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Thread: Help, please, with BYOP (ZTE Maven) & number port to Tracfone - new account

  1. #1
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    Help, please, with BYOP (ZTE Maven) & number port to Tracfone - new account

    Good day,

    I’m a bit inexperienced with MVNOs – I’ve been on PagePlus paygo for ~2 years ($10 a month every 4 months, which I love!). I now have a $40+ balance, so I am a very light user.

    However, I’m here to try to introduce my wife to the wonderful world of MVNOs.

    My best estimate is that she talks ~5 hours a month on a separate Verizon (mothership) account. She also sends a few texts a week. She uses no data, having a Verizon feature phone, courtesy of a friend who put her on his Family and Friends plan for free years ago.

    Now she wants a smartphone and our friend is not willing to do that on his account.

    I’ve been reading the Tracfone/Net 10 forum here on HoFo for a short while, trying to learn enough to not foul up my wife’s activation on TF.

    Options on Tracfone look better than the $29.99 plan on Page Plus. I like the flexibility of TF and the fact that TF balances don’t expire as long as you continue to push the end date outwards by buying more airtime.

    Over the recent holiday weekend, I picked up 2 bargain smartphones: the Alcatel Pulsar and the ZTE Maven. (Big thank you to folks on this forum for the head’s up to me on these bargains.)

    My Mrs. prefers the ZTE Maven. From my perspective, the ZTE Maven looks equal to (or perhaps slightly better than) my Ultimate 2. Certainly it is a smartphone on which my Mrs. can learn the ropes.

    The ZTE Maven has been fully charged.

    The Pulsar came with a Tracfone sim (nano sim?). Can I use that sim card in the ZTE Maven for TF activation via BYOP?

    My understanding is that I must get certain info from our Verizon friend in order to port my Mrs. current phone number to the ZTE Maven for TF service:

    “ACTIVE phone number to transfer [which we know, of course]
    “Current Service Account Number, Name and Address
    “Current Service Account Password or PIN
    “Alternate contact phone number”

    At TF, we plan to begin with one of the 90-day airtime cards – in case TF doesn’t work for us.

    However, I can see one of two scenarios for long-term TF use: the 400-minute/1-year card; or a voice only card (because voice will likely be the main use).

    What more (um, maybe **lots** more) do I need to be aware of?

    Any advice that you care to give will be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazz101s View Post
    The Pulsar came with a Tracfone sim (nano sim?). Can I use that sim card in the ZTE Maven for TF activation via BYOP?
    I have the ZTE Maven. I believe it uses a micro SIM. Try putting the SIM from the Pulsar into the Maven (with the phone off) and see if it fits.

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    Thanks for the reply, hpham, and the link, tfusr19. Y'all are the best.

    Sorry that I wasn't very clear - the sim (micro sim?) from the Pulsar does fit the Maven.

    I just wondered if the micro sim from the Pulsar was somehow linked to the Pulsar and therefore could NOT be used in the Maven. (Hey, I warned y'all about my inexperience.)

    So I'm now understanding that I am ready to roll, sim-wise.

    Other than the info needed from our Verizon friend to port the Mrs. current phone number, any other advice or warnings?

    Possible to accomplish this port/activation online via chat rather than on the phone? (I *hate* "help-desk" calls. Don't you?)

    Thanks again. . . .

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    Yes, you can do it all online.

    So is either of these Tracfones active? Do you have airtime to add? A number to port? Details please.

    If the Pulsar was activated and working, you could just move its SIM card into the ZTE and it should work fine once you set up the APN.

    That Pulsar SIM card should work in the ZTE, because for GSM phones nobody or no part of the online activation should ask you for the phone's IMEI/MEID. CDMA, they ask for those numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazz101s View Post
    At TF, we plan to begin with one of the 90-day airtime cards – in case TF doesn’t work for us.

    However, I can see one of two scenarios for long-term TF use: the 400-minute/1-year card; or a voice only card (because voice will likely be the main use).
    There are no voice only cards. All come with text and data. 300 talk minutes is high usage for Tracfone. The 400 minute/1 year would only last 4 months. You might look at the Auto-Refill plans.

