Howto: G1 on ATT&T?
February 24, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Can I get the G1 or G2 (when it comes out) and use it on ATT&T without signing a contract with T-Mobile? More Inside

In the next few months I'll be taking a job that will have me working offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. ATT&T bought the company that has cell phone coverage offshore, they charge an arm and a leg for talk time, but data and texts are free (within your plan anyway). I want to take advantage of this.
I want a G1 (prefer a G2 when they come out in the next few months), but want to use ATT&T for the reasons listed above.
Right now I have a 2 year contract with Verizon which expires at the end of next month.
How can I get a G1 or G2 on ATT&T without signing a contract with T-Mobile, and how would the process with ATT&T go? After I signup do I just swap SIM cards?
posted by blackout to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Apparently (I haven't done it) if you sign up as an Android developer (one time $25 fee) you can buy an unlocked G1 for $399. I believe you should just be able to swap the SIM card once you sign up with AT&T.
posted by sharkfu at 5:58 PM on February 24, 2009

Also, the Howard Forums are a great resource for all cell phone / provider questions. There's bound to be people who have unlocked G1s in there.
posted by sharkfu at 6:00 PM on February 24, 2009

Silly question, but why not just get an iPhone?
posted by Oktober at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2009

Reputable dealers like this one sell the G1 unlocked, and it stands to reason that if the G2 is released with support for US GSM/EDGE/HSDPA frequencies they'll carry it too. In theory you should be able to drop an AT&T SIM in there and it should work.
posted by kid_dynamite at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2009

Sorry, missed the end of the question.
As far as how it would work with AT&T, you could just get a free-with-contract phone from them and swap the SIM into your shiny new toy.
posted by kid_dynamite at 6:18 PM on February 24, 2009

Silly question, but why not just get an iPhone?

Because he wants a G1.

Seconding Howard Forums. Here's one thread in particular. There are probably others.
posted by katillathehun at 6:21 PM on February 24, 2009

Yeah, unlock it and it'll work fine. EXCEPT that it won't be running 3G speeds; it'll run a very slow, crappy EDGE speed that'll make you wish you still used a modem to connect to the internet.

Trust me. I have an iPhone and only get EDGE in the office building I work in. It sucks. Really, really sucks. I walk outside, get 3G and I'm happy. I'm inside trying to surf blocked sites (::cough:: MetaFilter) and it's slow as molasses.

Don't do it man.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:28 PM on February 24, 2009

Yeah, T-Mobile 3G and AT&T 3G are at different frequencies for whatever reason. I know people that use AT&T with G1s and they're on EDGE. So to speak.
posted by GuyZero at 6:33 PM on February 24, 2009

The G2 will supposedly be released to multiple carriers so you might not have to do this. If you are looking to not pay for those voice minutes then you can just buy a phone that supports skype mobile.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:12 PM on February 24, 2009

currently the sykpe mobile available on the G1 still uses GSM as the voice carrier, as in, you get a phone call from a local-ish number that then connects you to skype.

The ADP1 mentioned above is a good choice, but it seems to be getting software updates a bit slower than the G1 is getting them via T-mobile. That said, the ADP1 makes it very easy to load whatever flavor of android you want.
posted by jrishel at 6:09 AM on February 25, 2009

Is there an actual time-frame for the G2? I've been hearing about it for almost a year now and have kind of given up.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 AM on February 25, 2009

Kinda similar... I took my 1st Gen iphone to the UK, unlocked and got a t-mobile uk sim. I did the walk-n-web for £5 and it worked... except in the US, EDGE is pretty fast. There I was getting bad EDGE or probably GPRS... VERY SLOW. Ok for email since it would pull every 15 minutes and send while you had it in your pocket, but otherwise sucked.

In the Gulf of Mexico, they might have EDGE for your G2 but will it be decent EDGE or will you be falling back to GPRS?
posted by thilmony at 6:41 AM on February 25, 2009

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