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Thread: My experience with the Inner Circle 12 month for $1 - a very good deal

  1. #1
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    My experience with the Inner Circle 12 month for $1 - a very good deal

    Folks,

    Just wanted to share my experience with the Virgin Mobile Inner Circle 12 month plan for $1.

    I've used several different mvno over the past fifteen years and tried all kinds of different phones (blackberry, android, apple). The thing that caught my attention for the Virgin Mobile Inner Circle promotion was:

    • Discounted iPhone
    • Unlock of iPhone after 14 days
    • One year of unlimited service for $1


    If you don't like iPhones AND Sprint cellular service, this plan is not for you. One of the requirements for the 12 month/$1 plan is you have to port a number to Virgin Mobile and buy a new iPhone from them.

    To get a phone number, I created a free "one month" plan on Twigby using the "FREE2START" promo code and a Sprint DuraXT flip phone (doesn't need a sim card). Actually I think I had to pay $0.58 for the account. Once the phone number was active, I went over to Virgin Mobile and signed up for the Inner Circle 12 month for $1 plan using the number from Twigby. I ordered an iPhone SE 128gb for $379.99. I received the phone a couple days later (shipped via FEDEX and did not require a signature). Before setting the iPhone up on VM, I checked to see if it was factory unlocked. It was not. I went ahead and activated the phone and the number ported from Twigby to Virgin Mobile. Everything works as it should: cellular data, calls, texts. The hotspot feature is disabled on VM phones as it is an add on charge.

    After having the phone for 14 days, I called VM customer service and asked them to unlock the iPhone. The CS rep put me on hold for a couple minutes, then said the phone was now unlocked.

    • NOTE: If you are polite to the CS reps, they are helpful. Most of the calls they deal with all day are "unhappy" people.


    I powered off the iPhone, put a freedompop sim in and powered it back on. I had to re-enter my apple logon information and confirmed the phone was unlocked. I powered it off and tried my AT&T sim. It works fine.

    One thing I like about the Sprint version of the iPhone is they are the international version: They have the CDMA bands for Sprint and Verizon AND also have GSM bands for the US and the rest of the world.

    This offer is expiring on July 31, unless they extend it. It is a great deal to get an unlocked iPhone, if you don't mind doing a little work. I'm going to use this new iPhone on my AT&T account, and when I travel overseas this Fall. I'll keep the VM Inner Circle sim for the year just in case I want to use that number/data.

    Eric

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    My experience with the Inner Circle 12 month for $1 - a very good deal

    So you really just wanted an unlocked iPhone SE for travel and will not use the virgin service unless needed? I did the same but a little different. I ordered an iPhone SE 16gb from Cricket for $169 and will use it to get sprint free for a year for a friend. Cricket unlocked it immediately since I was on the unlimited plan.
    Get $25 credit by switching to Cricket Wireless! Then $250 by referring others! Same AT&T signal! Click here!

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    Blacksurfer,

    You're close, I wanted an unlocked iPhone SE (the CDMA/international version) but one that was larger than the 16Gb model. The 128Gb version through VM was the cheapest I had found that could be unlocked fairly easily. The one year of service for $1 on Sprint/VM is a bonus. Here's some of the iPhone SE deals I considered:

    AT&T GoPhone - iPhone SE 32Gb for $199 (great price but can only use on AT&T). After one year of service it can be unlocked. This is the AT&T version so it does not contain the CDMA bands for Sprint/Verizon.
    BoostMobile - iPhone SE 16Gb - 128Gb for $159 - $259. Excellent price but can only unlock after one year of service.
    Apple - the factory unlocked Sprint version (A1723) is $499.

    I didn't know about the Cricket iPhone SE deal. I see they have a 64Gb for $229. I'd have to look in to their unlock policy. Isn't Cricket wireless on AT&T now? Did they send you the Sprint version of the iPhone SE? Model A1723?

    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksurfer View Post
    So you really just wanted an unlocked iPhone SE for travel and will not use the virgin service unless needed? I did the same but a little different. I ordered an iPhone SE 16gb from Cricket for $169 and will use it to get sprint free for a year for a friend. Cricket unlocked it immediately since I was on the unlimited plan.
    Nice try, but it will not work. VM will only allow phones purchased from them or from the Apple Store to be used for the $1 12 month deal. I tried putting the SIM into my unlocked iPhones. I get a SIM is locked error.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregNE View Post
    Nice try, but it will not work. VM will only allow phones purchased from them or from the Apple Store to be used for the $1 12 month deal. I tried putting the SIM into my unlocked iPhones. I get a SIM is locked error.
    I believe they are referring to the Sprint Post-Paid "1 year free" deal and not Inner Circle. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by blacksurfer View Post
    I ordered an iPhone SE 16gb from Cricket for $169 and will use it to get sprint free for a year for a friend.
    I would not think that Cricket device would be white listed for Sprint and does it even carry all the correct bands?

