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Thread: Net10

  1. #1
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    Net10

    Ok, so I have a 1600 from Net10... It's a cheezy, inexpensive phone that gets the job done, nothing more.

    Net10 has the best pricing of any prepaid wireless carrier hands down. But, they have a very poor selection of phones. Net10 uses the Cingular/at&t network in the US. The agreement Net10 has with at&t actually allows a larger coverage area than the GoPhone. IE, A Net10 phone can actually roam onto many of the other U.S. GSM networks. Whereas the GoPhone will only work in areas specifically serviced by Cingular/at&t.

    Net10 does not exactly conform to the GSM standards most people are used to. You can unlock Net10 phones and put in another carriers SIM, but you also have to flash the phone with different firmware or the phone will only function until the airtime tank is empty. Also, they have a rather clever method of ensuring that their SIM cards cannot be used in a GSM phone that is not branded to Net10. When you buy a Net10 phone, it comes packaged with a SIM card. The phone and SIM card are locked to each other at the IMEI/ICC-ID level. Even if you put the Net10 SIM in another unlocked GSM phone, it will not work.

    I would ultimately like to be able to use my Net10 service on a blackberry device. I am a legitimate customer, I pay for the service, I own the phones, and as far as I know its not illegal to try this.

    Can anyone explain to me exactly how the process of locking a SIM card to a specific IMEI actually works?

    I would think that with the appropriate toys, I should be able to use one of those "super sims" that holds multiple phone lines etc., to remove the IMEI restriction and use the Net10 service in an unlocked device, like a blackberry.

    Any insight... even criticism is welcome.

  2. #2
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    I like how NET10 has the best coverage, and it's cheap!

    I can prove this because my friends went to a coast to coast trip last year and we had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and our spare has no air and we had to call AAA and get it fixed, my friends have Cingular, T-Mobile, AT&T mobile, and the other 2 have Sprint, unfortunately they have dead batteries and the others can't even call 911, and I have a Cingular (no signal too.) so, I got my NET-10 phone hidden in my luggage, and guess what, it has a full signal strength and we finally where able to call for help. (WE THANKED NET10, or else some dude with a chainsaw might have chopped us!)

    Anyway, I too would like to have a NET10 SIM card on my unlocked Nokia N95 made from Finland if someone found a way to get trough the NET10 block. I really don't use the internet since I have a Sprint mobile internet card, so a call and text function on my N95 is good enough for me.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhreakIgor
    Net10 has the best pricing of any prepaid wireless carrier hands down.
    I have 3 prepaid accounts. My average cost is about .077 CPM on all of them. I can easily buy mins on Page Plus for .055 CPM. While not as easily done Tracfone can be had for .055 as well. With the freebies I have gotten from TMobile my average there is .077.

    If you get the 300 free startup minutes from Net10 you'll never average .10 CPM but it is not "hands down" best priced prepaid carrier IMO.



  4. #4
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    Question wait... whut?

    Quote Originally Posted by maplebacon
    I like how NET10 has the best coverage, and it's cheap!

    ...my friends have Cingular, T-Mobile, AT&T mobile, and the other 2 have Sprint, unfortunately they have dead batteries and the others can't even call 911, and I have a Cingular (no signal too.) so, I got my NET-10 phone hidden in my luggage, and guess what, it has a full signal strength and we finally where able to call for help...
    Uhm, Net10 uses some kind of super-locked GSM spec, right? And last I checked, Net10 was a division of TracFone. Both TracFone and Net10 are MVNOs, which means they don't own any towers, they just buy their air time from someone else. Given that Net10 is a GSM MVNO, they must buy their tower time from either AT&T (formerly Cingular) or T-Mobile. What I'm trying to say is if you didn't get any coverage from the two biggest names in United States GSM, how the hell did your Net10 get a full signal?




