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Hello – I have been a long time Tracfone customer, using a flip phone. Last year, I bought an iphone se from Consumer Cellular. After using their service for awhile, I decided to switch back to Tracfone, and had CC unlock my phone. Going through Tracfone’s BYOP instructions, I was given the choice of Verizon, ATT or T-mobile for a SIM card – I chose T-mobile. I went through the process of transferring my number with Tracfone, and activated the T-mobile SIM. Now, I am very unhappy with what I have for service, and think something is not right. The phone shows my carrier as HOME. I don’t think all of my text messages are being delivered, and the phone drops out a lot – can’t even call my voicemail! I did go through the APN settings with Tracfone, too. My question…do you think this would clear up with a different SIM card? Say AT&T? I was just going to try that since it’s only 99 cents, but don’t want to waste more time with this frustrating service, if that’s not the problem. Thank you.
If the T-Mobile network has poor service in your area this could be the problem. Your phone should work with either Tracfone’s Verizon or ATT SIM. Do you know if either of those networks have coverage when you live? If you tracfone’s plans meet your needs, it might be worthwhile trying their ATT SIM. You can find a kit with all three sims in BestBuy or target for $1 and swtich your service your self. The ATT sim is a little easier to do.
And when tracfone helped you with the APN, did you go into the settings and enter the values or did you install a “profile”?
Hello! I saw a cheap refurbished phone on Wal-Mart and it has Family Mobile (Wal-Mart’s phone plan) and my phone i am using now has Total Wireless. So my question is. Can I change Family Mobile to Total Wireless?
phones from Family Mobile are not compatible with Total Wireless
Contacted tracfone, sent me a new sim card and still it says cellular network disconnected and I’ve been working on this problem for 2 wks now and I plan on getting a new phone in which TF customer service advised me to do. Any other ideas?
where does it say cellular network disconnect? What if anything works? Talk?, Text?, Data? Did you set the APN? Which tracfone SIM are you using?
When I went into settings, clicked on imei it say cellular network disconnected but I do have internet, google, youtube and I can use textfree app through internet but I can’t call, text on my native number which is the number on Tracfone Verizon network and yes it say verizon wireless and with 3 bars on the screen.
Can you find someone with an Verizon iPhone or other Android phone, put you SIM in and to call or text?
It will not work because TF customer service said that particular sim is “married” to that one and only telephone in which it is registered but to answer your question I did tried and also tried putting my old 2 sims on this phone. I know where you are going but I think it is really the phone because I even chatted with google and concluded it is the phone. Thanks…
Yes. They will tell you that, but it does work. If you suspect the problem is the Nexus 6, try completely resetting it and make sure you have the final updates installed.
I have a Google Nexus 6 and contacted Tracfone sent me new sim card, did not help me at all and still can’t connect to Verizon Network. It says Cellular Network disconnected. I have been working on this for 2 wks now and plan on buying a new phone in which Tracfone customer service instructed me to do. Any other ideas?
Hi! I’ve been watching your youtube for quite a while now, about a year. For about 5 years I’ve been on tracfone and had the same number, because of your BYOP video last year i was able to buy an unlocked iphone 5s and keep my number and minutes. Today I ordered an Iphone 6s off of tracfones website and there are some general questions I’m hoping you could answer for me. So I understand that the brand new phone will come with a sim card that should be used in that phone. Will I be able to transfer my phone number and minutes? Or should I/is it even possible to play it safe and just insert my old sim card? I’m thinking since on the SIM I have now I usually get 3g or LTE if i use the one they give me I might get 4g but I really don’t want to switch if i can’t switch my number. I hope you can help me out! Thanks!
In general, I’d say transfer your service to the new SIM. Your number an service balance will transfer. There are a few considerations.
From tracfone’s perspective, they want you to transfer your service from your BYOP iPhone 5s and SIM to the new iPhone 6s and SIM card that they shipped to you.
The benefits for you are that you’ll be able to take advantage of any features associated with the newer SIM card (if there are any), so you may see better service. If you are using aa tracfone AT&T SIM card, you can just move it into the iPhone 6s and it will work. If you are using Tracfone’s Verizon towers, moving the SIM will work, but with Verizon they really want you to register the phone’s MEID on their network. If you don’t , your 5s will remain registered.
Your iPhone 6s comes with either a tracfone AT&T or Tracfone Verizon SIM card. You may have a preference for which network you want to use. And the iPhone 6s may come with a SIM that uses different towers than you are already using.
Your iPhone 6s is locked to tracfone. Tracfone will unlock the phone after 12 months. If you don’t activate the new SIM, you may have trouble getting them to unlock it for you. I don’t know if that is the case, but I it might be a issue.
Another consideration is the which plans you want to use. Your current SIM in the 5s may qualify for 3X minutes. The new SIM with the 6s might only qualify for the smartphone only plans. You could lose the option to use 3X plans with the new SIM. I have never really been able to really show that the 3x option is a better choice than the smartphone only plans. I suspect they are designed to get people to sign up for auto refill and by plans on a regular interval, but they still have 30, 60, 90, and 365 day options.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions, and thanks for watching the YouTube channel!
i have a lg fiesta 2 cant get data to turn on
That question would be best addressed to LG or your carrier’s technical support team.
Hi Bob, I have a question that has been bugging me. I live in a rural area and I recently went from direct Verizon to Page Plus. Since then I’ve noticed a weaker signal to no service at times. Dropped calls the majority of the time. My question is, is it possible for companies like Page Plus to have weaker signals than straight Verizon? Thank You. Larry
Rural areas are tricky. Sometimes Verizon postpaid will have better coverage, especially if the have an agreement for another regional carrier to carry their traffic. It’s alsp posible Verizon’s post paid network and their prepaid network is configured a little differently. They don’t share information about how the networks differ, and my guess is that it changes over time.
I assume you are using the same phone.If you can borrow a Verizon SIM you can compare side by side. You might also have better luck with Verizon prepaid service, which seems to support more features. Is the calling problem only at home? or does it happen everywhere?
I’ve been a StraightTalk customer for a number of years using an AT&T SIM card. However, I have no service in schools or at my place of work (hospital), so I’m wondering if I can use a Verizon SIM card for better service. Presently, I’m using a Samsung Galaxy 5S unlocked phone. Thanks!
