1. krballer's Avatar
    Hi guys, this is my first post on Crackberry! I've got a few questions, including the use of the Korean equivalent SIM card in a US cell phone. I think my post may be of help to other expats living in Korea and will share this valuable info on a Korean smartphone enthusiast site.

    As for some background, I live and work in S. Korea and have been wanting to buy a Blackberry from the states...probably a Storm 2 since they only have the Bold 9000 here. I've done some research regarding the use of foreign-bought phones to be signed up for the major carriers here such as SK Telecom. Korea is CDMA country but apparently, people can use outside phones if tested and registered by a certification agency.

    The reason why 3G phones are approved here, even the AT&T (GSM) iPhone, is probably because of compatibility with UMTS, which I think goes by WCDMA here (I was told phones with WCDMA 2100 mhz capability will be approved). Seeing that the Storm 2 has UMTS 2100 mhz compatibility, I believe this phone can be used here.

    Please help me with three pertinent questions that will help us expats here~

    1. I'm visiting the states for Thanksgiving and I plan on puchasing and then unlocking the S2 because I travel occasionally to other GSM countries. Is it possible to purchase a phone from Verizon and input the unlock code without having had to activate the phone and sign up for network service? I ask because I'm going right back to Seoul and sign up with a Korean carrier anyway.

    2. Korea calls their SIM equivalent cards "USIM" and all 3G phones sold here have it now. They look exactly like SIM cards and have similar function. Don't know but maybe its actually a RUIM card I've heard about? I'm told I need one to use their service so is it possible to use their USIM card?

    3. Korean phones have a settings option to have all menus and titles in English, which is what I'm using. When sending text messages (SMS), we have the ability to push one button on the fly mid sentence to switch between Korean->English (lower, upper case)->numerals. Will I be able to do the same with the Storm 2? Or will I have to constantly go into some menu to select a language to input different language text? Or even have to download something if it's not built-in?

    Thank you for reading this long post. Your answers will help me greatly and by me passing on this knowledge, you can feel satisfaction of having helped a whole other nation of expats.
    11-10-09 11:36 AM
  2. CellUnlock.net's Avatar
    Hi
    We will try to answer to all your questions to the best of our knowledge. First of all...Welcome to Crackberry.com!

    Answers

    Question 1: Yes you can purchase the phone without activating it with Verizon. Most Verizon stores will not sell it though if you don't take a line with them but you will be able to find it in malls, craigslist or sites like BlackberryEmporium.com. They will most probably sell you the phone already unlocked. If not, we can help you unlock it.

    Question 2: Yes it should be the SIM and you will be able to use it in the Storm or any other GSM Phone.

    Question 3: There is a way to instantly change the language when typing on a Storm 2.

    If you need any more help let us know
    11-11-09 11:23 PM
  3. hechon's Avatar
    A bit late reply but here it goes:

    1. I'm visiting the states for Thanksgiving and I plan on puchasing and then unlocking the S2 because I travel occasionally to other GSM countries. Is it possible to purchase a phone from Verizon and input the unlock code without having had to activate the phone and sign up for network service? I ask because I'm going right back to Seoul and sign up with a Korean carrier anyway.
    My understanding is you have to be Verizon customer in good standing to obtain the unlock code. Alternatively, you can buy Sprint's BB Tour. Sprint's international phones come already unlocked, so you can purchase them without contract and then terminate right away (no penalty). I think you can even purchase with 1 or 2 year commitment and then terminate after the first month and pay the penalty (i think this is around 150-200 so it may be cheaper this way overall).

    2. Korea calls their SIM equivalent cards "USIM" and all 3G phones sold here have it now. They look exactly like SIM cards and have similar function. Don't know but maybe its actually a RUIM card I've heard about? I'm told I need one to use their service so is it possible to use their USIM card?
    I think once I tried putting USIM from SKT on my Sprint Tour and it didn't work (in Sprint's network). You should bring your SKT USIM when you are purchasing your BB and check. Recently i noticed the USIM based phones tend to roam on AT&T network here in US, but it used to be VZW or Sprint. Don't know what's changed.

    3. Korean phones have a settings option to have all menus and titles in English, which is what I'm using. When sending text messages (SMS), we have the ability to push one button on the fly mid sentence to switch between Korean->English (lower, upper case)->numerals. Will I be able to do the same with the Storm 2? Or will I have to constantly go into some menu to select a language to input different language text? Or even have to download something if it's not built-in?
    I am assuming S2 has OS5.0 and has multilanguage support built-in. My Tour didn't and I have to load Korean input enabling cod's. I am not sure about S2, but on my BB Tour, it has a shortcut (Alt+Enter) that shows input menus available as pull down menu (in my case English or Korean) and you just toggle it that way. Not quite one button convenience but no need to go through layers of menus.

    I am curious if you know anything about getting it certified on your own. I have friends in pretty high-up places at SKT and they could not register my Sprint BB Tour on SKT's network so I gave up. I heard there was a way to get it certified yourself but I also heard it's pain in the **** and takes a long time. If you can get this to work, please let me know and I'd love to do the same.

    I am US based and travel to Korea often so I am trying to do this but in your case, why not just buy the BB Bold from SKT and use that?

    -hechon
    12-02-09 07:13 AM
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