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Thread: Complications (of my own making) with the $30 HSN Moto E5 bundle – please help!

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    For me, Unlocked means a phone that I can use on any carrier and any mvno of my choice. My dream is to be able to have one phone that I can use on AT&T, TMo, Sprint, Verizon, and any of their MVNOs.
    Your issue here is like mentioned. It's still a Tracfone branded phone. Going direct to one of the big 4 likely won't be allowed with that phone. For your dream you likely need a "factory unbranded" unlocked phone.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    Your issue here is like mentioned. It's still a Tracfone branded phone. Going direct to one of the big 4 likely won't be allowed with that phone. For your dream you likely need a "factory unbranded" unlocked phone.
    Once the TF-branded Moto E5 is unlocked by TF after 12 months, it's as good as a factory-unlocked phone. The OP understands about the required 12 months of service and he has no problems waiting that out. Even if he can't use the bundled time, he only paid $30 for the phone. You can't buy a new factory-unlocked Moto E5 for $30 at this time.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Once the TF-branded Moto E5 is unlocked by TF after 12 months, it's as good as a factory-unlocked phone. The OP understands about the required 12 months of service and he has no problems waiting that out. Even if he can't use the bundled time, he only paid $30 for the phone. You can't buy a new factory-unlocked Moto E5 for $30 at this time.
    The way to verify that is to check the IMEI for BYOD comparability with Verizon and Sprint. If they report eligible, then as soon as the SIM card slot is unlocked by TF after month 12, then it can for sure be used on any network or MVNO.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    The way to verify that is to check the IMEI for BYOD comparability with Verizon and Sprint. If they report eligible, then as soon as the SIM card slot is unlocked by TF after month 12, then it can for sure be used on any network or MVNO.
    I just checked the IMEI of my Simple Mobile Moto E5 with the 4 major carriers. It passed with AT&T and T-Mobile. It didn't pass with Sprint but I'm not surprised because a lot of phones aren't compatible with Sprint. It did not pass with Verizon, but I think that's because Verizon doesn't put IMEIs of TF-branded phones in their database. It's not because the phone doesn't have the correct radio, because I'm using it with a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM (activated using the IMEI of a dead phone on Ebay) and it has VoLTE service.

  5. #35
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    I suspect that Tracfone-branded phones will never have full membership in the whitelisting club.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    It didn't pass with Sprint but I'm not surprised because a lot of phones aren't compatible with Sprint.
    Yep, Sprint has different LTE bands. Only a Sprint branded or an all carrier unlocked phone could work.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Since you want to use the phone with its original SIM (to qualify for unlocking) anyway, I don't see any harm in powering it on with the SIM in place. At least you'll see if it shows any signal bars. You can also install/run the Network Signal Info app to see the signal strength with Verizon. Touch the middle of the screen to change the measurement display from bars to a dial-and-needle.
    Thanks for the tips, hpham! Followed your advice, and now I am (pleasantly) confused by the results -- the phone shows full signal bars, and Network Signal Info shows signal strength varying from 76% to 92%.

    Is that possible? I did a Chat with Tracfone today, the CSR checked my zip and told me there are no Verizon towers in my zip. She said there are AT&T towers and TMo towers but no Verizon towers.

    Am I doing something incorrect with Network Signal Info? The data is turned off, wifi is off, I haven't turned on location. Network Signal Info says:
    Sim Operator: Verizon Wireless
    Network type
    Data: 1xRTT * 2G
    Voice: 1xRTT * 2G
    Net. strength: -63 dBm *25 ASU

    Please enlighten! Thank you!

  8. #38
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    The reason I suggested using the Network Signal Info app because it shows the name of the carrier. Without it, we don't know for sure which carrier is responsible for the signal bars, it could be any carrier that the phone is compatible with (for 911 calls).

    The 1xRTT indicates it was using a non-LTE band, because the SIM isn't activated yet to get VoLTE-enabled. I don't know why it says 2G instead of 3G. Maybe Loboheeler knows.

    Since you plan to activate the phone anyway, I don't see why you shouldn't go ahead and activate the phone at your current location. Maybe someone else in the forum might see why you should not.

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    I recall someone once telling me that if a SIMs not activated you may not get an accurate reading from the Network signal apps (?)
    Or maybe the OP is just picking up a farther away 1xRTT signal which travel further then LTE from what I've heard (?)

