GSM in TnT | [05-jul-2004]

GSM in TnT

updated : 05 July 2004


Introduction

This page is about the GSM cellular telephone service offered by TSTT to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

GSM is the: Global System for Mobile Communications. It is a next generation telecommunications service that offers capabilities beyond the traditional voice and text of exisiting cellular services. TSTT is marketing the service under the brand name: “mpower”.

Note: the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) is unable to answer questions about services in other countries.


What are the features of GSM?

GSM offers the same features as the existing TDMA system :

  • Voice calls
  • Call waiting
  • Call hold
  • Call forwarding
  • Caller ID
  • SMS (short messaging service)
  • Per second billing (TSTT will not round the call time up to the nearest minute).
  • Voice Mail (a fee will be applied for playing-back recorded messages while roaming).

In addition to these features:

  • “Call barring of incoming calls while roaming” (block incoming calls while roaming).
  • Ability to roam, that is, use GSM networks outside of Trinidad and Tobago. See this section of the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.
  • Data Services
    The original GSM specification has a data transfer rate of 9.6K. Technologies such as GPRS (general packet radio service) have increased those transfer rates to allow users to browse the Internet, send/receive e-mail. In the near future, users will also be able to take advantage of multimedia services such as streaming audio and video.
  • WAP Internet access. (not available from TSTT at this time)

Data Services, including Internet access, are currently under trial and have not been officially launched at this time (early July 2004). The Services should be launched towards the end of July 2004. Further information about data services can be found at this link.

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Where can I roam with my TSTT-based GSM phone?

The ability to roam with a TSTT-based GSM phone is dependant upon these factors:

  • The GSM frequencies supported by your phone. The TSTT system uses 1800MHz (1.8GHz). If you travel frequently to different areas of the globe then a tri-band phone would be a better investment. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about tri-band phones.
  • Whether or not TSTT has a roaming agreement with the network operator that provides GSM service in the area where you wish to roam. The roaming agreement provides for user authentication, billing procedures and service charges. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.

Reminder: roaming with a cellular phone (either TDMA or GSM) is expensive.

List of countries where TSTT customers have GSM or TDMA roaming capability. More countries will be added to this list as information becomes available:

  • This table is based on TSTT advertisments in the Guardian newspaper (Monday 13 October 2003, pages 36 and 37) and (Thursday 12 February 2004, page 79).
OperatorAvailable ServiceTechnology/FrequencyRate (US$ per minute)
AnguillaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
AntiguaAPUA PCSvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.66
AntiguaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
ArubaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
AustraliaOptusvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.44
AustriaConnect Austriavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.68
AustriaAUTMM-T-Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.72 ($0.33 for SMS)
BarbadosCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
BarbadosDigicellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900/1800/1900Mhz$0.55 ($0.36 for SMS)
BelgiumBasevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.77
BelizeBTLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$1.43
BermudaTelecom/AT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.60
Brazil1TNLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.92
BrazilBTLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$1.43
BulgariaGlo Bulvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.40
CanadaMicrocellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.69
CanadaRogersvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
CanadaAT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.74
CanadaCingularvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99
Cayman IslandsCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
DenmarkSonofonvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.58
DenmarkTDC Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.03
DominicaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
Dominican RepublicOrangevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.46
FranceOrange Francevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.74
FranceSFRvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.73
GermanyO2voice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$1.04
GrenadaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
GrenadaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
GuadeloupeOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
GuadeloupeBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
Hong KongCSLvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.32
Hong KongHutchisonvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.30
IndiaSpice-Punjabvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.44
IndiaSpice-Karanatakavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.44
IsraelCellcomvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$1.36
IsraelOrange/Partnervoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.70
ItalyVodafone/Omnitelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.39
ItalyTIMvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.52
JamaicaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
JamaicaCable & Wirelessvoice,voice mailTDMA
MartiniqueBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
MartiniqueOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
MauritiusEmtelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.48
MontserratCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
NetherlandsBen/T-Mobilevoice, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.50
Republic of PanamaCable & Wirelessvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 850MHz$0.76 ($0.22 for SMS)
PortugalVodafonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.61
RussiaBeeline/KB Impulsvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.50
South AfricaMTNvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.38
Spain2ESPRT-Amenavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.80 ($0.29 for SMS)
SpainTMEvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.82
SpainVodafone/Airtel Mobile SAvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.70
St.BathelemeyOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
St.Kitts & NevisCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
St.LuciaAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.61
St.LuciaDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
St.LuciaCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
St.MaartenOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.61
St.MaartenBouyguesvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.91
St.MartinOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.61
St.VincentAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.61
St.VincentDigicelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.55
St.VincentCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
SwedenTelia Mobile ABvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.63
SwitzerlandSunrisevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.72
TaiwanFarestonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.24
Turks & CaicosCable & Wirelessvoice, voice mailTDMA
UKO2voice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.81
UKOrangevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.32
UKT-Mobile/One 2 One/DT Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.35
UKVodafonevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.20
USAAT&Tvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$1.09
USAAT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.74
USACingularvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99
USACingular Eastvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
USACingular Westvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.76
USAVerizon/Rogers AT&Tvoice, voice mailTDMA$0.99

