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Thread: Tri-mode StarTAC ST7868 on Sprint

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    Tri-mode StarTAC ST7868 on Sprint

    Hi,

    The TL;DR of the following is that I've confirmed that a Verizon-branded StarTAC 7868, when properly programmed, will connect to and interact with Sprint's network, but it won't activate because Sprint doesn't have its ESN registered. What I want to know, is if it is still possible to get this ESN added to Sprint's database, and if so, how to go about getting it accomplished.

    I'm wondering if it's still possible for the ESN of, say, a Verizon or Alltel-branded ST7868 to be whitelisted on Sprint so it can be activated?

    I have a fully working ST7867 on Ting (which uses Sprint's CSMA network) right now, so I know it's still somewhat possible to manually (since the OTA system went offline) activate phones of this vintage, which surprises me; last I knew, all these older phones were banned because they didn't have GPS capabilities for proper E911 locating.

    my best guess is that with the impending 2G shutdown, some MVNOs decided to ignore the ban and let some old devices back in.

    Before anyone asks, the 7868 and 7867 are virtually identical, except the 7868 is tri-mode and can operate on CDMA 800 and 1900, whereas the 7867 only operates on CDMA 1900. That being said, both are capable of connecting to and interacting with Sprint's network (I tested this by setting the SID on my spare 7868 to a Sprint one, and it connected fine; it only failed to activate), yet only the 7867 can be activated. Therefore, it seems logical that the *only* reason the 7868 won't activate is simply because its ESN isn't in Sprint's system.

    Thanks!

    c

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    Ting has a GSM side (TMobile) and a CDMA side (Sprint). They are separate. Which side is it on? Or is this a CDMA-only phone? (if so then it must indeed be on the Sprint side).

    Assuming it is on the CDMA side, Sprint must have approved the activation originally. Certainly MVNO's cannot override Sprint's policies. However, that does not mean it would be approved today by either Sprint or Ting.

    In fact, a Sprint ban on the new activation of most non-LTE phones just went into effect and I know it affects Ting as well.

    https://www.sprint.com/en/support/ac...t/devices.html
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...8#post17058518
    https://www.prepaidphonenews.com/201...rt-across.html

    They are not realistically going to make exceptions for this category of phone.
    Last edited by comintel; 05-15-2019 at 10:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cc333 View Post
    Hi, The TL;DR of the following is that I've confirmed that a Verizon-branded StarTAC 7868, when properly programmed, will connect to and interact with Sprint's network, but it won't activate because Sprint doesn't have its ESN registered. What I want to know, is if it is still possible to get this ESN added to Sprint's database, and if so, how to go about getting it accomplished. I'm wondering if it's still possible for the ESN of, say, a Verizon or Alltel-branded ST7868 to be whitelisted on Sprint so it can be activated? I have a fully working ST7867 on Ting (which uses Sprint's CSMA network) right now, so I know it's still somewhat possible to manually (since the OTA system went offline) activate phones of this vintage, which surprises me; last I knew, all these older phones were banned because they didn't have GPS capabilities for proper E911 locating. my best guess is that with the impending 2G shutdown, some MVNOs decided to ignore the ban and let some old devices back in. Before anyone asks, the 7868 and 7867 are virtually identical, except the 7868 is tri-mode and can operate on CDMA 800 and 1900, whereas the 7867 only operates on CDMA 1900. That being said, both are capable of connecting to and interacting with Sprint's network (I tested this by setting the SID on my spare 7868 to a Sprint one, and it connected fine; it only failed to activate), yet only the 7867 can be activated. Therefore, it seems logical that the *only* reason the 7868 won't activate is simply because its ESN isn't in Sprint's system. Thanks! c
    see this thread - https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...odays-networks see post #5

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    You will not get a 7868 to activate on Sprint’s network — period — unless you can find someone to add it to the ESN database, which was hard then and even more impossible now. The 7868 was never offered by Sprint — only the 7867. For most of it’s early history until around 2003 (with the Sanyo 5300 color flip phone), Sprint only sold dual band CDMA 1900 & AMPS phones — they very much were entrenched in the idea of only offering roaming service on Analog since the huge marketing push was “If you aren’t on the nationwide Sprint PCS network, it’s just static”... even though tri-mode phones were available, Sprint didn’t pick them up until they had to.

    N

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    Hmm, I see.

    Well, how about this idea:

    I discovered the Timeport P8767 has Tri-mode capabilities (and thus can roam on CDMA 850 networks), has a Sprint version available (so I can activate it on Ting), and appears largely identical to the StarTAC ST7868 (aside from the enclosure and OLED display). I've also discovered that it's possible to swap the innards of a Timeport into a StarTAC enclosure (and replace the Timeport LCD window with the StarTAC one), and it works perfectly.