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    I'm not very active here, but wanted to share today's joy - the 10G mobile hotspot, even though they say it can be topped off, is tied to your 30 day billing cycle, so anything left over if you DO top it off towards the end of the month will go away when your account billing cycle activates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fv22652 View Post
    Blacksurfer,

    You're close, I wanted an unlocked iPhone SE (the CDMA/international version) but one that was larger than the 16Gb model. The 128Gb version through VM was the cheapest I had found that could be unlocked fairly easily. The one year of service for $1 on Sprint/VM is a bonus. Here's some of the iPhone SE deals I considered:

    AT&T GoPhone - iPhone SE 32Gb for $199 (great price but can only use on AT&T). After one year of service it can be unlocked. This is the AT&T version so it does not contain the CDMA bands for Sprint/Verizon.
    BoostMobile - iPhone SE 16Gb - 128Gb for $159 - $259. Excellent price but can only unlock after one year of service.
    Apple - the factory unlocked Sprint version (A1723) is $499.

    I didn't know about the Cricket iPhone SE deal. I see they have a 64Gb for $229. I'd have to look in to their unlock policy. Isn't Cricket wireless on AT&T now? Did they send you the Sprint version of the iPhone SE? Model A1723?

    Eric
    You are wrong about the compatibility of the iPhone SE. The A1723 is a Sprint/International Version, it is not the version for Verizon, it is missing Band 13 on Verizon. It is also missing Band 29 for AT&T, though it will work fine on T-Mobile. By contrast, the A1662 is the version sold for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, and it does have the CDMA radio (both versions have the same CDMA radios) -- just that it does not have Band 41 for Sprint (Spark). I'm not quite sure what Apple was thinking when the created the SE, particularly since it is based on the 6s which has all the bands for all US carriers.

    Having said that, the SE is otherwise a great phone, particularly for the current discounted price.

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    mogelijk,

    Yes, I thought the A1723 version was used for Verizon. You're correct, the A1662 is sold for Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. I've been using the SE on AT&T for the past 18 months without any issues, so the missing Band 29 has not affected me.

    The A1723 includes Band 7, which is used in Europe.

    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by fv22652 View Post
    mogelijk,

    Yes, I thought the A1723 version was used for Verizon. You're correct, the A1662 is sold for Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. I've been using the SE on AT&T for the past 18 months without any issues, so the missing Band 29 has not affected me.

    The A1723 includes Band 7, which is used in Europe.

    Eric
    As I said, both have some issues, but both technically will work on all carriers -- just that you might not have the same speeds as someone with Band 29. Again, the real question is why they didn't just use the radios from the 6s, since most of the other internals are from the 6s, and only have the one US version of the phone?

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    Need some help: if I get the iphone 6 (SE is too small for my eyes) and get it unlocked and use a At&t or T-Mo SIM when in the boonies (I have some customers in rural areas that Sprint does not cover), would I get all the necessary bands? Does this iphone 6 have all the bands for T-Mo?
    Thanks, much appreciated.

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    6 does not for tmobile, 6s does. ATT should be fine for the 6.

  12. #12
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    One also should note: Band 29 is not avaiable in every AT&T Market. Example: AT&T has a WCS License in Portland, OR but only Band 30 is deployed since I don't think 29 was included in the license. Band 29 is active in Los Angeles with Band 30 as well.
    Home Entertainment: Comcast Blast Pro 200mbps internet(Xfinity XB3 Arris TG1682G 24x8 Docsis 3.0 modem, IPv6 enabled), Xfinity Digital Preferred TV(Tivo Bolt(Main DVR)/Tivo Mini(Bedroom), Xfinity Voice EMTA XB3 with Voice Unlimited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southchatham View Post
    6 does not for tmobile, 6s does. ATT should be fine for the 6.
    Thank you for this info, especially since I prefer T-Mo's network in my area.

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    Bring your own iPhone is now available for inner-circle.

    Sent from my R1 HD using HoFo mobile app

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    I have a spare unlocked 6s. It was originally an AT&T postpaid phone I got unlocked after paying it off.

    VM accepted the imei and phone number just fine. Says a sim kit will be sent soon. Didn't cost anything.

    I also have a 7 Plus. It's part of the apple iPhone upgrade program. I know for a fact it is unlocked. I've used it with a Verizon postpaid sim and an active tracfone at&t sim. VM would not accept the imei.

    I'll report back here once I get the sim and activate.

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