1. Jesse | |

    Hello Bob. Thank you for this resource, it’s a huge help.

    Here’s my situation: my iPhone 5 (used on StraightTalk’s Verizon network) finally bit the dust after three and a half years of use, so I’m looking to purchase a new phone. I decided to upgrade to a 128GB iPhone 6s, and I plan on buying it carrier-free from Apple and activating it on the Verizon network through StraightTalk.

    My question to you is: do you know if the 128GB 6s is eligible for activation on the CDMA network? According to various other sources online, StraightTalk only sells iPhones up to 16GB, and I’m worried that a larger storage capacity would make the phone ineligible for activation. Is that a valid concern?

    As a more general question, is there any way of checking whether a phone is eligible BEFORE buying it and looking up it’s MEID? I am among the many people that can ill-afford to spend in excess of $700 on a phone that might not function on the Verizon network through StraightTalk (as it’s the only reliable network in my area).

    Thank you for any insights!

    • Bob Thompson | |


      My guess is that Straight Talk only sells 16GB models is because of the price. The amount of storage doesn’t affect network compatibility.

      The SIM-free iPhone’s are compatible with Straight Talk’s Verizon network, but you do need to check the MEID of the specific phone to make sure it can be registered. Every once is a while somebody says mine wasn’t eligible. If this did happen to you, and you bought the phone directly from Apple, you can return it. If you buy it in an Apple retail store, you should be able to check the MEID using an in store Mac before leaving the store or even unwrapping it, and maybe even before paying! Even if you order online you should not have a problem returning it.
      Here is their return policy. http://www.apple.com/shop/help/returns_refund

      You might also consider buying a used phone off eBay. You’d save some money. Of course the risk is a little higher, but you just make sure to check the return policy for the seller. If you buy from an individual, you can ask for the MEID before buying. You may not be comfortable buying from eBay though.

      FYI, you might also want to check out Total Wireless. Like Straight Talk, its a tracfone brand, uses the Verizon network. I haven’t tried it yet, but reader reports its the same quality of service with more attractive plans. First Look At Total Wireless

      Let me know how it goes.

  2. Leigh | |

    Hi. Great site!! But I couldn’t find an answer to this: I have an iPhone 5s and safe link, which is a service done through tracfone that I’m sure you are familiar with. I was able to get the phone up and running, but I can’t get voicemail to work. I did the press 1 forever and the star 86 thing, and neither worked, and the person at customer service did’t know either. The carrier is “TFW”, which means, as I read elsewhere on your site, means tracphone, and that’s all i know. Help Obi-Bob-Kenobi, you’re my only hope!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      That’s a good question.. Sometimes the iPhone gets confused with VM especially if your carrier doesn’t support Visual Voicemail.
      I can make some suggestions…

      To a network reset and try to access VM again. Resetting Network Settings on Your iPhone.

      What happens when you call your own mobile number from the phone? Does it go to VM?

  3. Michelle DeLand | |

    I just purchased an iPhone 7 plus on Best Buy’s web site. I purchased the Verizon no contract for i believe $1,068.00? I will check the exact price later. Anyway my question is this, It is NOT Unlocked, it is Unactivated, can i still use it with straight talk BYOP?

  4. Samuel | |

    I recently bought a Straight talk phone from walmart and I already had a straight talk number and when i tried to move my number to my new phone I put the wrong phone number. What do I need to do to fix my mistake?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      You didn’t really say what the result of putting in the wrong number was. Is the new phone now active with the wrong number?

  5. William Zebulon Burke | |

    I’ll be traveling to China in a couple of weeks taking my iPhone 6s Plus that uses a Tracfone SIM. My question is, when I use a China SIM during my time in China, will there be any problems? According to sources, it’s a fairly easy thing, to switch SIM cards.



    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi William,
      Your iPhone 6s Plus needs to be unlocked. If your phone is from Verizon it already is. If not you should see if it is unlocked by borrowing a SIM from a friend who uses a different wireless company and see if it works in your phone.

      In Hong Kong you can buy a prepaid SIM is any corner convenience store. Most clerks there also speak English and may know which one is the best. In mainland China, you’ll need a passport or Chinese ID to buy a SIM. This was a response to fraud and abuse committed using untraceable phones. If many find it difficult communicate with store employees on the mainland if you do not speak Mandarin or have a translator. You usually can buy a SIM in the airport and the salesperson will likely speak English but you may not get the best deal there.

  6. TCS | |

    I have a iPhone 6s Verizon and when I enter the MEID number on the Straight talk website it say’s it is not compatible. If the phone is not locked I don’t understand why it can’t be used. Can you help?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      All Verizon iPhone 6s phones are sold unlocked. Is your phone on a contract or payment plan still? is so the phone isn’t eligible…

  7. Jordan | |

    Hi! We just ported our numbers over from att to straight talk. My husband has an att iphone 6 with ios 10. He can call and text but we can not get his data settings to up date. The phone was unlocked by att prior to porting. What are we doing wrong?

  8. sean | |

    I got a bidding win on ebay on an Apple MG482LL/A iPhone 6 Unlocked SIM free but not sure it can be used with tracfone BYOP plan? please advise .


  9. Julie Ann Wurst | |

    Hi Bob,
    I bought an unlocked i phone 5 c. but I don’t know what carrier they had , so I don’t know which sim card to use
    Can you help me please?

  10. Sonny | |

    Hi Bob. I recently switched my teenage daughters from Freedom Pop to Tracfone’s Total Wireless offering. My wife and I have our service through Tracfone’s Net10 service. Our Net10 phones are CDMA-V. Do you know if we can switch our Net10 phones over to Total Wireless? The Net10 phones are less than a year old and I’d prefer to not have to buy new phones. Alternatively can we purchase Straight Talk phones and activate them on a Total Wireless account?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Looks like they have a BYOP plan. You can check phone compatibility here: https://www.totalwireless.com/wps/portal/home/h/check-compatibility.