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    Am I doing something incorrect with Network Signal Info? The data is turned off, wifi is off, I haven't turned on location. Network Signal Info says:
    Sim Operator: Verizon Wireless
    Network type
    Data: 1xRTT * 2G
    Voice: 1xRTT * 2G
    Net. strength: -63 dBm *25 ASU
    Most signal apps only show the data signal, but if the phone is not activated they may show the voice signal. Verizon CDMA does not have voice on 3G, but only on 2G 1xRTT. Unactivated phones do not have a data connection.

    -63 is a quite good signal.

  11. #41
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    Since Tracfone Smartphones do not roam, how can you tell if the signal being analyzed is not from a Verizon roaming partner? The app only says - "Sim Operator": Verizon Wireless

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    I just checked the IMEI of my Simple Mobile Moto E5 with the 4 major carriers. It passed with AT&T and T-Mobile. It didn't pass with Sprint but I'm not surprised because a lot of phones aren't compatible with Sprint. It did not pass with Verizon, but I think that's because Verizon doesn't put IMEIs of TF-branded phones in their database.
    Similar result here with my TracFone Moto E5 - AT&T, Cricket and T-Mobile are ok but not Verizon, which I believe unlock probably won't change anything if my experience with my TF-unlocked Rebel 2 holds. Also interesting to see that my Simple Mobile Rebel 4, which came with a T-Mobile SIM, fails T-Mobile's compatibility check but it passes AT&T (and Cricket).

  13. #43
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    OP here. My phone is successfully activated now -- but only after one small curious hiccup that I hope folks here can enlighten me about.

    So since the phone was showing great Verizon signal from home (although I had been told by Chat CSR that there were zero Verizon towers in my zip), I did my first attempt at getting the phone activated. Got on Chat, gave them the imei, gave them my zip, told them it came bundled with minutes etc. After a long wait, the CSR said the phone can't be activated. Said there was no Verizon coverage in my area. I thought to myself, bummer, there go my plans of getting that $30 unlocked phone.

    Then I realized, duh, I should have given them a different zip with good Verizon coverage. So, second attempt, gave them a different zip code, everything went smoothly, phone is activated, life is good. I have great Verizon signal, so I can actually even use the bundled airtime if I want to, so I am "having my cake and eating it too". All without having to drive to a different location to activate, like I had originally planned. (And many, many thanks to all you folks here for helping me get this done!!)

    Here's what I am curious about though -- why does Tracfone think that there is no Verizon coverage in my zip code? They told me there are no Verizon towers, they said my phone can't be activated in my zip code because of lack of coverage, they don't sell any DL models in my zip -- but in reality, my Verizon phone gets full signal. What do you folks think is going on? I'm really curious!

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    Here's what I am curious about though -- why does Tracfone think that there is no Verizon coverage in my zip code? They told me there are no Verizon towers, they said my phone can't be activated in my zip code because of lack of coverage, they don't sell any DL models in my zip -- but in reality, my Verizon phone gets full signal. What do you folks think is going on? I'm really curious!
    It could be that Verizon recently installed new towers or improved the service in your area but TF never updated their zip code database. Use the instructions here to check Verizon coverage for your area. If you don't mind, give us your zip code (alter the last digit slightly if you want) so we can check it too.

    Are you getting VoLTE service on the new phone? If you don't know how to check that, I can re-post the instructions. Basically checking to see if you can access an online web site with WiFi OFF, Data ON, WHILE A CALL IS IN PROGRESS.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    It could be that Verizon recently installed new towers or improved the service in your area but TF never updated their zip code database. Use the instructions here to check Verizon coverage for your area. If you don't mind, give us your zip code (alter the last digit slightly if you want) so we can check it too.
    I have no cell service at home and only sprint towers in my county or anywhere nearby. Yet, I get an occasional signal in weird weather on the hill above my house, and also about a mile from my house. So I went for the $30 Moto E5 deal as an upgrade to my old Moto, my first smartphone that came with a bundle, a year, and triple everything. I'll keep both phones going till the Moto no longer works. I activated both phones using the zip adjacent to my own (which zip also has no VZ towers, btw). I activated the e5 via wifi at my local library, no problem at all. I couldn't make a call there so I drove to where I did get a signal to make my first call. But even before the first call, the new phone and new number showed up on my tracfone account along with the old Moto
    I have tried to find out where my VZ signal (usually 1D or sometimes 3G) is coming from and no one around here knows. VZ map shows no coverage anywhere near. I have open signal app on my old phone and it just shows a tower to the west of here, which surprises me cuz west of me is a mountain. Love both phones, all I need for occasional use. what a deal, about $8 a month for two phone service and phones included. Thanks to forum guys for the tips!

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