Tracfone Says I Need a New Phone

Did Tracfone tell you that you need to buy a new phone? Many people are asking me questions about this so I thought I’d write this article to explain what is going on and answers some of the questions your questions.

Q. Why Do I Need a New Phone?

Tracfone is updating their network. If Tracfone told you to replace your phone, your current phone will no longer work once the network upgrade is completed.

In fact, it’s really Verizon that is updating their network. And many Tracfone phones use the Verizon network. Verizon is shutting down their old CDMA network and moving to all 4G LTE and 5G technologies. In order to update their network to provide better, faster, and more efficent coverage, Verizon is replacing their oder CMDA technology with new techologies.
I’d say every ten years or so, the big carriers shut down their old cell networks. Its good in that we all get better cell service but its unfortunate customers have to replace phones.

Note that Verizon and Tracfone are behind schedule on this transition. They were supposed to shut down the old network close to two years ago but have delayed a few times. Getting all the customers to switch to new phones and making sure all the cell towers across the USA is a big task and took more time than anticipated.

Q. Is this a trick just to get me to buy a new phone?

No, it’s not a trick. They are not just trying to sell you a new phone. And it reality, wireless companies make their money selling you service, not phones. I suspect in some cases Tracfone breaks even or loses money selling some phones, and when they do make a profit it isn’t a lot of money for them.

Which iPhones are Compatible with Tracfone?

The iPhone 6 and iPhone SE and newer iPhones that are compatible with Verizon will work with Tracfone’s Verizon towers and support the Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) technology required to use their Verizon towers. The iPhone 5s and older iPhones are no longer compatible. You may be able to use iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 models with Tracfone’s AT&T or T-Mobile towers.

Which Samsung Galaxy Phones are Compatible with Tracfone?

In short Galaxy S5 and newer phones are that are compatible with Verizon will work with Tracfone’s Verizon towers will support the Voice Over LTE technology required to use their Verizon towers.

While I Lose My Minutes When I Upgrade To a New Phone?

No. You can transfer both your phone number and remaining service balance of minutes, texts, and data from your current phone to your new phone.

However, if your current phone is eligible for Triple Minutes (3X) for life, your new phone might not be. If you are currently able add the $50 for 365 service days add-on your new phone may not qualify. Tracfone’s smartphone’s and BYOP phones no longer qualify for the 3x plans. Consider adding minutes or the $50 1 year add on before transferring your service to your new phone,

Where Can I Buy a New Phone

You have a choice to either buy a new phone directly from Tracfone or buy one elsewhere and Bring Your Own Phone or Keep Your Own Phone as Tracfone calls it.

Most of the phones that Tracfone sells in 2021 use the Verizon networks or towers. Tracfone sells a variety of both smartphones & basic phones. Any phone currently sold on is compatible. Tracfone may have sent you an email or text message offering you a deal or discount on a new phone. When you buy a SIM card from Tracfone the SIM Card is included

You can also check out my Tracfone. I post the monthly Tracfone deals here on see the Tracfone Latest Deals Here….

You can Bring Your Own Phone to Tracfone if you want. You can buy a new unlocked iPhone from Apple or Samsung phones from Best Buy if you want. When you switch to Bring Your Own Phone with Tracfone, you’ll have the option to use their Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile towers.

If you want to continue to use Tracfone’s Verizon towers, you’ll need a phone that is eligible. Once you know your phone is eligible, order a Tracfone Verizon SIM online directly from tracfone or pick one up in a retail store like Best Buy, Target, or other retailers for $1. While you may find a Tracfone SIM card in Walmart, they may charge you $10 for the SIM card.

To check to see if your phone is eligible, enter your phone’s MEID / IMEI (serial number) on here.


  1. Rick | |

    Net 10 shut off my phone it only works to call them. It will not work to call the free number only the number that uses my minutes up. Switched from net ten idiot to idiot i have been on the phone with them for 240 minutes using up all my prepaid minutes, and the new track phone 3 different sims still will not work, i said just give me any number, i have lost hundreds in business, they are liars and thieves. At one point one nice employee turned my calling back on it worked for a week tell they shut it off again, seems my new track phone will not work. And they refuse to return my payment they forced me to buy a plan to activate the new smart LG track phone. it has never worked 4 to 5 hours on the old phone with them and i give up, liars and thieves. Same crap over and over and over do they pay these idiots by the hour .