      Net10’s unlocking policy

      For Customers with NET10 Handsets Capable of Being Unlocked : NET10 will provide an unlocking code to customers who request unlocking, provided they meet the following conditions:

      (a) Customers must request handset unlocking. NET10 will unlock handsets of current and former NET10 customers without charge. Non-former customers may request unlocking, but NET10 may charge a reasonable fee.

      (b) The NET10 Handset must have been activated on NET10 Service for no fewer than 12 months with Service Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.

      (c) Customers must possess a NET10 Handset that is not reported stolen, lost, or associated with fraudulent activity.

      (d) If a customer in good standing requesting handset unlocking is deployed as military personnel, upon provision of deployment papers, NET10 will honor that customer’s unlocking request.

      NET10 may refuse any unlocking request that would result in an abuse of its Unlocking Policy or is part of an effort to defraud NET10 or its customers. NET10’s Unlocking Policy is subject to change at any time without advance notice.

  11. Marc | |


    I’m getting ready to transfer my long-held Tracfone account from an old 2G GSM feature phone to a just-purchased Iphone SE. I have the SIM card kit from Tracfone and I think I’m set to go.

    My question concerns the choice of carrier – AT&T (GSM) or Verizon (CDMA). The phone hardware can support either one, as you know.

    Other than coverage, might there be any reason to make the choice for one carrier over the other?

    Officially neither carrier supports roaming, but from others’ experiences, AT&T apparently has occasionally provided some roaming. Also, I believe that my number porting from old phone to new would be much quicker if I stayed with GSM, but that’s a very minor consideration.

    Do you know of any other pros and cons between AT&T and Verizon that might provide a good reason for going with one over the other at the outset?

    Would it be straightforward to change carriers at a later time if I learned that coverage or something else was an issue?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Marc,
      If the Verizon and AT&T network both work well in your area, I’d choose the AT&T network. I hear about more problems with the tracfone, straight talk, and net10 Verizon network (all three are owned by the same company), mostly issues with data stopping working. I get very fast LTE data on the AT&T network, speeds on the Verizon network are capped at 5Mbps. The only advantage I can think of for the Verizon network is that Visual Voicemail seems to work, altthough not offically supported. You’ll get regular voice mail with the AT&T network.

      you can transfer your service to the other network at a later time if you are not happy with it. In some areas of the US, Verizon is the only carrier with decent coverage, and in that case I recommend the Verizon network.

      Let me know how it goes.

      • Marc | |

        Thanks, Bob. I’ll go with AT&T for now.

        Hoping the phone-to-phone transfer goes without a hitch.


  12. Brie | |

    Is there a way I can transfer my straight talk number to a locked T-Mobile iPhone 6s Plus?

      • Brie | |

        I saw where it said a locked T-Mobile iPhone 6s Plus could work with Straight Talk Verizon. As of now it’s successful. What do I need to do?

    • Brie | |

      It was on this site where it said something about the phone eligibilities under a check off list. I see I wasted money thinking that. What would be the best thing for me to do since I’m stuck with a locked T-Mobile phone? Getting it jailbroken or maybe unlocked by someone?

      • Bob Thompson | |

        First, where did you buy the phone from. Do you have the opportunity to return it? Do you have a link to the listing were you bought the phone from. Next, you could try contacting T-Mobile to see if they will unlock it for you. If not, find out why? e.g. is it still on a payment plan, etc. You may be able to activate it on t-mobile yourself for 30 or 60 days. qualify for an unlock, then cancel your service.

        I’ve never used 3rd party unlock services before. So I can’t speak to the reliability. And we aren’t really sure at this point that unlocking the phone will make it eligible for Straight Talk’s Verizon network yet. Jailbreaking the phone won’t unlock it.

        Can you share the IMEI number of the phone with me? I’ll check it.

        • Brie | |

          I brought it from someone. I called T-Mobile and they wouldn’t release the unlock code.
          Here’s the IMEI 353283074477089

          • Bob Thompson | |

            You can ask the previous owner of the phone to have it unlocked, or ask T-Mobile what would be required for your friend, the previous owner to unlock it. I checked your IMEI on both verizonwireless.com and straighttalk.com. Straighttalk.com told me to call to check eligibility, verizonwireless.com said it was eligible.

            If you get the phone unlocked it should work with ST’s Verizon network. You could use the phone with Straight Talk’s T-Mobile network. Or sell the phone on eBay or CraigsList and buy a phone that will work with Straight Talk’s Verizon network.

            What phone are you currently using? Does it have a nano SIM in it?

  13. brad | |

    How do I get my hotspot to work

    • Bob Thompson | |

      That would depend on your specific phone or hot spot device and if your trying to use it with your phone, your wireless company needs to support it. On some phones / service combos the feature is disabled. If you are using Straight Talk, see Using Personal Hotspot with Straight Talk

  14. Candace | |

    I have straighttalk, I recently was given an iPhone 5 from verizon. I called straight talk and they sent me a SIM card and I have it installed, my text messages work and calling works but I can not get my data to work unless I am in wifi and I havent used an ounce of my data. I’ve looked at tutorials and still cant figure it out. What do I do to use my data?

      • Chris | |

        Hi, I have a Samsung Note 3.. I’ve had it for over a year, no problems.. It’s an unlocked Verizon on the BYOP with Straight Talk.. Before my month was over the Cellular Data stopped, worked great over wifi.. Purchased another month, same problem.. Can not use Internet unless on wifi.. IRRITATING. Please help.. I can understand (read) your advice better than calling straight talk.. I’ve been reading all your comments and not finding a solution that refers to me that I can try..(apn=Tracfone. VZWENTP) not able to change or edit it. HELP 🙂 Thanks in advance.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Hi Chris,
          Your best bet it to call support, but use the number in this article. Problems with Straight Talk Wireless’ Verizon Network.