Important Notes:

1 ALL calls terminated on the TNL Brazil network are charged a one time charge of US$0.54.

2 ALL calls terminated on the ESPRT-Amena network are charged a set-up charge of US$0.17.

  • Rates are in US dollars and DO NOT include value added tax (VAT)and other taxes/tolls.
  • Rates are subject to change without further notice.
  • Charges apply to ALL calls made and received on the handset.
  • Prices/rates valid as of 09 February 2004.
  • Prices represent the per minute rate.
  • Toll and other charges are applied to all international calls made while roaming.
  • Toll charges are similar to those printed in the TSTT telephone directory.
  • Additional taxes maybe applied by the individual carriers.
  • TSTT’s GSM network operates on the 1800MHz (1.8GHz) frequency.

Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): If your “home network” is based in one of these countries/with one of these cellular/network operators, then you may have “seamless” GSM roaming facilities in Trinidad and Tobago. As always, contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services for further information.

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New roaming agreements (countries) for TSTT customers

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Tuesday 22 June 2004, page 40).

TSTT has expanded its roaming coverage by entering into agreements with the following cellular operators:

OperatorAvailable ServiceTechnology/FrequencyAirtime (US$ per minute)SMS (US$ per message)
CuracaoTelecom Curacaovoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1900MHz$0.66$0.40
DominicaOrange Caraibevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.78$0.25
FinlandFinnet Networksvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz/3G$0.40$0.19
GreeceCosmote Mobile Telvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.54$0.20
IndiaBPL-Keralavoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Maharashtravoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Mumbaivoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
IndiaBPL-Tamil Naduvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$1.82$0.48
MaltaGo Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1800MHz$0.62$0.31
MexicoTelcelvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.94$0.39
St. MaartenTelcellvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz$0.60$0.17
SurinameTelesurvoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.90$0.28
TaiwanChunghwa Telecom Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 900MHz/1800MHz$0.31$0.17
USAT-Mobilevoice, 2-way text, voice mailGSM 1900MHz$0.69$0.10

Notes:

  • Prices are valid/effective as of Thursday 3rd June 2004.
  • Prices DO NOT include tolls and taxes.
  • TSTT customers who roam in these countries will be able to:
    • Make and receive voice calls.
    • Send text messages.
    • Retrieve TSTT voicemail.
  • Customers of these carriers will be able to use the same features when they roam in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Special roaming rates for TSTT/Cable and Wireless customers

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Wednesday 02 June 2004, page 6).

TSTT customers roaming on any Cable and Wireless cellular network in the Caribbean will be able to use the following roaming rates:

  • Airtime: US 22 cents per minute.
  • SMS text: US 35 cents per message. Receiving is free.
  • These prices DO NOT include VAT.
  • These prices are applicable as of 29 April 2004.
  • Additional taxes and tolls may be added to the base price depending on location.

These rates are effective only when roaming in the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Turks and Caicos

Notes:

  • TSTT customers roaming on other cellular networks will be billed according to this table.
  • These rates apply to both TDMA and GSM customers.

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New international rates

Information in this section is based on a TSTT advertisment in Newsday (Tuesday 29 June 2004, page 24).