You’ll need to first check the MEID number of your S5 with Straight Talk to see if it is eligible. See Checking If Your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S Is Compatible With Straight Talk’s Verizon Network
Thank you so much, Bob! I will check the MEID number.
i lost my tracphone what can i do to replaced
Buy a new phone and transfer your service to it. Transferring Your Current Tracfone Service to an iPhone 6
Hi, I live overseas. I will be in the USA for two months and want to use the Tracfone BYOP SIM card – I have a GSM Unlocked phone. I will be able to get the SIM card here in Ethiopia. I’d like to activate it before I arrive, so when I do arrive I will immediately have phone service so I can call my ride from the airport. So my question is:
Can I activate this SIM card from overseas via internet or do I need to be within the cell tower reach to activate?
I’ve never done that before. I’d guess it will work. Sign up online using the internet, right before you leave. Put the SIM in the phone when you get to the US. You’ll be completing that activation when you get to the US. I wouldn’t want to wait days between signing up online and putting the SIM in the phone. Hours should be ok. In the US, tracfone uses one of three networks. AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. For GSM, your choices are AT&T or T-Mobile. Coverage varies depending on your geographic area. I prefer AT&T myself. Make sure you the correct SIM. In the USA, they have three sims in the package one for each network. You may also need to set the APN on your phone to use data when you get to the US, voice and text should work without setup.
This is an update on my trials and travails in getting past the Tracfone/Verizon APN Profile problems that interfere with cellular data. This applies to iPhones used in Tracfone’s BYOP (bring your own phone) program when taken to a foreign country and used with a foreign SIM card. Starting some time in 2017, Tracfone did something that would effectively block access to cellular data though not to voice and SMS.
My earlier efforts solved the problem of a hidden, unremoveable Tracfone/Verizon APN profile locking the phone from any other SIM card’s cellular data. Tracfone had no solution. Apple insisted the only solution was to reinitialize the phone to factory settings and reinstall everything from scratch, not from an iTunes backup.
My solution involved using iBackupBot on my PC to delete the problem profile from an iTunes backup and then restore the phone from that backup. IBackupBot is fully useable in its free trial version. Then I went to flexserve.net to install an APN profile for Tracfone/Verizon that could be removed later easily. I have posted the details elsewhere. This is not a simple solution. At least, it does not require jailbreaking the iPhone.
I recently found out that Tracfone made some changes to its Verizon-compatible SIM cards last year. It seemed that people with that new SIM cards might not be having the hidden APN profile problem reported by so many others, presumably with older SIM cards. You have an older SIM card if on your screen, next to the signal bars, it says “Verizon”. You have a newer card if it says “TFW”.
I first bought a new Tracfone SIM pack on Amazon for $6. It was in sealed Tracfone packaging so presumably legitimate. When I tried to activate it, the Tracfone support person insisted that the SIM card was not compatible. I have heard this so many times over the years that I would bet money the TF support person was mistaken. I also know it could take multiple calls back and requests for supervisors before finding someone who would discover that my SIM card was, indeed, compatible. Instead, I found a supervisor who agreed to just send me a new SIM card.
I got the new SIM quickly via Fedex Overnight, no charge. It only took one support person and 30 minutes to activate it with my old Tracfone phone number on my iPhone SE. Voice and data (with the flexserve.net APN profile for Tracfone still installed) worked right away. Visual voice mail is also working. Then I began my tests.
1. Remove new TF SIM card from the iPhone SE and install my French GSM SIM card. I can use this card in the US and in many other countries. I immediately got voice using the French network roaming over AT&T. I had to remove the flexserve.net Tracfone/Verizon profile to get data. That is exactly how it should work when travelling.
2. Reinstall the TF SIM card in the iPhone SE. Now I am getting voice and data from Tracfone over Verizon, again as I should. I see no profile in Settings. I also verified using iBackupBot that there is no hidden profile installed. So cellular data is now working without a profile.
If this situation (no profile needed for Tracfone cellular data) stays unchanged}, then the new SIM has completely solved the problem.
3. What I don’t know yet is if at some point Tracfone will try to install an APN Profile. This is what always happened before. If it does, then the question will again be whether that profile can be removed when you install a new, foreign SIM card. If yes, then all is as it should be. If not, we’re back to square 1 except we know how to fix this.
4. Just out of curiosity, I briefly installed the new Tracfone SIM card in my iPhone 5s. In my past experience, a Tracfone SIM card would only work in the phone where it was activated. This time it worked in the changed phone, both for voice and data. Since my test was brief, I cannot be sure that there isn’t a lag in Tracfone servers that might later have blocked this alternate phone.
I will report back if anything changes.
(back in WA state)
Thanks for the update. A lot of this makes sense. The newer SIM is causing your iPhone to load the TFW specific carrier bundle which will automatically set the APN without the need for a the APN profile. This matches my experience with Total Wireless (a tracfone brand using the Verizon network). I can verify that installing the Tracfone APN profiles manually still causesthe hidden APN profile problem regardless of the SIM used in the phone. In my experience though, I’ve never seen any of the tracfone brands automatically install the APN profile. They instructed the user to install them from Safari.
I thought you might lose visual voicemail with the new sim, glad it still works.
Hi i see Total Wireless being advertised on the Walmart on line site, What’s the story here? Are they independent of Walmart or now owned by them?
thanks so much!
Total Wireless is owned by Tracfone and is not owned by nor exclusive to Walmart. You can buy Total Wireless online or from a number of retailers. Check out my review. Total Wireless Review Summary and Conclusions
Hi – Perhaps I missed an answer but wondering if using an Apple iPhone on Tracfone’s system is whether or not Apples Messages capability functions the same when using Tracfone’s service. i.e. keeps the same format , can send and receive pictures, can send and receive video and send and receive text.
