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phones not tied to a plan

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my wife has the most basic plan cingular offers (offered - i don't think they even have it anymore). it's basically an emergency plan - 10 bucks a month, pay by the minute... she never uses it. anyway, she got it 5 years ago, and now feels self conscious because her phone is 'ghetto' - she wants a new phone. according to cingular, she's elegible for an upgrade only if she upgrades her service plan - which goes up to $50/mo. not gonna happen. i see phones for sale on ebay, amazon, etc - would it be possible to register one of those phones with her existing service (she's got TDMA, not GSM), w/o upgrading her plan? How does one do so? If possible (and i have to believe it is, else no one would be selling phones w/o plans attached to them), i assume everythign would stay the same - same phone number, same plan etc...

Thanks for any help!


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Not entirely familiar with how CDMA works but if I remember correctly it's not as simple as with GSM phones where you merely swap the sim card from one device to another...

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I didn't think there was any difference??

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