Home - , , - It Looks Like You Can Now Use Your Own Verizon LTE Phones on TracFone

It Looks Like You Can Now Use Your Own Verizon LTE Phones on TracFone

It looks like Tracfone may have started allowing Verizon LTE devices to be used on their Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program.

This is a big deal because up to now Tracfone has only allowed postpaid Verizon 3G phones on BYOP program. It's been 3½ years since the last Verizon 3G phone launched so the eligible phones are all getting pretty long in the tooth. If you want something more modern TracFone will sell you a brand new 3G Android phone, but they are relatively low end devices. TracFone opening up BYOP to LTE that means any postpaid Verizon phone should work up to and including the iPhone 6 Plus, or Samsung Note 4.

A HowardForums user discovered yesterday that if you enter the IMEI or MEID of a Verizon LTE capable phone like a Droid Bionic, Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5s into TracFone's BYOP page you are prompted to either enter an LTE SIM ID or check a box labeled "I don’t have a SIM (you will receive your SIM within 2 business days. Check the box to proceed)". TracFone is charging $9.99 for the SIM and the required "Network Access Code".

Several folks on HowardForums have ordered the LTE SIMs but none have received them yet so we can say for sure if LTE phones will actually work on TracFone. But it certainly looks promising. Until yesterday, trying to activate an LTE MEID on the TracFone BYOP page resulted in an instant denial.

TracFone BYOP phones use on the Verizon network and TracFone's "triple-triple" billing system with has separate buckets for minutes, texts and data. When you add an airtime card its face value is tripled and then the tripled value gets added to all three buckets. For example, a $19.99 60 minute card gives you 180 minutes, plus 180 texts plus 180 MB of data good for 90 days. Unused minutes, texts and data roll over when you add airtime. That's a pretty good deal for light users. Assuming you could use all three buckets at an equal rate, the per unit price of a minute, text or MB of data ranges from 3.7ċ with the $19.99 60 minute card to 2¢ with the $79.99 450 minute card which are good prices for a pay as you, especially one that runs on the Verizon network.

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120 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. If TracFone operates on all four networks and its sister brands Straight Talk and Net10 offer BYOP on all four network, then why does TracFone only offer smartphones and BYOP on Verizon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be because their online pay as you go billing system, which is only used for TracFone BYOD and Androids, only works with Verizon currently.

      Delete
    2. The system Dennis mentions was acquired in the Page Plus purchase.

      The ST and NET10 BYOD plans are all "unlimited" plans, so no real time tracking of talk, text, or data usage.

      The lack of a system to track that usage is why the ST/NT smartphones have to be on the unlimited plans.

      You don't hear much about the ST/NT options for feature phones any more but they do still exist.

      Delete
  2. Not too surprising given that most of the Tier 1 carriers are expected to sunset their 3G networks in the coming years with Verizon's rumored target of 2017. As Verizon is already re purposing 3G spectrum to LTE in select markets,It seems like this move was only a matter of time.

    Dennis, I noticed today on the TF site that all of their current Android offerings are discounted by $20. Wondering if this signals that TracFone will be soon offering their own branded LTE devices this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's only a matter of time before TracFone starts offering LTE phones, which means TracFone will have to start offering decent smartphones people actually want to buy.

      Delete
  3. Wow - this is huge. I have an iPhone 4s on Tracfone and it works great and is still surprisingly capable, but it's getting really old as phones go.

    It's funny how a company as big as Tracfone can introduce something so big in such a hidden and vague way. ...they don't make any claims...they make nothing clear. I'm sure it will come eventually, but it is always such an uncoordinated effort for them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No matter how good it sounds, this is still CDMA, and TracFone is still part of América Móvil. Restrictive handsets + undisclosed premature service allotment caps (mysterious service shut-offs). No thanks! América Móvil MVNOs (to include also Net10, Straight Talk, Page Plus, and the welfare phone program) has a poor record when it comes to business practices and ethics. They cannot be trusted. I'm sticking to my $30/month secret T-Mobile plan that gives me unlimited txt, 5 GB of LTE data (to include 100 MB courtesy tethering) + 100 minutes (10 cents/minute for overage).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SD, ya and what's wrong with CDMA, specifically Verizon? And why compare your monthly plan with this pay as you go plan? They don't really share any similarities, keep acting as if you represent the entire country and that Verizon is a sub par network...