          Your problem may be that your data speeds were reduced after exceeding 5GB or 10GB, or for some unknown reason, straight talk needs to fix the registration of your phone on the network.

    • Nikki | |

      Hi Bob, I clicked in the link you gave and

      • Nikki | |

        Sorry about! However when I clicked on the link, it said the authenticity ” tracfone.vzwentp” cannot be verified. My question is, is that okay, do I still install it?

  15. Ray Lachney | |

    Hi Bob. Unfortunately Jessica misled you and me both on your chat you pasted here. I finally called ST Corporate. They did tell me that the Iphone 5s offered by ST is not and will never be VZ tower capable. It is only ATT capable. You cant believe the chat folks. Because of my efforts if you ask Jessica or Jennifer that same question today, she will chat you that the phone is out of stock. Still not the truth. If your ST readers want to get the real data, call Corporate ST at 800-626-4883 extension 3324. I am so disappointed with ST customer service. I tried forever to talk to someone in the good ole USA, but I kept getting stuck in the Phillipines. I really wanted VZ towers with a good phone, but cant find a good droid for $200 or less. Thanks for your help. Bottom line, dont believe ST customer service or Live chat. Totally useless. Is there a reader out there on ST with VZ towers on a decent phone ($200 or less)?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Ray,
      I have a few readers who have told me they have recently bought that iPhone 5s and it was using the Verizon towers. I agree with you that you cannot always get a reliable answer from Straight Talk’s support, but you have to start someplace. Your best bet is to buy a phone someplace else and do BYOP for ST’s Verizon network.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Ray,
      I think the new Moto G at $199 mqy be the phone you are looking for.
      Get the Moto G 16 GB for just $199.99

      They have a Verizon version, which I think should work with Straight Talk’s Verizon network.

    • Sonny | |

      Ray. i just picked up 3 Total Wireless Iphone 5S’s from Walmart. The phones were $150 each. You can get the same phone from the Total Wireless site for the same money. I prefer to buy from Walmart because their extended warranty is so inexpensive. The Iphones on Total Wireless are using Verizon Towers.

  16. Ray Lachney | |

    Does the iphone 5s bought online from Straight Talk work on Verizon towers? if so, please explain exactly what I need to purchase and how. Thanks

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t think so. You need to ask Straight Talk which network that phone uses in your zip code. They sometimes use different networks depending where you live.
      What’s you ZIP code, I can take a look at it and see if I can tell which network it will use.

      • Ray Lachney | |


        • Ray Lachney | |

          Thanks for your help.

  17. Micheal Achenbach | |

    Hi Bob,

    I am having an issue with getting data to work on my phone through ST I have an iphone5 originally from Verizon. The phone is long paid off and was using Verizon service (ie the phone is not under contract). I checked with the ST site and it said my phone was compatible. I purchased the starter kit (CDMA LTE compatible) from Walmart last night and did the walk-thru registration/activation on ST’s site.

    I have a new number issued as well as voice service, however I cannot get data. It recognizes data (changes from 1x to 3G to LTE) depending on where I am in town however there is no connection when attempting any data task. I have rebooted the phone several times to no avail.

    One interesting note and I am not sure if this affects it: the verizon part of the kit comes with both a sim card and a “network access code” that is needed during the activation process according to print on the card and the kit. However, not once during the activation/registration process did the site ask for the network access code.

    It still switches between verizon and extended net work on the phone’s screen as well (not sure if that is a helpful hint at all).

    Thank you for any and all help,

    Micheal Achenbach

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Micheal,
      It seems they no longer use the Network Access Code for CDMA LTE phones like the iPhone 5. They may still use it for CDMA only phones, but that is not relevant for you.
      Try installing the carrier profile on your iPhone using the Safari browser. http://iapnupdatevzw.straighttalk.com/

      See if that helps. Let me know how it goes.


  18. vickie | |

    I recently gave my son my old Verizon iPhone 4s which he switched over to straight talk. However, we both neglected to reset it before the changeover. If he hard resets it now will it remove his straight talk account and number?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      It will still be registered to his account. You may need to redial the activation sequence or give ST a call if you have a problem after.

  19. John | |

    Hello Bob,
    I would like to purchase an iPhone 6s Plus (64gb). I would like for this phone to be completely unlocked and I don’t mind if the phone is new, used or refurbished as long as it comes with all original accessories. I would like to use it on Straight Talk’s AT&T network, but I would also like the ability to switch to another network in case I want to sell the phone later. I would like to play the cheapest price possible. I am currently not tired to any carrier. I just want to know the best way to purchase a 64gb iPhone 6s Plus with these capabilities. I looked at Apple’s iPhone program and it just had too many cons than pros for me. I wouldn’t mine selling the phone after the next iPhone come out. I know the Apple Upgrade program gives you the latest phone and AppleCare Protection, but I do not want to owe Apple any money at the end of the day. Right now, I’m thinking my best option is buying a refurbished or open-box iPhone from BestBuy and enrolling in some kind of protection plan for them. I’m not sure if this is the best way, but I’d like your feedback, and anyone else who wants to pitch in on the issue. I also know the next iPhone will be around soon, but I don’t think I can wait for a SIM-free version of that phone though. I might think about it, but please give me some feedback.


    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi John,
      An iPhone 6s Plus 64GB SIM free model meets all your requirements and would cost you $849.00 plus state sales tax. So it will be close to $900. The cheapest way I know to buy one from apple is to do an in store pickup in a state with no sales tax (Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and New Hampshire). I use a Discover card which gives me 5% back on my purchase and pick up in New Hampshire.