Bill S May 2018
Yes it does. You’ll need cellular data for it to work. This article and video is for Straight Talk and the issues are the same for Tracfone.
also this might help
I transferred from a 5 to 8 on a straight talk plan, but how do I transfer my pictures & facebook?
hey bob, long time youtube sub first time e mailer. first off I would like to say that I have cp I cant talk at all. If my spelling is off then I apologize
I have at&t prepaid im on the 45$ a month 40$ with auto pay that comes with unlimited talk and text and 6GB data with data rollover and hotspot. I just noticed they have another plan 50$ a month 40$ with auto pay. As far I can tell everything is the same but they give you 8GB. I use auto pay. this sounds too good to be true. Maybe you can do a video comparing the 2 plans
PS I appreciate your work
Thank you for the kind words, Ricky. I spent about 10 minutes looking at the att.com. At first I did not see the 8GB plan, only the 6GB plan. Now I only see the 8GB plan. It looks to me like they updated the plans to stay competitive. I’d think they would roll you over to the new plan automatically. I’ll look at it closer and I will do a video as I was getting ready for a full ATT prepaid review soon.
a fast update i just switched 2 the new plan. Theres was one time fee of 55$ and I had 9 GB data on my old plan witch I didn’t keep 🙁
Hi – I switched from Pageplus (tracfone.vzwent profile) to Verizon and data doesn’t work because I can’t remove the tracfone APN profile. I cant use the iphone.flexserve.net because iphone (ios 11) only allows 1 custom profile to run at a time (and I can’t remove the pageplus one obviously!) – any solution for this or am I totally stuck?? All help VERY appreciated!
Read the comment from Randy Brook. We have been discussing this. The two solution are 1. Totally reset your phone. If you do an iCloud backup and restore you should be fine but if you do and iTunes backup the profile will be reinstalled. 2. Use a tool called iBackupBot the remove the profile. See Randy’s comments for details.
Hi, Bob, here’s a question about international calling from a Tracfone. I hope I am posting correctly so this doesn’t appear as a new reply to our discussion of APN problems.
I travel a lot, as came up in my APN postings. So I have a lot of foreign friends I call from the US. Until around two years ago, I could do it without extra charge on my Tracfone. That is, I would use the same number of TF minutes for international as for US calls. Either I would dial an 800 number first, or I could program in 10 international quick dial numbers. That deal is still on the website. http://extras.tracfone.com/en/ild
Around two years ago, plus or minus a few months, Free Basic International just stopped working. You can see lots of complaints on the TF website. The answer is always: Please see a message in your private inbox.
The private message is to call or chat. I’ve done both, several times. They always refused even to admit that there is such a thing as free international calling. Instead, they insist you have to pay for a “Global Calling Card.”
It is not a big extra cost. It adds a few cents to the basic per minute cost to many countries. But it is annoying that Tracfone continues to offer Free Basic International that is actually not available at all.
There is an important change in how iPhones using iOS11 handle Tracfone/Verizon APN profiles installed from Tracfone. They are now locked, even if you have an iPhone purchased new from an Apple store. The profile does not appear any more in Settings. If you try to install a different profile, you get a message saying there is already a profile installed.
This affects anyone who has an iPhone using Tracfone/Verizon who wants to switch to a foreign SIM when traveling. They will get voice and SMS, but no data or MMS. I learned this the hard way, starting last November on a trip to France.
There is no easy solution. According to Apple store techs in Paris familiar with the problem, the only workaround is a full reinitialize. This will remove the profile. (A network reset will not.) But you cannot use an iTunes backup to restore because it will restore the problem profile as well. So you re-setup your phone from scratch. When you return to the US, the only site I know that will reinstall a profile that will be visible and later removeable is iphone.flexserve.net
There is a way to backup and restore, but it is a bit complicated. (No jailbreak involved.) You use iBackupBot to create a backup. They you edit the backup to remove the hidden profile. (There is no way to remove the hidden profile directly from the phone.) Then you restore the profile-free backup. I just got this to work today. I also verified that a profile later installed using the flexserve site is indeed removable.
For a lot more discussion, see https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1905936-BYOP-iPhone-Verizon-APN-cannot-be-removed-for-foreign-SIM-cellular-data?p=16979096&posted=1#post16979096
Thank you for this! I had observed this myself but I did not have an explanation. The behavior I have seen is a little different though. My I tried to install the APN profiles initially, they fail. I forget the error message though. After that, there is no profile visible in settings but trying to install any profile after that says a profile is already installed.
Thank you for the link and for again for sharing this. I have to read up more about this.
And make sure I clean out these profiles from my iPhones. 🙂
It occurred to me that if it is Tracfone causing the problem and not Verizon, it might be violating at least the spirit of its consent agreement with the FCC. It agreed to unlock phones on request and pay compensation to purchasers of locked phones. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/tracfone-phone-unlocking-program
Technically, the agreement doesn’t apply to phones not purchased from Tracfone. But what is happening is even worse. I will see what the FCC and Tracfone have to say when I complain to the FCC here: firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately, in this new climate of non-enforcement of regulations and years of staff cuts at the FCC, I don’t have much hope there.
Here is the complaint I just sent to the FCC. The automated FCC reply just says TF has 60 days to respond and say whether this falls within the settlement. As I noted, technically TF could just blow off my complaint as ineligible. Then I will have to file a new complaint with the FCC, again with little hope of any meaningful follow-up. It would take a lot of complaints to get this even looked at.
——— sent to FCC:
Subject: Tracfone now partially locking iPhones purchased directly from Apple stores
I have an iPhone SE I purchased directly from Apple. I use it on the Tracfone/Verizon network via their BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program. I am not on any contract or plan. I buy minutes as needed.
I travel frequently, using foreign SIM cards when I do. Until some time last year, I could simply delete the APN Profile that Tracfone/Verizon automatically installed on my iPhone. This would allow full foreign carrier use.
Since some time last year, the Tracfone/Verizon profile became hidden and could no longer be uninstalled. The result is that when I travel and insert a foreign SIM card, I cannot get any cellular data or send MMS messages. Many others have reported this problem online, although few understand the cause.
I tried to get Tracfone to unlock my phone but could not find any who would even admit it was a Tracfone problem. Multiple tech support people, and their “supervisors,” either knew nothing or said it had to be an Apple problem.
This seems to me even worse than Tracfone selling locked phones. They are now partially locking previously unlocked phones that the consumers purchased elsewhere.
I request that the FCC demand Tracfone cease hiding and locking their APN profiles on iPhones.
