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Phone #213429
01/09/2020 03:35 PM
01/09/2020 03:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 119
worcester ma.
bigkahona Offline OP
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bigkahona  Offline OP
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Posts: 119
worcester ma.
I will be in St Marteen for 5 weeks I can buy a 3G phone for $50 here at Best Buy.What are the pro and cons of buying it here and using it in St Marteen.Miss my old friend Sharon for rentals

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Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213437
01/09/2020 04:43 PM
01/09/2020 04:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Ohio
Originally Posted by bigkahona
I will be in St Marteen for 5 weeks I can buy a 3G phone for $50 here at Best Buy.What are the pro and cons of buying it here and using it in St Marteen.Miss my old friend Sharon for rentals

Make sure it is an unlocked phone.


J.D.
Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213441
01/09/2020 05:00 PM
01/09/2020 05:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,368
SXMWendell Offline
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SXMWendell  Offline
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We used whatsap to communicate. to back home and local calls.

No extrs costs.

Wendell

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213443
01/09/2020 05:20 PM
01/09/2020 05:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 582
Rhode Island
Bluesfan Offline
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Bluesfan  Offline
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Rhode Island
Make sure 3G works in SXM. I seem to remember that a 4G was needed.

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213448
01/09/2020 05:49 PM
01/09/2020 05:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Newtown, CT
I have an iPhone 7 with an island number. But honestly my phone in CT worked fine in most places. I kept cellular data off and hooked up with Wi-Fi where ever I was. With Verizon you can use “Wi-Fi calling” so you can call anywhere on Wi-Fi with no charge.

Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213455
01/09/2020 06:23 PM
01/09/2020 06:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Exactly....that's been discussed MANY times . That's my go to

..but...full disclosure..it only works when you have wifi...won't work in the car if that's what you want ...AND ....making a SXM local call on wifi WILL have a charge attached..not a biggie but should be upfront with it

Calling the USA or getting calls from the USA (convenient home cell number) works great and zip charge, I've used it in many countries

Last edited by boucharda; 01/09/2020 06:24 PM.
Re: Phone [Re: boucharda] #213457
01/09/2020 06:40 PM
01/09/2020 06:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Newtown, CT
Hmm. Verizon told me I can call anywhere on Wi-Fi and it won’t cost? I’ll see what my bill says and report back next month. I just “googled” and what I read isn’t what I was told!!! So we shall see just what the cost is!

Last edited by kim; 01/09/2020 06:43 PM.
Re: Phone [Re: boucharda] #213460
01/09/2020 06:48 PM
01/09/2020 06:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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ChiTownHarry  Offline
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Originally Posted by boucharda
Exactly....that's been discussed MANY times . That's my go to

..but...full disclosure..it only works when you have wifi...won't work in the car if that's what you want ...AND ....making a SXM local call on wifi WILL have a charge attached..not a biggie but should be upfront with it

Calling the USA or getting calls from the USA (convenient home cell number) works great and zip charge, I've used it in many countries


AT&T has a similar app called AT&T Smart Wi-Fi. I'm sure other carriers have the same capacity.


--ChiTownHarry
Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213464
01/09/2020 07:20 PM
01/09/2020 07:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 250
Rhode Island
E
eightzerobits Offline
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Rhode Island
In addition to WiFi calling, most of the major carriers have some kind of “day pass” where you only pay if you use the phone for non-WiFi voice and data. AT&T offers it for $10 per day. It was nice to know we had it in case of emergency while driving around. But we only used it on our last day at the airport.

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213469
01/09/2020 08:36 PM
01/09/2020 08:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,960
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Auburn, WA
Verizon has the 10.00 day pass too. WhatsApp works great on island. Used widly by many locals and restaurants also. Just need WiFi and the person your calling has to have the app too.

Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213496
01/10/2020 08:37 AM
01/10/2020 08:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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Quote
Hmm. Verizon told me I can call anywhere on Wi-Fi and it won’t cost? I’ll see what my bill says and report back next month


Yup...that's what I thought and maybe it was a glitch but when I was in Aruba and called the car rental place it cost me a tad under two bucks which was still cheaper than the $10/day plan. With that said I did just find this:

Quote
Does Verizon WiFi calling work internationally?
You can make and receive calls over Wi-Fi even if you're outside the Verizon network coverage area. Wi-Fi calls always originate in the US, even when you're outside of the US. ... Calls to international numbers are billed according to your international long distance plan.


