Using a Verizon iPhone 5 With Net10 Wireless or Straight Talk

iPhone_5_34L_Black_PRINT

A reader Adam asks

Two questions. First, I’m buying an iPhone 5 from someone else. It was originally on Verizon, but was unlocked and he has been using it on T-Mobile. If I want to use net10, how can I get the PIN if requested? What info will I need? Do I go to Verizon or T-Mobile? Anything else needed? Second, and likely more important, you mentioned in an earlier post that it may be possible to use net10 on a Verizon iPhone 5. This may solve a lot of problems. How do I do it? What is needed? If Verizon / CDMA doesn’t use SIM cards, will I need one for net10? I’m sure there’s a lot more to discuss, and I’m confident you can anticipate requirements. I await your response. Thank you.

He also added..

Are you sure about Straight Talk and Verizon?

See, http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/byop/registration, and specifically the note above the input fields: “We need to collect some information from you in order to determine if your phone can be registered with us.”

Hi Adam,

I don’t have direct experience using Verizon iPhones on Straight Talk or  Net10 but I have researched it for smartphonematters.com in the past as well as with other readers so here is what I can share with you.

First to answer your primary question.  You should be able to use a Net10 or Straight Talk SIM in the Verizon iPhone 5 without the need for an unlock PIN.

The Verizon iPhone 5 runs on their CDMA network. The phone also has a nano SIM slot on the side and can be used on a GSM network, eg AT&T or TMobile.  The iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked, meaning you can put a ATT or TMobile SIM in the phone and use it.  This is only true for the iPhone 5. If you had an iPhone 4s,  you would need to get Verizon to unlock it for GSM use and they only would do that for use of International GSM networks for customers who want to use a local network when traveling abroad.

When you sign up for Straight Talk or Net10 you will have to choose either an ATT network or T-Mobile network SIM.  For most people, the ATT SIM card is the better choice. in general, the iPhone has better compatibility with the ATT network meaning you will get 4G HSPDA (Not 4G LTE) data speeds.  T-Mobile is working to build out their network with better support for the iPhone so in many areas they have upgraded and iPhones will get 3G, 4G HSPDA, and sometimes even 4G LTE service. The bad news is that if you are not in one of these areas you will end up with 2G Edge data service which is painfully slow.  I used T-Mobile with my iPhone 5 for a short time and the data was unreliable for Apple and Google Maps requiring data from the network.  In the Boston metro area, some locations had great service, others not so much.

Now for Verizon issue.  Both Straight Talk and Net10 both offer iPhones. The iPhones that Straight Talk sells use the Verizon network and I am pretty sure the same holds true for Net10 (which more recently started selling iPhones).  The Verizon service they offer is only on Verizon’s 3G network, not the super fast 4G LTE network.  One of the big features on that iPhone 5 you are thinking about buying is that it is a 4G LTE phone. Straight Talk also offers a BYOP plan for CDMA phones. (net10 might too, I haven’t checked).  Instead of buying a SIM you give them the phone’s ESN and they activate it on their network. I think they charge you $15, kind of the equivalent of making you buy a SIM. If you look on the Straight Talk website, it says

We need to collect some information from you in order to determine if your phone can be registered with us. Note: This program will not work with 4G LTE technology phones, iPhones, Blackberries or branded Straight Talk, TracFone, Safe Link, NET10 Wireless, and Telcel America phones.

This leaves us with two issues to consider. Which of the three networks is better? Better in terms of speed and usability. Is an ATT or T-Mobile 4G HSPDA connection faster than a Verizon 3G connection? I don’t know. I would guess yes. Also, I think that Verizon has a limitation about using voice and data at the same time.. I have never been a Verizon customer. The second issue, is  whether or not Straight Talk or Net10 will even activate the phone for you. I have no direct experience. I have read some claims in forums that some people have been able to do this.

If you do decide to buy this Verizon iPhone 5 here are a few other things to keep in mind.

  • Compare the price of the Verzion iPhone 5 to similar GSM iPhone 5 on eBay or Craigslist.  The GSM models generally sell for more so if you are not getting a better price you might want to consider another purchase.
  • On Sept 10, Apple is supposedly introducing new iPhone models. When the iPhone 5 is not longer the top of the line, you may see the price of the iPhone 5 go down.

