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Thread: "SIM card is required" when trying to activate Pixel 4a 5G

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    "SIM card is required" when trying to activate Pixel 4a 5G

    I have an unlocked Pixel 4a 5G (came like that from Google Fi) that I wanted to activate on Verizon through TracFone. I received the SIM card and when I put its IMEI into TracFone's activation site it comes back "SIM card is required". Well duh, I have a SIM Card. But it won't move on.

    The same IMEI checked at Verizon's compatibility checker shows its valid. I resorted to using a Visible ZTE Blade A3 Prime to activate the service; which showed activated, but the phone never actually activated (after 4+ hours it showed 'Emergency Service Only'). I then SIM swapped to another device, a Nexus 6P, which got service just fine. I checked its IMEI at TracFone and it would have passed the Verizon checker if I had used it to start.

    Now my goal is to use the Pixel 4a 5G with Tracfone Verizon, but now reading SIM swapping can be dangerous. So do I have any options, given Verizon would accept the phone/IMEI? Or must I port my TracFone to ATT or TMobile (both of which work, as I am using Google Fi -- Tmobile AND RedPocket -- AT&T right now) to be able to use this phone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitflyer View Post
    I have an unlocked Pixel 4a 5G (came like that from Google Fi) that I wanted to activate on Verizon through TracFone. I received the SIM card and when I put its IMEI into TracFone's activation site it comes back "SIM card is required". Well duh, I have a SIM Card. But it won't move on.
    Can you post a screenshot of where it says "SIM card is required"? On the IMEI Check screen, usually it just says the phone is compatible or not. Which SIM card are you using? Is it a TF/Verizon SIM from the BYOP SIM Kit?

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    You know the sim is activated properply because it worked in your nexus 6p, yes? Did you then test the working sim in the pixel 4a 5g? If it works you can chat with tracfone support and the have just have them link the sim with the imei of your pixel 4a 5g properly in the account.

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    I will grab a screenshot later if I can but here are the steps.

    1) Chose Verizon activation
    2) Enter Sim card number
    3) enter Imei
    4) get error and asked again to enter Imei. Same error.

    I can't replicate now as my Verizon sim is now active on the ZTE Blade (or so Tracfone thinks) so when I enter the sim I'd it says contact Tracfone.

    I haven't tried yet placing it in the 4a because I wanted to avoid sim swapping issues and I also already have service on the ATT and TMO carriers. It was more to compare Sprint (legacy) and Verizon to see how speeds are on the same phone in the same area.

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    So even though I can't activate if it just works with sim swap just ask Tracfone to tie the IMEI to it and they can force it?

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    I can replicate by going to

    https://www.tracfone.com/activation/byopcollectesn/VZW

    If I put in the 4a IMEI I get the message Sim card is required and repeats the IMEI request. If I put In my 6p IMEI it says success and asks me for a sim card (ie I think it would work just like the Blade)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitflyer View Post
    I can replicate by going to

    https://www.tracfone.com/activation/byopcollectesn/VZW

    If I put in the 4a IMEI I get the message Sim card is required and repeats the IMEI request.
    Maybe the 4a's eSIM capability throws it off? I don't know much about eSIM.

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    There can be issues between Google Fi phones and Verizon. There is now a patch rolling out for Moto Fi phones and likely also for Pixels. It has something to do with incorrect settings for Verizon in the latest firmware version. The Moto forums have been livid with this for months.

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    Like hpham said, maybe the esim IMEI was entered instead of the regular IMEI of the phone - If so, that’s why the activation site said you need a SIM card. ??

    But now your original SIM card is paired with the ZTE blade - it appears.

    If the above is all true you will need another TF Verizon SIM card to pair with the Pixel 4a 5G phone’s physicsl SIM card IMEI.

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    I used the physical IMEI (the one currently on RedPocket att vs Google Fi tmobile). I do have another byop sim so I can replicate the issue with that one.. it just sticks on that error.

    Guess I can try it again and see what Tracfone support says. Sounds like it is some sort of bug that it is like half compatible or something

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    That Pixel4a is SIM-locked on GoogleFi. I love when people leave out part of the story that they know might be viewed as stealing attempt. As in pay $15 (first month of service) and get a Pixel 4a!

    This plan says you need to stay with them 2 years before they unlock it:
    Upgrade to a new Pixel after 2 years and continue to earn savings every month on your new phone. When you upgrade, the Pixel 4a is yours to keep for no additional cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    That Pixel4a is SIM-locked on GoogleFi. I love when people leave out part of the story that they know might be viewed as stealing attempt. As in pay $15 (first month of service) and get a Pixel 4a!

    This plan says you need to stay with them 2 years before they unlock it:
    That's for the Pixel 4a. OP's phone is an Pixel 4a 5G which is also factory unlocked from Google Fi. Just for the heck of it I tried to activate my Pixel 4a 5G and it gave me the same error message about needing a sim card. This might have something to do with it being a 5G phone. I got no such error when trying to activate it as a T-Mobile or AT&T BYOP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

    This plan says you need to stay with them 2 years before they unlock it:
    Google Fi doesn't lock any of their phones unless something has changed. Where exactly did you find this. I've looked it over several times and can't seem to find this.
    Last edited by cellular-dude; 12-27-2020 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitflyer View Post
    I have an unlocked Pixel 4a 5G (came like that from Google Fi) that I wanted to activate on Verizon through TracFone. I received the SIM card and when I put its IMEI into TracFone's activation site it comes back "SIM card is required". Well duh, I have a SIM Card. But it won't move on.

    The same IMEI checked at Verizon's compatibility checker shows its valid. I resorted to using a Visible ZTE Blade A3 Prime to activate the service; which showed activated, but the phone never actually activated (after 4+ hours it showed 'Emergency Service Only'). I then SIM swapped to another device, a Nexus 6P, which got service just fine. I checked its IMEI at TracFone and it would have passed the Verizon checker if I had used it to start.

    Now my goal is to use the Pixel 4a 5G with Tracfone Verizon, but now reading SIM swapping can be dangerous. So do I have any options, given Verizon would accept the phone/IMEI? Or must I port my TracFone to ATT or TMobile (both of which work, as I am using Google Fi -- Tmobile AND RedPocket -- AT&T right now) to be able to use this phone?
    Just a guess here. Your ZTE Blade 3 is probably listed in Verizon's system as LTE only and that's why you get no service on Tracfone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cellular-dude View Post
    Just a guess here. Your ZTE Blade 3 is probably listed in Verizon's system as LTE only and that's why you get no service on Tracfone.
    I think people have activated LTE only phones on TF.

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