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Thread: Possible to use an unlocked phone with tracfone?

  1. #1
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    Possible to use an unlocked phone with tracfone?

    I read the sticky and saw not to make posts about trying to unlock your phone, but my question is a bit different. I currently have tracfone service with a Motorola (unknown model aka the $9.99 special lol) and obviously I regret choosing the cheap price over functionality. I have a blackberry 8320 unlocked (originally t-mobile) and was curious if there was any workaround to use this.

    With the tracfone SIM inserted I can only go into SOS mode. When I go into mobile network settings it does say that it's on the Tracfone network, but I am unable to get any reception.

    From what I read online, it would be a type of firmware issue and I would be unable to load minutes from the phone itself and things of that nature. I normally use the online site to reload, so I wouldn't mind that. If anyone has any input or info at all, it would be greatly appreciated ^_^ Just wondering if this is possible or if i should just give in and buy a new phone. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Nope. Tracfone themselves won't allow a Tracfone sim in another Tracfone unless you order another sim for that Tracfone. Let alone another non Tracfone handset.

    Each sim becomes permanently locked to the one handset that it is activated with and will ONLY work in that one phone.

    You sim will never work in another Tracfone but the original. You have to order another sim if you want to upgrade handsets and that is only for another Tracfone. Which again in turn locks to the next Tracfone forever.

    If it is that hard for their own phones, it is compounded for outside phones.

    I would just get a paygo sim from Air Voice Gsm, O2, Jolt, other similar paygo gsm and put that in your unlocked phone.

    There is just no way around it. No loopholes, no exceptions, no nothing.

    Tracfones can be unlocked to run other sims, with a LOT of effort but Tracfone sims in non Tracfones are just plain impossible. And once a Tracfone is unlocked and flashed to generic firmware allowing other gsm sims, it is useless on Tracfone's network. Who knows what effect it has on the compatibility with the original or new Tracfone sim if you flash it back to Tracfone's "airtank " firmware.

    These rules also apply equally to their sister brand Net10.

    The only cross compatibility that Tracfone has with any other type of phone/card system is its related Safelink /Lifeline program that you have to meet financially disadvantaged Federal Standards to get.

    Just get either another Tracfone and another sim with your same account or get another sim from another prepaid gsm carrier for your unlocked phone.

    With Tracfone and Net10, there is no free and easy matching of sims and phones. Att's new gophone sims are like a six month version of Tracfone now locking the sim to the original phone only for half a year. But there are ways around that. With Tracfone, there is no way around it. Att probably took a lesson from Tracfone, who is one of their biggest reseller clients.

    Amazing how they were able to take a relatively open standard like gsm and lock it down even more then even most cdma carriers do (though there are cdma Tracfones, that's another story).

    I always laugh when I see foreign gsm handset sellers on ebay advertise their unlocked gsm handsets as being compatible with any gsm sim in the USA, Tmobile, Att, NET10, TRACFONE. If they really were, they'd be making a pile of money.

  3. #3
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    That's what I figured. I really appreciate your fast and thorough response though!

    I use T-mobile as my main phone, just happened to have that tracfone with the minutes. After thinking about it I figured that the price I would pay for the decent tracfone just to use those leftover minutes, I could probably just get a different PAYG service like you said. Sounds incredibly restrictive, but it seems tracfone is doing ok for itself so I won't knock it. Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jami_says_poo
    That's what I figured. I really appreciate your fast and thorough response though!

    I use T-mobile as my main phone, just happened to have that tracfone with the minutes. After thinking about it I figured that the price I would pay for the decent tracfone just to use those leftover minutes, I could probably just get a different PAYG service like you said. Sounds incredibly restrictive, but it seems tracfone is doing ok for itself so I won't knock it. Thanks again
    You could get a (Tracfone) Moto W376g for $19.99 to replace the POS Moto (LOL). It's a decent enough phone. MP3 ringtones, etc.

    PS... why do you say "Poo" ??
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