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Thread: TF as second SIM

  1. #1
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    TF as second SIM

    I'm having difficulties activating a TF Verizon SIM as second SIM. I have an unlocked pixel 3a on T-Mobile and I'd like to have a second SIM (not in the phone, just as spare) on TF/Verizon to use when out of T-Mobile coverage. When I tried to activate the SIM it failed and after a day of run-around with customer service I find out that "you need to unregister your phone with T-Mobile". I'm not porting my number, so the "unregister" part doesn't make much sense to me, but it seems that they check some DB that states that my IMEI is activated on T-Mobile? I haven't encountered anything like this before, is this a "TracFone special hurdle"?

    NB: I bought my phone new a year ago and there's nothing fishy, blacklisted, or anything like that.

  2. #2
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    Have a spare phone that you can put the T-Mobile sim into so it registers that phone? Sounds odd but I don’t know tf enough.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current primary phone. Not yet signed up for 5G.

  3. #3
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    Are you referring to an eSIM or a second SIM slot that you want to activate ?
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    The phone has one SIM slot and an eSIM but I'm not using the eSIM. I just want to have a second SIM in my wallet to pop-in when in the backcountry where TMO has no coverage.

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    Can't you activate a BYOP TF at&t SIM instead? No need to provide any device info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvE View Post
    When I tried to activate the SIM it failed and after a day of run-around with customer service I find out that "you need to unregister your phone with T-Mobile". I'm not porting my number, so the "unregister" part doesn't make much sense to me, but it seems that they check some DB that states that my IMEI is activated on T-Mobile? I haven't encountered anything like this before, is this a "TracFone special hurdle"?
    Up until recently, the IMEI is not needed when activating a TF BYOP SIM for AT&T or T-mo. But last week or so, a forum member tried to activate a TF BYOP T-mo SIM and it asked for the IMEI to confirm that the phone is VoLTE-capable. I did some testing and confirmed that TF/T-mo now requires an IMEI to activate a BYOP SIM and that IMEI is likely will be stored in the same database as T-mo native customers. So TF now has access to T-mo database of registered IMEIs and knows that your phone is being used on T-mo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvE View Post
    When I tried to activate the SIM it failed and after a day of run-around with customer service I find out that "you need to unregister your phone with T-Mobile". I'm not porting my number, so the "unregister" part doesn't make much sense to me, but it seems that they check some DB that states that my IMEI is activated on T-Mobile?
    Seems TMO has tightened up their requirements since the Sprint acquisition because of phone incompatibility issues. You might could still use a TF/VZW BYOP SIM activated on another phone to swap in as needed. Can use a cheap or broken phone just for the IMEI, but will have to be VoLTE capable.
    Last edited by loboheeler; 10-21-2020 at 06:16 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Up until recently, the IMEI is not needed when activating a TF BYOP SIM for AT&T or T-mo.
    When I migrated from Sprint to T-Mobile about 4-5 months ago, they required my IMEI # prior to postpaid activation. I would imagine it is required with prepaid/MVNO as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Up until recently, the IMEI is not needed when activating a TF BYOP SIM for AT&T or T-mo. But last week or so, a forum member tried to activate a TF BYOP T-mo SIM and it asked for the IMEI to confirm that the phone is VoLTE-capable. I did some testing and confirmed that TF/T-mo now requires an IMEI to activate a BYOP SIM and that IMEI is likely will be stored in the same database as T-mo native customers. So TF now has access to T-mo database of registered IMEIs and knows that your phone is being used on T-mo.
    Back until last July I activated several BYOP at&t and T-mo SIMs. I was never asked for IMEI. If now they do TF should use the IMEI just to find out the phone model and thus determine the VoLTE capability of it, not to check any database of registered devices. That is (was?) the beauty of non-CDMA based services, being able to change devices on a daily basis of one wishes to, as long as the device was compatible. Hope that doesn't change.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jairzinho View Post
    Back until last July I activated several BYOP at&t and T-mo SIMs. I was never asked for IMEI. If now they do TF should use the IMEI just to find out the phone model and thus determine the VoLTE capability of it, not to check any database of registered devices. That is (was?) the beauty of non-CDMA based services, being able to change devices on a daily basis of one wishes to, as long as the device was compatible. Hope that doesn't change.
    See THIS THREAD about the fact that TF/T-mo now requires an IMEI to activate a BYOP TF/T-mo SIM. Whether or not they'll use that IMEI to register/pair the phone with the SIM, I don't know.

  11. #11
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    OP's situation is the phone is registered on direct T-Mobile service, and TF will not allow a VZW BYOP SIM to be activated because the IMEI is being used by T-Mo. The OP just wants to use a TF/VZW SIM in the phone as an occasion alternate connection. This is not a port from T-Mo to TF. A TF/VZW activated SIM would have to be used, and that will need to be associated with a different IMEI.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    TF will not allow a VZW BYOP SIM to be activated because the IMEI is being used by T-Mo.
    Yup, exactly. What I don't understand is where does this notion of "the IMEI is being used by T-Mo" come from? Since when are IMEI's "used"? Is this a notion that TF invented? Or Verizon? Or ...? I don't think all carriers have such a notion?
    I know there's a blacklist for stolen phones and such, but that's something else. (Or not?)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    See THIS THREAD about the fact that TF/T-mo now requires an IMEI to activate a BYOP TF/T-mo SIM. Whether or not they'll use that IMEI to register/pair the phone with the SIM, I don't know.
    The last post in that thread seems to say that it is still possible to activate a TF T-Mobile SIM without specifing an IMEI:
    Quote Originally Posted by naranja View Post
    SOLVED!! I was able to activate my sim by logging into my account then Activate> I AM BRINGING MY OWN SMARTPHONE> NO I DON'T HAVE ONE/NOT SURE >I HAVE AN UNLOCKED GSM PHONE.... Then after warning about Volte being required 2021 it let enter sim number and activate. More detailed explanation here: https://slickdeals.net/f/14429876-tr...#post141305114
    Find and compare prepaid plans at https://prepaidcompare.net

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeswap View Post
    The last post in that thread seems to say that it is still possible to activate a TF T-Mobile SIM without specifing an IMEI:
    I think it's a loop hole that TF hasn't discovered/closed yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvE View Post
    What I don't understand is where does this notion of "the IMEI is being used by T-Mo" come from? Since when are IMEI's "used"? Is this a notion that TF invented? Or Verizon? Or ...? I don't think all carriers have such a notion?
    I know there's a blacklist for stolen phones and such, but that's something else. (Or not?)
    The GSMA database may go beyond just lost/stolen, and to more detail about what service a phone is tied to. I always assumed the "ESN checker" sites used something like this. Both carriers and MVNOs have access.

    https://www.gsma.com/aboutus/working.../imei-database

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