I hope this helps. Let me know what you end up doing. Keep your eye on smartphonematters.com. If I find out more about using a Verizon iPhone on Straight Talk or Net10 I will post an article.
Regards
Bob

52 Comments

  1. Brooke | | Reply

    ok, so if i can activated my verizon iphone5c on straighttalk, then what do you have to do , to get it activated, bc when ya call straighttalk they tell you NO they cant do it ,,, so my question is that all these ppl that say they have there iphone5 on straight talk, then tell us HOW TO DO IT !!!! plz TIA

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Brooke,
      Straight Talk doesn’t own their network. They buy airtime wholesale from ATT, TMobile, Verizon and Sprint. Straight Talk is allowed to activate some Verizon phones on their verizon network., but not others. For example, you can activate an iPhone 4 or 4s, but not any of the iPhone 5 models. It’s part of their business relationship, Verizon doesn’t want their customers with the newest phones going over.

      But all Verizon iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s are SIM unlocked. This means they can be used on the ATT or TMobile network. So that is what many people do. They switch to the Straight Talk ATT SIM. But in order for this to be a good option for you, you need to be in an area where the ATT network works well. If you are, great, otherwise its not a great choice.

      When you call Straight Talk and say I want to bring a Verizon iPhone 5 model, their script immediately says no, not supported.

      So the first step is to find out if the ATT network works well where you live.. start asking family and friends..

      Let me know and I can tell you the rest of what you need to know.
      Regards
      Bob

    • Bill | | Reply

      you will need to get it flashed,verizon is the only carrier that straight talk will not activate their phones they have a contract with them so they can use their network,flashing will be better that way you will be running off of their towers

      • Bob Thompson | | Reply

        Hi Bill,
        Thanks for commenting. Have you flashed a verizon iPhone 5 to work with Straight Talk or other carrier? Would you mind sharing a few details about how you had this done? I’d like to share this with the other readers.

  2. Stephen | | Reply

    Can I use my verizon 5s with straight talk.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Yes, like the iPhone 5 you can use it with Straight Talk’s att or tmobile network, but not their Verizon network. If ATT works well where you live, try the Straight Talk ATT network, your iPhone 5s may even get 4G LTE, unlike the 5 which just gets 4G HPSA+ (4G, but slower that 4G LTE).

      Regards
      Bob

  3. Annette | | Reply

    I was given a Verizon Iphone 5c. I am currently using straighttalk with a samsung phone. I would like to use this Verizon Iphone 5c.
    From what I am reading, I just need to buy their ATT nano sim card to activate it on straighttalk?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Annette,
      Yes. The is correct. Buy a SIM, you then transfer your service from the Straight Talk web site.
      Log in and choose
      Activate Phone or SIM card
      Transfer my existing Straight Talk service
      You can transfer an existing Straight Talk number to another Straight Talk phone.

      You want to transfer your service from the Samsung phone to the SIM card, not the serial number of the iPhone.
      Regards
      Bob

  4. Katie | | Reply

    I have a Verizon iPhone 5 that I want to switch over to Straight talk. I already have the micro sims card and an activated iPhone 4s though Straight talk. I have called numerous times and I keep being told I can’t switch it over, but reading these posts make me believe I can. So how do I do it? Is there specific steps I have to do or what. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  5. Jason | | Reply

    So, let me get this straight. I’m under contract with Verizon with my iPhone 5. The only reason why I’m with verizon is because there is no service with att or any other carrier other than verizon where I work. With that said, I cannot sign up for straight talk and it run off verizon towers? Thanks!

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jason,
      Yes. That is my understanding. Supposedly, it’s part of Straight Talk’s business relationship with Verizon. Verizon doesn’t want their customers bringing their Verizon phone to Straight Talk to have them use it on Straight Talk’s Verizon network. In fact, Verizon doesn’t let Straight Talk or any other prepaid wireless use Verizon’s 4G LTE network. So for example, if you bought an iPhone 5 from Straight Talk which uses their Verizon network, it will only get 3G data.

      I don’t own any Verizon phones and I have never used Straight Talk’s Verizon network. But a lot of people have asked me about this so I researched it.

