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Thread: Phone compatibility post CDMA network retirement

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    Phone compatibility post CDMA network retirement

    Hello all you cell phone gurus!

    If this subject has been beat to death elsewhere on this forum, please point me to the relevant thread(s). My search parameters were inconclusive.

    Please also bear with me as we are cell-illiterate. My wife and I are soon to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century due to the Verizon CDMA network retirement at the end of the year as they transition to their HD voice LTE network. We've been naively happy customers of Puppy Wireless, calling and sending texts on our 3G “dumb” phones for a few years now, but will probably move to the Verizon network on Red Pocket when we have to get new phones as Verizon is the only reliable cell service where we live...the other big three are spotty at best.

    According to Verizon, non-HD voice devices will no longer work on their network after the end of 2020. It appears that only locked versions of (some?) phones will support HD voice. For example, the agent I just spoke to at Motorola said HD voice is a carrier specific feature, and not available on unlocked devices they (Motorola) sell.

    I'm really confused. Does this mean we'll have to buy our new phones through Verizon and be on one of their plans until the device is eligible to be unlocked? If not, what are our options?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike the Wino View Post
    Hello all you cell phone gurus!

    If this subject has been beat to death elsewhere on this forum, please point me to the relevant thread(s). My search parameters were inconclusive.
    There has been a fair amount of discussion about the CDMA twilight. The most active that I recall concerns CDMA twilight and Tracfone:

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...re-End-of-2019

    Note: Verizon has extended the CDMA deadline to the end of 2020. That topic was started before the deadline was extended.

    Please also bear with me as we are cell-illiterate. My wife and I are soon to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century due to the Verizon CDMA network retirement at the end of the year as they transition to their HD voice LTE network. We've been naively happy customers of Puppy Wireless, calling and sending texts on our 3G “dumb” phones for a few years now, but will probably move to the Verizon network on Red Pocket when we have to get new phones as Verizon is the only reliable cell service where we live...the other big three are spotty at best.

    According to Verizon, non-HD voice devices will no longer work on their network after the end of 2020. It appears that only locked versions of (some?) phones will support HD voice. For example, the agent I just spoke to at Motorola said HD voice is a carrier specific feature, and not available on unlocked devices they (Motorola) sell.

    I'm really confused. Does this mean we'll have to buy our new phones through Verizon and be on one of their plans until the device is eligible to be unlocked? If not, what are our options?
    Only locked versions of phone and what the Moto agent said is incorrect. I bought an unlocked, not carrier branded, Moto G6 a year ago (at Costco). When activated at Tracfone with a new SIM, I got Verizon VoLTE/HD Voice just fine. I don't recall a good list of what will work, but I think the Moto E5 is another one that people have reported success with.

    Let us know what you want in a phone and we may be able to make some recommendations.

    Another thing to consider: Verizon has said that they will continue to provide CDMA AS-IS (and where-is). They have not built any new CDMA in years and they are not repairing any that fails. Counting on CDMA until the end where you use it could be a matter of luck.

    Yeah, it's a pain.

    Good luck
    Last edited by bobdevnul; 10-23-2019 at 03:15 PM. Reason: word correction

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    bobdevnul, thanks for the feedback!

    You said:
    Only locked versions of phone and what the Moto agent said is incorrect.
    This is exactly why I'm confused. If even the manufacturer's sales agents are providing bad info, how the heck are us neophyte cell users supposed to make informed decisions?

    I bought an unlocked, not carrier branded, Moto G6 a year ago (at Costco). When activated at Tracfone with a new SIM, I got Verizon VoLTE/HD Voice just fine. I don't recall a good list of what will work, but I think the Moto E5 is another one that people have reported success with.

    Let us know what you want in a phone and we may be able to make some recommendations.
    We are looking at minimal feature phones as we only use them for talk & text and as an occasional drink coaster. One we're interested in is the (unbranded) Carrier/Factory Unlocked Moto G7 Play as it has all we need in a phone and it's relatively cheap. This is from the connectivity section of the specs page for the phone:

    Networks + bands

    Models: XT1952-4, XT1952-DL, XT1952-T.
    Carrier Aggregation, 4G LTE (DL Cat 7/ UL Cat 6), CDMA / EVDO Rev A, UMTS / HSPA+, GSM / EDGE 2G: GSM band 2/3/5/8 CDMA BC0/BC1/BC10, 3G: WCDMA band 1/2/4/5/8, 4G: FDD LTE band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/17/20/25/26/29/30/66/71, TDD LTE band 38/39/40/41/41 HPUE


    Let me ask this: If, as the Motorola agent stated, HD Voice is not "available" on the unlocked phones they sell, and that this really is a "carrier specific feature", is it the SIM Card provided by the carrier (whether it's from Verizon or an MVNO) that updates the voice capability to HD (voLTE)?

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    Functions like VoLTE are activated at the account level, and the SIM "links" the account to your phone. Anyways, the Moto G7 Play (unbranded) is an excellent choice for compatability with all 4 carriers and MVNOs.

    You should get VoLTE with any Verizon MVNO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike the Wino View Post
    We are looking at minimal feature phones as we only use them for talk & text and as an occasional drink coaster. One we're interested in is the (unbranded) Carrier/Factory Unlocked Moto G7 Play as it has all we need in a phone and it's relatively cheap.....
    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    Functions like VoLTE are activated at the account level, and the SIM "links" the account to your phone. Anyways, the Moto G7 Play (unbranded) is an excellent choice for compatability with all 4 carriers and MVNOs..
    What @mframe and @bobdevnul have said is correct. The G7 is a great value but IMHO, a bit of overkill for your stated needs. For "talk & text" you can get by with any old flip phone, including a $15 MyFlip. Depending on how much talking and texting you do, this could cost you $12/mo or ~$32/yr on PagePlus per phone. A lot of people pay way more for phone service than they need to.
    Donald Newcomb

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    DRNewcomb, good points! But is there a flip phone that has a qwerty keyboard? The ones we've had in the past use the keypad and you gotta peck the 5 three times for a "L" or whatever. I don't want to revert quite THAT far! And we were thinking the $15/mo (1000 mins talk/unlimited text/1G data per month) plan at redpocket sounded reasonable.

    (By the way, I tried to "Reply With Quote" but since I've only had a couple posts, it won't let me use the "at" sign yet. And your reply had a couple in it!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike the Wino View Post
    ..... But is there a flip phone that has a qwerty keyboard?......
    I used to use a tiny little Ericsson phone that had a clip-on keyboard, but I get your point. The only small phones with LTE band 13 and a QWERTY keyboard that I can find are older discontinued models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike the Wino View Post
    But is there a flip phone that has a qwerty keyboard? The ones we've had in the past use the keypad and you gotta peck the 5 three times for a "L" or whatever. I don't want to revert quite THAT far!
    Yes, T9 keypad text entry is a pain. There was a recent forum thread about phones with QWERTY keyboards, and unfortunately everything remotely modern is GSM. There may be some hope though. AT&T sells the Smartflip, which is an advanced version of the "Flip" series that uses Google Assistant for voice to text entry. Would be nice if someone came out with a version of this compatible with Verizon. This may come out from the Tracfone companies, but that would limit activation to those companies. Tracfone, Page Plus, etc.

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