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Buying a cell phone for someone in Cuba

I have been asked to purchase a cell phone for someone in
Cuba. I know I have read some information on this site, but what I need to know is
What kind of phone does one purchase,
Where would a person purchase it
Does it have to be activated here and bought with a plan or do you just buy the phone. I know I can count on the “Many knowledgeable people” here on this site. (even if I can’t spell knowledgeable) Remember I am a woman who is not good on the electronics end of things. And before anyone gets upset, NO, I am not saying all woman can’t understand electronics, just “this woman” Thanks.

If you buy the phone in Canada, make sure it’s a GSM quadband (world phone) with the 900 mhz frequency. You can get them at Fido or Rogers, They are more expensive without a plan, but I’m pretty sure you can buy one without activating it. If you activate it under a local plan in order to pay the monthly bill yourself, you will likely rack up huge bills, as it costs 4$ per minute to make and receive calls on your Fido when you are in Cuba.

You are very generous to consider doing this.

Also make sure it is unlocked cause otherwise it will not work. I bought 2 and brought them down. One was already unlocked when I got it and it worked and is still working fine. The other I had to have it unlocked and it doesnt work and both are quadband. Brought it back and have to go and get it re unlocked yet and bring it down and again and pray this time it works.

Also I was in a cellphone store in Guanabo and actually the price of the cell phones there are not that bad for us but for them its not affordable so you could always get one when you are there for them. I may end up doing that instead just haven’t decided though they still need the sim card which I didnt price there.

Do NOT activate any Canadian cell and take it to Cuba as a gift.

Get on the Internet and buy the cheapest piece of crap unlocked GSM 900 phone you can find. It can be a Dual Band 900/1800, a Tri-Band 900/1800/1900 or a Quad 850/900/1800/1900. The cheapest Dual-Bands are about $60, the low end Tri or Quads are about $90 with shipping and handling.

A locked GSM 900 cell can be unlocked for about 20 CUC in Cuba, so if you have a old Motorola RAZR or something similar lying around it’ll work fine too. People here throw them in the garbage so it shouldn’t be too difficult to track one down…

And don’t forget about the contract YOU will have to sign. The cost was $170.00 Canadain by the time I paid for it on my credit card.
Well I know I had to anyway but that was 3 years ago this spring.
Good Luck…

There’s no contract for the foreigner anymore, BJ. Once you hand the phone over to the Cuban they handle everything on their own from that point. No worries.

How about the power supply in Cuba?
I am also thinking to bring my phone (which I won’t need it anymore) for my friend,but it needs to be unlocked (I don’t know how much it will cost to do that in Canada?),here or in Cuba.And how will they charge it? Do I need to buy power converter for the charger? If that is the case it’s probably cheaper to buy the phone in Cuba? ???

If they’ve asked for a phone they should have the connections to unlock it for very cheaply in Cuba.

No problems with the power either. In homes it’s the same as in Canada.

Thanks martian , I knew,I could count on you :slight_smile:
No,they did not ask for a phone,I offered since I am planning on changing mine.
I just checked the charger and it says 100-240V,so I guess it won’t be a problem anyway.The only thing I probably need is the Adapter plug?

martian,do you know how much they charge in Canada to unlock the phone?

I got one unlocked in Oakville for $25 and the person I gave it to had no problem at all. Had another one unlocked but when the person went to use it, it wouldnt work. When you get them unlocked here you have to tell them to make sure it doesnt have a time limit on the unlocking cause some do. Though I told him to do forever cause I was taking them out of the country for someone. Obvisiously one is fine but the other not. Going to take it again and have it done once more and see what happens or may just take it in somewhere in Cuba and get it done.

OK, I think I have all the information that I need to purchase a phone for someone in Cuba. Thanks to all that posted replies. I have cut and pasted the replies so that I know exactly what I need. This is what is so great about this forum, when you need to know something there is always someone who can advise and guide you. Not only that, this forum also provides a few chuckles here and there. I am still smiling about "RUM, Spot, Rum.