      Finally, I do want to add that if you search Google, you will find people claiming they are using their Verizon iPhone with Straight Talk or some other prepaid wireless company that uses the Verizon network. They never say how though. I suspect for some phones they find someone to reflash the software or a third party dealer that activates the phone on the particular network, even when they aren’t supposed to. That maybe they are just making it up.

      You way want to look into Verizon prepaid, you pay be able to BYOP. It doesn’t look like Verizon prepaid customers get 4G LTE though. This isn’t a bad if you have and iPhone 4 that doesn’t support 4G LTE, it is disappointing if you have a 5.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions and what you end up doing.
      Regards
      Bob

  6. jill | | Reply

    I really need help… I was on my dads AT&T account. My dad died last week. He has a conservator who manages his money matters. At the end of the current billing cycle my phone will be shut off. I have tried with AT&T to get my line switched into my name. They wont let me. Nor will they unlock my Iphone 4. I want to keep my current phone number.
    Id like to use NET10 as my service. My neighbor also gave me a Iphone 5 from Verizon but its licked too.
    I have read all the post. But dont quite understand them. Please help me, I dont want to lose my phone number
    Thank you

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jill,
      My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father.

      I did a quick search and found this link to the ATT site.
      http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB410609&cv=820#fbid=WyEPbFQfjci

      You want to transfer billing responsibility to you. Opt for their $45 plan, and port your number at a later time.

      To answer your questions.
      To port your number from AT&T to another carrier, you need to know your father’s ATT account number and his account PIN. If you know those two, you should be able to complete the port with out an issue. Once the port is completed, the ATT service for that phone is cancelled.

      If your iPhone is off contract, you should be able to go to the ATT device unlock portal, fill it out and get the device unlocked. If you use Net10, Straight Talk, or any other ATT based network, you can use them without unlocking the phone. Unlocked is better though.

      The Verizon iPhone 5 is also SIM unlocked. You can use it with any prepaid network that uses the ATT network.

      Regards
      Bob

      • jill | | Reply

        thank you Bob…
        what does porting my number mean? And how do you do it?

        • jill | | Reply

          and I looked on NET10 website it states that my iphone is useable but the sim card number isnt the same as the one shown on the package picture.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            I am sorry I don’t understand what you mean

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Porting just means that you transfer your number from one phone company to another. When you sign up for a cell phone service they will ask you if you want a new number to to port or transfer your old number.

  7. Robin Andress | | Reply

    I tried using the AT&T Nano Sim and the T Mobile Nano Simand I cannot get my MMS and Data to work! Very Frustrated and ST is DEF NO HELP!!

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi robin,
      It’s not clear to me if you followed my guide or the other instructions I suggested.

  8. Keith T | | Reply

    Thanks for all your info BOB. I have a iPhone 5 Verizon and when I check straight talk web site for BYOP it says it don’t recognize the MEID. I checked with Verizon to make sure its a clean phone. Im worried about buying the activation kit and it not working… Any opinion on this

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Keith,
      If you are doing BYOP you don’t need to check the iPhone 5 MEID with Straight Talk. You can only use your Verizon iPhone 5 on Straight Talk’s AT&T compatible or Straight Talk’s T-Mobile compatible network. You will not be able to register it on Straight Talk’s Verizon network. Verizon doesn’t allow Straight Talk to activate Verizon smartphones on the Straight Talk Verizon compatible network.

      Your Verizon iPhone 5 is SIM unlocked. You will need to use the Straight Talk AT&T network or Straight Talk T-Mobile network compatible SIM. Usually the Straight Talk AT&T network compatible SIM is the better choice. Make sure that there is decent AT&T service where you live, work, or plan to use your phone most.

      Regards
      Bob

  9. Ryan | | Reply

    Good Morning Bob,

    A friend of mine gave me his Verizon Iphone 5 because he had to switch carriers (Police officer and Verizon had bad service in the area he was transferring to). He was let out of his contract by Verizon because of the poor service they had in the area he is transferring to.

    After doing some research and reading many of your posts, I took the plunge. I already have straight talk (have a crappy LG phone I bought a while back), so I decided to purchase the Activation Kit that comes with multiple Sim Cards. Last night, I transferred my number to the new sim that is in the Iphone 5 now, but data isn’t quite working.

    I’ve looked at your posts regarding the APN Profiles and have done them all. I have data with 2 out of the 3, but it is painfully slow and does not say 3G or 4G with it…only “E”. I believe my picture messages are not working either, but that’s the least of my concern…for now.

