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Cellular Phones/activating already-owned AT&T phones


I've been hours on the att site trying to understand this but can't get it.  You are always so helpful.

I have two inactive AT&T phones:  a Blackberry Edge 8310 and a Samsung SGH-A177.  I understand one must go to the AT&T store to purchase new SIMs for already-owned phones.  What I hope to learn:

1.  Can each of these phones be used for all of their plans, ie,
   subscription, prepaid, and as a go-phone?

2.  If the user just wants to talk and text, must s/he buy a data
   plan in order to use the Blackberry and the Samsung?

3.  If, for some reason, you wanted to be an AT&T customer, and
   you had access to these two phones, and you wanted to talk
   and text, how would you approach selecting a plan etc that
   would be most cost effective?

Thank you.

So, thanks for the kind words. Here's the answers to your questions:

AT&T and Sprint and Verizon all require both a voice plan and a data plan on a SmartPhone. Your BlackBerry is s SmartPhone so if you activate service on it, AT&T will require both a voice plan and a data plan.  The Samsung phone you mentioned is a quick messaging phone and doesn't require a data plan. There are data plans for feature phones but they aren't required. Also that Samsung phone is a prepaid phone so requires a prepaid SIM card plan The BlackBerry is a post paid phone so only works with a post paid plan. So in answer to your question, no they cannot be used for postpaid and prepaid (prepaid is Go phone). It's one or the other. Text messaging is a separate feature and you can add it to any plan and is included in Mobile Share. I wouldn't recommend using both phones unless the BlackBerry is going to be your main phone because the data plan wont be necessary on on the Samsung. Set up your service with the BlackBerry and get a voice data and text plan and you can move the SIM to the Samsung at any time. BUt if you set up on the Samsung, when you switch the BlackBerry, AT&T will force you to get a data plan.

The least expensive plan if you want unlimited voice and text is Mobile Share which is going to be between $30 and $45 a month based upon what data plan you get. Data on MObile Share starts at around $40.00.

There are other plans too that you can see on their web site. I hope this helps.  

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I can answer questions on cellular phones, the physical device, the network, contracts, billing, ordering, porting and what to look for when purchasing cell phones. I am located in the United States. I am an expert on BlackBerrys, Treos, HTC devices and iPhones as well as cellphones and aircards. I have over 15 years of experience in both the wireless and wireline world with the carriers. I have a lot of knowledge regarding the wireless providers - their services, prices and policies, both GSM AT&T and T-Mobile) and CDMA (Verizon, Sprint/Nextel). I am very familiar with the individual devices and their specifications. I can also answer questions regarding BlackBerrys, iPhones and other PDAs, both Palm-based and Windows-based. I can troubleshoot most any problem someone is having with their cellular device or with the provider.


Over 20 years in the Telecom industry working for the carriers with individuals, small business, medium business and large corporations(Fortune 500). Also worked as a professor in Maryland for 10 years teaching telecommunications.

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Master's in Telecommunications

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Received several awards for papers that I have published over the years

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