      I’ve never been a fan of Best Buy open box. The discount never seems significant and seems to always be missing stuff. I don’t think they sell the SIM free models, so I think you’s have to find a full price Verizon model.

      I’d start looking on eBay for an individual selling their phone. Look for a Verizon phone or a SIM free one, with original box and accessories. Ask for the IMEI to see if the phone is eligible for Straight Talk’s Verizon network.

      Some examples

      • John | |

        I have another question Bob. Shortly after the iPhone 6s Plus was released, the SIM-free models were also released. It was earlier compared to last year. This year the big deal was that the SIM-free model had the same model number (meaning same bands and such) as the AT&T model. With this being said, I saw Walmart has locked AT&T iPhone 6s Plus’s for about 600. Many reviewers said they have gotten their locked AT&T iPhone 6s Plus unlocked using the AT&T unlock portal website. I have used it in the past, but not on an iPhone newer than the iPhone 5s. So, my question is could I do this and the phone become unlocked like a SIM-free model (capable to use on any U.S. carrier) since it shares the same bands as the SIM-free model. I understand the companies may not whitelist the IMEI, but theoretically if I wanted to just pop in a Verizon chip after getting it unlocked, would it work?

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Hi John,
          If you were able to unlock the phone, putting an active Verizon sim would work. But, you may not be able to activate that phone on a Verizon network, because like you say the imei is not whitelisted.

          My guess is that when the 7 comes out, we may need to wait for the SIM free model, depending on the demand for the phone.

          • John | |

            Thanks for the advice Bob. I just read online that Verizon started whitelisting devices in September of 2015. They say that it works and the device appears on your account as BYOD or NON VZW DEVICE.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            I know for a fact that moving the SIMs works. I’ve done it. I was watching The New Screen Savers review of the One Plus 3 and the reviewer said she had some issue with Verizon by moving her SIM around through some phones. I’d still have some concern that you might have an issue signing up for Verizon with an AT&T phone. I’ve heard mixed reports about it.

          • John | |

            So, do you think that I would have better chances for resell of an Unlocked 64gb AT&T iPhone 6s Plus or a 64gb Verizon iPhone 6s Plus

          • Bob Thompson | |

            I think both options are popular for resale and you’d have no issue reselling either.

  20. jonyaijah | |

    I have an LG E980 and I can not send pictures or recieve them what are the correct APN settings for this phone

  21. Bryant | |

    I followed the steps from how to activate with ST using the att sim rather the the original V provider. 5C. And I had this pop up.

    To activate you need a service card blah. No refunds issued on this SIM card or airtime pin. What’s up with that

  22. Jody C. | |

    Hi Bob, I currently have VZW and purchased thru them my iPhone 6. I wanted to switch to Straight Talk, yet their site indicates my phone (which is unlocked) is not compatible with ST, even though they leverage the VZW network. Can you shed any light on why an unlocked iPhone 6 would be incompatible since ST is unable to answer my question? TIA!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      All Verizon iPhone 6 phones are unlocked. If your phone is on a verioN contract or payment plan it will not be eligible until the the terms are completed or paid off. Once paid, the phone should be eligible for use on Straight talks Verizon network. As is your phone would work with Straight talks att network.

  23. Bonny Pennell | |

    I have an old modified t-mobile sim card from 2013 that I have used in my iphone 5 and my iphone 6s+. Straight talk offers wifi calling. I know my 6s+ is capable of wifi calling but it’s not showing up in the settings. Do you think I would have to move to a new nano sim card to enable this feature?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know. I just tried to enable WiFi calling on my iPhone SE using ST’s Verizon network and iPhone 6 using ST’s AT&T network. The logged into my straighttalk.com account and tried to enable it but it said my phone’s were not compatible. The iPhone SE has the option for WiFi calling in Settings > Phone the iPhone 6 did not. I tried turning it on on the SE and it did not work.

      try logging into straighttalk.com and see if you can enable Wifi Calling.

  24. John | |

    could a locked att blackberry z10 smartphone be turned into my new straight talk phone? According to my zip I am covered. I just dont understand why it has to be unlocked, or why it says that specifically on the ST website. i.e. AT&T(unlocked)———-Verizon———–Sprint—————T-Mobile…

    Thanks for any information or any light you can shed on this dilemma.

    • Jerry s | |

      Hi Bob
      I ran across your Smartphonematters site today .
      I have had this no network problem for 3 months .
      I have a iPhone 5s Verizon unlocked that I bought at an Apple store
      about 16 months ago , I buy a Net 10 simm card and was well until around Jan-Feb 2016 .
      When I bought more mins/data the phone worked but the data LTE didn’t .
      The first couple of time I called Net 10 and after an hour oe so they got it working .
      Last month 5/14/2016 same thing , no help from net 10 this time .
      So I when to YouTube and found this to help correct to problem ,

      Turn off cellular
      goto Safari
      Clear history & data
      Goto General
      Reset network setting
      Clear Profile in General
      7. restart phone

      and the Data was working .
      This month 6/13/2016 I did the same thing 1-7 but when I went to look for
      PROFILE In General it was NOT there ?

      Hope you can help .

      Jerry S.

      • Bob Thompson | |

        Hi Jerry,
        The first time you did that, you had a profile installed. Nw this second time, you have no profile installed. If you are using Straight Talk’s Verizon network, try installing http://iapnupdatevzw.net10.com.

      • Bob Thompson | |

        I meant Net10 not Straight Talk in my previous comment.

