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Thread: BYOP Samsung A70: TF/ATT is booting us. Help?

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    BYOP Samsung A70: TF/ATT is booting us. Help?

    Hi, all. We have two unlocked Samsung Galaxy A70 phones, South American variant, that we bought from B&H Photo in late 2019. Model number is SM-A705MN. Both are dual SIM phones. They're supposed to work on 4G LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20, 28, 66.

    We each have a Tracfone ATT SIM in one slot, and a $50/p.a. Freedom Pop ATT SIM in the second slot. We use the Freedom Pop SIM only for the 1GB data per month. I've also had a promotional Mint SIM in the second slot before, and I think I may have had VoLTE while on Mint, but I'm not 100% certain.

    So, as others are discovering, Tracfone is saying our phones will no longer work with ATT VoLTE after February 2022. I'm trying to figure out what our options are. We really like our phones, which are still fairly new and have more than half their storage capacities remaining. We've almost always used TF/VZ in the last 15 or so years, until 2019 when we bought these unlocked phones, at which point we switched to TF/ATT. Both networks have good reception in our area, and I don't have a preference of one over the other. As a last resort, we're willing to switch to TF/T-Mobile, although I'd much prefer to be on TF/ATT or TF/VZ with these phones, if there's any way to pull that off.

    TF/ATT
    The A70 isn't on AT&T's whitelist as far as I can see; although strangely, its sister phone, the Samsung A50 is. The A50, A51, and A71 all are on the whitelist, but not our A70 🙁 I can't think of any way around it, and am open to suggestions anyone may have.

    TF/Verizon
    I tried running the IMEI on Verizon's own IMEI checker, and both IMEI numbers for my phone (for both SIM slots) returned: "This device is not compatible with the Verizon network. Ran it on TF's Verizon's IMEI checker as well, and SIM #1 said "An error has occurred. Please contact our Customer Care at 1-800-867-7183." SIM #2 just hangs, and I cannot click on the Continue button. I'm wondering though, since Verizon has shut down their CDMA network, is there any possibility these phones could work on Verizon's LTE network? Does the "not compatible with Verizon network" message really mean the phones won't ever play nice with Verizon's new network, or just that its IMEIs are not whitelisted by Verizon? Like, could we possibly buy whitelisted VZ IMEIs from Ebay and activating a BYOP TF/V SIM and put it in the A70? (I have no experience with this at all, but have a vague recollection of reading about this approach years ago, pre-LTE days) Or is this a very bad idea? I'm not 100% certain, but I believe VZ's LTE bands are 2, 4, 5 and 13, and our phones should work on these bands.

    TF/T-Mo
    I ran all four IMEIs through T-Mobile's checker, and all are compatible with T-Mo: "Your device is compatible with the T‑Mobile network and can take advantage of our most powerful signal, Extended Range LTE." This is probably the simplest solution, but not my preferred one because of coverage when we go out of our local area.

    We also received emails from Tracfone 12/23/21 offering each of us a free VoLTE phone, but the offer is valid until 11/30/2021 (LOL ?!?). I won't mind an A51 if it's free, as the specs are almost comparable to our A70 except for the 4GB RAM vs our 6GB, but the A51 is currently out of stock, and I also don't know if it's one of the phones being offered. Kind of afraid that once I click on the link that it's the point of no return if we have other options we haven't yet explored.

    I'm also wondering: what if we do nothing and wait to see what happens? What would happen come February - do the phones just not receive/make calls anymore, and but our numbers and balances still stay good? In a pinch, I have an old LG Phoenix 2 and a TF unlocked LG Premier Pro LTE (LML413DL) that we could pop these TF/ATT SIM cards into, should the A70 just stop receiving/making calls - while we buy time to evaluate our next move. Which would probably be to switch to TF/T-Mo. Or, could we potentially lose numbers, service and balances if we choose to wait and see?

    Thanks in advance for any insights/suggestions.

    wcf

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcf View Post
    We also received emails from Tracfone 12/23/21 offering each of us a free VoLTE phone, but the offer is valid until 11/30/2021 (LOL ?!?). I won't mind an A51 if it's free, as the specs are almost comparable to our A70 except for the 4GB RAM vs our 6GB, but the A51 is currently out of stock, and I also don't know if it's one of the phones being offered. Kind of afraid that once I click on the link that it's the point of no return if we have other options we haven't yet explored.
    wcf
    Don't be afraid to click on the link. At least when I availed of my $75-off offer, it didn't matter, as long as I didn't complete the purchase. (I take a long time to make up my mind, even when I'm getting something for free! )

    Regarding your other question - I am still using the same "incompatible" phone with my byop AT&T sim. It is still working without any problems, and I plan to hold off switching to a TF-Verizon phone as long as I can.
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code RBKV-896C. You get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or a brand new phone! and you get a huge thank-you for helping me!

    To those who already have Tracfone - this Holiday season, please consider using my referral code (instead of doing a self-referral) if you sign up for new service - you’ll get great karma! and my eternal gratitude!