TSTT has reduced the rates on international calls by fifty percent (50%) effective 29 June 2004. This rate reduction is applicable to mobile users and means that the discount offered on the 10-10-335 service will no longer be available.

These new rates DO NOT APPLY to the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Barbados
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • French Guiana
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Monserrat
  • Nauru Island
  • Niue Island
  • Norfolk Island
  • Sao Tome
  • Solomon Islands
  • St. Bartholomew
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts/Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Venezuala
  • Wallis and Fortuna
  • Callers to these countries will receive a forty percent (40%) discount after the first four (4) minutes.

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What are the rates for post-paid GSM service?

Mpower post-paid plans:

mpower 100mpower 200mpower 500mpower 800mpower 1500mpower 2500mpower unlimitedmpower corporatempower corporate employee
Monthly access fee$161.00$287.50$517.50$690.00$1,150.00$1,725.00$5,750.00$86.25$92.00
Included minutes10020050080015002500UnlimitedNot applicableNot applicable
Rollover minutesIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedNot applicableFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6amFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6am
Sunday calls12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minuteNot applicable12 cents per minute12 cents per minute
Lingo messages2525255075100UnlimitedNot applicableNot applicable
Additional minutes$1.30$1.0492 cents81 cents75 cents63 centsNot applicable63 cents63 cents
Additional lingo25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 centsNot applicable20 cents20 cents
  • This table is based on a TSTT advertisment in the Guardian newspaper (Saturday 29 March 2003, pages 40 and 41).
  • All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive.
  • These rates apply only to calls made on the TSTT network (i.e. within Trinidad and Tobago).
  • Rates for a TSTT customer roaming abroad can be found here.
  • Post-paid customers get the following “value-added-services” at no additional cost: caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding,
    call barring (block incoming calls while roaming) and voice mail, roll-over minutes, 12 cents per minute on Sundays, per second billing.
  • Data services will incur separate, additional service charges.
  • A fee will be applied for playing-back recorded messages (voice mail messages) while roaming.
  • Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): These rates are for TSTT customers on the TSTT network. Your roaming charges will be different.

TSTT has revised its post-paid mpower plans. The new plans will be effective from 1st August 2004. All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive. The following table is based on an official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Wednesday 30th June page 6 and Express Wednesday 30th June page 47).

mpower 75mpower 150mpower 300mpower 600mpower 1000mpower 2000mpower 3000mpower unlimitedmpower corporatempower corporate employee
Monthly access fee$89.00$161.00$287.50$517.50$690.00$1,150.00$1,725.00$3,450.00$86.25$92.00
Included minutes75150300600100020003000Unlimited100100
Rollover minutesIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedNot applicableFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6amFree calls Mon – Fri: 10pm – 6am
Sunday calls12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minute12 cents per minuteNot applicable12 cents per minute12 cents per minute
Lingo messages252525255075100Unlimited2525
Additional minutes99 cents90 cents80 cents70 cents60 cents50 cents40 centsNot applicable40 cents50 cents
Additional lingo25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 cents25 centsNot applicable20 cents20 cents

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What are the rates for pre-paid GSM service?

An official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Friday 5th December 2003 page 39) states the following rates for pre-paid GSM service:

  • Peak rate: TT$1.99 per minute.
  • Off-peak rate: TT$0.99 per minute.
  • Sunday rate: TT$0.65 per minute.
  • To send TSTT Lingo (SMS) messages: TT$0.35 per message.

TSTT has revised the rates for its mpower pre-paid GSM service. The new rates will be effective from 1st August 2004. All prices are in TT dollars and are VAT inclusive. The following information is based on an official TSTT advertisment (Trinidad Guardian Wednesday 30th June page 6 and Express Wednesday 30th June page 47).

There are 2 packages for pre-paid customers: “just talk” and “talk ‘n lingo”:

“just talk” rates:

  • Peak: TT$1.59 per minute.
  • Off peak: TT$0.79 per minute.

“talk ‘n lingo” rates:

  • Peak: TT$1.79 per minute.
  • Off peak: TT$0.69 per minute.
  • Saturdays and holidays: TT$0.69 per minute.
  • Sundays TT$0.59 per minute.
  • Lingo: 50 “free” per month.