    To test my idea, I whipped together a quick proof of concept using parts from a seemingly identical-to-the-P8767 Timeport P8367 and a StarTAC ST7868, and it went together just fine. The trickiest part is swapping the LCD window and getting it properly lined up with the Timeport's display , but it's not too bad (it appears to be slightly smaller and shifted slightly to the left compared to the StarTAC's LCD, but it works well enough; I'll tinker with it and see if I can do better).

    I realize this is probably quite pointless, but I don't care; why not just keep the P8767 a P8767, you may ask? Well, basically, three reasons: I like the all-black look of the ST7868 better, I like to tinker and experiment with things, and, most importantly, because I can!

    So, by doing this, I effectively can side-step the entire issue of forcing a non-Sprint phone to work on Sprint when it never will!

    Thoughts?

    c

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    I had a Timeport P8767 active on Page Plus for years until just a few months ago, “just because I could”. I like the OLED tri-color display, but was and am still a fan of both it and the 7868.

    My issue became finding a battery that would still hold a decent charge. There is no source of new aftermarket cells for these things, and I wasn’t about to start making my own. Well, the thought crossed my mind but that was a bridge too far for me at least just to keep an old retro phone active and working.

    I will say this, though. I had a 7867 on Sprint back in 2000-2001 back when it was still a modern phone, and it hands down dropped the most calls of any cell phone I’d owned before or since then. There was some kind of weird network issue between that model of phone and Sprint’s network around that time that made it a challenge to use even in strong signal areas.

    I didn’t know it at the time, and just blamed Sprint and the PCS spectrum. I was unaware that literally any other phone Sprint sold worked just fine in my area and it was this known issue between Sprint and Motorola.

    If you get it working, good luck! I’d be curious to know how it performs on Sprint 18 years after I gave up on the experiment and switched back to Verizon!


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Quote Originally Posted by clonehappy View Post
    I had a Timeport P8767 active on Page Plus for years until just a few months ago, “just because I could”. I like the OLED tri-color display, but was and am still a fan of both it and the 7868. My issue became finding a battery that would still hold a decent charge. There is no source of new aftermarket cells for these things, and I wasn’t about to start making my own. Well, the thought crossed my mind but that was a bridge too far for me at least just to keep an old retro phone active and working. I will say this, though. I had a 7867 on Sprint back in 2000-2001 back when it was still a modern phone, and it hands down dropped the most calls of any cell phone I’d owned before or since then. There was some kind of weird network issue between that model of phone and Sprint’s network around that time that made it a challenge to use even in strong signal areas. I didn’t know it at the time, and just blamed Sprint and the PCS spectrum. I was unaware that literally any other phone Sprint sold worked just fine in my area and it was this known issue between Sprint and Motorola. If you get it working, good luck! I’d be curious to know how it performs on Sprint 18 years after I gave up on the experiment and switched back to Verizon! Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    here's one for Verizon - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorola-Ti...MAAOSwyjNbVR2M for collectors only

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    That’s a nice $400 paperweight being sold there.

    Verizon won’t activate CDMA phones anymore, and you can’t get a Verizon model running on Sprint. It’s not even worth $40 at this point.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    @clonehappy: Yeah, I saw that. No way I'd spend &400 for it though!

    However, for $100 shipped, I did get a proper Sprint version of the same phone P8767. The price was still a little higher than I'd like to spend, but it does come with the original box, literature and accessories, so I think it's fair.

    That being said, I guess I can consider my questions answered: basically, don't bother trying to get a Verizon phone to work on Sprint; it won't happen.

    Anyway, thank you all for the input! I've learned a lot!

    c

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    When I worked for a Sprint retailer, we had a tool in the system called "DNA" that let us manually add ESN's. It doesn't just take any ESN you type in. It has to recognize the phone as a compatible phone that isn't in Sprint's registry, i.e. an iPhone 5S from Verizon. You could go down to your local store and see if they can add it.

    If they get confused about which password they use to log into the tool, tell them to use their DAG password.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGeorge View Post
    You will not get a 7868 to activate on Sprint’s network — period — unless you can find someone to add it to the ESN database, which was hard then and even more impossible now. The 7868 was never offered by Sprint — only the 7867. For most of it’s early history until around 2003 (with the Sanyo 5300 color flip phone), Sprint only sold dual band CDMA 1900 & AMPS phones — they very much were entrenched in the idea of only offering roaming service on Analog since the huge marketing push was “If you aren’t on the nationwide Sprint PCS network, it’s just static”... even though tri-mode phones were available, Sprint didn’t pick them up until they had to.

    N
    Right it's not happening with a 7868 and the 7867 was such a bad phone on Sprint's network that they got rid of it fairly quickly. A firmware update to try to solve the issue did not work. I went from that to a Kyocera 2255 which was the first tri-mode phone Sprint offered (2001).
    Sprint user since 1997

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