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Thread: Sprint MVNOs: can not activate LTE phone (1st generation) that does not have SIM

  1. #1
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    Sprint MVNOs: can not activate LTE phone (1st generation) that does not have SIM

    I am trying to activate old ZTE Force LTE phone. This phone is originally from Freedompop, was used on R+ and Tello in the past, released from Tello 2 months ago. This is LTE phone but it does not have SIM card (it is one of the first Sprint LTE phones that do not have SIM)

    After release from Tello I verified that it can be reactivated om Ting and Tello, but yesterday all MEID/ESN/IMEI checks returned "This phone is not compatible with <operator>." ESN checks on Sprint proper, Boost Mobile, Ting, Tello and Net10 return same error. The only exception is Hello Mobile that returns positive response.

    I know that Sprint stopped activation of 2G and 3G only devices (without LTE) but this phone has LTE (Band 25):

    https://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3940


    LTE 4G
    band 25 / 1900 MHz PCS+G (USA (Sprint))

    CDMA 2G / 3G
    band 27 / BC10 / 800 MHz
    band 5 / BC0 / 850 MHz
    band 2 / BC1 / 1900 MHz
    Does it mean that Sprint stopped activation of all phones without LTE SIM card?

  2. #2
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    If it doesn’t have an SIM card it doesn’t support LTE. It has an internal non removable sim. I think the sprint Galaxy S3 is the same way but it’s been a long time.

    Look under settings for an ICCID number that would be your SIM card info the carrier would need


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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    If it doesn’t have an SIM card it doesn’t support LTE. It has an internal non removable sim. I think the sprint Galaxy S3 is the same way but it’s been a long time.
    It does not have removable SIM/SIM Slot.
    Yes, Sprint's Galaxy S3 and some other devices is the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    Look under settings for an ICCID number that would be your SIM card info the carrier would need
    The field ICCID is not populated (In Settings/About). But regardless of this field I definitely know and remember that for this device Tello did not ask SIM number. It should be activate only by IMEI/MEID/ESN and I was able to activate it by IMEI (and LTE worked).

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyelton View Post
    If it doesn’t have an SIM card it doesn’t support LTE. It has an internal non removable sim. I think the sprint Galaxy S3 is the same way but it’s been a long time.

    Look under settings for an ICCID number that would be your SIM card info the carrier would need
    I have three Sprint phones from the Ringplus days - Galaxy S3, LG Viper, and LG Mach. None of them have a removable SIM, but definitely work on LTE. These are oddities from the early days of LTE and not well known.

    I just checked the Mach with Tello and Ting using the IMEI. They said ready to activate. The other two are already active on Tello so I can't check them.

    The OP problem may be that the phone was not released from its previous service. Tello and Ting both have good human support. They may be able to get the phone released to start paid service. IIRC, the term is "pushed to retail".

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    FWIW I was able to activate an old Sprint-branded Samsung Galaxy S D700 on Red Pocket yellow (Sprint). It also does not have a SIM card slot but is 4G. I jumped at the eBay Redpocketstore $30/year low-use plan and had to email back and forth to Redpocketstore several times to explain that the phone is Sprint branded and will work, but I won't be using a SIM card. At purchase I selected Existing Sprint SIM.

    My patience and diligence with eBay's Redpocketstore paid off.
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    Sprint and Verizon did not use a SIM card for domestic use prior to the introduction of LTE-enabled devices. It was not internal like modern eSIM's. The phone used CDMA for voice and if it had LTE it was used exclusively for data. I don't think the ones listed in post #4 used LTE. Only GSM carriers (At&t and T-mobile) used SIM cards until LTE was introduced (except a few Sprint and Verizon devices enabled for international usage on foreign GSM networks).
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    I am trying to activate old ZTE Force LTE phone. This phone is originally from Freedompop, was used on R+ and Tello in the past, released from Tello 2 months ago. This is LTE phone but it does not have SIM card (it is one of the first Sprint LTE phones that do not have SIM)

    After release from Tello I verified that it can be reactivated om Ting and Tello, but yesterday all MEID/ESN/IMEI checks returned "This phone is not compatible with <operator>." ESN checks on Sprint proper, Boost Mobile, Ting, Tello and Net10 return same error. The only exception is Hello Mobile that returns positive response.

    I know that Sprint stopped activation of 2G and 3G only devices (without LTE) but this phone has LTE (Band 25):

    https://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3940



    Does it mean that Sprint stopped activation of all phones without LTE SIM card?
    is this the phone that you are trying to activate ?? - https://support.sprint.com/global/pd..._sprint_ug.pdf

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    If your phone lacks VOLTE (Voice Over LTE) it might explain why you can't activate it. If your phone has an internal SIM, it may be incompatible with their billing system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    If your phone lacks VOLTE (Voice Over LTE) it might explain why you can't activate it. If your phone has an internal SIM, it may be incompatible with their billing system.
    When did Sprint start requiring VoLTE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    is this the phone that you are trying to activate ?? - https://support.sprint.com/global/pd..._sprint_ug.pdf
    Yes. It is the phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    If your phone lacks VOLTE (Voice Over LTE) it might explain why you can't activate it. If your phone has an internal SIM, it may be incompatible with their billing system.
    Sprint does not requires BYOD phone to support VoLTE. Verizon requires, but not Sprint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    When did Sprint start requiring VoLTE?
    And as my post stated It might. I don't know it to be a fact. I only offered an opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    Sprint does not requires BYOD phone to support VoLTE. Verizon requires, but not Sprint.
    Okay. That's what I was thinking. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    Sprint and Verizon did not use a SIM card for domestic use prior to the introduction of LTE-enabled devices. It was not internal like modern eSIM's. The phone used CDMA for voice and if it had LTE it was used exclusively for data. I don't think the ones listed in post #4 used LTE. Only GSM carriers (At&t and T-mobile) used SIM cards until LTE was introduced (except a few Sprint and Verizon devices enabled for international usage on foreign GSM networks).
    What would it take to convince you that the early Sprint LTE phones had an embedded, non-removable SIM?

    I have used the three phones I mentioned in post #4 for over five years.

    There is no user replaceable SIM.

    They show LTE at the top of the screen.

    They show LTE in Settings -> About Phone.

    I get data speeds that are not possible with 3G EvDO - 14 Mbps. EvDO tops out at about 3 Mbps as its maximum possible speed.

    The spec sites (gsmarena, etc.) all say the phones are LTE.

    Sprint works differently than "GSM" carriers. Technically the cards they currently use are UICC, not SIMs. There is no customer information stored on them and the UICC does not need to be changed when changing Sprint or Sprint based service providers. The UICC can stay with the phone for life.

    Unfortunately, the Internet web sites have mostly lost the knowledge about Sprint LTE embedded "SIMs".

    One web page from back at the time of these phones states correctly for the LG Mach:

    "...As with most Sprint phones, the LTE SIM card is not accessible."

    Correct information about this is useful for people who want to activate one of these old phones.

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    Sprint obsoleted some old phones last year.

    https://community.sprint.com/t5/Devi...r/ta-p/1028044

    Your Sprint Force phone isn't on the list, and IMO "should" still work. It's a low-end 4G LTE phone from 2013.

    http://pcmag.com/review/309117/sprint-force

    Then again, it's a refurb that's been bulk bought by FreedomPop so may be it doesn't clear the usual Sprint restrictions. "Should" doesn't mean much when it doesn't. Try with CS to get to work, but if no go then just move on. Nothing has changed with Sprint, and you can pick up a phone for Sprint for cheap.

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