      Delete
    2. Verizon has a great network, but the the restrictions that come with CDMA are getting old fast. It's like having an HD DVD player in a Blu-ray world.

      Delete
    3. @ Anonymous February 6, 2015 at 8:00 AM - That's right, which is why I swore off of CDMA carriers after jumping ship from Virgin Mobile (Sprint)! I've also heard from somewhere that by 2019, all wireless providers in the U.S. (dunno if Japan will follow suit) is switching to the worldwide standard of GSM anyway, which makes CDMA providers and restrictive handsets even less attractive.

      Delete
    4. CDMA won't be switching to GSM. Both CDMA and GSM will be switching to LTE with VoLTE for voice, but not by 2019 more like 2025. I suspect CDMA networks will be shut down at that time, as no one will be making CDMA handsets by then. But in many countries, maybe in the US as well, GSM networks will continue to operate for voice service.

      Delete
    5. @ Anonymous February 6, 2015 at 9:02 AM - "CDMA won't be switching to GSM."

      That's not what I said. Of course the CDMA spectrum can't just magically transform into GSM, silly! I was trying to say that CDMA (along with it's BS restrictive and anti-consumer characteristics) is being phased out in favor of GSM (the global standard and more consumer friendly) in the U.S.

      Delete
    6. Your last post said "all wireless providers in the U.S. (dunno if Japan will follow suit) is switching to the worldwide standard of GSM anyway"

      And then you said "I was trying to say that CDMA (along with it's BS restrictive and anti-consumer characteristics) is being phased out in favor of GSM (the global standard and more consumer friendly) in the U.S."

      How is CDMA being phased out it favor of GSM, if CDMA networks aren't switching to GSM? You aren't making sense.

      Delete
    7. "...undisclosed premature service allotment caps (mysterious service shut-offs)..."

      They've gotten clobbered for this. It should be less of a problem. And I can't imagine seeing the CDMA network itself as a handicap..... By objective measure, the Verizon network is the best in the US. Covers twice the the country as the secret T-Mobile plan, anyway.

      Delete
    8. @ Anonymous February 6, 2015 at 10:10 AM - What I said makes total sense, I think you're just not understanding what I'm saying. I said wireless providers are switching from CDMA to GSM in that they will be starting to use that spectrum. I never said their CDMA towers would magically transform into GSM towers. It doesn't work like that. Just like if I were to say I'm switching providers from T-Mobile to AT&T, you cannot interpret that as me switching handsets. I would only be switching to which signal my existing handset uses, NOT the physical phone itself. Hope that clears any confusion.

      Delete
    9. @ AnonymousFebruary 6, 2015 at 11:08 AM - That may be so... for now. But also realize that (1) Verizon is almost always more expensive than the other 3 carriers, whether direct or through MVNOs, and (2) T-Mobile has been rapidly expanding these past few years.

      Delete
    10. "(2) T-Mobile has been rapidly expanding these past few years."

      I've found no evidence of this. Even when I talk to T-Mobile and ask them about expansion, I get either stony silence, or reference to recent or future plans to upgrade hardware on existing towers. All the while I would have to drive a hundred miles (through territory covered by the bigger 3) to find any T-Mobile service, and their coverage remains dead last overall.

      It's sort of like that vaunted Nextel-related expansion in Sprint that happened over the last couple of years. They promised a better signal in more places. I noticed a slight decrease when all was said and done. A big zero there.

      Yes, Verizon is more expensive, but the best data plan and the best CS isn't worth anything if you have 0 bars on your phone. With Verizon, that is only in a small part of the country... and with T-Mobile, that is is with most of the country.

      I suspect that the total silence from T-Mobile on actual expansion must mean they don't plan on it.