I’m not convinced that tracfone is intentionally doing this. I have no evidence either way yet, but it strikes me as more of a unintentional consequence. I’ve been writing about straight talk & tracfone for a while it reminds me of the issue they had with iPhone support of group texts and MMS picture messages. There are several variables here including Tracfone, Verizon, Apple, iOS updates, carrier bundles, and APN profiles. I noticed a similar problem to the one you are having as part of reviewing Total Wireless (a tracfone brand that uses the Verizon network).
I suspect iOS has changed the way it is handing the the APN profiles, and perhaps the defaults as to how they are processed. The fact the profiles from iphone.flexserve.net can be installed and removed but the profiles from http://www.unlockit.co.nz/unlockit/ cannot be removed and the fact that the iphone.flexserve.net profiles appear to be updated with additional fields almost makes it seems that some default processing has changed.
The APN profiles themselves have a pretty limited ability to configure your phone. The carrier bundles have far more control and can no longer be used altered and installed. I’m going to have to reset one of my iPhones and see if I can reproduce your results. In my case with Total Wireless the APN profile never installed correctly initially. (and not with a profile already installed error)
I know you were talking about your issue and use a foreign SIM. Did you by any chance try it with a domestic SIM (att maybe). The behavior I see on my iPhone 6s is I cannot install an APN profile because it says one is already installed. But I’ve tried a Verizon, Straight Talk ATT, and Project Fi SIM in my phone and when I insert them my data works fine. That is the invisible APN profile isn’t overriding the APN from the carrier bundle. (which in the past would).
I may have not clearly explained this here. My wife is waiting on me. I still want to continue to discuss this with you though. I’ll do some experiments this weekend.
I agree that it is hard to tell whether the change in profile handling was intentional or who caused it. I do know that Verizon recently announced it would start locking the phones its sells this spring, Even if it did not intentionally cause the problem we’re discussing, it may have no incentive to fix it.
I do not have an ATT sim card at home to test. I possibly could borrow one, but I expect whomever I asked would get a bit nervous if I said why.
Here is another wrinkle. On another website, I got a reply from someone who thought that the problem might be different depending on when I got my Tracfone cdma sim. He said he had a problem somewhat similar but it went away when he got a new sim card last year. There was still a hidden profile, but it did not affect his getting foreign cellular data.
According to this person, the older sim cards will show Verizon as the carrier next to the signal strength bars on the iPhone screen at the top left. His shows TFW. I know mine says Verizon. And I know from experience that changing a Tracfone sim, especially when not changing your physical phone, is fraught with peril
Some TF tech support people will say flat out that you cannot do it if your phone has not changed. One said she could do it but would have to change my phone number. Once you find someone to do it, the voice activation can take a couple of days. Data can take longer.
One tip: Whenever talking to Tracfone, try to get to the BYOP support people, On average, they are more knowledgeable and speak better English than the front line support people.
I don’t know if it is related to the SIM cards or not, but yes some people see TFW in the status bar now as opposed to Verizon. The people with TFW are getting a TFW carrier bundle loaded that automatically sets the APN. The people that see Verizon should have a Verizon or generic “Carrier” bundle loaded which sets the APN incorrectly and that is why the APN profile is needed. In the past, it seems as though the Verizon APN did work for Tracfone customers and then at some point they got their own APN. I remember getting many people coming to the site that then needed to install the APN profile. If I recall correctly, some people that had visual voicemail working at the time, had problems with VVM too.
Are you getting VVM? and could you tell me your iOS version and what carrier bundle you have in Settings > General
As long as I have cellular data (in the US), I have VVM. Back a year ago, I had been able to delete the Profile when I got to France. When I got back to the US, at first no data and no VVM. Once the Tracfone/Verizon profile was installed, or maybe after a day or two, data and VVM returned.
I arrived in France last month using 11.2.6. Since then, Apple pushed out 11.3. This did not change the hidden status of the profile in my SE. Although I have been experimenting on that phone a bit, including swapping in the French sim card, on a daily basis I am using a 5s with that French sim card.
If by a “carrier bundle” you mean the full contents of the relevant .ipcc file, I’m not sure how to view it safely under Windows. If you just mean the carrier showing in General, About, it is Verizon 32.0. As as far back as I can remember while using Tracfone over Verizon, this entry was always Verizon followed by a (version?) number. Right now there is nothing showing in Settings, About for network, since TF/Verizon makes no connection outside of the US.
Just for laughs at what happens in a country with real competition: I pay 20€/month for that French sim card. It gives me unlimited voice (international calling included) and SMS. Also virtually unlimited 4G LTE data and MMS. In addition, I can use it on the same terms in over 100 countries when I travel, for calling within the country or back to France. As far as I know, the company can still make a good profit. If all you need is limited (still international) calling and data, it is 2€ per month.
Got back in the US this afternoon.
I am still using my older Tracfone SIM card in my iPhone SE. I had removed the old APN profile while in France by the iBackupBot technique I described earlier here. Now that I’m in the US, I do need a profle for cellular data.
I tried all three flexserve profiles that sounded promising for Tracfone over Verizon. (Two Straight Talk and one Verizon 4g LTE.) The only one that worked was “StraightTalk (tracfone.vzwentp)”.
This looks like the same profile name that was previously installed by Tracfone or another site. But this one can be removed.
I expect to have a new Tracfone SIM card in a few days. I may wait a while to see if Tracfone or Verizon re-pushes out their old, non-removable APN profile
I need to do a video about this. I got my first question from someone about it. Can I attribute the iBackupBot solution to you as for Randy from Washington? (home of Cedar Woolly )
With the new SIM you should no longer need the profile and I don’t think they push it to you. However, if you have Visual voicemail now, you may lose it with the new SIM card and get regular voice mail instead. At least that is one of the theories as to why some get visual voicemail and others get regular voicemail.
It would be good to know for sure if the new SIM cards block visual voice mail. If they did, I’d stick with my old card.
Feel free to attribute the iBackupBot solution to me.
