I have been getting a lot of questions about using the Verizon iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 with Straight Talk wireless. If you have an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5 , see Using Your Verizon iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5 with Straight Talk Wireless
The most frequently asked question is “Can I use my Verizon iPhone 4s or iPhone 4 with Straight Talk wireless?”
Yes, you can. Provided that Straight Talk offers Verizon service in your area and your iPhone 4s or 4 is eligible. To check if your iPhone is eligible, you’ll need to enter the MEID of your phone and your Zip code into Straight Talk’s web site and check if it’s eligible. Keep reading for details.
First, let me explain a little bit about how Straight Talk works. Straight Talk doesn’t own their wireless network, the lease service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint in bulk. They provide their own sales, marketing, and support. When you sign up for Straight Talk, your phone will be placed on one of these networks.
With the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 you don’t have a choice as to which network you can use, you’ll only able to use the Verizon network. For many people, that is ideal, you’ll be using your phone on the Verizon network, just with Straight Talk wireless. But, if you want to use it with Straight Talk’s ATT or T-Mobile network, you can’t. You might be thinking that you’ll just buy the Straight Talk ATT or TMobile SIM, stick it in the side of the phone and be on one of those two networks. It won’t work, your iPhone 4s and 4 are SIM locked. And so far Verizon has been unwilling to unlock these phones for use in the US.
OK. So I hope you are still with me. You can use your iPhone 4s or iPhone 4 on Straight Talk’s Verizon network, provided your phone is eligible and Straight Talk offers their verizon network in your area.
To check if your phone is eligible, you’ll need to enter your iPhone’s Mobile equipment identifier or MEID and zip code into the Straight Talk website and it will tell you if it’s eligible.
Mobile equipment identifier or MEID, is just a fancy name for a unique id that is used to register your phone on the their verizon network. Check Settings->General->About, your MEID is on that page.
You can check your phone eligibility on Straight Talk’s web site here:Register your CDMA Bring Your Own Phone
If you phone is eligible, you’ll need to buy a Network Access Code for $14.99. This one time code is used to register your phone on the Straight Talk network. You can buy this when you sign up on the web site, order it separately on the web site, or find one in the Straight Talk BYOP kit from Walmart. You best buy is to just buy it online. You don’t need a SIM to use your Verizon phone on Straight Talk, just the network access code.
Once you register your phone on the network, you’ll need to activate it by paying for a service plan. Most people choose the Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $45 a month (30 days). Note, that Straight Talk’s unlimited data means you get 3GB of high speed data. After that, they throttle your data connection, meaning it gets really slow.
When you activate your phone, you’ll need to choose between getting a new phone number or transferring your existing phone number to Straight Talk. I’d guess most people want to transfer their phone number. When you transfer your phone number, you’ll need some information from your current phone company. You’ll need your account number and your account pin. Also make sure your address is up to date. You can call your wireless company to get this information. Straight Talk uses this information to make sure that you are really the owner of this phone number, and not “hijacking” someone’s phone number. Note that the PIN, is not the PIN you use to unlock your phone, it’s the PIN on your account. If you don’t know what your PIN is or have one, your current phone company can help you.
After you sign up and transfer your service, your current phone will remain active until the number is transferred. Once it is, your now old account is cancelled. You’ll need to follow the instructions to activate the phone. You’ll need to dial an activation number on your phone and then restart it. They may ask you to complete some additional steps.
I hope this helps clear things up. Before signing up for Straight Talk you might also want to check out Verizon’s prepaid wireless. It costs more, but you can walk into any Verizon store and get help with your phone. For some people, the added expensive is work it.
Got a question? Leave a comment below. Did this information help you? I’d love to read about it in the comments below.