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Thread: Total Wireless SIM swap experiment question

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    Total Wireless SIM swap experiment question

    Overseas family coming to visit...last time they came, they rushed out and bought a Total Wireless BYOP sim kit and airtime for 2 lines ($60). They were trying to activate two old unlocked Virgin Mobile (US) iphone5s which did not pass the IMEI check. Nonrefundable, of course, so they gave me everything (airtime, SIMs) since they were out the money.

    Now that they will be here again, I want to try and see if I can get this service to work for them, even if they will only be here for a couple of weeks. I scoured our house for old defunct cellphones and found several IMEIs that pass Total Wireless IMEI checks. Some of these IMEIs are for 3G phones, though. If I activate using the 3G phone IMEI and put the SIM into the iphone5s, will the iphone get 4G? I know Total Wireless can be a huge pain to deal with but just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. It may not even work at all, but nothing to lose at this point...any tips, experience, etc. greatly appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by momo1tx View Post
    Overseas family coming to visit...last time they came, they rushed out and bought a Total Wireless BYOP sim kit and airtime for 2 lines ($60). They were trying to activate two old unlocked Virgin Mobile (US) iphone5s which did not pass the IMEI check. Nonrefundable, of course, so they gave me everything (airtime, SIMs) since they were out the money.

    Now that they will be here again, I want to try and see if I can get this service to work for them, even if they will only be here for a couple of weeks. I scoured our house for old defunct cellphones and found several IMEIs that pass Total Wireless IMEI checks. Some of these IMEIs are for 3G phones, though. If I activate using the 3G phone IMEI and put the SIM into the iphone5s, will the iphone get 4G? I know Total Wireless can be a huge pain to deal with but just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. It may not even work at all, but nothing to lose at this point...any tips, experience, etc. greatly appreciated!
    Total Wireless is NOT necessarily "a huge pain to deal with".

    3G only phones for the Vzw network do NOT use SIM cards, so your SIM swap idea won't work.

    Does the T-Mo network work where they will be visiting? If yes, Mint Mobile is offering 3 months for $20 total for 5GB/mo. Mint Mobile would require T-Mobile or unlocked phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momo1tx View Post
    Overseas family coming to visit...last time they came, they rushed out and bought a Total Wireless BYOP sim kit and airtime for 2 lines ($60). They were trying to activate two old unlocked Virgin Mobile (US) iphone5s which did not pass the IMEI check. Nonrefundable, of course, so they gave me everything (airtime, SIMs) since they were out the money.

    Now that they will be here again, I want to try and see if I can get this service to work for them, even if they will only be here for a couple of weeks. I scoured our house for old defunct cellphones and found several IMEIs that pass Total Wireless IMEI checks. Some of these IMEIs are for 3G phones, though. If I activate using the 3G phone IMEI and put the SIM into the iphone5s, will the iphone get 4G? I know Total Wireless can be a huge pain to deal with but just wondering if anyone had any experience with this. It may not even work at all, but nothing to lose at this point...any tips, experience, etc. greatly appreciated!
    There are two problems with your approach:
    Verizon 3G phones do not use SIMs. Activating a 3G phone worn't activate your SIM.
    The last day that 3G phones can be activated on Verizon MVNOs like Total Wireless is December 31, 2018.
    Compare prepaid plans from all operators at PrepaidCompare.net.

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    Thanks for all the info! I will just try activating using the defunct 4G phone IMEIs and see if this works at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Total Wireless is NOT necessarily "a huge pain to deal with".

    3G only phones for the Vzw network do NOT use SIM cards, so your SIM swap idea won't work.

    Does the T-Mo network work where they will be visiting? If yes, Mint Mobile is offering 3 months for $20 total for 5GB/mo. Mint Mobile would require T-Mobile or unlocked phones.
    In case you're interested in the Mint Mobile deal: https://www.mintmobile.com/product/3...-plan-sim-kit/ Also search around and you'll probably find a cash back site that offers $10 to $20 back on this deal.
    Vzw-$9.99/mo+$0.25/min-1999-2001
    PagePlus-2001-2015
    LycaMobile-v1-2013-2016
    Selectel Flex-2013-2015
    Puppy-2014
    Tracfone-2015-2016
    TruPhone-2015-
    Red Pocket-2016-2017
    Piranha-2016-
    FreedomPop-GSM-2016-
    T-Mo-Data-2017-
    3-2018-

