grey Ghost"
1991 Toyota Landcruiser GXL
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358,133km and counting!
AnswerID: 419399

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:47

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:47
My Moto 9505 continues to work as well as ever !

Sounds like a desperate sales pitch to me !
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Follow Up By: Charles Jenkinson - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:49

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 16:49
Thought it might be...

Anyone perhaps using the 9555 on a post paid NextG SIM?
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Follow Up By: George_M - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:33

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:33
My Motorola 9505A has worked flawlessly for the past three years - have used Telstra Next G and Telstra GSM sims.

Sounds like a desperate sales pitch to me too.
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