How to register your mobile phone

Advice on using Mobile Phones within the TRNC: SIM Cards, Repairs, cheap calls to UK...

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Nglbarnes
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How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Nglbarnes »

Having used an old iPhone 4S for sometime decided to now use iPhone SE I had spare.
Went Turkcell and got new nano sim (9tl) and kept my number I’ve had for over 10 years pay as you go.
Then received a txt saying IMEI is new and phone has to be registered.
So today went to BTHK office in Lefkosa, it’s down a side road beside Dominos near the Ledra crossing.
You have to take a ticket on arrival, fill out a form which is in English and when it’s your turn give in completed form, passport and phone so they can get imei from it. Pay 18.70tl which can only be by credit/debit card, no cash.
Then wait about 15 mins and your name is called and you are giving some paperwork.
You now have to take this to the customs office. The one in Lefkosa has a minimum wait of an hour so I went to the one at the new harbour in Girne. NB the customs office is only open until 11am. Straight in, handed over paperwork and phone, lady looked up my phone model on her sheets and I had to pay 180tl.
I was then given another form which I had to take to the Turkcell office in Girne and had to again show passport, hand over phone and pay 15tl.
So a few hours spent doing all this and 213.70tl later my phone is registered.
Don’t think I’ll be upgrade the SE any time soon lol

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CatalkoyChris
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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by CatalkoyChris »

I wonder if it is just better buying a registered phone.
Are there any decent second hand phone sellers?
Maybe buy an iPhone se, I wonder how much one of those would be?
"Two heads are better than one!" - Zaphod Beeblebrox

Hector
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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Hector »

Any advice forthcoming as to buying a second hand registered mobile?

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Keithcaley »

Hector wrote:Any advice forthcoming as to buying a second hand registered mobile?
Yes, not a bad idea as long as you are sure that you know what you are buying

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Misswolves »

Thanks for this information.
I’ve just had the dreaded IMEI text this morning.
I don’t suppose anyone has registered an iPhone X have they?
Failing that someone told me you can just use a Vodafone UK sim and roam to avoid paying.
Is this definitely correct?
Also how long do you get before they cut you off? It says 45 days in the text, but I don’t know if I’m already way into this 45 days.

Many thanks.

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by alphamike »

I've got a basic payg Vodaphone sim, which have kept live for about 10 months so far, by sending a text every so often. I don't want to say how long you have, as I can't remember off the top of my head before Vodaphone cut you off if you don't make calls/send SMS or use data. I just want to keep it live until my next return to the UK, as I had problems using my Cyprus phone connecting to a UK network at the airport to call my lift. My Cyprus phone is well needing replacing as many apps don't work any longer, but can be used as a phone.

I think you can use a Turkcell or Telsim sim in an unregistered phone for 90 days before they cut you off.

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Deniz1 »

Normally you dont pay duty on a phone purchased in TRNC just register it with your provider which is free.

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Post by Misswolves »

Thank you both for that.
I did register my phone with Turkcell some months ago, but it looks like the tax will hit me...so over to Vodafone it is then!

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by alphamike »

Deniz1 wrote:Normally you dont pay duty on a phone purchased in TRNC just register it with your provider which is free.
So if you buy a new phone in TRNC, and not from Turkcell or Telsim, you still have to register the phone at one of their shops? They really seem to make a meal out of things here at times, if that is the case. I was assuming that posters receiving texts, telling them their phones would no longer work, had bought their phones from elsewhere.

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by erol »

alphamike wrote:
Deniz1 wrote:Normally you dont pay duty on a phone purchased in TRNC just register it with your provider which is free.
So if you buy a new phone in TRNC, and not from Turkcell or Telsim, you still have to register the phone at one of their shops? They really seem to make a meal out of things here at times, if that is the case. I was assuming that posters receiving texts, telling them their phones would no longer work, had bought their phones from elsewhere.
I think you are getting confused possibly ?

The government requires that the mobile operators here (Turckcell and Telsim/Vodaphone) know who owns a given mobile sim card. If you get a pay monthly contract then this is know as part of signing up for that contract. However with pay as you go sims, there is no process whereby your name is given. You can just buy it (from a mobile operators shop or a third party shop) and put it into your phone and away you go. However you will soon be required to supply a name and an ID number (kimlik or passport) via sms message or the sim will stop working on the basis that you have not told the mobile operator who you are and the government requires mobile operator to know. So this kind of 'registration' applies only to pay as you go sims and can be done via sms message.