      Delete
    11. Please note that GSM is TDMA, people make GSM sound soo different than CDMA, when in fact a time division system, as opposed to code. Each can run in different freqs depending on location and existing allocated freqs. Its the freqs that shape performance, although CDMA apparently has a slight advantage over TDMA at a distance, meaning CDMA should work better with weaker signals.

      Delete
    12. SDLock
      Whatever you're trying to say the fact is no CDMA network is switching to GSM. So, CDMA networks will continue to operate until they switch to LTE only, probably 10 years from now. Therefore GSM phones will continue to be incompatible with Verizon, Sprint and other CDMA networks. Spectrum is just that spectrum, the same spectrum can be used for CDMA, GSM, LTE or any other standard, just not at the same time. I still don't understand what you were trying to say in your original post.

      Delete
    13. $30/month ($3600 over 10 years) versus Tracfone is $8 ($1000 over 10 years)...

      Delete
    14. I love tracfone services. Don't have to spend a fortune for a contract plan and can invest that money. When I retire and have more money than the fools that give thousands of dollars a month to telecom companies, I'll be kicking back while others have to work into their 80's. It's obvious you work for a contract telecom company and are badmouthing tracfone. GIve us a break!

      Delete
    15. ??? This is a prepaid, non-contract forum.

      There are many non-contract alternatives to Tracfone, including some... again, non-contract... that are definitely better.

      Whatever problems prepaidphonenews.com may or may not have, any noticable presence of "contract telecom" shills is not one of them.

      Delete
  5. Good news. Major improvement to TracFone, on the heels of the government quashing Straight Talk's fraudulent advertising, and the massive data-piles suddenly offered by Cricket.

    It's a good time to be prepaid....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should've said... THE ***MORE*** REASON TO DROP CONTRACT AND GO PREPAID.

      Delete
    2. Hah. I don't think many commenting and reading haven't done that already...

      Delete
    3. Yet many people are still so uninformed and are so easily tricked into signing those 2-year contracts just so they can get their hands on the newest and flashiest phones for cheap, not allowing the fact that they pay will ultimately pay MORE for it sink into their heads.

      Delete
  6. When is TracFone going to start offering GSM based BYOP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Who knows? . . . With the major breakup between America Movil (TracFone) and AT&T last year, it seems that America Movil is doing more business with Verizon these days. In fact, maybe the breakup with AT&T contributed to no TracFone GSM BYOP plan.

      Of course, I guess that there is always the possibility of a T-Mobile GSM based Tracfone BYOP. But, many of the folks I know who use TracFone would not be interested in a T-Mobile TracFone BYOP because of T-Mobile's limited coverage.

      Delete
    2. That might the reason, but TracFone still offers AT&T based non-smartphones. It's weird that TracFone would want all those data hungry smartphones on Verizon's more expensive network.

      Delete
  7. Doesn't this make all the AM divisions capable of activating phones on Verizon LTE now? If so, maybe it is a good omen that the other Verizon MVNO dealers like Selectel, Red Pocket and others will soon be getting LTE. Also, it seems that since TF is considered a pay as you go carrier, that maybe some of the others may be able to offer LTE on some of the lower priced plans rather than just the more expensive ones. That would be nice since so many 3g phones are getting old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Also, it seems that since TF is considered a pay as you go carrier, that maybe some of the others may be able to offer LTE on some of the lower priced plans rather than just the more expensive ones."
      Great observation, so lets hope this move transfers over to Selectel and BYO!
      It is ridiculous that America Movil has such exclusive rights to LTE services on the Verizon network!

      Delete
  8. Congratulations, Dennis! This post was picked up by Fierce Wireless News today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you post a link - I cannot find it on fiercewireless.

      Delete
    2. Click the News button on homepage.

      Delete
    3. I did and it is not there for me and does not show up in site search either.

      Delete
    4. From their carrier newsletter: "> According to one new report, TracFone is now accepting Verizon Wireless LTE phones in its bring-your-own-device service. Article"

      When you click on the word 'report' they link to this post.

      Delete
  9. Thanks - I still can't find it or even a carrier newsletter, but I'll take your word for it......