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Ok, so your issue was with Net10? and they told you to buy a LG smartphone from tracfone to use with Net10?

  2. Ed Reiss | |

    On your recent recommended sale of Tracfones on their site, the iPhone S5 64 is posted by you. Are you aware that this phone is rated with a CDMA network instead of an LTE network? I thought in your article CDMA was being eliminated because it only supports 2G and not 4G networks. Will this phone be an upgrade or another throw away in the near future? Thanks for reply! Ed

    • Bob Thompson | |

      All the phones that Tracfone currently sells will still be compatible with Verizon’s towers after the full shutdown of the CDMA network. It’s not possible to even activate service on older phones that will not be compatible.

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “Are you aware that this phone is rated with a CDMA network instead of an LTE network? “. The iPhone SE itself supports both CDMA as well as the 4G LTE and VoLTE (Voice over LTE) used by Verizon. The same is true for many other phones. The Tracfone website still may use the term CDMA in places.

      Hope this helps.

      Check the latest Tracfone deals and promo codes here Tracfone Latest Deals and Promo Codes for September 2021.
      Try the promo codes listed there to see if they still work. If not, look on to see if they offer a promo code for signing up for their email list.

  3. Tammy Williams | |

    Net 10 told me to buy a new phone to keep the service with upgrades: i bought a new phone from them 3 weeks ago, after only 1 week, they sent me the same message saying my phone needs upgraded. after 3 weeks they are saying it will stop working. how is it leagal for them to sell me a phone as an upgrade and then try to make me buy another phone before a month even goes by? Its,s a big rip-off! i should get a refund on my new phone! Assholes! I will be changing services after 12 years, and i will be passing the word!!!!!!!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      The need to upgrade net10 phones that use the Verizon towers, is legitimate and imposed by Verizon changing their network. I suspect that what you are experiencing is incompetence on Net10’s part rather than a deliberate attempt to get you to buy another phone.
      All of the phones, that Net10 currently sells should not require upgrades. I suspect that whatever system they use to send those messages, is in error.

      Note I’m sharing an explanation, not an excuse. Net10 needs to do better.

      If you activated your new net10 phone properly, I think you should be fine. If it were me, I’d ignore the messages.

      That said, I don’t use Net10 and their are many great prepaid options out their I discuss on and my YouTube channel.

    • Rick | |

      I was with them 16 years before they shut off my phone and sold me a new phone that will not work, i bought 3 different sim cards they stated will work, 4-5 hours on the phone with them thieves and the new phone will not work as they stated, if you get a good employee you might have a chance, employee told me they shut off my pre paid phone to force upgrade. I paid for the new plan and the phone does not work and they want me to buy a forth sim card because they don’t know what their doing ? One employee laughed at me said ok ill restore 100 of your minutes, he lied and never restored any of my pre paid minutes wasted talking to them. Terrible i am so mad, see if i can dispute credit card Pmt for the new monthly plan GRRR…

      • Bob Thompson | |

        Try calling Tracfone Executive Resolution.v calling executive resolution which seems to be more effective then regular support. The number is (800) 876-5753 ext 3324. I haven’t tried the number for a long time though…

        Oh, and can you share what phone you bought that wasn’t compatible?

  4. Sabrina Sensing | |

    I too was told that i needed to purchase a new phone. So I bought a ” DORO” flip phone only to discover that unused minutes will no longer be displayed in the little Tracfone window. Now you have to spend your time calling, texting, or going on line to get your minutes use info. None of which I want to do. Who the heck wants to take their time to do that?? I was told new models will no longer display them either after I told them I wanted a different phone. I’m angry! If I don’t stick with their new way of doing things I’ll lose my 5000+TooT rolled over minutes. Too bad, I liked paying a year in advance w/t no billing!

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Interesting. I had not realized this difference. I agree those options are less convenient. On a smartphone using the app to check is pretty easy. But what alternative would you have if you left tracfone?
      How long will it take you to use up 5000 minutes? And have you been using $50 one year service day refills.

  5. J Stanley | |

    I like my flip phone & don’t want to change. It is small, fits my pockets, & is simple to use. What can I do?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Not much, Tracfone has a couple of inexpensive Alcatel flip phones on If one of those doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll have to buy your own phone somewhere else and then check with Tracfone to make sure it’s compatible. It might be a real effort to buy one however. You’d need a unlocked Flip Phone that is capable of working on Verizon’s VoLTE network (that the new technology they will be exclusively using). Verizon lists the following phones for sale on their site as compatible. Don’t count on buying a phone from Verizon to use with Tracfone however.