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    chazz101s,
    I missed reading your earlier info about 90 days and 1 year cards.

    Are you sure AT&T coverage is good in your area, as you been using Verizon based services?

    Check PayGo maps for your area of interest.
    https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

    Maybe you should spend the money on a 90day card if you're not sure about Tracfone.

    Like loboheeler said, no voice only cards, so your 90 day card will give you 600voice/600text/600MB data along with 90 days service.

    Cheapest place I know to buy it is: http://stores.ebay.com/shopcelldeals...=p4634.c0.m322

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    There are no voice only cards. All come with text and data. 300 talk minutes is high usage for Tracfone. The 400 minute/1 year would only last 4 months. You might look at the Auto-Refill plans.
    Don't forget, going to a smart phone she could use voip calling through Hangouts, Vonage for outbound calls or some other voip calling free.

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for your kind suggestions. (Sorry, my bad, about voice-only minutes - got futz'd up with data only and text only - at least that is my excuse.)

    I was hoping to be able to report back to all about a successful port & activation.

    Unfortunately, our Verizon "friend" promised needed info but has yet to deliver. Without that info, I suppose my Mrs. needs to get OK with having a new phone number? (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.)

    Thanks again,
    Chaz

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    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1868062
    Canonical "How Tracfone Works" explanation - yes there are no plans!

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    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1864030
    TF LTE BYOP

    With both of these come back here if you have further questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazz101s View Post
    Unfortunately, our Verizon "friend" promised needed info but has yet to deliver. Without that info, I suppose my Mrs. needs to get OK with having a new phone number?
    Yes, you can activate with a new new number until the information comes through on the Verizon account to be able to port the number. If you don't get cooperation from the Verizon account owner than you have a new number!

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    In the month and 3 days that my Mrs. has been on Tracfone, service has been great. However, the usage stats for the first month present a quandry, I believe:

    Voice - 304
    Text - 134
    Data - 0.25

    We started smallish, with a 120 card bought locally. My Mrs. (courtesy of the great help from this forum and moi) activated a smartphone (Pixi Pulsar) so the buckets tripled.

    She now has only 56 voice minutes in her TF bank and is understandably worried that one of her future phone calls may run out of air time.

    If we stay with TF, I'm supposing we'll buy a refill from an online vendor (probably a forum sponsor like Prepay Refill). If I go smallish again, we'll do a 450/90-day refill. If we go large, a 1500/1-year refill.

    Is the 1500/1-year only available from TF itself?

    More important perhaps, do the usage stats above suggest to any of you experts that my Mrs. might be better off with another MVNO?

    Any suggestions or advice are much appreciated.

    Best to all,
    Chaz

    P.S. My hope is to stay with TF for now. But if y'all have better ideas, please let me know.

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    chazz101s,
    Only Tracfone.com sells the 1500 min 1 year card. Have you seen their other smartphone only offerings? Check the Tracfone website.

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    If you value the different components units the same way my pricing model does by default, then she has spent around $10 for that first month of service. Perhaps a bit more if she is literally never going to use the data and you want to assign megabytes a value of 0. But I imagine you would agree it is likely at some point in the future she may well make use of data service, so accumulating it in the bank so to speak is a good thing, and therefore worth the $12.50 per gigabyte.

    By converting over to a use it or lose it plan, you most likely would not have the same flexibility, and really how much would you be saving? Personally I think this type of usage pattern is perfectly suited to the tracfone payg model, and therefore I would advise you to purchase in whatever quantity you need to get the lowest price per voice minute.

    In other words, select one of the offers highlighted in blue in my pricing model spreadsheet linked to from post #10. You will notice you do not necessarily need to get that large annual offer to get the best price per voice minute. In fact the very cheapest offer is actually one with the very lowest price if you have a second line you can combine into one account. But it is not convenient, and in the end will probably only save you a few dollars per month.

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