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    There seems to be some kind of bad blood between dual SIM Android phones and U.S. carriers. It's not always about the actual hardware capabilities. Verizon just has different allowed lists for different IMEIs and different kinds of Verizon service. Probably about forcing different revenue streams. AT&T is up to something with their newfangled allowed lists, but we don't know exactly what's up with that besides 3G going away. Things have become unnecessarily complicated with them. I am getting a warning about my phone even though it is OK.

    T-Mobile is the most welcoming and tolerant. If the coverage is a problem, there's not much you can do short of getting new phones.

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    Its not the dual sim thing in relation to att though.

    Att only whitelist phones sold in the us and for att.

    The flagship us models are all on the white list, but there's a collection of us models sold unlocked or for vzw/tmo (usually cheaper model phones) not on it.

    In essence, if it's not sold/tested for att's proprietary HD voice, it will not work.

    At this point in time there are extremely few if any international model phones that are on AT&t's whitelist.

    Sent from my Z5156CC using HoFo mobile app
    Drako Swiftclaw

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    i'm really just guessing here, but i believe if VoLTE is working now on AT&T it will continue to work and that AT&T is simply going on the side of caution and informing anyone with a phone they have not confirmed(determined but IMEI) as being compatible to get a new device or passing on the message to the MVNO to inform customers on their behalf.

    if you have a LTE phone that does not work with AT&T's VoLTE it would become a data only device.

    we will find out if this is a good guess after the 3G shutdown in February but I would be quite surprised if they suddenly cut off a bunch people with perfectly compatible phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyrobby View Post
    we will find out if this is a good guess after the 3G shutdown in February but I would be quite surprised if they suddenly cut off a bunch people with perfectly compatible phones.
    I don't know what TF/AT&T will do in Feb 2022, but there are many posts on Reddit about Cricket (which uses AT&T network) suspended their service because their phones aren't compatible. Here's a sample post "I had cricket completely suspend my account two weeks ago. All of my calls and text messages just stopped working. I thought it was because something went wrong with auto pay... So I called them up and they tell me they suspended my account because it's going to go inactive at the end of February 2022".

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    If you want to know, there was never an US model of the A70. In the past, B&H Photo was know to sell international models in the US tho.

    The reason that A50, A51, and even A71 5G is on the list is they are US models of the phones.

    You have to be careful when you talk about some models because it is like the A71. The A71 4G is not an US model. While the A71 5G is an US model.

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    Is it possible that this phone could still work on TF/Verizon - transferred over/back to a TF/V byop sim all done w/ help of chat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomseys View Post
    Is it possible that this phone could still work on TF/Verizon - transferred over/back to a TF/V byop sim all done w/ help of chat?
    The IMEI doesn't pass the check to activate a BYOP TF/VZW SIM. Activating using another IMEI then SIM swap like the OP suggested can get the line shut down.
    If I were in this situation, I would go with TF/T-mo. The worry that T-mo service is not available when away from the area is not a sure thing unless the OP has tested that.

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    The OP may want to switch one of his phones over to T-Mobile and replace the other phone with a whitelisted model. Keep the replaced phone as a backup for its twin. Two phones with different service providers may take care of any nonservice areas you travel through, or travel with the one whitelisted phone.

    Keep in mind that at some point in time Verizon may no longer allow ANY AT&T or T-Mobile service through Tracfone.

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    Thank you all, for chiming in. This was an interesting discussion, and I learned some new info I didn't know before. So, I think the takeaways are:

    1. It's ok to check out the free phone offer. I won't just yet though, because it looks like the A51 is out of stock. That's probably the closest in specs to the phone we have now.

    2. Dual SIM and/or international models may be an issue with ATT. Whichever it is, I guess the A70 will never make it on the whitelist, and I'll just have to accept that. Lisme, that's interesting that you're getting the incompatibility warning about your phone. Is yours a dual SIM or an international model, or both?

    3. The A70 has VoLTE, but I don't remember ever having VoLTE work on this phone on the TF/ATT network. I don't know if I'm remembering wrongly, but I thought there was talk in the past that ATT would not turn on VoLTE for MVNOs? So yeah, there's a possibility this will become a data-only device on ATT come February.

    4. I am concerned about Cricket customers' experience. I can live with not having service for a couple of days, maybe even a week, but I don't want to lose the number/balances.

    5. I had read there were rumours at one time that Verizon and Xfinity would offer the A70 in the US. Verizon eventually did not, but I had thought Xfinity went ahead with it.

    6. Swapping in a TF/VZ SIM activated with another IMEI is a very bad idea. Ok, I'll scratch this option. I guess something changed in the last couple of years since we moved to BYOP and stopped keeping up with new developments?

    While it's possible to switch one phone to T-Mo and replace the other phone with a whitelisted model, we're not really keen on this, because a) there are two of us, b) we don't always travel together, and, c) if it comes down to it, neither one of us really wants to give up their A70, or, in other words, one of us would have to draw the short straw to take the whitelisted phone LOL.