    I was wondering if there was any way you could help me get this working? The SIM I installed is the ATT 4G-LTE (OR HSPA+) nano sim. Maybe I installed the wrong one? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ryan

    • Ryan | | Reply

      Also, it may be worth noting that my old phone is NOT working with text/phone calls, but IS working with anything data related.

      • Bob Thompson | | Reply

        Hmm. I wonder if there was a problem transferring your service..

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Ryan,
      The newest BYOP kit comes with 4 SIM cards: two Straight Talk T-Mobile network compatible SIMs and two Straight Talk ATT network compatible SIMs. The T-Mobile SIMs are come on a red and pink plastic card. The ATT SIMs come on a blue and gray (or bluish gray) plastic card. For most people, the bluish gray (ATT 4G-LTE) nano SIM is the one you want to use. This of course assumes that you live, work, or are using your phone in an area where the AT&T network has acceptable coverage.

      If you are using the T-Mobile SIM, transfer your service to the ATT SIM. It’s easy takes a few minutes to do from the Straight Talk web site.
      If you are using the AT&T SIM, and you are seeing the E you are only getting 2G service. Check the following.

      In Settings->Cellular make sure the LTE option is on
      In Settings->General-About make sure your Carrier is TFW 15.6 or TFW 15.7 (don’t accept the update if prompted)
      Do a hard reset (Press and hold the home and lock buttons). You wont lose you data on the phone
      test your data. If it’s still E then
      Go to settings-general->reset and select Rest All Settings (you’ll have to reenter wifi passwords later)
      test your data

      you won’t get 4G LTE on Straight Talk with this phone. You will get 4G HSPA+ though

      Let me know how it goes.
      Regards
      Bob

      • Ryan | | Reply

        Bob, thanks for all of your help. I find that your various blog posts are extremely helpful, and they enable me to help others that I know switch to Straight Talk if they decide to.

        What had happened was that I was using a T-Mobile SIM card on accident. The way they were labeled, I believed that the 2 SIM cards on the left of the Activation Kit were for ATT, and the other two were for T-Mobile, but I was wrong. I used the SIM card that you suggested, and I now see a 4G symbol and I am able to use the internet on my phone, as well as the ability to make and receive calls and text messages. I understand that I will not be able to use LTE, but the 4G is an upgrade from my previous straight talk phone, which was only 3G enabled. I am currently downloading at 4.33mbps, and uploading at .51mpbs (still slow, but hopefully it will get better).

        As far as the APN settings go, should I be changing that? I will look back on your other posts regarding this. I believe that may have something to do with it.

        The only issue I have now is that I am unable to send or receive picture messages. Not sure how to fix this issue, but i’m pretty sure you have a post about that as well.

        Thanks again so far for all your help!

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi,
          Check settings general about check your carrier. is it TFW 15.6 or something else. Don’t accept any carrier updates.
          If you installed an APN profile, remove it.
          If you don’t know how to do that see How to Setup Straight Talk Wireless Data and MMS for your iPhone running iOS 7

          Go to this post I Can’t Receive MMS Picture Messages Using Straight Talk or Net10 on My iPhone Using iOS 7.0.4
          Follow the instructions under try this.

          Test your data and mms. Test both sending and receiving mms.
          Let me know if they work. Let me know what your carrier was.
          Regards
          Bob

          • Ryan | |

            Sorry for such a late response Bob. I read your thread about getting 15.6 back on your phone after an update, and once I finished installing it, everything returned back to normal. I can send and receive picture messages, and the 4G icon appears next to TFW. My speeds aren’t great, but they are better then the 3g I was getting with my previous straight talk phone. I thank you for time, careful research and assistance in helping me with this. I will definitely be telling anyone I can about switching to Straight Talk with their Iphone 5’s.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Hi Ryan,
            I am glad to hear it helped. Thanks for taking the time to come back and comment.
            Regards
            Bob

  10. H. Howell | | Reply

    Hi Bob,

    I have an iphone 4 that used to Be on a Verizon contract. I live in an area with only CDMA coverage. I currently have no phone at all. I am desperate to find a no contract service on NET10 or another cdma no contact srvice and cannot find out if my iphone4 will work as a CDMA on NET10 or if I have to purchase a new phone. I do not want to use
    Verizon prepaid as I have had extremely bad experiences with them overcharging me.