  6. Michael Marshall | |

    I have a Moto G6. Is Tracfone wrong in this case, because it’s telling me to get a new one.


    I have everytime I try it tells me they dont have this number a old safelink phone and I keep get email saying need to upgrade to a smartphone andnot when I try they tell me it so PLEASE SEND ME A NEW UPGRADE PHONE WHICH IS FREE PHONE AND THE NIMBER

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Dorothy, this site is not part of tracfone or safelink . I don’t send people phones

  8. della m hale | |

    I just activated a Samsung A10E tracphone on July 24 2020. Now they say that I need a new phone. I paid $129 for this one When I called tracphone they sounded so confused and kept me on with so many agents. They tried to sell me another one and this was August 30,2020 just a little over a month. What do I do? After 8 agents I couldnt take it anymore so hung up. Please let me know what to do. This is my 1st smart phone and i had over 9,000 with the little tracphone all these years….just added minutes over 19 years. Trying to get up to 21st century. I am a senior …

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I think you’ll be ok. I assume you were a tracfone customer and upgraded / transferred your number to the A10E, is this correct? I suspect your old phone needed to be replaced, not this one.
      Sounds like they are confused. How did they tell you you need a new phone? email? text message?

  9. Anna | |

    If you want just a basic smart phone or even a flip phone that is ready to go using Tracfone, go to QVC website. They sell a lot of them for great prices. They all come with everything you need including 1500 min, texts and data, and any minutes or texts you have left on your old phone will transfer over to the new one…also you can keep your old number if you want to. If you are a triple the minutes for life customer like I am, I think that, too, rolls over with you to the new phone. ( I saw that was asked by someone about the phone I was looking at and a rep from Tracphone said the triple deal would remain with you when you purchase the new phone. I hope so!!! Hate to lose that!!)

    • Anna | |

      Oh, I forgot to include the link to QVC Tracfone to make it easy for anyone interested:

      Also, someone asked about Tracfones for 5G… the one I was looking at ( it was the cheapest one…like 54.00 and change) Tracfone said would be compatable with 5G when the time comes…so I am thinking maybe via a download or something?? I am not a techy person, so I don’t really know. But I image that all of their phones will be capable of 5G if the one I was looking at is capable…like I said… it was the cheapest one. Hope this helps… THANK-YOU BOB THOMPSON FOR THIS PAGE…VERY HELPFUL. 🙂 🙂

      • Bob Thompson | |

        Thanks for sharing Anna. Yes QVC does have some good deals. While the phones that QVC / Tracfone sells will continue to work for a long time after 5G comes, the phones themselves will not use 5G. 5G phones are currently much more expensive.

        If you get a chance, please let us know if you are able to add triple minutes to your new phone. it would really help out others.

  10. Georgina bonds | |

    I currently use this phone through SafeLink. I cannot afford to buy a phone! What can I do?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know. Do some research on the latest offers for lifeline services. You may fine that safelink or other lifeline provider will offer you a free phone. There are new benefits for those out of work due to Covid

  11. ruth lind | |

    Will the Samsung galaxy A10e satisfy the new requirements?

    • Bob Thompson | |


      some more details to be aware of.

      1 Tracfone currently sells the A10e. Any phone tracfone currently sells meets the requirements.
      2. If you buy the phone anywhere else, make sure the phone is unlocked..
      a. Samsung makes different models of the A10e, you want one that is compatible with the Verizon network.
      b. When you go to activate the phone, you’ll need to enter the phone’s serial number on to check to make sure it is eligible
      c. The phone should be eligible, but make sure you can return the phone to the vendor in case their is a problem

      Your current phone is using the Verizon towers. Verizon is updating their network. That is why you need a new phone.
      Most Tracfone phones use the Verizon towers. If you buy your phone somewhere else, You have the option to use the AT&T or T-mobile towers.
      If Verizon coverage is good for you, stick with that.

      Make sure to read the section in my article about triple minutes and $50 add-ons. you want to understand this before you activate your new phone.

      If you buy a phone from Tracfone, consider using my affiliate link. It helps support this website at no additional cost to you. Of course there is no obligation to use it.