    ReplyDelete
  10. This article and the last article.
    LTE phones on Tracfone.
    End of Blacklist on Sprint.

    Given these two articles which were focused on Tracfone & Freedompop, please decide for me:

    Get Verizon iPhone 5/5s to put on Tracfone?

    -OR-

    Get Sprint iPhone 5/5s to put on Freedompop?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go with Verizon and TracFone. You want to avoid Sprint and run away from FreedomPop.

      FreedomPop probably won't be around much longer anyway.

      Delete
    2. You could also get an AT&T or unlocked iPhone and use it on Airvoice PayGo or H2O PayGo.

      Delete
    3. Already have AT&T iphones and already long settled on carriers for those (sorry, not like airvoice or h2o for my at&t/unlocked iphones).

      Asking if get Verizon iPhone 5/5s to put on Tracfone or get Sprint iPhone 5/5s to put on Freedompop.

      So far, looks like Verizon iPhone 5/5s on Tracfone is getting the nod. Had a favorite flipphone on tracfone in the past, so no adverse feelings on my part regarding tracfone. (Could care less about the almost religious antagonism against tracfone/st/etc.)

      Delete
    4. If you already have an iPhone on AT&T, you probably don't want to downgrade to Sprint's network or FreedomPop's VoIP for voice.

      You can't go wrong with Verizon.

      Delete
    5. I would go with TracFone over FreedomPop. First, you will get reliable Verizon coverage with Tracfone, and second, too many people complain that FreedomPop engages in shady practices.

      However, I would wait to activate with TracFone until its CSR knows what it is doing --couple of months after the new program is introduced. The TracFone reps seem to be the last people on earth to get the word on changes, updates, new programs, etc., and as the result, they can turn what should be a simple activation into a nightmarish ordeal.

      Good Luck!

      Delete
    6. Of course, TracFone still offers AT&T feature phones. America Movil still has agreements with AT&T which predate the split between AM and AT&T.

      And, no, it's not weird that TracFone has signed agreements with Verizon. Tracfone always goes with the cheapest leasing options that it can find. And, in this particular case, Verizon must be the carrier who offered TracFone the best deal.

      Delete
    7. I believe you need a third option. If you can afford an iPhone 5S, you can afford a better cellular carrier. With FreePop, you will not be satisfied with VOIP on 3G, limited coverage or their "Gotcha" pricing tricks and website that hides and restricts your options. TracFone may lose your number (if that matters to you), is still working out the kinks in BYOD activation for Verizon LTE phones, and has poor CS that you will eventually have to use with a smartphone account (issues are simpler with a dumbphone).

      Delete
    8. "I believe you need a third option. If you can afford an iPhone 5S, you can afford a better cellular carrier."

      The better option would be an AT&T MVNO.

      Delete
    9. I agree with the above person. In regards to the original
      "Verizon iPhone on Tracfone? -OR- Sprint iPhone on Freedompop?" asker....

      the asker is thinking too much of Tracfone being good on a dumbphone years ago. The iPhone 5/5s is an advanced smartphone, seems a shame to run it on a dumbphone-oriented network like Tracfone.

      FreedomPop has limited coverage, and seems best as a backup for something.

      Yeah, they'd be better off with an advanced smartphone-oriented plan on an AT&T or Verizon MVNO (or subsidiary that looks like an MVNO).

      Delete
    10. If you want Verizon service and LTE with a low-cost plan, PagePlus is available for $30/month. Use a good dealer so you can avoid talking to their offshore CS. If you want Sprint service, Ting is the best. Good CS, voice and sms roaming on Verizon and regional carriers is included. If you just want a better low-cost carrier on AT&T, you could use your current or newer iPhones on PureTalk. Excellent CS in Atlanta, and the Simple Plan + data option costs $15-20/month. No LTE, but they do not throttle HSPA+, so the speeds are good. I have used all of these companies with very good results.

      Delete
  11. The animosity toward Straight Talk etc has nothing to do with relief and everything to do with them promising unlimited data and then cutting you off at 200MB. Fraudulent activity.