Hey Bob, I know you are always posting about cellphone deals and I have one for you. Walmart Family Mobile has a deal of activate your 1st line line at regular price and you get any additional lines (up to 4 additional) for $24.88 each independent of LTE data cap. You can get two truly unlimited lines for $75 plus taxes or mix and match based upon your needs. I would assume of course the 1st line has to be greater than or of equal price to the 2nd line. I just noticed it today, not sure how long the promotion will last or is for new customers only.
Thanks Brandon! Do you use Walmart Family Mobile? I may do a video about this
can it work with an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 8?
I don’t know what you mean by “it”…
I just got finished watching your youtube video about using a smartphone overseas and I’m a bit confused. i will be traveling in the UK and Italy, mostly, as well as on a cruise. I had watched another video about using a sim card from another country and he was showing how to change the APN setting and completely lost me. If I install a sim card from the UK will the APN setting automatically change and if not how do I change it, and then change it back when I return to the states? Also, how do I find out if my phone is locked or unlocked, or does it matter?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I have an iphone 7, and my carrier is Verizon.
Your iPhone 7 is unlocked. All Verizon iPhones are. Depending on the wireless carrier / international SIM you use your phone might set the APN automatically or you will need to do it yourself. It’s not that hard. Tap Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Network. There are several values you’ll need to enter. When you sign up for a carrier, you’ll get the APN values you need to enter. If you buy a SIM from a retailer, they might set it up for you.
Note that is the US, the APN settings on the iPhone when you use AT&T or Verizon are automatically set up and then the option to change them in settings is hidden so if you look for the options on your phone now, you won’t see them.
When you return to the United States and put your Verizon SIM back in your iPhone it will automatically set the APN back. How long will you be travelling for? Another option would be to sign up for a T-Mobile plan that supports international use for a month and use that while overseas. The data, texts, and calling would be included in the monthly fee.
Please refer to my comment sent a couple of minutes ago. At least with a Tracfone running on the Verizon network, an iPhone will be semi-locked. The profile will be hidden. This will prevent removal and getting foreign cellular data.
Hello, I just bought the BYOP 3-in1 sim kit with straight talk and they said that wifi calling is not supported with this chip kit and that I should buy one of their phones online. I know my phone does support it as it did when it was on AT&T which was my original carrier. Any help as wot how I can get this working again?
I am using a BYOP ATT SIM with my BYOP iPhone X on Straight Talk and it works for me. See Does Wi-Fi Calling Work With Straight Talk Wireless?. I don’t know what phone you are using. Did they tell you which of their phones will work with Wi-Fi calling and which towers they use? I assume you are using their AT&T SIM and wifi calling isn’t working? What type of phone are you using? Have you tried to force your phone to use wi-fi calling like I show in my video?
I have a LG with straight talk. Sis gave me an iphone 4, was compatible, changed over. Iphone 4 does not update to version 8 that I need to update apps. I want to go back to my LG. What is the best way to do that?
You should be able to just transfer your service back to the old phone. Try it. you may need to order a new SIM card if the LG uses one though.
What is the cheapest 4 line unlimited data family plan either on ATT, Verizon, or T-Mobile.
Off the top of my head, I think MetroPCS has four lines for $100 with “unlimited” data. Check their fine print for what they mean by unlimited.
Do you know if 800.876.5753 x3324 and ST.CorpResolutionTeam@straighttalk.com are still valid contacts to reach Straight Talk Executive Resolution? Or is there a better way to reach them?
I have been without a phone since last Thursday evening with no resolution in sight. I bought a Straight Talk prepaid IPhone 6 online and requested to have my phone number ported from Page Plus. Page Plus shut off my old IPhone 4 late last Wednesday and when I called the Straight Talk Porting Dept the following morning, they first said the porting was still in process and the phone number had not been released by Page Plus. Then they said they had to manually process the request because their automation failed. Then they said the SIM they sent with the new phone was bad and they would have to mail me a replacement SIM that would take 3-5 business days via USPS (as of today, it still has not shipped). Straight Talk contacted Page Plus and got my old phone working and promised me it would not be taken down again until I received my replacement SIM and completed the number transfer. However, a few hours later that same day, my old Page Plus phone went dead again. I called Page Plus and they said there was some type of reactivation transfer pending on my old phone and I needed to wait until it finished and dial *22890 to program the phone. I tried this for over 4 hours and finally at 10pm Page Plus said that my phone number was no longer active at Page Plus and there was nothing they could do to assist me. (In fact, my whole account has now disappeared and I still had several weeks of service remaining on it.)
I’ve called Straight Talk porting numerous times. On Friday a tech said that their system shows the ticket for my port in request was reprocessed after my service was cut off. The issue has been escalated to one of their higher departments since after processing the port in request again, a pending transacation occurred and they said that it could take 24 to 72 hours to resolve.
In checking again on Saturday with Straight Talk, one tech tells me that once I get the replacement SIM, my number is waiting at Straight Talk and will port to the new phone. However, a very rude Porting Supervisor advised me my phone number was no longer active, there was nothing they could do to get it back and I would just need to get a new phone number.
I’ve had this number for 15 years and use it for business. I still have no idea of the status of my phone number I requested to be ported nor when I will ever receive the replacement SIM. Both the old phone and new phone are dead. I had to go and buy another phone just to have phone service. I have never had so many problems porting a phone number nor had such terrible customer service.
Those are the best contacts I have, but I haven’t used them in a while. Over the years I have been running this site, I’ve talked to hundreds of people and I’ve heard maybe of maybe a dozen or so stories of number ports that have gone wrong. And in a smaller number of cases of people losing their number permanently.
I once lost my number transferring my number from one wireless SIM to another. At the time, the first support rep, I spoke with told me my number was lost and there was nothing they could do. I called 800.876.5753 x3324 and I they recovered my number pretty quickly. If your Straight Talk port is still in progress then I would think you’d still have a chance to recover your number. While I do not know for sure, I’d say as long as your number has not been reassigned to another account there still must be the chance to recover it. Both Straight Talk and Page Plus are owned by tracfone, and there internal systems are very similar. I’m pretty sure that many of the tracfone brands in fact use the same customer service and support.
For now your best option is to follow through on the port after you get your new SIM and continue to insist on getting your number back. I’d still believe it is possible. My best advice is to remain calm and polite and simply keep insisting that you want your number back. You may simply need to talk to another person. Remember I was told my number was gone, and only later told but another tech. “Oh, I see what happened…” and they fixed it. (In my case, I was trying their different networks or towers for some articles I was writing..)