    Ericsson AF738 Jul99-Dec03
    Qualcomm QCP 2760 Dec03-Feb08
    LG VX-8600 Feb08-Apr10
    Samsung Omnia SCH-i910 Apr10-Nov11
    HTC Droid Inc ADR6300 (CM7.2) Nov11-Jun13
    HTC Droid Inc 2 ADR6350 (CM7.2) Jun13-May15
    LG G2 VS980 (Rooted) May15-Apr17
    LG Phoenix 2 Mar17-

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    We've got backup SIM that we know will work if this experiment fails. Mint Mobile is a very good deal though. Thanks for the info!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by momo1tx View Post
    Thanks for all the info! I will just try activating using the defunct 4G phone IMEIs and see if this works at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by momo1tx View Post
    We've got backup SIM that we know will work if this experiment fails. Mint Mobile is a very good deal though. Thanks for the info!!
    Okay. You're welcome. I know the T-Mobile network doesn't work everywhere, so TW / Vzw will probably provide better coverage, but I just thought I'd mention the Mint Mobile deal.

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    I know you already decided to give TW another try, but below is an example of what I was talking about regarding using a cash back site with the Mint Mobile $20 total for 3 months of UT&T+5GB/mo LTE special.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawnmower man View Post
    So, I just signed up for the Ebate site HERE.
    Once registered you go to the Mint page HERE
    and it will direct you to the Mint site where you purchase your 3 months for 20 bucks plus taxes.
    Use the code IRFREESHIP to get free shipping, for a total of $23 bucks.

    It won't look like anything is happening on the Ebate site, but it is.
    I didn't really believe it would work, but sure enough a few hours later, I've been credited $20.
    Attachment 160813
    Spend another $5 and get a $10 Welcome bonus.
    Need to figure out what else is a good deal.

    You have to wait for a quarterly payout, which won't be till Feb, but what the heck!
    I'll be in my 2nd month of service.
    In the end, it's 3 bucks for 3 months of cell service. No joke!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I know you already decided to give TW another try, but below is an example of what I was talking about regarding using a cash back site with the Mint Mobile $20 total for 3 months of UT&T+5GB/mo LTE special.
    Thank you for this excellent suggestion. I am always willing to try anything. I have also looked at the FreeUP "freemium" service for my overseas relatives. It seems to provide a free way to keep a SIM alive (with the stipulation of doing one "activity" per month) between their visits. Their pricing for more service isn't anything special and who knows how long this freemiums last...Unlike Europe, it's not easy to find short-term, well-priced SIMs

    I'll report back if the TW experiment is successful. Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momo1tx View Post
    Thank you for this excellent suggestion. I am always willing to try anything. I have also looked at the FreeUP "freemium" service for my overseas relatives. It seems to provide a free way to keep a SIM alive (with the stipulation of doing one "activity" per month) between their visits. Their pricing for more service isn't anything special and who knows how long this freemiums last...Unlike Europe, it's not easy to find short-term, well-priced SIMs

    I'll report back if the TW experiment is successful. Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions.
    You're welcome.

    I actually just ordered a FreeUp SIM yesterday, which I had been planning to do for the last 2+ weeks, but finally just got around to it yesterday, to do some testing. FreeUp is a good idea for some talk/text use, but the 100MB data included in the free plan is definitely limiting.

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    Reporting back on the SIM swap experiment: I was able to activate both SIMs online yesterday (the day before my relatives arrived) using some old defunct cellphone IMEIs that passed the Total Wireless IMEI check and apply the $60 2-line, 15GB airtime card. When my relatives arrived with their unlocked Virgin Mobile iphone 5s cells, we put the SIMs into them. One cell received voice/text fairly quickly but we couldn't find the APN settings to change the APN settings, even using the ivzwentp.tracfone.com site to download. We worked on the other iphone 5s and were able to change the APN settings from the get-go and that worked fine. More fiddling on the other phone (removing and replacing the Total Wireless SIM) seemed to do the trick, and data started working (not exactly sure what we did, but it worked). Anyway, bottom line is that both iphones were able to be activated on Total Wireless using surrogate IMEIs so the experiment was a success and the $60 airtime card was not wasted.

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