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Thread: Will these unlocked phones work with MVNOs ?

  1. #1
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    Question Will these unlocked phones work with MVNOs ?

    Will these unlocked phones work with MVNOs ?
    ============================================

    Thanks for replies to my posting.

    I find following Pre_paid locked phones on clearance.

    1) Family Mobile (walmart)
    2) Straight Talk wireless

    As many merger happened, will the above phones work with MVNO (eg RedPocket)?


    Thanks for sharing.

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    You need to confirm the make/model # of the phones to get an answer. What network do you use (T-mobile, Verizon, At&t). I don't know which one.
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    for #1 - the walmart family mobile phones uses the T Mobile network, the phones once unlocked should work on AT&T networks.

    for #2 - straight talk uses all three major networks - Verizon - AT&T or T Mobile
    depending on what model the phone is.

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    Many of the Tracfone companies use the same phones across their multiple brands, with different networks on different brands. As such, a large percentage of them are multi-carrier capable. (Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile.) Any phone from these brands with a model number ending in DL is usable on all 3 networks. (At least for now-- not all of them are on AT&T's 'allowable device' list for 2022.)

    (Just because one of the brands uses all 3 networks does not guarantee that all the phones branded for that company are multi-network: look at the suffix at the end of the model #. DL models are multi-carrier. BL are GSM only. VL are Verizon only. There are a few with odd suffixes, and might take some research.)

    And the iPhone models under any of those brands are multi-carrier, (They won't have the DL suffix, just the standard apple model #.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIMDHoward View Post
    Will these unlocked phones work with MVNOs ?
    ============================================

    Thanks for replies to my posting.

    I find following Pre_paid locked phones on clearance.

    1) Family Mobile (walmart)
    2) Straight Talk wireless

    As many merger happened, will the above phones work with MVNO (eg RedPocket)?


    Thanks for sharing.
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Phones from those providers are NOT unlocked.

    Or are you asking if AFTER being unlocked, can a Family Mobile or ST phone be used on another MVNO?

    If the latter, it depends on which phone. Family Mobile only uses T-Mobile, so it's less likely that a Family Mobile phone could be used on a non-T-Mo MVNO. ST uses AT&T, T-Mo, or Vzw, so it's more likely a ST phone will work on more MVNOs after it's eligible to be unlocked.

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    I have to disagree. These I believe are both TF companies. Many complaints even when TF DL phones are unlocked by TF. Sure after they're unlocked by TF (no one else can) a lot work on the chosen carrier/MVNO. But many don't work with no verifiable reason why they don't work.

    Personally I look at these TF & even other locked phones when "unlocked" as a bad gamble whether they'll work properly on the next chosen carrier/MVNO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    I have to disagree. These I believe are both TF companies. Many complaints even when TF DL phones are unlocked by TF. Sure after they're unlocked by TF (no one else can) a lot work on the chosen carrier/MVNO. But many don't work with no verifiable reason why they don't work.

    Personally I look at these TF & even other locked phones when "unlocked" as a bad gamble whether they'll work properly on the next chosen carrier/MVNO.
    I get your point. Whether it's a 'bad gamble' or a 'good gamble' depends a lot on one's purpose in buying Tracfone service with a phone that you're hoping to get unlocked. If you're doing it ONLY to unlock the phone after a year, it's very arguably a bad gamble, and I'd likely agree. (The service cost is a loss, and the phone will be a year or more out of date by the time you hopefully get it unlocked, and you won't know for a year if you did everything right.)
    On the other hand, if you need the Tracfone service, it can be a very good gamble, since some of the phones are basically free with the service.

    Early on, I read a number of reports about Tracfone-branded/Verizon network phones not working anywhere else on Verizon after unlocking, because they weren't whitelisted by Verizon. This doesn't seem to be an issue anymore: I've tested 6 phones, including some that are 2 years old, and all pass Verizon's whitelist check.

    The DL models that appear on both Tracfone or Total Wireless, and Simple Mobile, are obviously geared towards both Verizon and T-Mobile networks. I don't believe it's possible for Tracfone to selectively unlock by network, so they should be good on both.

    I count 11 Tracfone models included on AT&T's rather stingy "Approved on the network after January 2022) list, so AT&T is expecting them to be compatible.

    I also get your point about phones that mysteriously don't work 'somewhere', even though they should. I'm not sure this is just a Tracfone thing, though. I've seen similar reports involving other providers- most notably Boom Mobile's explanation that they would not activate phones that had been unlocked by Verizon (or that at least Verizon claimed were unlocked by Verizon), with a number ported in that originally was issued by Verizon: not a matter of true compatibility, but a matter of Verizon surcharges for both of those instances making it uneconomical for Boom to accept them. The situation with Boom may not be directly applicable, but it's an indication that sometimes the mysterious "not compatible" results are due to the history of a device/line, rather than directly as a result of being compatible..

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