    Since you said you used and loved it on an old dumbphone, of course you would not have been aware of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can confirm that Net10 is also accepting Verizon branded 4G/LTE phones on BYOP. I sent an email to Net10 corporate resolution and received confirmation from them.

      Delete
  12. What data speeds can you get on TracFone BYOP with Verizon LTE phones?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it's probably throttled to 5Mbps which is what other Verizon MVNOs with LTE get. Verizon prepaid has unthrottled LTE at much faster speeds.

      Delete
  13. Checked a used moto g 2nd gen.meid on tracfone byop meid worked asked for sims number or did I need a sims card. Looks like 4g/LTE will work on tracfone.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Did anybody actually activate a 4g/lte phone on Tracfone, is 4g working or not for Tracfone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, none of the people who ordered TracFone LTE SIM cards has received them yet. So no one has activated an LTE phone on TracFone. TracFone CS is now telling customers who ordered the SIMs that it will about a week before they receive them.

      Delete
  15. If I bought a Samsung Note 4 from Verizon and activate it on Tracfone, am I forever locked into Tracfone service only thereafter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, TracFone can't lock your phone. You can leave TracFone anytime and use the phone on any Verizon MVNO.

      Delete
    2. Maybe not, some TracFone Verizon users have reported that after they left TracFone, their phones couldn't be activated on other Verizon MVNOs, failing with the error "in use with other".

      Delete
    3. Dennis: In this case, what recourse does the former TracFone customer have? How can the phone be released for use with other Verizon MVNOs? Does it just stay in limbo?

      Delete
    4. I don't know how common the problem is or if it's really a TracFone issue or a user error. If a phone does get stuck with TracFone I suspect a FCC complaint would eventually get it released.

      Delete
  16. Things don't look too good on page 160 of the Howard Forums byop page... :(

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1817171-Tracfone-BYOP?p=15804181#post15804181

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, no one has gotten their TracFone LTE SIMs and at least some TracFone reps are saying that there is no LTE on TracFone and the website allowing you to order an LTE SIM is an error.

      Typical TracFone train wreck but I wouldn't give up completely on LTE yet. I think it could still happen.

      Delete
  17. February 16, 2015 . . . Looks like TracFone's BYOP 4G LTE is now official. IsLand_BoY over on HoFo has just reported that he got a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S3 up and running on TracFone's 4G LTE.

    Read more here:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1817171-Tracfone-BYOP/page166

    ReplyDelete
  18. Is there a chance that once America Movil has all their subs up and running on LTE that the other MVNOs will be allowed access? And... since Tracfone is paygo I would say it is PPC that is limiting LTE devices to $30+ plans and not Verizon. I do hope this translates to Selectel and BYO soon!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey Dennis, did anyone end up actually receiving and activating their TracFone LTE SIMs?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tracfone byop cd a sims available at Tracfone's website for .99. It also looks like they will be incorporating GSM carriers too. Check out their BYOP site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw the 99¢ BYOP Verizon LTE SIMs and am doing a post about them.

      What evidence do see that they will be adding support for GSM phones? The BYOP page specifically says no GoPhone, AT&T or T-Mobile phones.

      Delete
    2. I'm on the phone this second with a rep who says they don't have lte sims. Ridiculous. They took my $10 for a network access code, no order shows up in the system and don't send you a sim.

      Delete
  21. finaly got a tracfone sim card went to switch my tracfone number (currently using an iphone 4) to an iphone 5 and got them message that I can't switch because wireless service is not available in my area (central Wisconsin) strange since my iphone 4 works just fine with tracfone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what network are they checking? I know that Verizon has some holes in Wisconsin as I have experienced traveling through. If you are already using an IPhone 4 with tracphone, can't you just move your current sim card over?

      Delete
    2. The iPhone 4 does not have a SIM slot. Tracfone companies have issues with their porting/activation system that prevent them from moving service from some carriers to Verizon 4G-LTE service. You will have to use a different service address to activate the new SIM card with your number. They may also make you buy a second activation code (!). This does not guarantee that you will have coverage in WI, though. Confusing? Yes.