  25. Mckeirnan | |

    I have a Samgung Galaxy Grand Prime. It’s CDMA LTE and runs off Verizon towers. My problem is I get internet data alright, but cannot get mobile data where I live. They put a Verizon tower in a year ago just above my home. I am now told this is a data tower only, but if I change the setting in my mobile setting (Anther phones use advanced talk settings) I would be able to get mobile calling on my phone. I looked up all the ways to change the settings on my phone, but the mobile settings do give me anywhere to change these settings. Is there anyway I can do this on my phone?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t understand what you are asking. Can you read what you wrote one more time to make sure it is clear?

  26. John | |

    Hello Bob,
    My friend has a Straight Talk iPhone 6 Plus and he wants to trade iPhones with me. I have an AT&T iPhone 5s. I know the 5s can be transferred over to his name (would need new sim card) but I’m not so sure about the Straight Talk branded iPhone 6 Plus. We both would like to retain the Straight Talk plans also. I read somewhere online that he would have to remove the iPhone 6 Plus from his straight talk account and I would have to re-register it under my ST account; I’m not sure how accurate this is (could you please confirm?). My next question is would I have to use the same ST network he used with the phone. He says it was ST Verizon, but I would like to use ST AT&T network for faster speeds. If I have to use the same network, would I need a new network access code as well?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi John,
      How is it going? I haven’t done this myself so you’ll need to verify this.

      Take your Straight Talk nano SIM from your iPhone 5s and try it in his iPhone 6 Plus and see if it works. It should. If it works, you can just move your SIM into the phone after you make the trade. You won’t need a Network Access Code or a new SIM. The only reason it might not work is if we got a deal on the phone from Straight Talk and it can only be used on Straight Talk’s Verizon network.

      Now if your friend wants to use your iPhone 5s on Straight Talk’s Verizon network this gets a little tricky. He would need to check to see if its eligible. See Checking If You Can Use Your Verizon Smartphone with Straight Talk Wireless. If it is, he would need to transfer his ST Verizon service to the new phone. He would need a network access code to register the phone and then could do the transfer. They might want him to order a new SIM as part of that transfer.

      Once your friend is done with the iPhone 6, he would need to remove it from his account. These Straight Talk Verizon phones can be tricky when you want to reactivate them on Straight Talk’s Verizon network. You might want him to contact ST support to verify what steps he would need to do so that someone else could use the phone with on a different account. (Even though you don’t plan on on registering it on ST’s Verizon network).

      Alternatively, you could try his ST Verizon iPhone SIM in your 5S and see if it works. You could then swap phones and not deal with all the extra steps Although they don’t want you to do that.

      Start with this and let me know how it goes.

      • John | |

        Thanks for the info Bob. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. Hopefully, we’ll know by saturday when he gives me the phone.

      • John | |

        Hey again Bob,
        So it turns out that he gave me some completely wrong information about his account. It turns out he bought the phone from Best Buy under a Verizon contract. He let the contract run out and then he switched to straight talk. I believe he had an AT&T ST sim in the phone because my locked AT&T iPhone 5s immediately registered him sim and his registered mine just as quick. So, in the end there were no need for any network access codes. However, we ended have some hardware difficulties with the phone, and we were not able to have a successful switch due to his iPhone 6 Plus touchscreen issues.

  27. Eli | |

    Thanks Bob!

  28. Kimberly | |

    I bought a Samsung galaxy s3 locked to us cellular how can I get it set up through straight talk?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      You may not be able to. To use it with Straight Talk’s AT&T or T-Mobile network the phone needs to be unlocked and compatible with the radio frequencies those networks use.
      To use it with Straight Talk’s Verizon or Sprint network network the phone needs to be eligible. See the videos here to learn how to check eligibility.
      How To Sign Up and Use Your iPhone 6 or 6s with Straight Talk Wireless

  29. Alyssa L | |

    Hello Bob, I just left this comment on another thread but thought it may be better to go here. I am having a problem with my data. I just bought an Iphone 5s from Wal-Mart two days ago. I had my phone number changed over from Verizon Wireless and when my Verizon service was terminated (it took about 3 hours) my straight talk phone worked for calls and non-media messages. However, the data will not work and i cannot send pictures or imessages without my wifi on. I have tried installing and deleting multiple profiles, I have spent an hour on the phone with straight talk to no avail, I have taken out and re-inserted the sim card, I have reset the network settings, I have reset all phone settings, and nothing has worked for me. My phone is showing that my LTE data is on in the top left of the home screen and when I go to “cellular” settings it is turned on, but gives me a “could not activate cellular data network” message as well every time I try to get the data to work.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      What color was the plastic card the SIM was attached to?

      • Alyssa L | |

        White and red.

      • Alyssa L | |

        Thank you, Bob. I tried both of those profiles listed on #4 multiple times, to no avail. My phone does not have an option for “cellular data network” (#3), so i cannot try that option. Straight talk is sending me a new sim card, but it is another Verizon one, so we’ll see if that works or not. If it does not, I will try option 5, to call Straight Talk’s Executive Resolution department.

        Since my phone is under Verizon’s straight talk network, do you think it would it be hard to switch to the AT&T Straight Talk network?

        Thank you for your time.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          if the AT&T network works well in your area, then using Straight Talk’s AT&T network is a better choice then their Verizon network, in my opinion. Switching from the Straigh Talk AT&T network from the ST Verizon network isn’t hard. See Transferring Your Existing Straight Talk Service to a New Straight Talk Phone or SIM

          The only thing I don’t know is if your iPhone 5s from Straight Talk will work on their AT&T network. I think it should. if you look here, http://www.shopstraighttalk.com/bpdirect/straighttalk/PhoneDetails.do?action=view&productVariantExtensionId=26653865
          you’ll see they say the phone is secured for activation on Straight Talk.