The biggest issue for you now is getting that SIM card. And they really should have overnighted one to you, that is a bad practice on their part. It might be possible to buy a SIM from Walmart and use that. Unfortunately you’d need to buy a full BYOP kit with a plan. You might also be able to use a Total Wireless SIM card (also tracfone) those are only 99 cents are target and best buy. (I am assuming your Straight talk SIM card was the white and red SIM card labled for the CDMA or Verizon network…). Ordering a BYOP SIM from Straight Talk for 0.99 cents might ship overnight too.
The tracfone brands offer a lot of value for the money. Customer Service and technical support however are not their strength when they have problems like this. One of the challenges is that Straight Talk doesn’t offer support at retail locations like prepaid options from AT&T, Verizon, and even Metro PCS.
Once your issue is resolved either way, you’ll be faced with the decision whether to stay with Straight Talk or move to another wireless carrier which may cost more money per month.
I wish I could offer you more help. I do not have any direct contacts at Straight Talk. I would like to ask they when you get a chance to let me know what happens after you get your SIM and whether you get your number back. In addition to my own experience, I rely on feedback from readers like you to let others know what to expect.
I’m a current Straight Talk Wireless customer and I have an iPhone on the Verizon network. I’m moving to Android and purchasing an unlocked GSM Google Pixel 2. What are the steps I need to take to move my service and keep my existing phone number to the new Google phone?
First you’ll need to decide if you want to use that Pixel 2 with Straight Talk’s AT&T (GSM) or Verizon (CDMA) network. Choose the network that has the best coverage in your area. If you want to use their Verizon network, you’ll have to check the phone’s serial number to make sure it is eligible for use on their Verizon network.
Checking If Your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S Is Compatible With Straight Talk’s Verizon Network
You’ll need a nano SIM for the network you want to use. You can order one online for $1. Transferring your service is like activating a new phone. When you tell them you want to transfer your number, they will see you are currently with straight talk and you can transfer your number an service balance. I go into the steps in this article, and I think there is a video. It’s at least a year old so the steps on the straighttalk.com may have changed. see Transferring Your Existing Straight Talk Service to a New Straight Talk Phone or SIM
Hope this finds you well. I wanted to reach out and thank you for posting about SIMPLE Mobile’s plans and features on Smartphone Matters. We are interested in sharing one of your videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UihXQ90iQSE) on SIMPLE Mobile’s social channels. Thanks again for posting your insight on the brand, and we look forward to hearing back from you.
SIMPLE Mobile Team
Sure. I assume you are just reaching out as a courtesy before sharing the link on TY, Facebook, Twitter, etc. That is acceptable. Could you let me know where you plan to share it?
Certainly and thank you! We plan on sharing on a Facebook and Twitter accounts which I will link below.
Great, I’ll look for it.
I’m using a tracfone iphone se..having connection trouble.It connects and works fine at home but not away from home.I don’t know if it is the way I set it up or if it’s the phone itself.Please help..
I am not sure what you mean by “connection trouble”. Do you mean you are unable to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, etc. Or do you mean you are unable to use cellular data to connect to the internet. Does your phone display the message “Could not activate cellular data network. You are not subscribed to a cellular data service?“
No..I can make and receive calls..just can’t connect.I use Lyft and Uber a lot.I can call them from home without difficulty..but when I try to call to return home it won’t connect..it just keeps”loading”..that’s all it says.
Do other apps work? For example the web browser, or your email. Do you know what color card your SIM was attached to? White and red, blue, grey, pink? You may need to install a profile but we nned to figure out which towers your phone uses. att or verizon? if you don’t know.
Click do you need help? Click to chat now. Then ask support. say
Hi my phone number is XXX XXX-XXXX. Can you tell me if my phone uses the AT&T or Verizon towers?
Let me know
I called Tracfone to find out which carrier I’m using.She told me my problem is I’m out of data.So I’ve added 2 GB.I’m going to the store this afternoon and I’ll try it out.If this works it’ll be the first time in the 11 years I’ve been using Tracfone that they have solved a problem on the first call…and she spoke English.Thanks for steering me in the right direction.I’ll let you know if it works.
OK. Good. I didn’t realize your data ever worked before. Hope the problem is solved
Hi, My question is …I have an iPhone 4 and just got my granddaughter iPhone 5s. Will my sims card from my 4 work in the iPhone 5s? Thank you.
No. Your SIM is too big. The iPhone 4 uses a micro SIM the iPhone 5s uses a nano SIM. You need to transfer your service to a new SIM. You can keep your phone number and service balance when you transfer.
sorry… the rest of that recorded message was something like “your number is not active”, etc.
I’m trying to activate my iPhone 5s for the Tracfone network. When I try to make a phone call I get a recorded message saying “welcome to Verizon Wireless”, and so on.
I called Tracfone for help and I was told my sim card wouldn’t work because it was a BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) sim card. But, I told them, I did bring my own phone, an Apple iPhone 5s. They said no, you have a Tracfone. True in a sense, in an earlier help session the help person said I needed to get my iPhone rebranded as a Tracfone. And the new help person said the BYOP feature does not work on Tracfones! But I maintained it’s still an Apple iPhone, behind the brand. Now, they are going to snail mail me a new sim card, which they said would work.
Does this make sense? I think I’ve relayed here an accurate summary of the issue.
Wait to the new SIM card arrives and try that hopefully they will get it working. Ask them to credit you your missed service days too. This can and does happen with phones using their Verizon network. If you activated a Tracfone ATT or T-Mobile SIM it would have just worked. Sounds like they marked the MEID of your phone as being sold from Tracfone and don’t want to let you use it with the BYOP SIM. The first level support people operate from scripts and send a new SIM is usually the first step. If they can’t get it working with the new SIM consider using their ATT network if that is an option for you or you’ll need to get in touch with their executive support. Let me know what happens.
Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. Well actually the first SIM card I used was the Tracfone ATT SIM card. (The phone is pre-owned. and was described as being an AT&T phone. That’s why I tried that SIM first.) So just now I went back to that card but the screen showed the message “no service” which is what I got earlier. The T-Mobile card got me to a page with a few German words! Somehow I got past those but then it wanted me to log in with my Apple ID and password but I kept getting the message that those were incorrect. Tried several times, I’m sure I entered those correctly.
The first level people I got didn’t say they’d send a new SIM card, their supervisor said that! Strange. So, let’s hope for the new SIM card, should arrive in a couple of days.
I sure appreciate your help – stay tuned!
Well, good news. The SIM card they sent worked! Whew, what an ordeal!
That is great news. And thanks for the follow up.
How can I keep my Canadian phone number when I activate a tracfone SIM card as it asks for my present carrier which is Fido. When information is requested, asks for carrier and zip code(Canadian postal code) which it won’t allow to insert. Help. I have an iPhone.
As far as I know you can’t transfer your canadian phone number to tracfone. Is there a specific reason you expected this to work? I don’t think you’d be able to transfer a Canadian phone number to any US based carrier, prepaid or postpaid. Do you know what Google voice is? if it works in Canada you may be able to transfer your number there, then get a new phone number with tracfone and have it foward your calls…
BTW.. are you expecting to dial Canadian numbers using tracfone?
At the bottom of the list of fields there is another field named bearer and one named mobile virtual network operator what do I put there
you shouldn’t need to change those. Are you having a problem?
At the bottom of the list that I filled in is another field named…bearer and another one named mobile virtual network operator what does that mean?
I have a iphone 5s and i have straight tallk and i am getting ready to buy a iphone 7 . can i keep the same phone number ?
You can transfer your remaining service balance and your phone number to the new iPhone 7. See Transferring Your Existing Straight Talk Service to a New Straight Talk Phone or SIM
Addendum to my previous comment questions: about I’d also like to know if carrier updates would be the methodology used by WiFi and cellular service providers to put into effect limits, throttling of network speeds etc to support the rescinding of the old net neutrality standards.
Hi, I’ve tried researching specifically how the current FCC’s rescinding of the previous Obama Era Net Neutrality rules -which under those principles forbade internet service providers from intentionally blocking or slowing down or charging money for specific websites and online content – will now affect my mobile phone’s performance, speed, access etc and have only found some previously documented real examples of what ISP’s and cellular service providers in both WIFI mode and cellular mode tried to get away with in the past:
“AT&T was….. caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for AT&T’s new shared data plans could access the application. In July 2017, Verizon Wireless was accused of throttling after users noticed that videos played on Netflix and YouTube were slower than usual ….”
So I expect most ISP’s and cellular service companies will go back to these sorts of shenanigans, but my real question is, are you aware of any requirement for these companies to notify their wiFi & cellular service customers in new terms and conditions documentation of what changes to expect ? Actually It would be very helpful if there could be a chart that identifies by provider changes to access and or limits to access, speeds etc based on what plan you have purchased. I’m a TFW user on an ATT sim and have gone blind deciphering the T’s & C’s. I’m really worried that my ‘LINE’ app that allows me to have a FREE FaceTime like phone call with my friend from Japan will get turned off by TFW or ATT. Any news out their that you can share ?
See my reply here… Prepaid Wireless and Net Neutrality
Hi Bob, I just got a Samsung Galaxy S5 (new to me). I had an old LG E970. I transferred my sim card from my LG to my new Galaxy S5 – we use straight talk as our carrier. Now, unfortunately, I can sporadically get pictures from some of my contacts but not all. And, it’s hit or miss sending them out – more miss, it seems. I spent about an hour on the phone with straight talk and know that my APN settings are correct. I just don’t know why I can’t send or receive mulit media texts. I can send regular texts no problem. I was getting pictures from someone with an Iphone – (verizon network) but that seems to come and go. I’m not able to get pictures from someone with an android using sprint, I believe. Help! Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks so much
Which Straight Talk network are you using? Which APN? and what version of Android is on your phone?
have a Verizon 4g 10″ tablet Samsung. I need internet service. straight talk or something? no Verizon service please.
You’d have to provide the exact model of the tablet so we could see what carriers it is compatible with…
Straight talk wireless is selling an iphone 8 for 699.00, a really good deal but when I ask if my sim card from my iphone 5 will work in the new iphone 8 they tell me this:
Christine: It is a CDMA/GSM you must use it as is what you receive from the box if it has a SIM card or not.
Any ideas or thoughts on this answer? I’m very confused.
I recognize your name, it’s been a while. From your comment back in 2015, I can see that your iPhone 5 was using the Straight Talk AT&T network. When Straight Talk sells you a phone they include a SIM. Usually its for either their ATT or Verizon network. Sometimes they decide which SIM to send you based on your zip code because they decide that network will work well for you. If you want to know which network their iPhone 8 will use, contact them in live chat and ask them which towers it will use in your Zip Code and they will tell you ATT or Verizon.
In my experience, your AT&T Straight Talk SIM will work in the new iPhone 8 even if they send it with a Verizon SIM. If you had a ST Verizon SIM, you wouldn’t want to just move it. either way transferring the service to a new SIM isn’t hard. You just want to be careful about chaning networks and finding out your coverage isn’t as good.
now, as for the iPhone 8. $699 is the full retail price. If I were you, I’d buy the iPhone 8 directly from Apple at that price, buy the SIM-free model and just move your SIM in the phone. The Straight Talk phone is probabally locked to straight talk, the Apple phone isn’t locked. see my video Apple Is Selling the SIM-Free and Unlocked iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Now
Let me know if you have more questions
Excellent memory. Thank you for your insight and help. I didn’t realize Apple was selling the 8 for the same price. Any thoughts on why the iphone 7 remains so expensive with the introduction of the 8 and the X?
Apple sells iPhone 7 starting at $549 and iPhone 6s starting at $449. They still consider these phone to be excellent products and they never offer deep discounts on older models. Apple sells refurbished products at a lower price, but the model and inventory is always changing. Most people looking for a lower price on iPhones turn to used and reconditioned iPhones from third party sellers.