      Delete
  22. Just bought a new Galaxy S5 advertising as compatible with triple minutes and checked meid on BYOP and said would work have been on the phone 5 different times over 10 hours go thru process and every time am told not available in my area said I needed a new sim card got it and same thing anyone have any suggestions .This is a Verizon S5 not activated yet brand new phone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the phone was advertised as working with TracFone and it doesn't you should return it for a refund if possible.

      TracFone will only accept LTE phones in zipcodes where its databases indicate Verizon native LTE service is available. TracFone's database has errors but you should be able to get past the initial error by using a different zipcode. However you do need to have native (not roaming aka Extended Network) Verizon LTE coverage at the physical location where you active the phone.

      Don't waste anymore time calling TracFone's regular customer support, they are poorly trained and don't have the tools to deal with activation errors. Try activating online with different zipcodes until you find one that works. If that doesn't work or you don't want to accept an out of area phone number the best TracFone support channel is the Live Chat option on TracFone's Facebook Support page.

      Delete
  23. I bought a used Samsung Note 4 in hopes to use the phone on tracfone's system, but it's saying it's a no go on the Note 4. ESN is clear on it, but looks like the Note 4 is a dud in case anyone was going as nuts as I was with a phone. I believe the Note 3 will work.. but I wanted the 4 reluctantly. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's a clean ESN Verizon Note 4 it should work on TracFone. You can check if the ESN status is clean at CheckESNFree.com - Free online ESN, MEID, and IMEI check service. or Esn Validation | Page Plus | Verizon | Prepay Refill

      Delete
    2. Dennis you're excellent in returning to people. I checked with swappa and checkesnfree.com and both indicate the phone is clear. Just now with the esn validation and I was given a congratulations. Just checked with checkesnfree again and it says "callcheck" for Verizon.

      Delete
    3. If you got a congratulations with TracFone's checker you should be good to go

      CallCheck means that CheckESNFree didn't get a response from Verizon.

      If you want a second opinion Check Your Device is Verizon own ESN validator.

      Delete
  24. Dennis, I ran a check on another note 4's ESN with tracfone and it had no problems. You're right (most likely as usual), I think the checkesnfree is correct saying *my* note 4 is having troubles with Verizon releasing it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My brother gave me his old phone which is a Samsung by Verizon, 4GLTE Galaxy S III. Can I use this phone with a net 10 card?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a Verizon Galaxy S III will work with a NET10 Verizon SIM.

      Delete
    2. I am only seeing SIM cards for AT T and T Moblie- for the 4G LTE

      Delete
  26. Which card would I get, I use net10 now and only pay $25 a month for 1000 minutes. What am I looking to get to make this phone work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cheapest NET10 plan that allows smartphones like the S III is $35/month for unlimited talk and text and 500 MB.

      Delete
  27. Thank you so much for all your help!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Activated a used Verizon Galaxy S5 over Tracfone's chat today and it works perfectly. Just ordered the sim activation kit on eBay.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am trying to confirm a few questions before buying the activation kit:
    I have a sim free iPhone 6 and it passed the compatibility check with tracfone, good.

    1. now I can buy the $28 activation kit from walmart and also get the 3X (=180) talk/text/data, am I correct?
    2. in the future, the triple airtime also works for iPhone (not only android), is it true?
    3. currently I am using H2O, so it is not difficult to port the number to tracfone?

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All BYOP TracFone accounts get triple-triple pricing regardless of the phone OS or type. Android, iOS, Windows Phone and feature phones all get triple-triple with a BYOP SIM or Access Code.

      Your iPhone will work on TracFone much as it does on H2O. MMS and visual voicemail won't work but everything else should.

      Porting to TracFone can be done while activating online but I recommend using the chat option on TracFone's Facebook support page.

      TracFone's Facebook Support page.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Dennis. It worked as you said.

