• Feb

    The Quest to Find a Quad Band (4G) GSM World Phone


    A couple of years ago, I was getting ready to go on another trip to the US and Mexico. In preparation, I wanted to get myself a new phone, one that would be quad band (4G) and would support chips that I could install in each country, instead of having to buy a new phone.

    That turned out to be a difficult task. Virtually no one in Victoria seemed to know what I was talking about and I was constantly being told to go to Vancouver, where I could find what I wanted.

    I didn’t want to accept that, so I kept on searching, and eventually found what I was looking for in a store at Hillside mall. They put me in touch with a guy who was a specialist at unlocking phones, which is necessary if you want to use your phone around the world.


    Since I wanted a no frills phone (and no plan – just pay as you go), he recommended the Samsung SGH-j706, for several reasons: it was simple to operate, had good battery life and held together well even if dropped. In short, a durable phone.

    I bought one and arranged to meet the guy at a Starbucks to unlock my phone. With some wizardry and a laptop, he went through a series of numbers punched in on the phone, then handed it back to me, unlocked.

    I paid him my 40 bucks and went on my way, wondering if my phone was actually unlocked or whether I’d just been scammed. There was no way to find out, until I went to Mexico.

    When I arrived in Puerto Vallarta, I went to the main telcel office. After much discussion, I was able to buy a chip for $149 pesos. It also came with $50 pesos of air time.

    Initially, it wouldn’t boot up and I thought I had a dud, but the service person tried again. Lo and behold, it worked. My phone booted up with a telcel logo and service. It serves me well to this day.

    If you’re looking for a quad band GSM phone, I highly recommend the one I got. You won’t be disappointed.


2 responses to “The Quest to Find a Quad Band (4G) GSM World Phone” RSS icon

  • Amazon.com is a great place to buy unlocked quad band phones. They come directly from China, and many of them will hold two sim cards. Apparently, switching between carriers is common in the far east.

    Amazon also has a 45 day no questions asked return policy.

  • This is one of the reasons I bought a Samsung phone. It is permanently unlocked, which makes it easy to switch SIM cards.

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