    As always, with all advice: Your Milage May Vary.
    Post 100!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kichigai
    Uhm, Net10 uses some kind of super-locked GSM spec, right? And last I checked, Net10 was a division of TracFone. Both TracFone and Net10 are MVNOs, which means they don't own any towers, they just buy their air time from someone else. Given that Net10 is a GSM MVNO, they must buy their tower time from either AT&T (formerly Cingular) or T-Mobile. What I'm trying to say is if you didn't get any coverage from the two biggest names in United States GSM, how the hell did your Net10 get a full signal?
    Beats me! I have a 6600 and my friend has a Samsung, both has Cingular, friend with T-Mobile has an older 6610 phone, friend with AT&T has a 6680, and friends with Sprint both have empty juiced little RAZR like phones. My NET10 is a 1600 and got a full signal on "ROAMING".

    This happened in Mississippi at I-10, it was like 2:00AM and it's pitch black, fortunately we have a flashlight and a hunting knife around for protection, just in case.

  6. #6
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    This happens because America Movil (the parent company) has agreements with every cell phone company in the US, even the small local ones that Cingular or T-Mo will not contract with due to cost(and any CDMA service wish they could).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhreakIgor
    I would ultimately like to be able to use my Net10 service on a blackberry device. I am a legitimate customer, I pay for the service, I own the phones, and as far as I know its not illegal to try this.
    The way tracfone/net10 works, the phone with their proprietary software keeps track of your account balance - on the phone, not the SIM. When you pay for their service, that software increases your balance. When you use service, it decrements the balance until it runs out.

    Tracfone/net10 does not offer their proprietary software on a blackberry. Their terms of service explicitly forbid reverse engineering that software, so I don't know how you could get it to run there. To defeat their locking mechanisms and permit a blackberry or other device to use your account would essentially be hacking into their system and permitting that device unlimted access. While you may be honest and intend to use only minutes you have paid for, I doubt you could convince tracfone/net10 or any court of that intent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhreakIgor
    Ok, so I have a 1600 from Net10... It's a cheezy, inexpensive phone that gets the job done, nothing more.

    Net10 has the best pricing of any prepaid wireless carrier hands down. But, they have a very poor selection of phones. Net10 uses the Cingular/at&t network in the US. The agreement Net10 has with at&t actually allows a larger coverage area than the GoPhone. IE, A Net10 phone can actually roam onto many of the other U.S. GSM networks. Whereas the GoPhone will only work in areas specifically serviced by Cingular/at&t.

    Net10 does not exactly conform to the GSM standards most people are used to. You can unlock Net10 phones and put in another carriers SIM, but you also have to flash the phone with different firmware or the phone will only function until the airtime tank is empty. Also, they have a rather clever method of ensuring that their SIM cards cannot be used in a GSM phone that is not branded to Net10. When you buy a Net10 phone, it comes packaged with a SIM card. The phone and SIM card are locked to each other at the IMEI/ICC-ID level. Even if you put the Net10 SIM in another unlocked GSM phone, it will not work.

    I would ultimately like to be able to use my Net10 service on a blackberry device. I am a legitimate customer, I pay for the service, I own the phones, and as far as I know its not illegal to try this.

    Can anyone explain to me exactly how the process of locking a SIM card to a specific IMEI actually works?

    I would think that with the appropriate toys, I should be able to use one of those "super sims" that holds multiple phone lines etc., to remove the IMEI restriction and use the Net10 service in an unlocked device, like a blackberry.

    Any insight... even criticism is welcome.

    They are no locked together until the phone is activated. I have ordered several phones at one time and the sim cards come together in a plastic bag.
    And to ensure you can't use another phone, the sim probably will not activate at all without the presense of the firmware in their phones.

    So you can't activate a sim without their phone and once activated the sim is then locked to the phone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimates
    They are no locked together until the phone is activated. I have ordered several phones at one time and the sim cards come together in a plastic bag.
    And to ensure you can't use another phone, the sim probably will not activate at all without the presense of the firmware in their phones.