Hi, I have an Iphone on Straight Talk. It’s an SE. I changed my phone number by calling Straight Talk Customer Service and following the keypad instructions. After I hung up, they gave me instructions to restart the phone, wait five minutes and try to make a phone call. It’s been three days and I still get the error message that I do not have service when I try to make a phone call. Any articles on your phone not working once you change your phone number? (It worked fine before this)
I haven’t heard of this problem before. I am surprised they didn’t tell you that you’d need a new SIM to do this. Three days is too long to wait for this. call Straight Talk executive resolution. You can find the number in this article. Problems with Straight Talk Wireless’ Verizon Network
Does this SE phone use the verizon network and does it need a sim card or is it a CDMA Phone?
My Straight Talk iPhone SE came with the ST Verizon SIM. The phone works with my current Straight Talk ATT SIM though. You can use the online chat feature to ask which SIM they will ship the phone with to you for your zipcode.
I am looking for any info on Ting. they seem to have a good low usage plan and business model. Is anyone using them ? Opinions?
I haven’t tried ting. They use either the Sprint or T-mobile networks. You’d need to decide if either of those networks work well in your area. Next you’d need to decide what your monthly usage would be. compare that to tracfone’s plans. Keep in mind with tracfone you’d have the option to use the ATT or Verizon network. Let me know what you think you’d use per month. I’m curious too.
Can I get son settings for tnmobile (Namibia). I have an iPhone 6 want to use LTE. LTE works well on my 4G dongle but doesn’t want to work on my phone.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I don’t know the TN Mobile APN settings and I don’t see them on http://www.telecom.na/. My suggestion is to either see if you can find the APN information in the settings on your PC/dongle or use the support link on http://www.telecom.na/ to send the carrier an email and ask for them.
I live in South America and would like to get an iPhone X on release date and get it shipped to my country. Will it work if a buy the T-mobile version or are there any activation steps that need my presence in the USA.
Thanks in advance
the phone should work. Read through the comments here and on the youtube video for more info about the issues ordering the phone online though.
trying to update data settings on my BYOP safelink phone i tried doing it on safelinks website but it doesnt recognize both my phone number or SIM number i activated the phone on October 6th 2017 and data worked up until yesterday morning then it stopped accessing the internet BTW since it was working . i thought they had updated automatically so i didnt bother to update anything but now that its no longer working i will need to update manually my phone is a samsung galaxy s7. can you tell me how to do this manually? went into my phone settings but i cant find where to change the APN settings thanks
try resetting the APN settings. Resetting the APN Settings to Default on Your Android Phone
If data doesn’t work after that. Try using the APN setting for the Straight Talk T-Mobile APN settings found in this article. Setting Your Straight Talk Wireless’ APN on your Google Nexus 5 with Android 5 (Lollipop). The steps may be a little different because Samsung’s version of android id customized.
Sorry. Forgot to answer the final questions. I was very happy with T-Mobile’s coverage both where we live in the US and in Mexico (which was included in our plan). This past billing period we only used 52 mb of data in the US but in some months we have used 2 – 2.5 GB. Depends on how long we stay here and WiFi availability.
Nice deal Ron. Simple mobile may be an option for you too. Uses the T-Mobile network and their SIM should also work in Mexico too. Meaning you could check your US number voicemail and return calls from your US number. Does that sound interesting?
Just flew back to the US last night. Made arrangements in advance to get two new SIMs from Consumer Cellular. Decided to go with a plan that gives me monthly unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 1GB data (total) for the TWO phones at a monthly rate of $42.75 (with my AARP discount). This is about $70 less than I was paying a month on T-Mobile (It was running about $115.) I am on the T-Mobile network with Consumer Cellular. Today was day one. I can see that when we stay in the U.S. more than a week in a given month we may have to add to the data plan. That won’t happen too often.
I have just switched to T-Mobile 2 weeks ago and not really happy with the coverage area. Is it possible to switch to a straight talk wireless plan that uses the Verizon cell towers? If so what do I need to do in order to do that? Keep in mind I would need two lines not just one
I’d take a look at Total Wireless.It uses the Verizon network, and like Straight Talk, it is owned by Tracfone. Two Other Options: Verizon Wireless Prepaid and Total Wireless and . Also https://youtu.be/hcM80L1Dja4
Compare the plans between the total wireless and Straight Talk and decide which better meets your needs. Also if you are planning to Bring Your Own phone to any wireless service that uses the Verizon network you’ll need to make sure your phones are eligible or need to buy new phones. Let me now if you have more questions after you check out the links and videos above.
My wife and I split time between Mexico and the US. We are now spending the majority of our time south of the border. We have two monthly cell plans for our 2 iPhones – one Mexican and T-Mobile for the US. Since T-Mobile is costing close to $100 month for both of us, we want to switch to a pay-as-you-go plan for US and keep our Mexico monthly that includes unlimited US calls. We still want a US number for the approx. 8-10 weeks a year (split up across the year – about a week or 2 at a time) we are in US. We just swap SIMs when we get to the US. Does the Tracphone 12 month plan sound like the best bet? There can be 2-3 months or so between visits to US. Does that seem to be the best bet? Other ideas?
Did you switch yet? I wanted to do an article or video about your question. Tracfone could work for you. Do you have an idea how much talk, text, and data you need when you are in the US? Do you need unlimited calling? What about data? Would you want this US number to work in Mexico so you can check voice mail and return calls. Are you satifised with T-Mobile coverage in the US? would a service that uses the att, verizon, or sprint network also work for you.
At close to $100 per month for T-Mobile for two lines, you really do need to find a less expensive option.
Let me know. Sorry for the delayed reply.
It took a while for me to respond because we were waiting to go to the US and change providers. The quick answer is that I went with Consumer Cellular back in October. That was a mistake. Good service and reasonable plans but not for our use case. After two short trips back to the US, we blew through their lower tier service (2 lines) and were about to blow that one over Thanksgiving (data was the issue). Their high tier is only 5G of data SHARED between the two lines. I cancelled and went with Tracfone. With our lifestyle (75% in Mexico and 25% in US) it makes no sense to be with any monthly provider. Tracfone works. Once I totally understood how it works it was a no brainer. What we don’t use carries over and we just need to maintain the line every 30, 60 or 90 days and just keep going. Much less costly for us.
Mke sure to look into the $50 one year of service days to keep your phone active with tracfone. It might be be more economical to keep your accounts active.
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