    Thank you Bob, for your help,

    H. Howell

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi H. Howell,
      I don’t have a definitive answer for you.
      Many prepaid wireless companies using the verizon network claim they won’t activate Verizon iPhones. The rumor is that this is part of their agreement with Verizon.

      I have heard that a company called Page Plus might activate your phone.
      see http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1789401-verizon-iphone-4-on-page-plus

      Straight Talk claims they wont activate it. I have read claims that people have it working. They never say how. You could try to activate it.
      http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/byop/registration#.UuLtBWRdX

      You could also try to activate it on Net10.
      http://ntbyop.com/net10/

      When you bring your Verizon phone to and company that use a CMDA network they usually charge you 10 or 15 dollars to activate the phone.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions. I’d love to hear how it goes for you as well.

      Regards
      Bob

      • pastor arnold | | Reply

        Bob will the iphone 5 from verzion work with TracFone?

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          pastor arnold,
          Possibly. You can use your verizon iPhone 5 with any SIM card that uses the ATT or T-Mobile networks. Tracfone uses the both the ATT, TMobile networks as well as Verizon and Sprint.

          So, if you have a Tracfone SIM, and you cut it to fit the iPhone 5 it should work in the phone. Now, tracfone may have some restrictions if you try to use on of their low cost plans without data in a smartphone. And they may or may not enforce it.

          Let me know what plan you are trying to use or you current situation and I can give you better advice.
          Regards
          Bob

  11. Wesley | | Reply

    Hi Bob,

    I live in NYC and am thinking about getting an ATT sim for my unlocked iPhone 5s to use with Net10. I currently have a Tmobile sim that came with the phone from the Apple store, but after reading your articles, I think it would be best to go for the ATT sim. Should I get the ATT microsim through Net10’s site and cut it down to fit the nanosim slot for the iPhone 5s? Thanks for the help!

    – Wes

    – Wes

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Wesley,
      I have an unlocked iPhone 5s too. I waited for them to start selling the SIM free version, which was just after Thanksgiving. I read a lot of conflicting reports as to whether the full price T-Mobile iPhone 5s phones were unlocked. There were a lot of arguments on in the forums on the Internet. When the iPhone 5 came out, I bought the no contract AT&T iphone 5 for full price. After I did an iPhone restore using iTunes the phone was unlocked. I wanted to do the same with the iPhone 5s but I kept reading these conflicting reports. So..

      1. Make sure your phone is really unlocked.
      Borrow friends ATT SIM or stop by an ATT store and tell them you are thinking of switching to Pay N Go when your current service is up and want to try a SIM to make sure you phone is unlocked. Go into the store when it isn’t busy through. If your phone isn’t unlocked, you can try an iTunes restore (back up first) to see if it unlocks. You can also ask T-Mobile to unlock it. They will have some policy about needing to have had the phone active on T-Mobile for 30 or 60 days and you might need to still be a customer.

      2. Choosing A SIM
      For the longest time, Net10 and Straight Talk did not sell nano SIMs. This meant you needed to buy a regular or micro SIM and cut it. Some people use a scissor or razor blade. I used a SIM cutter tool. They sell for between $3 and $15 dollars on Amazon or eBay. It’s easy with the cutter. A SIM or micro SM is a little thicker than a nano SIM. I use a piece of sand paper or nail board to sand the top a little so it fits better.

      As far as I know, Net10 doesn’t sell nano SIM, only SIMs, and micro SIMs. However, I was helping a reader yesterday how just bought a Straight Talk BYOP kit and it came with SIMs, micro SIMs, and nano SIMs! Since Straight Talk and Net10 are owned by the same company, its possible that the new Net10 BYOP kits have nano SIMs too.

      You can also check eBay as some sellers offer seller cut SIMs.

      I hope that answers your questions. I always like the chance to talk to readers before they switch to prepaid. You have a number of options and I advise you to make an informed choice when choosing a prepaid service. There are many articles on smartphonematters about this. Take a look around the site and the older stuff.

      If you would like to discuss the options, I can share more information.

      Regards
      Bob

      • Wesley | | Reply

        Hi Bob,

        I really appreciate the feedback. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who was wondering about what options Net 10 offered for iPhone 5s users.