Pre-paid cards (for both Liberty and Mpower pre-paid customers) are available in the following denominations: The rates are in TT dollars:

This table is based on an official TSTT advertisment: Trinidad Guardian Monday 24th May 2004 page 22.

Card DenominationCost of card (VAT incl)BonusExpiryAvailable in
$10$11.50nil30 dayse-card only
$15$17.25nil30 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$25$28.75nil60 dayse-card only
$50$57.50nil120 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$100$115.00$10120 dayse-card and mobile prepaid card
$200$230.00$50150 dayse-card only

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Mzone: description and rates

Information in this section is based on an official TSTT advertisment in Newsday Wednesday 30th June 2004 page 20.

TSTT will be marketing its GSM-based data services under the brand name mzone. The first mzone service will be Internet access via GPRS (general packet radio service). Users will have an always-on connection and will be able to use their mobile telephone (once it is capable of doing so) or GPRS-enabled device (e.g. a PDA) to:

  • access their email.
  • browse the WWW.
  • transfer files.
  • use instant messaging.

Preliminary reports from users of the trial service indicate that access speeds are similar to those of dial-up Internet access via regular land-lines.

Data services will be launched soon and TSTT has published the following introductory rates:

  • Introductory rates are valid from 22nd July 2004 to 31st August 2004.
  • Users who sign for these special rates will pay them until 31st March 2005.
  • Users will have to pay regular rates from 1st April 2005.
mzone unlimitedmzone 10mzone 20mzone basic
Monthly access fee$99.99$37.50$75.00$15.00
mbytes includedunlimited10200
Additional kbytesNot applicable3 cents3 cents3 cents

REGULAR mzone rates (see following table) will be effective from 1st September 2004.

mzone unlimitedmzone 10mzone 20mzone basic
Monthly access fee$149.99$49.99$99.99$19.99
mbytes includedunlimited10200
Additional kbytesNot applicable3 cents3 cents3 cents

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Will existing (TDMA) cellular phones continue to work now that TSTT operates a GSM service?

TSTT has stated that it will continue to maintain/support the existing (TDMA) cellular network. However, as of Monday 17th May 2004, TSTT no longer activates TDMA phones for post-paid (“Connect”) service but existing “Connect” customers will continue to receive service. TSTT will continue to activate pre-paid TDMA (“Liberty”) phones. If you want to be on a post-paid plan, you will now have to purchase a GSM phone and sign up for one of the GSM packages. See these sections for more information:

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Can my (USA/Canada/European/Asian/”foreign”) GSM cellular phone work on the TSTT GSM system?

It should be able to work on the TSTT system as long as it can use the 1800Mhz frequency. However, the ability to use your “foreign”
phone and the features available to you while in Trinidad and Tobago will be determined by the roaming agreement between TSTT and the network operator that services the
area where you normally use your phone. The roaming agreement provides for user authentication, billing procedures and service charges.

Contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services. This network operator is the entity responsible for making the roaming agreement and will be able to tell you:

  • Where (geographic location) you can roam with your phone. For example, if you can roam with your phone in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • If your phone/handset is compatible with those foreign systems.
  • Which network and/or card-enabled features will be available to you while you roam.
  • The rates for roaming.
  • The billing procedures for roaming.
  • If the roaming is “seamless” or “unregistered”. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about roaming.

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What models/brands of cellular phones will work on TSTT’s GSM system?

Any GSM cellular phone that can use the 1800Mhz frequency should be able to work on the TSTT system. However, you should check with TSTT before
purchasing that “used”/”pre-owned” phone. If you decide to switch from TDMA to GSM, there are a variety (in terms of features and cost) of GSM phones available from the popular brands e.g. Motorola and Nokia. At the present time GSM handsets and service plans are more expensive than TDMA handsets and service plans in Trinidad and Tobago.

