SteveDisco asks in the Android Central Forums,

I would like to know if it is possible to access 3G on my UK HTC Sensation when I go to New York next month on a U.S. SIM card? My limited understanding is that the frequencies used for U.S. phones are different to those in the UK but am unclear if the Sensation will still be able to access. If it is not possible could I just use a US SIM for voice calls and rely on WiFi access?


Great question, with several good answers. Basically, yes, you can use your UK model HTC Sensation for 3G data in New York. The European Sensation uses a quad-band GSM radio that supports the frequencies used by AT&T here in the states. You'll need to make sure your Sensation is fully SIM unlocked (talk to your current carrier if you're unsure), and then you'll be ready to do a little research and make a decision.

In the U.S., there are only two GSM operators -- T-Mobile and AT&T. But there are many MVNO networks (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) who rent and resell network space from either one, or even both. You'll not be interested in T-Mobile or any MVNOs using the T-Mobile frequencies, as your Sensation doesn't support them. But that's OK, as your choices are still pretty broad.

Here's a small list of a few different operators that will sell you a no-contract SIM card to use while you're visiting:

Don't be fooled by the words unlimited, as this refers to voice calls. Data rates will cost anywhere between $5 USD for 5MB to $20 USD for 2GB. Of course, this is just a few of the many out there, and you'll have to scour the web to see all the options. In the end, they all use the same network, so the deciding factor is price and how easy it is to get your SIM card and activation. 

Have fun in New York!


Reader comments

From the Android Forums: Using a UK HTC Sensation in New York


Every info I have found on the sensations says that's it only has the typical 900/2100 bands for 3g. Quad band edge yes but not 3g

Officially listed as 

Quad-band GSM 850 900 1800 1900 MHz GPRS/EDGE

Dual-band 850 1700 MHz HSPA/WCDMA


Dual-band 900 2100 MHz HSPA/WCDMA HSPA+

There's two different models, one for T-MoUS and a world version


I agree that their are two models TMOUS adding the 4g at the end. But tmous is 1700/2100. I haven't seen the 850/1700 model.

I checked on UK carriers site and they have it listed as 900/2100 . Which is the typical Euro bands. We don't use those,ATT being 850/1900

I have a Taiwan version of the HTC Sensation and it runs perfectly on T-Mobile's 3/4G network without any problems. From my knowledge all the Sensation are the same hardware.

If the phone is unlocked it will work well with tmobiles edge (2g) network. You can have a plan for $60 that includes unlimited calls and texts in the US. You also get unlimited calls to fixed phones in the UK, ulimited text messages and all the data you can use. The 2g network has little traffic on it so it is relativly fast. I work in NYC for Tmobile and I can say that most visitors are very happy with the speed and services Tmobile provides.

I have a HTC Sensation which is branded to Vodafone Germany.
It works on Edge and 3G on Meteor in Ireland and it worked on Edge, 3G and (what t-Mobile call) 4G on T-Mobile USA.
It also worked on O2 UK. I haven't found anywhere that it doesn't work yet.

Whoah... this story is VERY wrong!!!

I am currently using an Orange UK Sensation on T-Mobile USA with all the '4g' speeds.

There are 2 models of the sensation. The Z710e and Z710a. The Z710e is the model sold in Europe - which is essentially the same as the Sensation 4G. The Z710a has the 3g bands that will work and is only offered by Telstra in Australia.

There are no quadband 3g Sensations (or even any HTC phones)