But, again, all calls to the USA and from contacts in the USA are no charge

...and...you can go online and check your current charges and not have to wait for a bill

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213503
01/10/2020 09:44 AM
01/10/2020 09:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,978
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
If you have an unlocked phone that you use at home, you can purchase a Chippie sim card and swap it out on the island. The best place to do that is at Tech Hub in the Carrefour store at the roundabout in Philipsburg (next to Mark's). WiFi is great, but if you're in the car and have an emergency, you can't make a call. And WiFi on the island isn't very reliable in many places.

Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213507
01/10/2020 10:08 AM
01/10/2020 10:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,712
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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Connecticut
Kim, we used WIFI calling and there is a charge for a local call.
I think it was around $2 to call a restaurant. Otherwise it worked great for us.
Next time I will use WhatsApp, since they say most businesses have it.


My phone also has the $10 plan set up on it for emergencies. I keep it on Airplane Mode, the same as shutting off Cellular data, I believe.
The question I have is do you turn off Airplane Mode, when you need to use it for the $10 plan?
I don't want it to start roaming and have further charges.

Last edited by The_Lurker; 01/10/2020 10:15 AM.
Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213512
01/10/2020 10:34 AM
01/10/2020 10:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 361
Sarasota, Florida
deputydog1157 Offline
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deputydog1157  Offline
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Posts: 361
Sarasota, Florida
When I was in SXM I left my Verizon serviced Galaxy S7 phone in airplane mode and just turned on wi-fi. I needed to call home and we were not within wi-fi reception so I had to take it off airplane mode to make the call. I left it out of airplane mode the rest of the day and texted. Since it is for a 24 hour period I figured I'd use my hone as usual and I made sure to go back to airplane mode before the 24 hour period expired. My next month's bill showed only the additional $10 charge.



[Linked Image]
Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213514
01/10/2020 10:40 AM
01/10/2020 10:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 126
Long Island, New York
CaribJoe Offline
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CaribJoe  Offline
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Long Island, New York
I was recently in SXM with an unlocked 3G phone which I thought would work with a Chippie SIM card. The Tech Hub phone store at Carrefore supermarket next to Mark's Place said that although a minimum of 3G was required, my phone was designed for US use only. I ended up buying their cheapest phone with SIM card for $70., which included about 30 minutes of time. The SIM card expires in 30 days and can only be topped up by you (or someone on your behalf with your number) while on island. A replacement SIM card alone was said to cost $25. Hope this was helpful.

Re: Phone [Re: CaribJoe] #213517
01/10/2020 10:59 AM
01/10/2020 10:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Ohio
The prices of a SIM card can vary from place to place. I found them from around $18 to as high as $30 and all included some time. UTS had the lowest price on the SIM card and some of the smaller groceries were about the same price ($18-$20). Tech Hub is very helpful and knowledgeable and was one of the few places that had a working "Topup Card" machine in the past, although I found more of the machines available in March. If you can find a "Topup Card" you can remotely add funds to your phone and keep the number active. You put funds on the card and transfer to your phone. The SIM/number used to be good for 60 days (as is mine) and all you had to do was add $1 every 58 days or so and your SIM and number are good to go.


J.D.
Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213530
01/10/2020 01:11 PM
01/10/2020 01:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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ChiTownHarry  Offline
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Posts: 748
Chicago area & St-Martin
If you spend a lot of time on the French side, you may want to consider a French SIM card for your unlocked phone. They are available from Dauphin Telecom


--ChiTownHarry
Re: Phone [Re: The_Lurker] #213535
01/10/2020 02:35 PM
01/10/2020 02:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,737
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Massachusetts
Originally Posted by The_Lurker


My phone also has the $10 plan set up on it for emergencies. I keep it on Airplane Mode, the same as shutting off Cellular data, I believe.
The question I have is do you turn off Airplane Mode, when you need to use it for the $10 plan?
I don't want it to start roaming and have further charges.


Exactly as DeputyDog said...ten bucks for the 24 hour period so you my as well leave it on for the day and then put it back in Airplane mode

The emergency backup is well worth it if you need the phone away from a wifi signal and costs nothing unless you have to use it...

Another full disclosure....with wifi calling we were not able to access our voicemails...we just called the person back since it showed as a missed call anyway

Re: Phone [Re: Bluesfan] #213544
01/10/2020 03:55 PM
01/10/2020 03:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,087
Southport, North Carolina, US
candj Offline
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Southport, North Carolina, US
We went to UTS store to find a SIM card for a Samsung Galaxy S4 and were told it had to be a Samsung 5 or higher to effectively use a SIM card.


