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Eric BourlandFlag for United States of America

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I need a new mobile phone. Don't want to lease a phone. Advice?

Next silly question. I'm not sure how this works -- I need a new phone. I want a Windows phone (I like the Windows phone platform). But I do not want to lease a phone -- for example, I do not want to enter into a two-year lease with Verizon or AT&T or some such corporation.

My questions:

Can I purchase a Windows Phone, perhaps from the Microsoft web site? Something like one of these?

Can I then contact a mobile service provider, such as Verizon or AT&T, and tell them: I have the phone; can you service my existing mobile phone number?

I've never done this before. Thank you for any advice.

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Lee W, MVP
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Lee, thank you for this very helpful note. My current plan is to get an unlocked phone from Microsoft -- something simple.

>>>They sell them to you by charging a partial up-front fee and locking you in to a 2 year contract assuring them that they'll make the money back for subsidizing your phone purchase.

This makes sense and seems to be the kind of deal I was locked into with Verizon. The Lumia phone they sold me had some problems after one year -- and Verizon would not replace or repair the phone, which is too bad. Verizon was eager to sell me another phone and extend my contract, however. =)

One more question: after I obtain the new phone, and choose a carrier -- what happens next? Do I contact the new carrier and ask for a new account? Can I keep my current phone number?

Obviously I know very little about this and I appreciate your time and help.

Hope your evening is great. Thank you again for your help.

best from Eric
If you buy a GSM based phone (which is usable on AT&T and T-Mobile networks, you just buy a SIM Card and install it, activating it as the directions state.  If you want month to month then you want something like AT&T Go Phone.  I just activated my girlfriends old iPhone by buying a SIM Card for H20 Wireless (No opinion on them one way or the other at this point).   But my main phone is with AT&T.
Most carriers will sell the SIM Card for $5-10.  H20 Wireless uses AT&T's network; most though, I THINK use T-Mobile's network (which isn't quite as robust).
Got it!

So, I will purchase the phone from Microsoft; and separately purchase an account and service plan from a carrier -- and also purchase a SIM card from that same carrier. Do I have it right?

Thank you again!

Basically.  Like I said, pay attention to fine print.  GSM SIM Cards for talking and texting should work fine with either AT&T or T-Mobile.  But the data may be different.  If the phone says it's for the T-mobile network then you will probably have a better experience buying a SIM Card for a carrier that uses the T-Mobile network.
Lee, thanks very much for your time and advice. I'm doing some more reading and research, but you have explained some important basics that I did not know.

Wishing you the best.