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Thread: Can tracfones be unlocked to use on other carriers?

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    Can tracfones be unlocked to use on other carriers?

    Hi, I just got a new LG840G. I was wondering if I can unlock this phone to use it on spotmobile? Every search link on google shows the reverse where people want to unlock normal phones to use on tracfone so it's impossible for me to find this answer.

  2. #2
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    Tracfones are locked tight. You can't unlock them and use them on another network. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfonecruiser View Post
    Tracfones are locked tight. You can't unlock them and use them on another network. Sorry.
    no wonder they sell their phones for cheap. it's another form of contracts I guess. are you 100% sure it can't be unlocked for other carriers?

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    The phones do not have stock programming i.e. they have custom programming that works only with Tracfone infrastructure. A different carrier would find them useless because the programming is not the normal programming for that model. Tracfone takes a regular phone and totally customizes it. It is not applicable to another carrier.

    Another security feature is that there is no way to access the programming in order to change anything. The usb port cannot communicate with the programming, and there is no recognition of other sims, either, to put an unlock code in.

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    This is something we who have been on HoFo for a while take for granted (what Lisme states), but I remember a year or so ago when someone new to the board asked this same question, and after someone commented that it couldn't be done, they came back and essentially claimed that we just weren't trying hard enough, or weren't knowledgeable enough; that it could be done if we weren't complacent about it, and that we were the newbies! Not saying this at all regarding creativedell, but you've got to take the group experience into account, meaning the vast amount of documented experience from the threads and posts here on the subject. Anyone who has read all or most of those accounts would have to give the advice that Lisme has given, so best to take the advice in that context.

  6. #6
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    Didn't the forum once have a sticky topic about not discussing unlocking TFs?

    Anyway, even if you could, I have to ask... WHY?

    What benefit is there to using a TF device on another carrier when there are better devices that are easily used on other carriers which are available for the same general price (discounting the $10 or less "refurbs")

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Another security feature is that there is no way to access the programming in order to change anything. The usb port cannot communicate with the programming, and there is no recognition of other sims, either, to put an unlock code in.
    Correction, no easy way to do it.

    But, as long as TF is not using a mask ROM or OTP device to hold the firmware (unlikely) it's possible to read the firmware, modify it, and write it back just like any other device.

    Given that it's not real useful, no one with the tools and expertise has bothered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    Didn't the forum once have a sticky topic about not discussing unlocking TFs?

    Anyway, even if you could, I have to ask... WHY?

    What benefit is there to using a TF device on another carrier when there are better devices that are easily used on other carriers which are available for the same general price (discounting the $10 or less "refurbs")
    Well I'm the type of person who almost never use my cellphone. So I wanted to switch to spotmobile after the year's worth of tracfone service and spend 5 dollars every 3 months. The tracfone I bought came with 1400 minutes and it was only 60 bucks. Yes, I know this is ultra cheap *** but that's why I'm asking about something so weird. However, I may end up regretting it because before I even gave out my number to anyone, I already received a robo call on the new number. Maybe I should have gone with an android so I can set it to not ring on certain numbers and save myself the hassle.

    Also I want to thank everyone who commented, it was very helpful. This is the first time I've ever used prepaid and I had been wasting insane amounts of money on contracts. Probably close to $1200 a year. Maybe I'll get a nexus 5 later. That's the phone I really want.

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    It'll probably cost more to modify a TF than to just get a cheap phone for the other carrier.

    If you just want voice and SMS, then there are a lot of devices out there that work.

    Sent with the HoFo App

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