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Thread: The dreaded Tracfone BYOP 'Could not activate cellular data network'

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    The dreaded Tracfone BYOP 'Could not activate cellular data network'

    Hello all!
    I searched this topic and I'm afraid that the answers are going to be depressing, but I didn't find an answer to my trouble. I have a Verizon iPhone 5s that I brought to Tracfone. As with most other posts, I can make calls and text, even access the internet with WiFi, but I cannot access the internet with cellular service. I get the above message (could not activate cellular data network) and often the advice to turn on cellular data and LTE. Naturally, they are on already.
    To try and answer some of the previous questions in previous posts:
    -Good service is available
    -This is the second sim card from Tracfone with numbers that i.d. the sim as a Verizon sim
    -I dialed the *777*1# (think that's it) and got the Verizon response
    -iOS is 9.2 (which is getting a lot of commentary making it sound like the problem)
    -Tracfone had me restart/reset/re-everything over and over and over and over...
    -to my knowledge I have no access to the APN settings (can't find any access no matter what directions I find)

    A little FYI - I did have an iPhone 4s prior to this that worked just dandy with Tracfone, so I have some empirical evidence of good service here and my husband's Samsung Galaxy Stardust performs just fine in EVERY way, dang it.

    Thank you for any and all help and my apologies if I missed a vital piece of info. If I have to go back to Tracfone for more help I will send goodies to anyone who can give me a # that gets me past the basic CSR's to someone higher up in the tech departments. (Thank heaven for the landline when making calls to Tracfone or I'd have no minutes left and this would all be moot.)
    Ginger

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    What does it say for "Carrier" in Settings -> General -> About??

    My Verizon iPhone 5s on TF says "Verizon 23.2".

    I've had several Verizon iPhones on TF. The settings should be sent by Verizon and you shouldn't need to do anything with APN settings.

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    Hi rchang,
    Mine actually says 'TFW 21.1'. In the display it also reads 'TFW' by the signal dots and 'LTE'.

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    I think we have been seeing more Verizon failures recently related to no data for Iphone. It used to be that Verizon worked and ATT gsm had the data problems.

    The fact that your phone shows TFW in the main screen and not Verizon tells me they changed something. Before it always said Verizon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerhat View Post
    -This is the second sim card from Tracfone with numbers that i.d. the sim as a Verizon sim
    -I dialed the *777*1# (think that's it) and got the Verizon response
    That * code is for GSM (AT&T) only, not CDAM (Verizon).


    Did you use a new NAC or transfer from you 4s?
    Hoe is it listed i your account at TF? Does it show the IMEI (decimal version) or the last 15 digits of the SIM?

    I'm wondering is they tried to activate it as AT&T.

    That you have a older carrier bundle and it's showing TFW (like for AT&T service) make me suspicious.

    I don't know of anyone with a working Verizon SIM that shows TFW.
    They only times I've seen that mentioned is when data doesn't work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    That * code is for GSM (AT&T) only, not CDAM (Verizon).


    Did you use a new NAC or transfer from you 4s?
    Hoe is it listed i your account at TF? Does it show the IMEI (decimal version) or the last 15 digits of the SIM?

    I'm wondering is they tried to activate it as AT&T.

    That you have a older carrier bundle and it's showing TFW (like for AT&T service) make me suspicious.

    I don't know of anyone with a working Verizon SIM that shows TFW.
    They only times I've seen that mentioned is when data doesn't work.
    The code is only for AT&T? I get a 'Welcome to Verizon wireless, etc...' message when I call it. Wonder what the heck that means.
    Hate to say I don't know what you mean by 'NAC'. Perhaps this will answer your question: I kept the same account with Tracfone, but I was clear with the reps that I wanted to transfer my number to the new phone and all the minutes, etc. The previous phone was also a Verizon iPhone as, at the time, I understood it was one of the couple of types they would accept in the BYOP program.
    The phone is listed by IMEI on my account. The sim starts with the numerals 89148 which I was led to believe was a Verizon (or compatible with Verizon) sim by an earlier post.
    Hope that helps and thanks for your time,
    Ginger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerhat View Post
    The code is only for AT&T? I get a 'Welcome to Verizon wireless, etc...' message when I call it. Wonder what the heck that means.
    Dialing *777*1# is a quick way to check and see if the phone is being used as a GSM phone on AT&T or a CDMA phone on Verizon. If it's being as a GSM phone, you'll get a message on the screen from AT&T with your balances. If it's being used as a CDMA phone on Verizon, you'll get a voice message from Verizon saying "Welcome to Verizon Wireless, you call cannot be completed as dialed".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    That * code is for GSM (AT&T) only, not CDAM (Verizon).