    So you can't activate a sim without their phone and once activated the sim is then locked to the phone.
    I can add slightly to that. I don't know about Net10, but with Tracfone, the sim's are not locked with a phone from the factory, but as soon as the sim is inserted into a phone. In other words, any unused Tracfone sim can be inserted into any Tracfone. However, as soon as the sim is inserted into the Tracfone, and the phone is powered on, the sim is locked to that phone; it doesn't require activation to lock the sim and phone together.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfoner
    I can add slightly to that. I don't know about Net10, but with Tracfone, the sim's are not locked with a phone from the factory, but as soon as the sim is inserted into a phone. In other words, any unused Tracfone sim can be inserted into any Tracfone. However, as soon as the sim is inserted into the Tracfone, and the phone is powered on, the sim is locked to that phone; it doesn't require activation to lock the sim and phone together.
    Well put Tracfoner. This question has been a source of speculation in numerous threads over several years.

    I have been guilty of erroneously stating that it is tied at activation, but I am glad that you have put this question to rest. Cheers mate!

  11. #11
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    Wait

    "I can add slightly to that. I don't know about Net10, but with Tracfone, the sim's are not locked with a phone from the factory, but as soon as the sim is inserted into a phone. In other words, any unused Tracfone sim can be inserted into any Tracfone. However, as soon as the sim is inserted into the Tracfone, and the phone is powered on, the sim is locked to that phone; it doesn't require activation to lock the sim and phone together."

    So wait if i get a Unlocked RAZOR and put a NEW net 10 sim card in it, It will work?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by iNFiNiTY125

    So wait if i get a Unlocked RAZOR and put a NEW net 10 sim card in it, It will work?
    Only if the Unlocked RAZOR (sp) came from Net10 and had Net10 firmware in it.

    The "AirTime Tank" information on TracFones and Net10 phones is maintained/updated by custom firmware in the phones. That's why only Tracfone phones work with TracFone SIMs, and only Net10 phones work with Net10 SIMs.

    If you try to activate a phone on Net10, and Net10 doesn't recognize the serial number (IMEI), it won't even start the activation process.

  13. #13
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    Can I get that

    Can I download that some where? Becuse I have flash razar's alot; and some times update thier frameware. does a site offer the file?

  14. #14
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    With this statement I do not see how.

    If you try to activate a phone on Net10, and Net10 doesn't recognize the serial number (IMEI), it won't even start the activation process.

    Quote Originally Posted by iNFiNiTY125
    Can I download that some where? Becuse I have flash razar's alot; and some times update thier frameware. does a site offer the file?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhreakIgor
    Net10 does not exactly conform to the GSM standards most people are used to. You can unlock Net10 phones and put in another carriers SIM, but you also have to flash the phone with different firmware or the phone will only function until the airtime tank is empty. Also, they have a rather clever method of ensuring that their SIM cards cannot be used in a GSM phone that is not branded to Net10. When you buy a Net10 phone, it comes packaged with a SIM card. The phone and SIM card are locked to each other at the IMEI/ICC-ID level. Even if you put the Net10 SIM in another unlocked GSM phone, it will not work.

    I would ultimately like to be able to use my Net10 service on a blackberry device. I am a legitimate customer, I pay for the service, I own the phones, and as far as I know its not illegal to try this.

    Can anyone explain to me exactly how the process of locking a SIM card to a specific IMEI actually works?

    I would think that with the appropriate toys, I should be able to use one of those "super sims" that holds multiple phone lines etc., to remove the IMEI restriction and use the Net10 service in an unlocked device, like a blackberry.

    Any insight... even criticism is welcome.

    The SIM is not locked until either insertion or activation. I have used SIMs from eBay to reactivate Tracfones (and Net10) before many times. These SIMs cannot be used in a Black Berry because they do not have the time tracking software on them necessary to function in that environment. Same thing with a phone with blue teeth (unless they are the ones you paint on).

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