    Based on what everyone has shared, and several have recommended, it sounds like the only good option we have is to switch both phones to TF/T-Mo. And then, I could carry a secondary phone, like hpham does. The secondary phone would be primarily for emergency calls while biking/hiking on rail trails, or driving in rural areas, so I anticipate it would be used very infrequently. Maybe I can keep it on a cheap prepaid plan, something like Page Plus? We have one unlocked TF DL phone, a never-activated locked Simple Mobile DL phone, and several locked TF VL phones that I could activate to unlock in a couple of months.

    hpham, if you don't mind sharing, what network/provider do you run your secondary phone(s) on, and how much does it cost for service? I'm looking to spend as little as possible, but still have reliable service/coverage for when I need it.

    Another alternative - and this option hadn't crossed my mind until I was reading the responses here today: the A70 is a dual SIM phone. As mentioned, we use FP/ATT in SIM#2 for data only. I wonder if we can get away with having TF/T-Mo as SIM#1, and FreedomPop/ATT (or any MVNO ATT SIM for that matter) as a data-only SIM in SIM#2, and use Google Voice on data for the infrequent occasions I'm out of T-Mo's coverage area and need to make a call? If all I'm using the FP/ATT SIM for is data, would it matter that it's used in the A70 that isn't on ATT's whitelist? BTW our FP SIMs are the old 1-year $50 SIMs; we did not switch to the the new SIMs for premium voice that FP sent us last/(this?) year, if that makes any difference. The advantage to this option, if it can work, is I won't have to carry two phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcf View Post
    6. Swapping in a TF/VZ SIM activated with another IMEI is a very bad idea. Ok, I'll scratch this option. I guess something changed in the last couple of years since we moved to BYOP and stopped keeping up with new developments?

    hpham, if you don't mind sharing, what network/provider do you run your secondary phone(s) on, and how much does it cost for service? I'm looking to spend as little as possible, but still have reliable service/coverage for when I need it.
    Things changed regarding SIM-swapping around the end of 2020. TF/Verizon (even before Verizon buying TF) became more strict about enforcing the pairing of the BYOP SIM number to the IMEI that was supplied to activate that SIM. People who swapped SIMs have got their line shut down, or get a message telling them to put the SIM back to the appropriate phone.

    I have two "backup" phones: one is on TF/Verizon and has service out to 203x with a few thousand minutes, one is a FreeUp BYOP SIM that gives me 250 minutes or text a month totally free (I signed up during their early promotion in 2019), it uses AT&T network. I'm using the FreeUp SIM in an unlocked Sprint LG Stylo 4+ which doesn't have VoLTE. FreeUp hasn't yet told me what will happen to my service when AT&T drops 3G support. FreeUp has a List of phones that support HD Voice but the list is rather limited.

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    Thanks for the explanation/update on TF/VZ SIM swapping. We bought our BYOP phones around end-2019, switched out of TF/VZ, and stopped paying attention after that.

    LOL service out to 203x, good for you! I missed out on the glitch a few years back. I looked through the FreeUp phone list; unfortunately none of my phones are on it. Odd that it's not the same as ATT's whitelist, ie I would still be able to use the LG Phoenix 2 and the Premier Pro on TF/ATT, but not on FreeUp, apparently. But thank you for sharing; I appreciate it. FreeUp's cutting it really close with the transition coming up. I wonder how many people will be caught unaware and lose service.

    Sent from my SM-A705MN using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcf View Post
    3. The A70 has VoLTE, but I don't remember ever having VoLTE work on this phone on the TF/ATT network. I don't know if I'm remembering wrongly, but I thought there was talk in the past that ATT would not turn on VoLTE for MVNOs? So yeah, there's a possibility this will become a data-only device on ATT come February.

    4. I am concerned about Cricket customers' experience. I can live with not having service for a couple of days, maybe even a week, but I don't want to lose the number/balances.

    5. I had read there were rumours at one time that Verizon and Xfinity would offer the A70 in the US. Verizon eventually did not, but I had thought Xfinity went ahead with it.
    AT&T used to not activate VoLTE, but with AT&T dropping 3G, they have to enable VoLTE now. You might have the same issue with Cricket since Cricket uses AT&T towers too.

    As for the A70 coming to the US, I have never seen one, but after looking at the firmware databases, there was an A70 with only Comcast based firmware.

    If you want to know, if the phone's model number ends with U or U1, those are US model phones. Like with the A70, if it was A705U or A705U1, it would be an US model, but the only model that I see is the A705U. The issue is there is only CCT region or CSC code for it tho. So it might not work on other carriers do to Samsung firmware bug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wcf View Post
    Lisme, that's interesting that you're getting the incompatibility warning about your phone. Is yours a dual SIM or an international model, or both?
    I have a couple of old factory unlocked Moto G7 single sim and U.S. model (XT1962-1). It's on both AT&T lists. One is getting the warning and the other isn't. FOUR is messed up on the acceptable phone and is good on the unacceptable phone. Go figure.

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