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really_only_one_question's profile

2 Messages

Saturday, February 24th, 2024 12:21 PM

Buy a cellphone in US, use overseas permanently?

Buy a cellphone in US, use overseas permanently? Hello. Can I buy an ATT cell phone in US, take it with me to Taiwan and use it permanently there? I really only want to send and rec'v text messages with it, not make or receive calls.

Accepted Solution

ACE - Master

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10.4K Messages

2 months ago

You’ll really need to buy an unlocked phone to do what you want, and AT&T only sells phones that are locked to their network.  I assume that you want to use a local SIM in Taiwan, correct?  Then you’ll need an unlocked phone.  You can buy an unlocked phone from the manufacturer.

Accepted Solution

ACE - Expert

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32K Messages

2 months ago

An unlocked phone is just to use another carrier's SIM, so another service. It does not allow you to transfer a United States number overseas. To have a U.S. number means international roaming charges.

So living overseas means get a local service and phone number. Sorry but carriers cover their region/country.

ACE - Professor

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3K Messages

2 months ago

ACE - Scholar

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978 Messages

2 months ago

Best to buy unlocked phones, not phones tied to a carrier.

Note that ATT phones, if used on an ATT postpaid account, can't be unlocked for 60 days.  ATT phones for prepaid is 6 months of usage.

Also, note that if you buy a phone at some place like Best Buy, to be very careful that you are buying unlocked.  For iPhones, I think some reps are not properly trained.  Many of their iPhones are actually flex locked, but they say they are unlocked.  And wouldn't be usable in Taiwan unless you go through the unlock period I mentioned above.

2 months ago

The key is, I want to be able to rec'v text messages **to a US phone number, from a US phone company** while living overseas. Do unlocked phones have that ability?

ACE - Sage

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117K Messages

2 months ago

You should never buy a carrier phone if you intend to use on another carrier.  

All US carriers sell locked phones for a 60 day minimum.  

ATT phones are sold locked until they qualify for unlocking.

AT&T Androids will never update out of the USA.  

The key is, I want to be able to rec'v text messages **to a US phone number, from a US phone company** while living overseas. Do unlocked phones have that ability?

This sounds like you want to continue to have service with a US service provider in order to have a United States phone number.  

I have purchased unlocked phones from the manufacturer for years. They work perfectly well on AT&T Verizon and T-Mobile.  If your intention is to maintain a US service plan and use it abroad just to receive text messages and two-factor authentication codes, AT&T is not your best option. Please look into Google Fi or T-Mobile.  

(edited)

ACE - Scholar

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978 Messages

2 months ago

@really_only_one_question Yes, unlocked phones have that capability.  I have an unlocked iPhone that works with ATT and Visible.  If I'm in a country that supports ATT Wi-Fi calling, I presumably could receive and send text messages using that phone and the US number.  ATT locked phones also have this capability, but you wouldn't be able to use a local SIM in addition to the ATT line.

If you want your number to be on ATT, make sure that the phone is on the ATT whitelist https://www.att.com/scmsassets/support/wireless/devices-working-on-att-network.pdf or you won't be able to use it.

Also note that the cheapest ATT account is the annual $300 prepaid account.  

To reiterate.  A locked ATT phone will ONLY work with ATT service.  Won't work with local overseas SIMS. 

Likely best to figure out what service and plan you want, then look for a phone that is compatible with it.

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