TSTT is offering the following Nokia handsets with its various GSM service plans :

  • Nokia 2100
  • Nokia 3310
  • Nokia 3410
  • Nokia 3510
  • Nokia 5100
  • Nokia 5210
  • Nokia 6310i
  • Nokia 6510
  • Nokia 6610
  • Nokia 7210
  • Nokia 7650
  • Nokia 8310
  • Nokia Communicator 9210i

Further details about the Nokia phones on this list can be found at the official Nokia website: http://www.nokiausa.com/.

TSTT is offering the following Motorola handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Motorola A388
  • Motorola C332
  • Motorola C333
  • Motorola T190
  • Motorola V66i

TSTT is offering the following Samsung handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Samsung A300
  • Samsung R220

TSTT is offering the following Sony-Ericsson handsets with its various GSM service plans:

  • Sony-Ericsson T202
  • Sony-Ericsson T68i

As always, contact TSTT for further information on cost, availability, different brands of phones, etc.

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Will TSTT provide Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) for the GSM phones?

TSTT will provide Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) (See: What are SIMs?) for the phones that are bundled with its various GSM service plans. In general, SIMs will be issued with the purchase of a handset. You will be able to purchase additional SIMs without having to purchase a handset.

SIM configuration: TSTT will provide the SIM configuration in order to identify TSTT specific customers as well as enable various services for the local network. See the What models/brands of cellular phones will work on TSTT’s GSM system? section for a list of GSM phones being provided by TSTT.

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Activating non-TSTT SIMs

  • TSTT has stated that it cannot activate a foreign SIM card.
  • TSTT has stated that its GSM services cannot be activated on SIMs from a foreign provider.

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About “locked” phones

  • Handsets sold by TSTT will be “SIM-locked” and therefore will only work with TSTT SIMs.
  • If you have a (new/used) GSM phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and it is “SIM-locked” to a foreign operator’s network, that phone/handset will not work with TSTT SIM cards. See: What are SIMs? and What is “SIM lock”?.
  • Note to visitors from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”): The SIM provided by YOUR network operator will continue to work in YOUR phone when you roam in Trinidad and Tobago. However, if your phone is “SIM-locked”, you will not be able to use a TSTT SIM card in that phone.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “SIM-locked” or any other sort of “locked” GSM phones! Do not ask for such instructions.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “locked” TDMA phones!

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I am from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and I want to use my GSM cellular phone on the TSTT GSM system

You must first contact the cellular/network operator who currently provides you with GSM services. The network operator will be able to provide you with the relevant details about roaming especially where (geographic location) you can roam with your phone. You can also consult the following sections on this page:

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I want to purchase my GSM cellular phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”) and use it on the TSTT GSM system

If you want to purchase a GSM cellular phone from (USA/Canada/Europe/Asia/”foreign”), it must meet these specifications:

  • It must be able to operate on the 1800MHz (1.8GHz) frequency.
  • It must not be “SIM-locked” to a foreign operator’s network. If the phone/handset is locked, it will not work with TSTT SIM cards. See: What are SIMs? and What is “SIM lock”?.

Other factors to take into consideration:

  • Do not purchase SIMs from outside of Trinidad and Tobago for use on the TSTT GSM network. See: Activating non-TSTT SIMs.
  • If you travel frequently and wish to roam with your GSM phone then you may want to purchase a tri-band phone. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for more information about tri-band phones.
  • If you wish to use the GSM data services (e.g. GPRS), make sure the particular phone model has that capability.
  • Know what you are purchasing! Less expensive GSM phones tend to be limited to voice and text messaging and do not have data capability.
  • SIM-locked phones restrict you to a particular cellular network. Lock-free phones (that is, phones which are not SIM-locked at the factory) allow you to use any SIM from any GSM provider anywhere in the world.