      I’ll be updating my Tracfone deals and promo codes page for August later today. Not sure if there is a deal or promo code that wil save you on the A10e this month.
      Tracfone Latest Deals and Promo Codes

      • Mona | |

        Does this mean when I upgrade I will lose me buying a prepaid card my, triple mins, and my pics..thank you

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Your pictures are stored on your current phone. It’s up to you to transfer them to your new phone, computer, or the cloud to key them.

          Most of the smartphones that tracfone sells no longer are eligible for triple minutes. Some readers report that tracfone is grandfathering them on triple minutes. I don’t know if that is true as no one has reported successfully adding 3x minutes after switching to a new phone.
          You can still buy prepaid cards.

  12. Nora Bass | |

    Hi Bob,
    My question is: I’m looking for a new TRACFONE with G5 capability , what are your recommendations?
    Some background information :
    My husband is receiving messages from TRACFONE letting him know that he needs a new phone due to network changes and must be VoLTE compatible. So, what I want to do is buy a TRACFONE with G5 capability now.

    Thank you so much for taking my question. I look forward to your answer as to which phone I should buy to be both VoLTE compatible and G5 ready.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Nora,
      Tracfone currently does not offer 5G service, as 5G service is relatedly new and only available in a few areas. None of the phones that Tracfone sells are 5G ready. The current selection of 5G phones is limited. And they are expensive. $600 and over. many over $1000. Apple current does not offer any 5G iPhone models, maybe later this year. Samsung has several.

      It’s not clear to me what your needs and budget are. I’d suggest buying a new iPhone SE 2020 from Apple ($399) or the new Google Pixel 4a ($349). These phones are 4G LTE only but will work with Tracfone’s Verizon towers (which is why you need a VoLTE phone). Both phones will get software updates for years to come and work fine with Tracfone for years. It will be a LONG time before the cell companies shut down the 4G LTE network and move to 5G.

      I hope this helps.

  13. tony walker | |

    Thanks for this information, as TracFone is only saying a new phone is necessary, but is not saying what is needed or why the old phone will not work and when this will take effect.
    Also, does this mean basic phones will no longer work?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Tracfone will still have a selection of low cost smartphones and basic phones. Before buying a basic phone from Tracfone, ask them which towers it uses. I think they will still have basic phones that use the Verizon. towers.

  14. edward J driscoll | |

    im looking to buy a new ridged smart phone for my tracfone acc. my # is 603-XXX-XXXX does tracfone have a list of phones that will on my acc.all phones

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t really understand your question. Start by contacting Tracfone via online chat, and ask them which towers your phone currently uses. Assuming the coverage is good, you’d want a phone that uses those towers.Most phones tracfone sells use the Verizon towers. Once you decide if the AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon towers are best for you you can start to look for a new phone either from Tracfone or somewhere else.

  15. Dale Miller | |

    How soon will my phone be shut down? I have been contemplating getting a new phone.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know how long you can put it off for. The Verizon changes that will require you to get a new phone are supposed to take place by the end of 2020. it was supposed to be the end of 2019, but they were pushed back.

  16. Richard C Follett | |

    What date will my phone be unusable?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know how long you can put it off for. The Verizon changes that will require you to get a new phone are supposed to take place by the end of 2020. it was supposed to be the end of 2019, but they were pushed back.

  17. Greg Fraser | |

    Will moto phones work w/ volte?
    Precisely, moto g5 & moto g7

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I’ve never tried it. Any phone currently advertised as being compatible with Verizon, should support VoLTE. If the phone doesn’t support VoLTE you wouldn’t be able to activate it. Both the G7 and G5 Plus are listed on as Verizon compatible. For whatever phone you buy you’ll need need to check the MEID with your service before you can activate it. Phone that are Verizon compatible and unlocked this should qualify for activation without issue. I always recommend understand the return policy for any phone you buy in case for some reason your service tells you it can’t be activated on their network.

  18. Sherry | |

    My Samsung Luna’s network is set to LTE/CDMA, so I guess that’s why I’m getting the upgrade notice too. But in shopping around for a new phone, even on Tracfone’s site, I’m only finding LTE phones, nothing stating VoLTE. To save myself the trouble of upgrading again in a couple of years, is there a VoLTE Samsung model available now?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      All the phones they are currently selling should support Voice over LTE (VoLTE ) at this point. They may not list it in the specs. I don’t think they would let you activate a phone that doesn’t support VoLTE anymore.