The government also has passed laws saying any mobile phone (not sim) used here for more than 90 days in a year, that has not had import duty on the phone paid here (because it was say bought in the UK and not here originally) must be required to have the duty paid to keep working after the 90 days. This registration applies only to phones originally purchased outside the TRNC that are used in the TRNC for more than 90 days in a year in conjunction with a Turkcell or Telsim/Vodaphone SIM. If you use a non TRNC SIM with such a phone you can get away with this requirement. Not because the government is happy about that but because the only way they can make such a system work is by compelling the mobile operators to do the necessary checks and the TRNC government can not force Vodaphone in the UK to do such checks (UK SIM) but can force Telsim/Vodaphone here to do so.
Misswolves wrote:Failing that someone told me you can just use a Vodafone UK sim and roam to avoid paying.
The Vodaphone UK SIM's (red packages) come with bundled minutes, texts and data. They also come with the ability to 'roam' in a number of countries and have those calls / text / data come from your 'bundled limits' at no extra cost. Turkey and TRNC are in the list of countries you can do this in. So yes with such a SIM in the TRNC you would via roaming be able to call TRNC numbers, Turkish numbers , UK numbers and numbers in the other designated countries all from you bundled minutes and such a SIM will not cause any problems with a phone not bought in the TRNC because Vodaphone UK do not give a monkeys if your phone has had TRNC duty paid on it or not. The big 'limit' of such a solution however is not for you making calls out whilst in the TRNC but for those who might want to call you. Your number will be a UK number and thus international for people calling you from TRNC landlines or mobiles - this may limit the phones utility when used here to some degree. I should also note that if you are resident here, then according to the T and C's of such UK SIM packages you are not allowed such a package but the reality to date is people have been using such packages whilst being resident here for quite some time now without to date any issues re being in breach of the T and C's. The last thing to note with such packages is that they work via 'roaming' - so you could be in the TRNC and call any of the countries included including the UK but when you are in the UK , you will not be roaming and thus any call from the UK to one of the listed countries will NOT come from your bundled minutes but will be charged additional to the package price at standard rates (meaning terrible ones).

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Misswolves »

Thanks, Erik, for your very comprehensive response.
I think I will wait until I return to the UK and get a sim there.
I did register last year with Turkcell-they then had my passport details and address in UK.
I presume Turkcell share this information with the relevant TRNC government department?
I would have been happy to pay a small fee but it appears that an IPhone X would not warrant a small fee!

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by erol »

Misswolves wrote:Thanks, Erik, for your very comprehensive response.
You are welcome though it is Erol not Erik

(unless you were thanking some previous Erik and not me ?)

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Post by Misswolves »

Apologies, the dreaded auto-correct! Thanks again, Erol!

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Post by erol »

Misswolves wrote:Apologies, the dreaded auto-correct! Thanks again, Erol!
No Prob. The phrase 'dam predictive text' now comes up as the first 'suggestion' on my phone as soon as I type in 'dam' as I have used the expression that much in phone text based messages

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by alphamike »

Thank you Erol. So, my Turkcell sim card, which is registered, and has been for at least 12 years, should work with a new phone purchased in TRNC, without me having to go through any rigmarole?

Predictive text should be banned, it never gets it right. Laughed at your experience.

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Post by erol »

alphamike wrote:Thank you Erol. So, my Turkcell sim card, which is registered, and has been for at least 12 years, should work with a new phone purchased in TRNC, without me having to go through any rigmarole?
Yes

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Post by alphamike »

Thanks Erol

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Deniz1 »

Off topic I know but can anyone confirm the with a Telsim/Vodaphone package the mobile wifi hotspot on the phone doesnt work?

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Post by Misswolves »

Just wanted to add that I’ve researched this with Vodafone and you can get a sim only deal with unlimited minutes and unlimited roaming for £15 according to them.
I think that’s worth it if you still have a UK address to receive the sim.

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Post by Misswolves »

So I rang the number to find out how much I needed to pay for my IMEI not to be blocked.
17.83 and then pay import taxes at customs.
I asked if I could find out how much the customs would cost-no idea, different department, can’t help you, what is your name?
So is there any way of finding out before I go there!

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Re: How to register your mobile phone

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Post by Keithcaley »

I suppose that you could ring the Girne Customs (Gümrük) office - try 0392 8154907, if it's the wrong extension, they should be able to put you through or at least give you the correct contact number.

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Post by Misswolves »

Thanks Keith, I will try that today.

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