    Did you use a new NAC or transfer from you 4s?
    Hoe is it listed i your account at TF? Does it show the IMEI (decimal version) or the last 15 digits of the SIM?

    I'm wondering is they tried to activate it as AT&T.

    That you have a older carrier bundle and it's showing TFW (like for AT&T service) make me suspicious.

    I don't know of anyone with a working Verizon SIM that shows TFW.
    They only times I've seen that mentioned is when data doesn't work.
    That's a plausible explanation.

    I have another iPhone 5s on AT&T BYOP and that's what it shows (the TFW part).

    Supposedly, Verizon iPhones can be activated on GSM.

    So, what is wrong here???

    @OP what are the first 5 digits of your SIM card? And what is the part number? Does it say TF128PSIMC4ND or TF256PSIMV9ND or something else?

    If you go to www.unlockit.co.nz and download the H2O wireless LTE APN settings, does your data work? If so, you have AT&T GSM.

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    @OP also check on your phone that you don't have any APN settings installed by the previous owner of the phone, who might have had it on AT&T.

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    The problem is very similar to the one in This Other Thread . But the info in the other thread is so convoluted that I cannot figure out what was done to resolve it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerhat View Post
    Hate to say I don't know what you mean by 'NAC'.
    Network Access Code. It's used to get the device IMEI in TF's system.
    Comes with the activation kit or could be purchased alone.

    You had to have used one when you first set you the 4s. If they didn't ask for a NAC when you moved the service, they may have just did the 1 time reuse of the old one. They should have said either way.

    Anyway, sound like it's in TF's system correctly as a Verizon Device. So something went wrong during account setup/activation.

    Someone else had a similar problem and a different SIM solved it.

    You mentioned it's the 2nd SIM. What was the issue with the first one?

    You can try asking them to change your account to that other SIM (worked in the other case).
    But DON'T tell them you used it before. Say it is from another kit.
    Don't even bring up that you had issues in the past.

    Just say you need to change SIMs. Claim you broke/lost the current one or something. (of course call from a different number )

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    You are right on the money, hpham. That's the thread I read and it actually doesn't have a solution. That person kind of ended the issue with this:
    "It was previously activated. In early Dec, I read on this forum to activate a byop first before transferring number from another tracfone. Wanting the transfer to be without issue I activated iphone with its own sim (the problem one, which for the last time was CDMA). A few weeks later I was convinced all was well so I called tracfone to transfer the number. They told me they had to send me a new sim and did. When the time came to transfer they tried to move minutes and had an issue. They blamed it on the new sim and told me to reuse the old sim. They needed to stay with the old sim. I Asked why send me a sim if you can manually program and they responded "its an extra just incase". Today I called and told them they were to use that "extra sim and make it work. It took a while but it seems to be working. "

    Really not the same case with mine and I've been through two sims at this point from Tracfone. I'm at a loss.
    Ginger

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    The problem is very similar to the one in This Other Thread . But the info in the other thread is so convoluted that I cannot figure out what was done to resolve it.
    See Post #95.
    Quote Originally Posted by skmerrow View Post
    Fixed! I made tracfone change to a sim
    That was the other SIM they had tried to use earlier, but had trouble getting everything moved. Then TF exacerbated it by trying to change the number on their first SIM (that had been activated for testing).

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    The second sim was actually the second sim that Tracfone provided. I did get an NAC when I first contacted Tracfone (bought the activation kit, etc, and they sent a sim) and the phone was accepted and registered.
    The first sim had the same problem.
    A little bit more info for you - it takes FOREVER for the phone to find cell service and stick with it on boot up. We're talking an hour or more as it tries. It will grab onto a signal immediately and lose it almost immediately. Sometimes, you can see 'Verizon' come up in the display by the signal, but it always disappears. Eventually, after a few service/no service events, it settles on TFW.
    Ginger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerhat View Post
    The first sim had the same problem.
    No data?

    Starting to sound like something else is wrong.

    A little bit more info for you - it takes FOREVER for the phone to find cell service and stick with it on boot up. We're talking an hour or more as it tries.
    Even more like something else might be at play. It shouldn't even take multiple minutes.

    Do you happen to know anyone else with an LTE iPhone on Verizon?
    If you could try their SIM in your phone and vice versa it would help.
    If their SIM works in your phone then it's a setup issue with your account like in the other thread.
    Your SIM in their phone should behave the same as you see in your phone.

    If they see a similar problem then it's probably a phone issue. I highly doubt it is, but it could be.

    Also, you are absolutely sure it's a Verizon version of the phone?
    I don't know what the symptoms would be if you had a Verizon SIM in an unlocked GSM phone.
    I know it won't work, but not sure exactly how it would be broken.

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