I currently have a Nokia 1200 and I've never visited an area where it doesn't work. My phone operates on 900/1800 MHz, so it will not work in the USA. Soon, I will visit the USA for approximately one month, and I might relocate there later. If I understand correctly, 2-G communication inside the USA is either IS-95/CDMA or GSM at 850/1900 MHz. For my upcoming and future visits, I want a simple phone — preferably something similar to my Nokia 1200 — that is pre-paid. I phone very rarely, but it is important that I am able to phone occasionally. Therefore, I am looking to buy a(n) (ultra)basic pre-paid phone for US-only use.
Between IS-95/CDMA phones and GSM 850/1900 MHZ phones, which one would be recommendable considering:
- Coverage, including rural areas (for example, Mammoth Lakes, California)
- Validity of pre-paid credit (if I charge my phone with 10 US$, then not use it for a year, do I still have my credit?)
- Overall costs
- Other factors