          Normally the Verizon iPhone 5s comes unlocked, not sure about this phone from ST. You could transfer your service to the ATT SIM, and if it doesn’t work, return the phone and buy a used iPhone 5s on ebay for around the same price I think. You could also try borrowing an AT&T SIM from a friend and see if it works. If it does, then straight talk’s AT&T sim will work as well. if it doesn’t work, the Straight Talk AT&T sim still might work. Unfortunately. you can’t ask Straight Talk about this as they get confused

          • Alyssa L | |


            Thank you for all of your help. I screenshotted this conversation in case I need to switch to the AT&T straight talk network in the future.

            The new sim card they sent me came today, and upon activation, my data still did not work. While I was waiting on hold to speak with a representative, I removed the last profile I added yesterday. The lady from customer service had me re-start my phone, and when I turned it back on, my LTE data worked! So right now there is no profile connected to my phone. Does not make sense AT ALL, but I’m happy it works. Thanks so much for your help and insight.

      • Colleen | |

        This one is not working. Is there another one yet that works?

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Sorry, what isn’t working for you?

  30. Eli | |

    Hi Bob,

    Currently using Net10’s 30 day / 300 minutes plan on a Net10 device. Would really love to use an unlocked Nexus4, formerly of AT&T, on this very plan. Is it possible? Since I work from home, most of my internet usage would be through home WiFi. I don’t need to use the web on the go. Just interested in talk and text while away from home.
    I really appreciate the advice you are giving, THANKS!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t think you can use any Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) with that plan. What type of phone do you currently have? does it have a SIM card in it?

      • Eli | |

        I have a Samsung S 390 G (Net10 proprietary) phone, it has a working SIM card. The Nexus4 requires a micro-SIM.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          That phone looks like it would be using the Net10 AT&T network. I assume it’s a standard size SIM. The SIM might work in another phone, or it might be tied to the S 390G. You’d have to try the SIM in another phone to see if it works. In the case of the Nexus 4, you’d have to cut the SIM to fit, because you won’t be able to trasfer the service to the micro SIM.

          How many minutes do you use a month? You might be better off switching to tracfone.

          • Eli | |

            Not using more than 100 mins/month. What’s the advantage of Tracfone?

          • Bob Thompson | |

            The main advantage of tracfone is you can bring your own phone. You can get 1500 minutes for 125.00 a year. The minutes will roll over.

      • Jan | |

        Bob I’m having the same trouble every one else is having with straightalk. My data usage is gone & I still have 2 weeks before refill. This is ridiculous, is there anything I can do?

  31. Sarah H | |

    I currently have straight talk on my old Verizon cdma 4g lte iPhone 5. I purchased a brand new sim free iPhone 6s from Apple and it should be here tomorrow. Can I just register my new phone and the switch over my SIM card-transferring my current phone number, and remaining days of service? I don’t want to have to purchase another $60 activation kit.

      • sarah | |

        i’m not exactly sure how to register my new iphone, but when i went to straight talk it said my new phone was compatible when i entered the IMEI. so i switched the existing SIM card from my other straight talk iphone. i can make calls but have no data. Do i just wait for service to be transferred or do i need a new sim card?

          • sarah | |

            i’m working off the verizon network. i transferred my SIM card and my texts and voice calls work but no data or imessages. when i get on to register my new phone it says i need a new SIM. this is hard! and i used to work at verizon!

          • Bob Thompson | |

            If you install the APN profile, data should work. See Problems with Straight Talk Wireless’ Verizon Network.

            After that, you new phone should work. No one will be able to register the old iPhone with ST or Verizon though. What they want you to do is register the new phone transfer service and get a new SIM. Up to you at this point.

  32. Jacqueline cook | |

    I’m having trouble setting up my APN. Please help

    • Bob Thompson | |

      What type of phone do you have and what wireless service do you use?

  33. Keishara calwell | |

    If I have an existing bill with at&t and wish to switch to straight talk can I ?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Do you mean your phone is on contract or you are behind on your payment?
      You may not be able to transfer your number, you can try. I usually tell people they are better off paying their bill in the long run.

  34. Nikolai | |

    Alright so I’m trying to get onto the “bring your own phone” program with straight talk. But, i have a Samsung galaxy s4 and its from GCI (an Alaskan phone company) and they don’t have a activation kit for it. What do i do? I really need this for work

    • Bob Thompson | |

      what’s the model number of the phone? that will tell us which radio networks the phone supports. You’ll have to use the phone with ST’s AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or TMobile network so you need to be in an area where those networks have service. Not sure if they have coverage in Alaska.

  35. Beth | |

    I am wanting to switch my iPhone 6 from ATT service to the ATT straight talk plan but the only thing I don’t understand is how do you put in the SIM card for the iPhone 6?

  36. Michael | |

    Hello Bob. My name is Michael. I have a question that has been racking my head for awhile and I am trying to find some clear clarification. I have an unlocked att iPhone 5 using the cricket network. I am looking to see if I can use this very same phone with straighttalk, but on the Verizon network. Will this work and will I be actually getting Verizon signal instead of att signal from straight talk ?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      You can check if the phone is eligible here. Checking If You Can Use Your Verizon Smartphone with Straight Talk Wireless. If it is, you’d sign up for Straight Talk and get the Verizon SIM and then you would be using the Verizon network.

      If you do want to use the Verizon network because it works better in your area, don’t let a incompatible phone stop you. Used Verizon iPhone 5 and 5s models are pretty cheap these days, buy one and sell your AT&T iPhone 5. you may even break even on the transaction.

      If you decide to consider Verizon prepaid and well as Straight Talk. You’ll get less high speed data, but for some people, it seems to be more reliable. Finally, be aware that all Verizon prepaid networks seem to have the download speeds capped at 5Mbps. Cricket is supposedly capped at 8Mbps.

  37. Karen | |

    How much does it cost to activate new blu studio g

    • Bob Thompson | |

      For Straight Talk, you have the choice of $45, $55, or $60 unlimited plans. If you don’t use a lot of minutes or data you can sign up for Straight Talk for as little as $99 for the year.