        I know my iPhone5s is unlocked because I purchased it unlocked through the apple store. I just opted to purchase a byop kit with a nano sim that I’m hoping will work with Net 10. The kit is offered here: http://www.net10wirelessphones.com/Net10-sim-card-byop-kit.html

        I chose the NET10 (AT&T) 4G LTE NANO option. I’m hoping this will work with Net 10 when I try to activate my phone.

        I looked into different prepaid providers and was bouncing between Net 10, straight talk, and virgin, but finally settled on Net 10. Hopefully I’ll be able to use it! I’m looking to use the unlimited monthly plan with 2.5GB data for $50 ($45 w/ autorefill) option.

        Any other advice on prepaid options would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Wesley,
          My comments I made about your iPhone 5s pertain to T-Mobile iPhone 5s purchased from the Apple Store.
          Go to this page
          http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone5s
          Scroll to the bottom.
          You will see Choose T-Mobile or SIM free (grayed out)

          Many people were claiming the full price T-Mobile phone was locked.
          See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1640112

          I am not saying your phone is or isn’t locked. I just wanted to make you aware of this.

          The SIM you picked should work. The website you linked to is not Net10, its a reseller Quality One Wireless. They might be selling you a SIM they cut. Again, not saying this is a problem. Just wanted to let you know.

          The $45 dollar plan with auto refill will end up costing more
          http://smartphonematters.com/net10-straightalk-wireless-taxes-and-fees/

          It sounds like you have researched this a bit. Just be aware of the that you might have an issue with MMS.
          See How to Setup Straight Talk Wireless Data and MMS for your iPhone running iOS 7

          Regards
          Bob

          • Wesley | |

            Hey Bob,

            Thanks for all the tips! Got my nanosim in the mail today, ran down to the store and picked up a $50 net10 unlimited card to get it started, and I was able to switch my number from my old phone to my new one and had service up and running in about an hour. MMS working automatically because it’s an AT&T sim.

            Happy that I got all of this to work even after speaking with Net10 and having them tell me that they wouldn’t be able to let me use my iPhone 5s because they didn’t sell nanosims… Sweet deal.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Hey Wesley,
            that is awesome news. thanks for taking the time to come back and tell me how it worked out. It’s nice to hear back from readers, especially when things go smoothly.
            Regards
            Bob

  12. Rick | | Reply

    Verizon 5s how soon can I cancel the contract pay the fee and have it unlocked to use it on Straight talk

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Rick,
      You should be able to cancel your Verizon account at any time. Their early termination fee for smartphones is $350.00 and decreases $10.00 each month, so at the last month it will be $110.00 to cancel.

      When you move your iPhone 5s to Straight Talk, you can use it on Straight Talk’s AT&T or Straight Talk’s TMobile network. Even thought Straight Talk also uses and sells phones for the Verizon network, they won’t activate your phone on their Verizon network. You’ll need to choose either their ATT or TMobile network. The ATT network is usually the better choice.

      You don’t need to have your iPhone 5s unlocked to use it with Straight Talk. Your iPhone 5s has a SIM slot on the side. That SIM slot is unlocked, meaning you can use either Straight Talk’s ATT network or Straight Talk’s T-Mobile Network compatible SIM in your iPhone.

      You should get at least 4G service on your iPhone 5s on either of those networks if it’s available in your area. You **MIGHT** get 4G LTE. I know that the Verizon iPhone 5 only supported 4G because the phone wasn’t compatible with the ATT and TMobile LTE networks. Your iPhone 5s should be compatible though.

      Regards,
      Bob

  13. Darryl | | Reply

    I called straight talk because I want to transfer my I Phone 5 to Straight Talk and they told me it could not be done!!! I told them I was told by the people in Walmart that if I had the phone unlocked that I could. SO I am confused at this point as the message I am getting here is that it can be done ?????? Any advise that I can rely on before I buy the activation kit from straight talk would be greatly appreciated thanks Darryl

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Darryl,
      OK. So Straight Talk sells iPhones that run on the Verizon network. They will not knowingly allow you to take a Verizon iPhone and activate it on the StraightTalk network. I think its a Verizon issue. They don’t want their customers switching. But, if you have an iPhone 5 or greater, you can use it as a GSM phone on the ATT or TMobile network. The phone is SIM unlocked, as part of licensing the LTE spectrum from the government, Verizon is required to have the iPhone 5 SIM unlocked. This means you can use a Straight Talk SIM in the phone. This is only for the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s because they are LTE phones, not the 4 and 4s.