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TSTT GSM network specifications

  • Operator Name: Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd
  • Network Name: TSTT
  • Network Type: GSM 1800
  • Handset Code: TSTT
  • Network Code: 374 12
  • Network Status: Operational

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is dual band?
    Dual band refers to the ability of GSM network infrastructure and phones to operate across two frequency bands. For example at 900MHz and at 1800MHz.
  • What is a tri-band phone?
    A tri-band cellular phone has the ability to operate on the 3 different frequencies (depending on location) commonly used by GSM operators. These GSM frequencies are: 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz.
  • What is a dual mode phone?
    A dual mode cellular phone has the ability to operate in either analog or digital mode depending on network conditions. This description is exclusive to TDMA phones since the GSM system is one hundred percent digital. TSTT has discontinued analog TDMA service.
  • Can my existing (TDMA) cellular phone work on the TSTT GSM system?
    No, because TDMA cellular phones are incompatible with the GSM system.
  • What is GPRS?
    GPRS is the GSM Packet Radio Service. Packet switching utilises the network only when there is data to be sent as opposed to sending a continuous stream of data over a permanent connection. Users are able to send and receive data at speeds of up to (a theoretical maximum) of 115Kbit/s. GPRS enables users to connect to a wide range of public and private data networks which use standard data protocols such as TCP/IP and make use of applications such as email or Internet (WWW) access.
  • What are SIMs?
    What are “Smart” cards?
    Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards are used to provide individual identities for each mobile user: e.g. authentication and storage for user data and network configuration information. The current generation of SIMs (“Smart” cards) contain microchips which extend the “intelligence” and capability of the card. Users are now able to access a vast range of card-enabled (as opposed to network-enabled) applications. The SIM must be inserted in the phone for the user to make and receive calls.
  • What is “SIM lock”?
    “SIM lock” is the term used to describe the pre-programming of handsets by manufacturers to ensure that the handsets will only work with SIMs issued by a specific GSM network operator. For example: TSTT has stated that it will be selling SIM-locked phones. This means that if you try to use a non-TSTT SIM, the phone will not work.
  • What is “roaming”?
    Roaming is the ability for a cellular customer to make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, etc on “visited” networks, that is, GSM networks located outside the geographical coverage area of their home network. These “visited” networks can be accessed in the same manner as the home network. For example, a TSTT customer (with a GSM phone) is able to make and receive voice calls while travelling in Europe (an example of international/global roaming). There are 3 types of roaming:

    • National Roaming: The visited network is in the same country as the home network.
    • International Roaming or Global Roaming: The visited network is outside the home country.
    • Inter-standard roaming: The visited network operates on a different technical standard than the home network.
  • What is “seamless roaming”?
    Seamless roaming allows cellular customers to make and receive calls on “visited” networks, as long as there is a roaming agreement between the operator of the “visited” network and the operator of their “home” network.
  • What is “unregistered roaming”?
    Unregistered roaming allows cellular customers to make (originate) calls on “visited” networks where there are NO roaming agreements between the operator of the “visited” network and the operator of their “home” network. Calls are billed via one of these methods: Collect, Credit Card or Calling Card. Calls which originate via unregistered roaming are usually more expensive than calls which originate via seamless roaming. TSTT does not officially support unregistered roaming at this time (July 2004).
  • Where did you get all of this information? Do you work for TSTT?
    The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). All information on this page was gathered from public sources. No one invoved in the creation and maintainence of this page is employed by TSTT.
  • How long has this GSM page been online?
    This GSM page has been online since 20 October 2002.

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How do I contact TSTT for more information?

TSTT can be contacted about GSM service:

  • At any TSTT Customer Service Centre.
  • Via telephone number: 824-TSTT (8788).
  • At the official TSTT website: http://www.tstt.co.tt
  • You can also check the local telephone directory for general information about TSTT Mobile Services and contact information.

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Contact the creator of this page

Before you send that email, remember:

  • We can only answer questions involving services in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Do not email us about services/problems etc in other countries.
  • We may not be able to answer your question(s). No one invoved with this page is employed by/affiliated with TSTT.
  • Information on this page is subject to change without further notice.
  • The creator(s) of this page cannot provide any sort of help/instructions on how to unlock “SIM-locked” or any other sort of “locked” GSM or TDMA cellular phones!
  • We may not reply if your question has already been answered by material provided on this page.
  • This page is for information purposes only. It is not an endorsement of the services provided by TSTT.

If you have questions (that have not already been answered on this page), comments, more information to add to this page, etc, please contact us at: [email protected]

Last updated : 05/july/2004

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DISCLAIMER: The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). This page has not been endorsed in any way by TSTT. Information on this page is subject to change without further notice. If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are solely responsible for any and all: financial loss, damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use. In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.

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