      • Edward | |

        I am on straight talk with a iphone 5c. I am switching to a iphone 5s. Can I switch the sim and then just purchase an access code? I do not have the 5s yet, but my son took my Verizon CDMA sim out of my current phone put it in his phone and it made the call just like it was from my phone, just no data. Do I just need to get an access code?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I mean tracfone for $99 a year.

  38. Twila | |

    There was recently a software update on my iPhone 5 and now I need to reconfigure my apn/mms settings. I can’t send or receive picture texts now. Please help. Thank you

      • Travis | |

        Hey Bob I’m having a problem with my APN on my iPhone 5 it worked great till just a couple weeks ago. Now I have no internet access or anything that falls in that area. I can still call and send text but sometimes it talk 2-3 trys to send the text. Can you please help me ???

        • Bob Thompson | |

          are you using the Straight Talk Verizon network?

          • Travis | |

            Yes it is. I talked them yesterday and it seemed as if they had no clue how to get me on a Verizon APN

          • Travis | |

            Tried that link it tells me the APN expired in January 2016. It does not work

          • Bob Thompson | |

            It didn’t install? or doesn’t work? Try restarting your phone.

          • Travis | |

            It installed and I did restart my phone . It’s expired

          • Bob Thompson | |

            That doesn’t matter. You still have no data?

          • Travis | |

            I still have no data at all . Even with the one straight talk gave me yesterday it didn’t work even in a 4g area

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Does your phone show TFW LTE in the status bar or Verizon LTE, or something else?

          • Travis | |

            Verizon 24.0

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Hmm. your phone is BYOP? You are using the ST Verizon SIM in it right?

        • Travis | |

          It used to show Verizon LTE now it never shows more than 3G .

          • Bob Thompson | |

            what is your carrier in General Settings About?

        • Travis | |

          Yes and yes

  39. Linda | |

    Hi. My 1 st smart phone is a LGL15sunrise-net 10, but the home screen says tracphone. Why. And trac phone keeps asking me to sign up my phone number to add search and other stuff. That page keeps appearing in my search and search histor-cant get rid of it tho Ive tried. Whats up with this. Why not a net10 home screen? Thanks

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Net10, Straight Talk, and Tracfone are three brands owned by the same company. So, that’s normal. I think it would make their brand stronger if they had a net10 home screen. But, it’s probably three times the work to set that up for three brands.

      I’m not familiar with your phone. It might be that they have a custom widget on the home screen search bar. See the manual http://www.lg.com/us/support-mobile/lg-LGL15G#
      can you figure out what the name of the home screen widget for the search bar is.

  40. Thomas Lyon | |

    Hi, Bob!

    I am currently on the Net10 $50 plan with a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime.

    I have two questions:

    Q1: Is there any way to setup the phone to work as a hotspot?

    Q2: If I purchase the Samsung Galaxy *GRAND* Prime (I really like the NFC capabilities) from StraightTalk, can I activate it on my Net10 account?

    In the alternative, can you recommend another <$200 phone with NFC that works on Net10 users who bounce off of VZW towers?


    • Bob Thompson | |

      Net10 does not support hotspot. It’s against their terms of service. Some readers are able to enable it in their phone’s settings. Others report the options are not there or it doesn’t work when they turn it on. I was never able to get it to work on my iPhone. If you are really determined, you can “root” your Android phone to add software or change the firmware on your phone to work around this. In the past, I’ve read that Net10 shut off some people using this but others say the haven’t had that problem. My recommendation to people that want hotspot to find a wireless company that supports the feature.

      I don’t know if the Samsung Galaxy *GRAND* Prime will work with Net10. First, you would want to check if the phone uses the Verizon network. I checked on walmart.com and the reviews said it used the Verizon network but sometimes they sell versions of the same phone that use different network.

      That said, if you really want to use this phone, switch to Straight Talk. It would not be that much more effort to switch to Straight Talk than to transfer your Net10 service from your current phone to a new phone. Net10, Straight Talk, and Tracfone are the same company. The service on Net10 and Straight Talk is identical. I have both on iPhones with the att network. You cannot tell the difference. The Net10 brand was created for all retailers, Straight Talk is exclusive to Walmart. Straight Talk is less expensive.

      If you really want to stay on Net10, you might be able to use the Grand Prime, if the phone is eligible. To find out if the phone is eligible, check the serial number(IMEI or MEID) of the phone online at net10.com. If the phone is eligible, you should be able to use it on the Verizon network. Since these two companies are the same it might work. The MEID of the phone should be printed on the package, so in theory you should be able to check if the phone is eligible without opening the package. If you were going to buy online, check the return policy.

      As for other recommendations, it’s tough to buy phones new phones that can be used on the Verizon network. Most phones for the Verizon network, are sold by the carrier. My recommendations all would come over $200. For new phones, the Nexus 5x and 6P or the Motorola Moto X. You can buy these phones and use them on the Verizon network and support NFC. If you are willing to buy used. I think the Galaxy S5 would be closer to your price range.

  41. Dave | |

    Have you tried the Straight Talk CDMA sim in the iPhone SE?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I am going to. If you look on my youtube channel you’ll see my SE videos. The phone is eligible and I am working on a video. A few other readers have done it as well.

      • Dave | |

        I contacted Apple and got my IMEI and ran it through the Straight Talk’s BYOP and it said it wasn’t eligible for the CDMA. (It is for the Tmobile and ATT) I dug around on Apple site and found a list of supported networks and Straight Talk/Trac phone wasn’t on the list for the SE. I really prefer the Verizon. On the bright side, it seems ATT and Tmobile has filled the big service holes near me. Here’s flint to the supported networks list. http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

        • Bob Thompson | |

          You should be able to use the SIM free iPhone SE with Straight Talk. I recommend checking the IMEI again. Sometimes the website returns the wrong result. And if you know the Verizon network has service in your area, try a different zip code and see if that makes a difference. I’ve got my SE sitting here on my desk and it’s eligible. If you want, send me your zip code and I’ll see what happens when I use that with my IMEI.

