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Thread: CDMA phone in a GSM area?

  1. #1
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    CDMA phone in a GSM area?

    Hi!!

    I bought a LG 3280 (CDMA) phone from Tracfone's web site and it should be here in a few days ... I have a few questions I hope someone can answer for me:

    1. Will I have any problems activating it in my GSM area? The maps on Tracfone shows I'm in a GSM area.
    2. Is there a way to make the phone use Verizon (like, instead of Altel or US Cellular)?

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
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    1. If you have GSM service, you almost certainly have CDMA service - there are very few places you'll have GSM and not CDMA (but the opposite isn't true). Even if you don't have CDMA service where you are, you can probably activate the phone, because you can activate it from the Tracfone website. (I say probably because if you need to update the preferred roaming list (the list in the phone that tells it what carriers to use), you'll need service to do that. And don't do any *228 PRL updates unless you're in an area served by the underlying provider - you might mess up your phone.

    2. You can direct the underlying carrier by choosing the right zip code when you activate the phone. Keep in mind that this will also give you an area code for the zip code you pick, which might make your phone long distance for people who call you (calls from the phone include long distance and are single rate on the LG).

    I know that you'll get Verizon if you pick a Chicago zip code. 60602 will get you a 312 area code, 60639 will get you a 773 area code. This thread says 46372 (Roselawn IN, home of the Ponderosa Sun Club nudist resort) is Verizon. New York City is also a Verizon area.

    FWIW, the LG 3280 is the only Tracfone I had trouble activating, but I was activating it on a Maine U.S. Cellular zip while in Chicago U.S. Cellular coverage. I had to call Tracfone CS and get a bunch of codes to enter to get the phone to work, and they had the wrong instructions for setting up voice mail.

  3. #3
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    Don't know how much this will help but let me tell you what I found out on this subject. My wife has a C-139 and it is a GSM phone. We had to activate it using a zip code in Charleston, WV to keep from paying roaming charges from our area here in Clay, WV. Her phone works well around here and in any other area.We live in the mountains and she still gets a couple of bars right here at home.
    My phone is the Nokia 2126i CDMA and to get it activated I had to use a Charleston zip also but mine just works every now and then from my house and in the town of Clay (our home town)I can make and receive calls but I can't text or send emails. I have a really strong roaming signal and every now and then I pick up a digital signal but not very often. As soon as I hit the I-79 freeway 2miles from my house I get a digital signal and it works like it should.
    Bottom line is that my wifes GSM will text and make and receive calls better than my 2126i in our area even though the TracFone maps says that Clay is a CDMA area. Go figure!, Lol. Mike

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassie21
    Hi!!

    I bought a LG 3280 (CDMA) phone from Tracfone's web site and it should be here in a few days ... I have a few questions I hope someone can answer for me:

    1. Will I have any problems activating it in my GSM area? The maps on Tracfone shows I'm in a GSM area.
    2. Is there a way to make the phone use Verizon (like, instead of Altel or US Cellular)?

    Thank you!!
    I did exactly the same thing a week ago. (Buying the LG3280 in an area listed as GSM.

    I had no problems at all activating it. It came up as single rate and this weekend I used it in a roaming area. No problem - 1 minute as 1 unit as promised.

    In my case it activated under Altel which was fine with me (Altel has far better service in my home area than Verizon. My assumption is that although the phone was activated in an Altel area that it will work just fine in a Verizon area.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NFrabbit
    I did exactly the same thing a week ago. (Buying the LG3280 in an area listed as GSM.

    I had no problems at all activating it. It came up as single rate and this weekend I used it in a roaming area. No problem - 1 minute as 1 unit as promised.

    In my case it activated under Altel which was fine with me (Altel has far better service in my home area than Verizon. My assumption is that although the phone was activated in an Altel area that it will work just fine in a Verizon area.
    And also will work fine in U S Cellular areas...
    Men usually die before their wives because they want to...

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