      Delete
    3. Hi, Dennis, what do you mean by "visual voice mail won't work"? I have an iPhone on tracfone and just found that my phone does not display anything if there is new voicemail. I can access the voicemail by dialing my own number but just there is no indication on my phone. I have missed a few voicemails. is this a known problem, or something can be resolved? thanks

      Delete
    4. never mind. after resetting my mailbox from both tracfone and my side, it is ok now. (administrator, you can delete this and previous message).

      Delete
  30. looks like tracfone CDMA signal is weaker than PP & Selectel.
    I tried 3 sim cards on the same phone. For each sim card, I checked the 5 minutes average signal (average of 5 numbers). Did one comparison in the morning, one in the afternoon.
    here is the comparison:
    (morning) Tracfone: -109 dBm, PP: -92 dBm, Selectel: -106 dBm
    (afternoon) Tracfone: -112 dBm, PP: -103 dBm, Selectel: -92 dBm

    Tracfone signal is consistently worse. (for the morning data, I think I didn't mess up the PP/Selectel measurement).

    any thought?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those dBm numbers are a measure of signal to noise ratio and they fluctuate depending on interference, number of devices connecting to a tower, the exact position and orientation of the device and many other factors.

      I don't think tower radios have any way of adjust transmit power depending on which MVNO's phones are receiving the signal.

      Delete
    2. someone mentioned selected uses verizon's postpaid network thus has better quality. dose that only affect the data speed, but not the voice quality/coverage?

      Delete
    3. There is no "postpaid" network. With Selectel you get free voice (but not data) roaming on Verizon's network partners like US Cellular and Cellcom. So there's voice coverage in more areas but the same voice quality as Verizon and Verizon MVNOs and the same 5 Mbps throttled LTE data as other Verizon MVNOs.

      Delete
    4. It's a shame Selectel is not allowing flex cards for data on their $99 yearly 4G plan !!! Since my current 3G yearly plan expires in 60 days, I'm currently testing Tracphone's BYOD with a Moto G 3rd gen GSM phone.

      Delete
  31. In addition, I compared the signal strength on 3 phones with PP.
    iphone 6 with sim card: -112 dBm
    HTC one v: -91 dBm
    LG F2: -96 dBm

    caused by 4G vs 3G? IOS vs Android? phone antenna?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Different radio hardware, antenna design and signal to noise calculation software. Does the HTC actually deliver faster downloads or better voice quality than the iPhone?

      Delete
    2. only checked the (voice) signal strength displayed on the screen. didn't test the download speed. voice quality seems ok for all three.

      Delete
  32. I bought a Verizon Iphone 5s from a friend to be able to bring to tracfone...after buying the sim and activation code I had a problem activating so called Tracfone help....After an hour of being on the phone with them I was told I couldn't use this phone on their network. I was told it had to be an AT&T phone. I'm totally confused because everywhere I read up on their program it said it had to be a verizon phone...can anyone help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Provided you have a TracFone CDMA LTE SIM and a Network Access Code activating a Verizon iPhone 5S is definitely possible. TracFone telephone support is often clueless. I recommend using the Chat option on TracFone's Facebook Support page. The Chat reps tend to be much more competent.

      Delete
  33. Their website also states it has to be an AT&T compatible or GSM unlocked phone.

    https://www.tracfone.com/direct/controller.block?__blockname=direct.byop_finder_regis_tf.landing&app=TRACFONE&lang=en&init=Y&counter=1&TLJID=nryyWMypPbRyTCfwNNB1hBLbsT7pBpHW6wNdJQnYwvL72Hwh5dZd!-1247506033!1443640030372

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually it doesn't say that. There's a button to activate AT&T and unlocked GSM phones and another button to activate "Other Carrier/Don't Know" phones which lets you activate Verizon phones.

      Delete
  34. Interesting. Maybe because I'm trying a to activate an iPhone 4s. When I click "OTHER CARRIER/DONT KNOW", It has me enter my zip code and the phones MEID. The next screen asks me if the GSM phone is unlocked. If I enter "NO" it states "Unfortunately, your phone is not eligible for the Bring Your Own Phone program. The good news is that TracFone has a large selection of phones from leading manufacturers. Find a phone in-store or online that best fits your needs." If I click "YES" it goes on to sell me a starter kit that contains an AT&T sim card.

