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Can you buy phones from the US and use them on Bell's system?

Hi folks: I'm looking to replace 2 Nokia 252's for my son and wife. They use them for emergency / infrequent calling. My wife's is on the Solo plan and my son's is on Bell's Canada 150 plan. My son cracked the display on his, and my wife simply would like a smaller phone for her purse.

I have been looking at Ebay's listings of used cellular phones and I'm getting the impression that if it's analog (like Startacs or Nokia 282's, etc.) it doen't matter if the phone was originally set to Bell Mobility. Is this true? Could I buy phones from the US and use them here on Bell's system? Can I set them up myself or do I need to go to a Bell store? How does it work for digital service (if I move up to CDMA)? Do those have to be originally "locked" to Bell? Can they be unlocked and re-set for Bell's system if I were to buy compatible phones that were originally on a US carier's system? Does Bell support this? or are there issues around this? Any help you can give this confused guy would be appreciated.

hi im selling a nokia 282 phones if you are interested in buying it for your son

price is $100.00 if you want one

First of all, FIDO doesnt have any analog network, if ur kid and wife have analog phones its probably because they located in a weak are. So yeah gg ur FIDO wont work.

The answer is YES, you can buy any Startac or DPC650 or nokia 252, 282 or anyother analog phones and put it under the network of any carrier.

The agent wont care, because for the company ur still a new customer so they dont care on what phone (would be VERY DIFFERENT IF IT WAS A DIGITAL PHONE!)

Now as for the Analog network disappearing ... Not true... in maybe 10 years from now, but for now all they do is not investing anymore on the analog network, but they not gonan remove the towers, they just gonna wait they fall by themselves... bell (and telus) still sale tri-mod phones with the analog frequency on it up and running for the years to come.

was a pleasure to help you!

Thanks Cyrus. You pretty much confirmed what seems to be more a policy issue the carriers have.

I did buy an old Startac off Ebay for $20 that was Bell Mobility and the local agent switched my wife's no. to it no problemo. Since I programmed the phone myself, they did not charge me for this.

I asked about buying a digital phone off Ebay and that's when the tap-dancing started. While they will not come out and say point blank it must be their phone, they did tell me that I probably won't get it to work, and it is the the other carrier that prevents them from activating the phone, not them. (Some crap about zapping it or something ... wierd stuff). Personally ... I believe it is likely a planned arrangement between the carriers and the manufacturers to control the market. (Remember the early days of telephones (or not ... you may not be old enough)? Ma Bell OWNED all the phones and you had to rent each and every one of them from her. Eventually, they lost that monopoly on court challenge (it took several years), and I'm betting eventually they (and the others) lose this one too. At that point, cell phones will go where phones went, from strictly controlled (which means a ton of money when you work out the rental over several years) to $18.99 at Wal-Mart. You'll hook up to anyone's service you have an agreement with, much like your regular old phone now .... watch and see.) Anyhow, for now it ain't worth the risk or hassle. Might as well stay with Bell (at least short term).

Incidentally, the agent told me that fooling around with this analog stuff may be entertaiing for a short while, but he claims Bell has told him in 6 to 8 months analog will be no more (he claims Bell is tearing down antennas as we speak), so he advised I start planning my switch-over to digital now.

I looked at Roger's family plan ... 2 phones for $35 per month and share 200 minutes. Buy the first phone and the 2nd one is free. The 2 phones can talk to each other (locally) all day long for free. Bell has no plan that even comes close. If Bell pulls the analog plug, so to speak, Rogers may have 2 new customers.

I will look into FIDO, but I live in an iffy area, far from the digital heart-land, so to speak.


Glad to hear that it answered your question!

yeh..if bell does go to digital, i'd ditch fido once and for all..haha..

Just remember to read the small text if you go on a family plan, it seems like a good deal, but 1) ur sharing minutes 2) it's not free when you call each other with your family phones ...just becareful when you select ur provider and their plans.

- Cyrus

Hey Rick,

First off, Welcome to!

> I'm getting the impression that if it's analog (like Startacs or Nokia 282's, etc.) it doen't matter if the phone was originally set to Bell Mobility. Is this true?

No. It CAN be done, but I dont think both Telus nor Bell would do it because it is kinda "illegal" if you will to use a phone that is not from its provider.

I would recommend Fido just because they use GSM, which uses those small chips and is more flexible in the long run if you plan on upgrading or changing handsets. But their coverage is a bit "eh".

Hope this helps..with a lil' GSM blurb to follow..

- Cyrus

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