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  1.    #1  
    My workplace is offering me a Treo free as a PDA with the option to use it as a phone. However, it is a Cingular linked phone. I'm already tied into an AT&T contract. Can I use the Treo with my existing AT&T service?
  2. #2  
    In short, YES, you should be able to. Read on for details...

    As you may know, phones from each individual carrier are locked. Locked means that a Cingular phone will only take a Cingular SIM. AT&T phone will only take an AT&T SIM, etc. They do this just to screw you, really, but also because they subsidize the cost of the handset and want to tie you to them. This is why you can get it for $550 or less instead of the full $700 price.

    This holds true with the T-Mobile and AT&T GSM Treos but from what I've read the Cingular Treos are UNLOCKED. I can't confirm this, but that's what I've been reading, so you might be in luck. The only way to know is to try.
    Here are some threads that talk about it, you might want to search the internet and these forums for "cingular Treo unlocked" to get a better idea.
    Here's one, but it doesn't say much:
    This one claims ALL Cingular Treo 600's are unlocked:

    If in fact the Cingular Treo is unlocked you should be able to simply put your AT&T wireless SIM (from your existing AT&T phone) into the Cingular Treo and it should work on your AT&T account. You should be able to use a SIM from ANY GSM carrier.

    When I bought my TREO, I paid full price (did not get a carrier subsidy) and bought it directly from Palm at one of the palm retail stores without a cellular service plan. I paid premium simply to ensure that I got an unlocked phone so I can use it on any carrier. As coincidence would have it, rather than getting an "international/generic" version which is what I expected, they gave me a cingular unlocked phone (same difference to me) which also backs up the theory that all Cingular Treos may be unlocked. While it's possible that some are, and some aren't, I've not heard of a single Cingular being locked yet.

    There is a way to ask the Treo if it's unlocked. On the phone keypad dial:
    *#*#777# (then press 'dial')
    If it's unlocked it will say "The SIM lock has been removed from the phone."
    The only catch is that you have to have a working SIM in the Treo on an active wireless acount to do this and chances are if you've gotten that far you already know it's locked or unlocked.. If you dial this test string without a SIM in it will say "the SIM lock has NOT been removed".
    If you know someone at work that already has this phone and they're using it on Cingular, ask them to dial this test code and see what it says.

    I just switched from AT&T to Cingular (and I'll be payibg the fee for breaking my contract.) because Cingular's unlimited data plan is so much cheaper (I'll be saving $45/month.)

    Now finally, if you do this and want to switch the Treo's firmware to the AT&T version, I can tell you how to do that (instructions are online.) but it's not necessary whatsoever unless you want AT&T's mobile office application that ties in to their pay service (Just annoying if you ask me.)
    Last edited by taylorh; 07/10/2004 at 11:45 PM.

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