Using a Samsung Galaxy S3 with Consumer Cellular’s Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) Plan

A reader, Tammie, asks..

I purchased a Samsung SIII at walmart a year ago and am switching from straight talk to consumer cellular. The IMEI does not show. I looked under the battery and they said that neither numbers work. I typed *#06# and nothing happened, I typed in *#197328640# again nothing happened. WHen I go to status on the phone the only numbers are under the heading MEID they are the same as the ones under the battery. Do you have any other idea of how to pull up an IMEI number or is the MEID and IMEI the same??? Thank you for your help

While the MEID and IMEI are not technically the same, either number should be good enough to check to see if your phone is compatible for use with a wireless service.

The different wireless companies use different wireless technologies and you usually only need to check the IMEI / MEID of a phone to see if you can use it on with a service that uses the verizon or sprint network. In case you didn’t know. Consumer Cellular uses either the AT&T or T-Mobile network depending on your area and which network your phone is compatible with. Straight Talk uses the AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint networks, based on the same. When you sign up your phone is using one of the networks your wireless provider offers.

My guess is that your Galaxy S3 is using either Straight Talk’s Verizon network or Straight Talk’s Sprint network and would not be compatible with Consumer Cellular which uses either the the AT&T network or the T-Mobile network. If you tell me the model number of your S3, I should be able to tell you which network your phone is using.

Note that the model S3 used for the Sprint or Verizon network is may not work with the Consumer Cellular’s AT&T or T-Mobile network and if it does you may only get limited compatibility, meaning you may not get the best voice coverage and limited data speeds.

Before switching to Consumer Cellular, you should ask yourself which network works best in your area. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint. Figure out how much service you need. unlimited talk and text, by the minute or text message? Do I need cellular data and if so how much?

This information will help you pick a wireless company and plan. Hopefully your phone is compatible with the plan. Otherwise you should replace it or find the best option that is compatible with your phone.

Why do you want to switch to Consumer Cellular? To save money? Tracfone may be an option that works with your current phone.

I hope all of this doesn’t confuse you. Let me know.

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