          • Dave | |

            My iPhone 4 runs on Verizon. 79410

            Thanks for your input.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            I checked my iPhone SE’s IMEI and your zip code and it came back as compatible. Do you have your SE yet? Are you sure you have the right IMEI?

          • Dave | |

            It comes in on Friday. I chatted with apple and they typed it so I cut and pasted. You’ve already gave some assurance that it will work as I intend. Like I said, worse case I use the ATT sim.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            If both networks work in your area. The att network is the better choice. As the speed on the Verizon network is capped at 5Mbps down.
            Let us know how it goes. Watch for my videos on the SE!

          • Dave | |

            Really. That might just be the thing to make this whole conversation mute.

  42. Vickie guthrie | |

    I just purchased a new iPhone 5S with Net10 wireless. This is my first Apple phone and preciously used Samsung go phones. On the upper left screen
    It shows TFW followed and to the right a connection icon. Yet sometimes
    to the right it shows LTE in place of the connection icon. What is the difference? Thank you Bob!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      starting from the left you should see 5 circles that show your cellular signal strength. Some or all should be solid. Those are the signal bars on the iPhone. TFW is your cellular network. It stands for Tracfone Wireless. They own Net10. To the right of TFW you should see enter an inverted triangle made up of curved lines. That shows you are connected to wifi and the wifi signal strength. When you see LTE that means you are using your cellular data to connect to the Internet and LTE means you have a 4G LTE connection. Sometimes it will change to 3G.

  43. Sally | |

    I’d like to buy the new IPhone SE, recently released by Apple, but I would like to use it with Straight Talk. I can purchase an unlocked phone directly from Apple, but I’m wondering if it would work with the BYOP program? I’m currently using an IPhone 4 on Straight Talk, Verizon towers. Since I don’t yet own the SE I don’t have the information needed to check on the BYOP page.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Yes you can. In fact I’m working on an article and video about that. In your case, you’d just need to transfer your service to the new phone. If you buy the SIM free model iPhone from the Apple store, it should be eligible. Mine was, so were others. I was even able to check using the IMEI print the box without unwrapping the plastic.

  44. Rhonda | |

    I always use the automated line to refill with. Credit card why isn’t the 55 dollar plan on it

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I’ve never used the automated refill line myself. I didn’t move the the $55 plan myself. And I’ve never refilled using the automated line. Maybe once you switch to the $55 plan it will be an option there.

  45. Alice | |

    How long does it take for me to lose my phone number before you and mins???

    • Bob Thompson | |

      that would depend on the wireless company you are using. My guess would be 30 days for most prepaid wireless

  46. Russ | |

    I have a BLU STUDIO 5.0 C HD ON STRAIGHT TALK. It was running fast as my note 3 when I first got it a year ago, all the way up to about 2 months ago. Now it seems like my data is being throttled so badly, I can’t even get a simple Web page to load on chrome, Firefox, Dolphin, etc. I know that my memory or ram isn’t low because I hardly use my phone. My plan is due for a new phone card in 3 days and I have only used 147 MEGABITES! (.15 FREAKING GIGS) I have the unlimited data plan through Straight Talk, (first 5 gigs are 4g and anything over is 2g.) I am thinking about switching to Metro PCS because I live in Rome, Georgia and they just put new towers up and their speed and reliability is ridiculously quick and it is $60 for 15Gigs but I will probably end up with the $30 1Gig monthly plan considering I use hardly any data. But lf there’s anyone who has any opinions on what they think could be going on please help! Thanks for your time!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Try texting usage to 611611. This will tell you how much data Straight Talk thinks you have used. Is that how you came up with 147MB? I also recommend trying speedtest to find out how slow your data is. Using SpeedTest to Measure Your Internet Speed

      Do you know which Straight Talk network you are using? the AT&T network? Which APN. Try changing your APN to RESELLER if you are still using TFDATA.

      Don’t know what is happening. Some people say ST trottles them befor hitting the limit. Hasn’t happened to me.

      Metro PCS uses the T-Mobile network. I’d think twice before switchg.

  47. Bill Edwards | |

    my mom passed and i got her Samsung galaxy s4 model sch-1545 phone she purched at Best buy she had verizon service we have walmart family mobile for our son and my wife so i got it for this phone ,they put card in and all works but no picture message or text,web called verizon they said was unlocked ? tried family mobile Apn deal no go tried your no go can yo help please store guy said it was all in settings but did not know how to do it said phone guy downsteet did his s4 same plan but when i asked the guy would not help said boss said no more ?but it was in the settings ?????

  48. Mia | |

    I have a windows nokia lumia 640 and I have put data on it (from the net10 services) and it has worked before, but it isn’t when I put data on it today (from the net10 services).

  49. Laura Melendez | |

    Hello , bought a blu studio xl 6.0 and I can’t send or receive picture messages. I am on cricket please help

  50. ashley | |

    hi I need help! I just purchased a blu advance 5.0 and a sim card for straight but it keeps telling me no sim card! What the heck do I need do ?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      No SIM card usually means the phone is not detecting the SIM. Are you familiar with SIM cards? Are you sure you have the right size SIM in the phone and have inserted the SIM correctly int the SIM slot? Did you activate the SIM with straight Talk service yet.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      There could be a problem with the phone. If you can, borrow a SIM from a friend and try it in your phone. Try your SIM in your friends phone. see if either or both work. A couple people told me they had to contact BLU for a replacement.

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