      When you use the iPhone 5 on the Straight Talk ATT network you will get 4G HSPA+ serivce, not 4G LTE, that is assuming ATT 4G LTE service is available in your area. This is because the the Verizon iPhone 5 doesn’t support the LTE radio frequencies that ATT uses. The iPhone 5s and 5c (i think) will because they support more LTE frequencies.

      If you are using your iPhone 5 on the verizon network currently and want to move to ST you need the ST AT&T SIM. But, you need to make sure that AT&T works well where you live, work, and plan to use your phone. If ATT has poor coverage where you live, you won’t be happy.

      I hope that helps.
      Regards
      Bob

  14. megan | | Reply

    i have a verizon iphone 4 and currently on a 2 year contrat with verizon. i want to switch service to straight talk though because of verizons cost issues. i am wanting to get a new iphone 5 through verizon but i also am about to switch plans over to straight talk. is there any way to do this.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Megan,
      If you cancel your contract with Verizon, they will ask you to pay an Early Termination Fee or ETF. This is typically a prorated fee based on the cost of your phone and the amount of time left on your contract. When you switch to Straight Talk, you’ll need to make a choice about what network and which phone to use. Straight Talk doesn’t own their own network,they buy service from ATT, TMobile, Verizon, and Sprint wholesale and re-sell it to you.

      You can buy a phone from Straight Talk, or Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP). Using your iPhone 4, after paying the ETF, might be difficult. Technically you can bring a Verizon phone to Straight Talk, but they claim, you can’t bring a Verizon iPhone (or BlackBerry). Some people claim they have done this. I haven’t. I have never had a reader confirm they have done it either.

      You will need to decide what network you want to be on. That will depend on where you live, work, and plan to use your phone. Typically for the iPhone the ATT network is the best choice. T-Mobile doesn’t support the iPhone well in most areas. Straight Talk’s Verizon service doesn’t support 4G LTE, so if you go for an iPhone 5 or above it’s not a good deal.

      If you upgrade your iPhone with Verizon to an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s my guess is you would be renewing your 2 year contract and need to pay the full ETF when you cancel your contract. The verizon iPhone 5 models will work with the Straight Talk ATT network.

      I think you best bet would be to buy a new unlocked iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, or a used iPhone 5 and set it up on the Straight Talk ATT network. You’ll pay full price for the phone. If you cancel your verizon contract and pay the EFT you can sell your iPhone 4 on CraigsList, eBay or Gazelle.

      If you like, we can walk through the numbers and the options. I often do reader help articles helping people figure out prepaid options.

      Let me know,
      Bob

  15. Juan Carlos | | Reply

    will another verizon phone work with net 10?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Juan,
      You would need to go to the link in the article and enter your ESN to find out.
      What type of phone?
      Regards
      Bob

  16. Jamie | | Reply

    A Verizon iPhone 5 wont work with With Net10 Wireless unless you get a ATT sim card and use it on ATT. Net10 only has support for ATT & T-Mobile

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Jamie,
      Well, actually, the iPhones that both net10 and straighttalk sell use the Verizon network. You can also do BYOP with a Verizon phone on both carriers. There is some debate as to whether they will register a CDMA iphone with them. It’s a bad choice for the iphone 5 because they currently only offer Verizon 3G service.
      Regards
      Bob

      • Jamie | | Reply

        the iPhone5 that net10 has only will work on a GMS network But the straighttalk iphone 5 can be used on either GMS (ATT exc..) or Verizon network. I know this because I have the Straight Talk iPhone 5 and I have it setup on Net10 on ATT. However you cant use the Straght Talk iPhone 5 on Net 10 unless you use a GMS service.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Hi Jamie,
          I’ll have to review my post. I was pretty sure the Net10 iPhones were for the Verizon network. But I just looked again and you are correct. These are GSM phones for the att and tmobile networks. Another difference here is that the Straight Talk iPhone 5 will not support 4g LTE on either the att or Verizon network. I assume you are getting 4G HSPA +

          Regards,
          Bob

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