      • Sherry | |

        Crossing my fingers then as the model at the top of my list supposedly can be used as a hotspot itself. Thanks for putting this page together, Bob.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          As far as I know, Tracfone doesn’t include hotspot as a feature. It may work, but if you need support for a problem they won’t help you with it.

  19. cara | |

    How soon do I need to get a new tracfone? When will it quit working?

    I have LG L34C, and tracfone says I need a new phone. I use phone mostly for calls, texts and photos, sometimes a YouTube video.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know how long you can put it off for. The Verizon changes that will require you to get a new phone are supposed to take place by the end of 2020. it was supposed to be the end of 2019, but they were pushed back.

  20. mike | |

    Go to the Tracfone unlock site and just unlock your Tracfone. You can keep using your old phone and save your money.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Your explanation is incomplete, and without adding details I’d think the average consumer will not understand why and it what limited situations this will work.

      • mike | |

        I’m not a tech geek but it sounds like a carrier will no longer support some Tracfone models.Unlocking your phone will give you access to other carriers enabling you to continue using your current Tracfone.The website is self explanatory,will tell you if your model can be unlocked,and it’s very simple to do.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          The issue is that many of these older phones (often basic phones) only support Verizon’s CMDA network and can longer be used with Tracfone nor any other carrier. Some smartphones will have limited or partial support for Tracfone’s AT&T or Tracfone’s T-Mobile towers in which case the customer would need to transfer their service to a BYOP SIM card to continue using Tracfone. This works but if the customer still wants to stay on the Verizon towers they need a new phone.

      • Sue Phelps | |

        I got a new phone due to upgrade. It is worse service than my old phone ….so don’t see where it is to be a n improvement!! Sure not for me!!!

        • Bob Thompson | |

          That is unfortunate. What was your old phone and what did you get for a new phone? Whenever they make a change like this, it always takes time to work out these issues.

  21. Catherine | |

    My old Samsung BlackBerry style phone still makes and receives calls and texts. Although texts are limited to 160 characters, which is fine with me. When will service end? Is there an official date?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I don’t know. Verizon now says the end of 2020. Not sure when Tracfone will ask all their customers to covert by.

  22. Aaron | |

    I have an older phone. I have noticed there have been some times that calls ended in the middle. But I can eventually make them. It’s been a minor inconvenience but I always end up ok. Is it going to get worse, or is it just an inconvenience? This is in response to this thing going on with Tracfone/Volte(?)

    • Bob Thompson | |

      I’d expect that is some area the transition to VoLTE will go smoothly but in others it will be a bit rocky depending on the LTE coverage in the area or the volume of calls over VoLTE increasing. Check your phone to see if you have VoLTE enabled. It’s usually an LTE option somewhere in the settings.

  23. Randy | |

    Hi, Bob,
    I’m replying to a post you directed to me that has no “Reply” button. You wrote:
    Bob Thompson | December 31, 2019 at 12:31 pm |
    Wow. TFW does make things difficult. I’d log in to tracfone account and verify my phones Meid is correct. I’d also try the sim in another volte phone and see if you can enable volte maybe you can trick them into turning it on for your account perhaps it will work when you move it back. I hope this isn’t going to be a widespread issue. I’ll share more if I come up with any ideas.
    I tried putting the TFW sim card into the new SE. I could not get service at all. I am reluctant to call TFW for fear they will push one of their hidden APMs onto that phone. That could make it unusable for day outside the US. I tried to get an apn from but it appears they are no longer online.

    I also put a foreign SIM card in the old SE where I regularly use TFW. That foreign sim allows roaming in the US, where it uses that AT&T network. With the sim card in, I can turn on Voice and Data over Cellular 4G. This makes me wonder if the inability to turn on VoLTE with the Verizon sim might actually be a problem with Verizon’s service in my rural area. Even though Verizon and TFW have announced VoLTE to customers in my area, maybe that was actually a nationwide announcement and it isn’t actually implement here yet.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Hi Randy,
      The reply you received from me should have been my reply to your comment on there is a feature that lets the site email comment responses back to the poster, so they know when someone has responded. You should be able to simply reply to the email to post a response. It’s been a while since I’ve tried it myself.

      I agree with you assessment, I think Verizon is way behind schedule with this VoLTE transition. Next time your in a more populated area, see If you can turn it on. I’m not sure if there is a way to see if Verizon supports voLTE in your area. I think more people will be talking about the issues and problems with this transition as we continue into 2020.

