Trying To Use The SIM-free iPhone 7 with Page Plus Cellular

A reader, Alan asks..

Hello. I was on the phone with pagepluscellular for 4 hours yesterday, to no avail. I bought a sim-free iphone 7 and when I put the simcard from my iphone 5s into the iphone 7, the carrier changed from verizon to tfw. I can’t connect to the tfw network and so have no cellular data at all. I’ve tried reloading a new profile but that doesn’t change anything. Is there a way to move from tfw back to verizon? Or do I need to buy a new sim card?

I haven’t used PagePlus before myself. PagePlus is owned by Tracfone and the TFW you see in your status bar stands for Tracfone Wireless. As you know, PagePlus uses the verizon network. Typically when you transfer service your current to a new phone on the Verizon network you need first check the serial number (IMEI /MEID) of the new phone to make sure its “compatible”. By compatible, they mean, we checked the IMEI with Verizon and we are able to register the phone on the network.

While many times simply moving the SIM from your current phone to the new phone works, it’s not recommended. If you do that your old phone remains registered on the network and it can cause problems if someone else wants to use the old phone.

Normally, I’d say get a new SIM card and follow the steps here After you enter your phone number, PagePlus should recognize that your number is currently active on PP and transfer your number and remaining service balance. My guess is they want to to register a new SIM. Once completed your service should work but you may need to install an APN profile to get data working.

But I don’t know what steps Page Plus did to your account. So it’s less clear to me. Did they ask you for the MEID of the iPhone 7? When you log into your account does it show you your iPhone 7 as the active phone and the iPhone 5s as inactive? Let me know.

Also do you know which profile you installed? I’d try this one.

I’d suggest you first remove any installed profiles, do a network reset, then check if data and MMS work. If not, install the profile above. If you get it to work, well you then need to decide what to do if PagePlus still has your iPhone 5s registered. If you don’t know how to remove profiles or reset network settings see Setting up Straight Talk Wireless APN for Cellular Data, Internet, MMS Picture Messages on Your iPhone Using iOS 8 and iOS 9/a>.

Let me know how it goes.