Fair winds and following seas!
SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom!
SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Re: Phone [Re: candj] #213554
01/10/2020 05:26 PM
01/10/2020 05:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Posts: 16,666
Ohio
Originally Posted by candj
We went to UTS store to find a SIM card for a Samsung Galaxy S4 and were told it had to be a Samsung 5 or higher to effectively use a SIM card.

I am by no means a smart phone expert but my Samsung Galaxy J2 Core works just fine on SXM. I bought the phone March 2019 at Boolchands and got the SIM card at the UTS store in Philipsburg, it worked just fine in Nov. 2019 also.


J.D.
Re: Phone [Re: candj] #213561
01/10/2020 07:27 PM
01/10/2020 07:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 582
Rhode Island
Bluesfan Offline
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Bluesfan  Offline
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Posts: 582
Rhode Island
Originally Posted by candj
We went to UTS store to find a SIM card for a Samsung Galaxy S4 and were told it had to be a Samsung 5 or higher to effectively use a SIM card.

I recommend going to tech hub in Carrefour mkt. I have found the sales people at UTS to be less then knowledgeable.

Re: Phone [Re: ruralcarrier] #213566
01/10/2020 11:56 PM
01/10/2020 11:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 148
ballston lake
J
johnhill Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 148
ballston lake
Were you able to text with the UTS sim card? I purchased a Chippie card last January and was not able to text to the USA. Are you able to use the Samsung Galaxy J2 in the USA? Heading back to SXM 1/18/20 for a month and would like to be able to text to family at home. Thanks

Re: Phone [Re: johnhill] #213567
01/11/2020 06:52 AM
01/11/2020 06:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Posts: 16,666
Ohio
Originally Posted by johnhill
Were you able to text with the UTS sim card? I purchased a Chippie card last January and was not able to text to the USA. Are you able to use the Samsung Galaxy J2 in the USA? Heading back to SXM 1/18/20 for a month and would like to be able to text to family at home. Thanks

Sorry, I can not help you on the texting part as I do not text much at home (flip phone) to begin with. Perhaps someone else on here can help with that or I would direct you to Tech Hub, perhaps even message Tech Hub via their facebook page. TECH HUB

The phone is a dual SIM and unlocked so it should work in the US. I have my local carrier's SIM for it but have not activated it as I still prefer my old flip phone. Many on here use a dual SIM card phone and do so both in the US and on the island. You can buy the same phone on Amazon or on the island for around $80-$100, current price. Prices were all over the place on the island. I paid $105 for the phone and a case and the SIM was $18 at UTS.


J.D.
Re: Phone [Re: johnhill] #213574
01/11/2020 09:10 AM
01/11/2020 09:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
Originally Posted by johnhill
Were you able to text with the UTS sim card? I purchased a Chippie card last January and was not able to text to the USA. Are you able to use the Samsung Galaxy J2 in the USA? Heading back to SXM 1/18/20 for a month and would like to be able to text to family at home. Thanks


Yes. You just need to turn on data on your phone. I never could and popped into the Mailbox and they showed me what to do. Well they did if for me!!!

Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213575
01/11/2020 09:30 AM
01/11/2020 09:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,173
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Maryland/DC Metro
Mailbox is super helpful (at least for me they were). These are the instructions to enable data on your Chippie SIM for the first time.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


CaribJoe, you don’t have to be on island to keep your phone number active. As Rural said, you can get a TopUp card and add $1 every so often….OR…remember to go to the Chippie site and keep extending the time. Click check phone expiration, and if it is within two weeks you may extend it:

http://buychippieonline.com/faq.aspx


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Phone [Re: johnhill] #213577
01/11/2020 09:54 AM
01/11/2020 09:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 126
Long Island, New York
CaribJoe Offline
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CaribJoe  Offline
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Long Island, New York
Originally Posted by johnhill
Were you able to text with the UTS sim card? I purchased a Chippie card last January and was not able to text to the USA. Are you able to use the Samsung Galaxy J2 in the USA? Heading back to SXM 1/18/20 for a month and would like to be able to text to family at home. Thanks


I, too, wasn't able to text to the US with the Chippie SIM card.

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213578
01/11/2020 10:25 AM
01/11/2020 10:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
Hmm. I just looked at my island phone I have an iPhone 7. I had open “cellular”. Opened Cellular Data Network, went to APN and typed PREMIUM. Then was able to text my son in the US.

Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213585
01/11/2020 12:31 PM
01/11/2020 12:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,173
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Maryland/DC Metro
Exactly!

And Carib...you have to actually do something on your phone to activate the data portion. And don't forget to dial the international number to the US.

I even used my cell at the airport to create a hotspot for my laptop while we waited for the flight home.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Phone [Re: BeachKitten] #213592
01/11/2020 01:28 PM
01/11/2020 01:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,175
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,175
Central Florida!
BeachKitten--just sit and drink at the bar at the airport and get free wifi from them! toast


Carol Hill
Re: Phone [Re: BeachKitten] #213594
01/11/2020 01:31 PM
01/11/2020 01:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,368
SXMWendell Offline
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SXMWendell  Offline
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Posts: 7,368
Last trip I used the free airport wifi...albiet slow. Wife talked to he sister in Memphis for about 45 minutes...using whatsap

W.

Re: Phone [Re: SXMWendell] #213599
01/11/2020 01:58 PM
01/11/2020 01:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,173
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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I needed a secure connection to make some banking transfers. wink


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Phone [Re: BeachKitten] #213617
01/11/2020 03:51 PM
01/11/2020 03:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,175
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Central Florida!
Oh, different issue..


Carol Hill
Re: Phone [Re: kim] #213619
01/11/2020 03:52 PM
01/11/2020 03:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 148
ballston lake
J
johnhill Offline
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ballston lake
Kim; Thanks-does MAilbox in Simpson Bay sell the Chippie sim cards?

Re: Phone [Re: johnhill] #213626
01/11/2020 04:10 PM
01/11/2020 04:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Ohio
Yes, they do sell the SIM cards but were one of the more expensive places. $30 from what I recall but if you are close, go there.


J.D.
Re: Phone [Re: johnhill] #213627
01/11/2020 04:15 PM
01/11/2020 04:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,421
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Newtown, CT
Originally Posted by johnhill
Kim; Thanks-does MAilbox in Simpson Bay sell the Chippie sim cards?

Yes. I don’t remember the cost but they were very convenient.

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213635
01/11/2020 06:45 PM
01/11/2020 06:45 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 731
C
CaribLee Offline
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Good information. I have been a Verizon customer for years but recently changed to Straight Talk. In years past, I used wifi calling to call/receive calls from the US. Straight talk does not offer calling outside the US (or US territories) and I understand that wifi calling will not work as well. So.....I'm looking at purchasing a phone to bring with me, purchase a local sim card and use this phone while in St. Maarten. I want to make sure I purchase a phone that will work with the local sim card. I know the phone must be unlocked. Does it matter if it is a GSM or CDMA phone? I understand GSM is used in most countries outside the US so I'm assuming that would be the choice. Do I need to worry about sim card size? Many sim cards now are sold with adaptors so they work in standard, micro and nano sizes. I do plan on purchasing a 4g LTE phone so that won't be an issue. Anything else I need to take into account when purchasing a phone? Thanks in advance.

Re: Phone [Re: bigkahona] #213637
01/11/2020 06:59 PM
01/11/2020 06:59 PM
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Posts: 731
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CaribLee Offline
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I should add, I don't need data. Just want a phone I can call and text back to the states and make local (SintMaarten/Saint Martin) calls.

Re: Phone [Re: CaribLee] #213638
01/11/2020 07:12 PM
01/11/2020 07:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,173
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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Originally Posted by CaribLee
I should add, I don't need data. Just want a phone I can call and text back to the states and make local (SintMaarten/Saint Martin) calls.


A compatible smartphone is required: double check if you have a smartphone device with the following frequencies: 3G/4G: 700/800/900 MHz

Several trips ago before I decided I wanted data and to use one of my old iPhones, I bought an unlocked phone (dual sim) on Amazon SUPER inexpensive. Just be sure it is compatible via the above. wink


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Phone [Re: ruralcarrier] #213639
01/11/2020 07:13 PM
01/11/2020 07:13 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,173
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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Originally Posted by ruralcarrier
Yes, they do sell the SIM cards but were one of the more expensive places. $30 from what I recall but if you are close, go there.


Sounds like the one in Carrefour by Marks is the way to go. For price.

I've also bought one at the UTS/Chippie store in P-burg. Topped up the card there as well. Was very inexpensive.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Phone [Re: BeachKitten] #213642
01/11/2020 07:25 PM
01/11/2020 07:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Yep.


J.D.
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