    Could this be because I am trying to activate an iPhone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it a Verizon or GSM iPhone?

      If it's a Verizon one and you want to activate it on TracFone on the Verizon network be sure you are entering the MEID (14 hexidecimal digits or 18 decimal digits) and not the IMEI (15 decimal digits). Try the MEID in both hexadecimal and decimal formats.

      If you can't get the online form to let you activate a Verizon iPhone as a CDMA phone try using the Chat option on TracFone's Facebook Support page.

      Delete
  35. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  36. If your phone is NOT unlocked, you can't use it on another network. It needs to be unlocked n order to use it on another carrier. You need to answer YES Anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WARNING: The forum police have wandered over from HoFo. ;-) Watch what you post, or else!

      Delete
  37. HELP Please!! I use a unlocked iPhone 6s plus for tracfone. Transfer my phone number from other carrier to tracfone. It has been 2 days since my number ported out. But I cannot receive any calls. There is no data. And when I was trying to make a call out. The call got drop within 2 secs. The only thing that works is text message. I have called about 10 tracfone reps. none of them can help me fix the problem. A ticket has been created. I went to facebook chat for help. The rep had me wait for another 24 hours, and then they will escalate the ticket. Anyone had similar issue?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Many people, including me. have experienced botched TracFone activations and port-ins. TracFone's support is pretty bad, especially the first-line phone support.

    I've had best results with the Chat option TracFone's Facebook Support page. The Chat reps are fairly competent. If Chat can't fix the problem they should give you a special number to call and a "reference PIN". Call that number during business hours for best results.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am using iPhone 6 with tracfone/verizon.
    about a month ago I first noticed that the phone showed "No Service" after coming back from sleep status, and since then it got worse and worse.
    Turning on and off the airplane mode didn't help. also tried to remove and re-insert the sim card but no use (it still showed "no service, not "no sim card" after removing the sim card. is it normal).
    it seems the only way to get back signal/service is to power off/on the phone.
    I tried to reset the network as well as reset all settings, but also seems not working.
    today I got numerous "no service" and had to frequently power off/on the phone. very annoying.
    so where is the problem? the phone, the sim card, or the service (tracfone/verizon)? should I talk to tracfone or apple CSR?
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my experience, "no SIM" errors are caused either an incorrectly inserted SIM, dirty contacts on the SIM, a bad SIM or a phone defect.

      Try removing the SIM and cleaning the gold contacts with a clean pencil eraser or isopropyl alcohol. If that doesn't help, buy a new TracFone SIM and have TracFone transfer your service to the new SIM. If that doesn't help a trip to the Apple Store Genius Bar or an independent phone repair store is the last resort.

      Delete
  40. Update: I tried cleaning the SIM card, reset "all settings", a fresh installation of IOS, but none worked.
    At the Apple store, the tech gave me a replacement after some test (he can't explain why it didn't work). so far the replacement works ok.

    another question about Tracfone, I asked Tracfone CSR if I need to update my new IMEI but he said I also need a new SIM card since their system showed my current SIM card isn't compatible with the new phone, although both voice and data work fine with the new phone. so do I really need to buy a new SIM card? what happens if I just new current SIM card with the new phone without updating tracfone's database?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once a TracFone Verizon SIM is working you can move it between compatible phones without notifying TracFone.

      Delete
  41. Dennis,

    I have an iPhone 4s that I want to activate. The tracfone website offers two activation options.

    1. "Network Access Code", "Works with many CDMA compatible phones including Android™ and other Smartphones. LTE phones are not eligible." This one is $6.99.

    2. "CDMA LTE Activation Kit", "Compatible with most 4G LTE and 3G CDMA Phones" This one is $1.00 and includes a SIM card.

    Which one of these will work for the iPhone 4s? Thanks in advance for your answer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assuming you have a Verizon iPhone, either will work. You only need a Network Access Code which both kits include.

      Delete
    2. Assuming you have a Verizon iPhone, either will work. You only need a Network Access Code which both kits include.

      Delete
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