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iPhone Hardware and Accessories Discuss iPhone hardware

Using iPhone 5s Overseas


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Across

 
Member Since: Jan 16, 2012
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Hi guys. I live in the U.S. and have never had a smartphone. My ISP is AT&T, so I'll probably use that for my phone, to have it all on the same bill. I want a 5s model that works well both in the States and in China. What do I need to know in my situation, concerning GSM, LTE, SIM cards, locked/unlocked phones and all that? Thanks!
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chscag

 
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An AT&T iPhone should work OK in China but you'll need a sim card from a provider in China when you get there. As far as LTE is concerned, I don't know if it's available in China. There are various schemes of what we call LTE, so it depends on what they're using (if anything) there.
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Across

 
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Thanks! I'm starting to read that Verizon is better for overseas (i.e. non-U.S.) travel b/c it can accept more frequencies and comes unlocked. Can anyone here share their thoughts/experiences concerning that matter?
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chscag

 
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Actually, the best GSM iPhone for overseas in the one being sold by T-Mobile since it comes unlocked. Verizon iPhones use CDMA which is not compatible with GSM. China uses GSM not CDMA.
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Across

 
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I thought that the Verizon 5s uses CDMA in the U.S. but allows for GSM when outside of the U.S. Also, I thought that the Verizon phone comes unlocked, allowing its users to pop in a sim card when overseas and thus being a world phone. All the while, being generally more reliable than a T-Moble 5s while being in the States. Not true?
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chscag

 
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It's true that Verizon has better coverage in the US than T-Mobile or AT&T. I don't know if Verizon's phones can be used overseas as GSM and if they are unlocked. I do know if you use a Verizon iPhone in the US and you're on contract, that phone is locked. You'll have to ask Verizon about how to use their phone in China. But I can tell you this... is that T-Mobile is the only carrier who will sell you an unlocked iPhone 5s or 5c without a contract. Both AT&T and Verizon will require a two year contract. Of course you can always buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple and use it where ever you like.

Here in the Dallas Fort Worth area where I live, T-Mobile has great coverage and is as reliable as Verizon or AT&T. However, once you're in the boon docks, the Verizon coverage is much better. My iPad 3 uses Verizon LTE cellular and I get a signal most anywhere.
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Jackie11

 
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Just get an unlock version and when you fly to china, get a sim card from there.
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