      • Randy | |

        I had no trouble replying here directly to your post. I think the last time was just one of those odd quirks.

        Not that this would help anyone in the US, but in France you can easily check what frequencies are in use from every antenna in every area.

        For example, I put in the postal code of my apartment in Paris. I get a map of the city centered on my postal code, which can be expanded to just my neighborhood. I can put in selection criteria. This could be, for example, only 4g and 5g with my operator Then little dots appear on the map. Each indicates an antenna. Click on the dot and it tells you what bands are in use for that antenna. I think it’s updated as antennas change..

        I don’t think I can post a screen shot, but here is the site:

        I can copy one single result, for my own operator. It does use LTE, but has no implemented VoLTE and my not for a year or more.

        30 RUE SAINT PAUL 75004 PARIS–4E–ARRONDISSEMENT [address]
        Type : Bâtiment [a building]
        ID : 1765369
        Date : 2019-01-02
        Modification : 2019-01-02
        Activée : Oui
        Hauteur : 24.30 m [height of antenna in meters]
        UMTS 899.9 à 904.9 MHz
        UMTS 944.9 à 949.9 MHz
        UMTS 1954.9 à 1959.9 MHz
        UMTS 2144.9 à 2149.9 MHz
        LTE 723 à 733 MHz
        LTE 778 à 788 MHz
        LTE 1750 à 1765 MHz
        LTE 1845 à 1860 MHz
        LTE 2550 à 2570 MHz
        LTE 2670 à 2690 MHz

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Thanks for sharing this.

  24. Howard Block | |

    Verizon claims you need to have VoLte phones on each end of the connection. How will I contact my home landline or some one with 3g service still?

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Verizon is shutting down their CDMA(3G) network. It means all Verizon wireless customers, and customers of Tracfone or any other service that using the Verizon network will need to upgrade their phone to one that can use Voice over LTE or VoLTE. You’ll still be able to call landlines or customers of other wireless wireless services.

  25. John | |

    My old tracphone needs to be replaced. I do have a LG – UN251 phone. Would it work as a replacement. All I need is a phone and nothing more. Thanks

  26. Randy | |

    Questions and comments:

    1. I have an SE currently running on Tracfone/Verizon in north central Washington state. Verizon has announced it is switching (or has already switched – unclear) to VoLTE, with CDMA running in parallel until the end of 2019.
    When I try in Settings, Cellular, Cellular Data Options, Enable LTE, it shows “Data only.” If I tap “Voice & Data,” it says “Cannot Activate LTE Calls, contact TFW.” My phone shows “LTE” at the top, presumably meaning it is in fact running data on LTE.
    Can this mean that Verizon is using VoLTE but Tracfone is not allowing its own users to connect to VoLTE on Verizon circuits? If that were the case, the phone wouldn’t matter and we’d all be SOL.

    2. You mention that sometimes new features require new SIMs. Could this be an issue? My SIM is a year or so old. I got TFW to replace it because older TFW/Verizon SIMs had a problem with creating hidden profiles that prevented data usage on foreign networks. The hidden profile could not be seen or deleted in iPhone settings. Newer SIMs don’t have this problem.

    3. In my area at least, you don’t get a choice of network coverage. TFW ties it to your ZIP code. In my case, at least a few years ago, TFW would try to force an AT&T SIM on me. I had to give them a neighboring area ZIP code as my “primary usage area, although different from mailing address”, to get Verizon. This was important because Verizon works much better here than AT&T.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      The iPhone SE is compatible with Verizon’s transition from CDMA / LTE to full LTE. When this happens, everyone on Tracfone will transition to voLTE or what Verizon calls HD Voice. The tracfone brands have not made this transition yet. They will. Verizon itself has delayed turning off their CDMA network until the end of 2020. From what I understand, is they are not ready yet. If your SIM is only a year old, I’d think it will be fine. Tracfone would contact you if you need a new SIM, just as they are contacting customers that need a new phone. You may find that Tracfone pushes a new carrier bundle (not profile) to update the settings. Hopefully when Verizon goes full LTE, tracfone customers will get VoLTE and other related features such as Wi-Fi calling. The only other issue to keep an eye out for is how compatible the SE is with the Verizon coverage in your area. It’s possible that Verizon is adding coverage on LTE bands in your area that are not supported by the iPhone SE which is several years old.

      I’ll be posting and making videos about this as more information becomes available. On a side note, I remember you from the hidden carrier profile discussion. That helped a lot of people. I gave you credit in my video if you haven’t seen it .

      • randy | |

        Thanks for letting me know about that video and giving me credit. I hadn’t seen it.

        • Randy | |

          Well, I just got the message from Tracfone a couple of days ago that I should now turn on VoLTE on my iPhone SE. When I did that, it took a while but then I got a message that VoLTE could not be activated and I should contact TFW.

          I did that. There is no option directly mentioning VoLTE so I selected “calls”. The automated system said it was correcting a problem on my phone and I should restart.

          After restarting, it no longer even tries to activate VoLTE. I immediately get the popup that VoLTE couldn’t be activated and I should call TFW. I called and after futzing with various choices, eventually got to an operator.

          She verified the last 4 digits of my IMEI and said my phone is not VoLTE compatible. I said that both the TFW and Verizon websites say the SE is VoLTE compatible. According to her, the system says my phone is not VoLTE compatible and there is nothing else to do. End of story.

          I guess the next thing to do is wait a few days and call TFW again. See what story they give me.

          My other alternative is to try a different SE with the same TFW SIM card. I do have an SE that I bought in France. It has one additional LTE band, though that isn’t one used in the US.

          I haven’t look at the Verizon site to see if they have a way to tell my whether my SE is VoLTE compatible.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            Wow. TFW does make things difficult. I’d log in to tracfone account and verify my phones Meid is correct. I’d also try the sim in another volte phone and see if you can enable volte maybe you can trick them into turning it on for your account perhaps it will work when you move it back. I hope this isn’t going to be a widespread issue. I’ll share more if I come up with any ideas.
            Happy new year

      • Debra Fournier | |

        You stated Verizon has delayed turning off their CDMA network until the end of 2020. Does this mean I don’t have to replace my phone until then? I’ve been told end of 2019, end of summer 2020, and now end of 2020. All very confusing.

        • Bob Thompson | |

          Verizon’s official timeline for during off the CDMA network was moved from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020. See
          That’s Verizon’s current plan, and this is the second or third time they changed their date. But, I am not telling you you have that long if you are using Tracfone’s Verizon network. I’d assume they will let people go that long, but I don’t know. I personally wouldn’t want to wait until the last minute.

          Are you using Tracfone, do you know what phone you want to move to?

  27. James Byrne | |

    two questions. (great site by the way).
    1. I suspect my old iPhone 4s (originally on Verizon) will no longer work on TracFone at the end of the year 2019.
    so I plan on getting a newer iPhone compatible with volte as per your article. Will current TracFone sims for Verizon work or is there some volte specific sim needed?
    2. My 4s on TracFone never worked in Alaska when I visited my daughter ( I live in Maine). Will the new one being volte compatible work or will I still have the same problem?

    As you can tell I am a bit confused by the whole cell network stuff and TracFone has been great but support competence is not a strong point for them.

    • Bob Thompson | |

      Good questions.
      1. The SIM
      If you buy a new iPhone from Tracfone it will include a SIM card. If you buy your iPhone somewhere else, you’ll need a BYOP SIM. The Tracfone iPhone will most likely use the Verizon network. (since your in Maine). If you go BYOP you’ll have the option to choose the ATT, T-Mobile, or Verizon towers when you transfer your service. If your 4s has a SIM, you won’t be able to use it. I assume that all the current Tracfone nano SIMs for the Verizon towers will work fine. (They would have to update a lot of people if that wasn’t the case). It’s a good question because sometimes new features require new SIMs. You can check out the latest Tracfone deals here Tracfone may have sent you offers too.

      2. Alaska
      VoLTE isn’t really a solution to the problem there. Verizon and ATT are investing in improving coverage in Alaska. As Verizon is shutting down their CDMA network, all the new towers in equipment they add to Alaska will be 4G LTE with VoLTE. It’s also possible that Tracfone users on the Verizon network will get other HD calling features like WiFi Calling, so you’d have coverage if you in a city with wifi access to the internet. If you return to alaska, you may see better coverage.

      If you buy an unlocked iPhone and you need service for you visit,(assuming you are staying a few weeks or so). You could activate a prepaid plan on the regional carrier, CGI

      I hope this helps. May I ask how you found this article? It’s relatively new, and I it is really a draft I really need to edit.

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