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Thread: VoLTE with iPhone SE not working on TFW/Verizon

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    VoLTE with iPhone SE not working on TFW/Verizon

    I have been using Tracfone over Verizon for nearly five years. My current phone is an iPhone SE purchased new from Apple. The top line of my screen currently says I am connected to "TFW LTE".

    When Verizon announced that it was switching technology from CDMA to VoLTE (Voice over LTE data), compatible iPhones included SE, 6s, and later models.

    On Dec. 27, 2019, I got a text message from TFW directing me to turn on VoLTE, with the simple directions for iPhones. Turn on "Voice & Data" the iPhone Cellular Data settings. In my case, all that happened for the first few days after I get the text message from TFW and tried to turn on VoLTE was that I got a message to contact TFW support. All TFW support could tell me was that my phone was incompatible with VoLTE. That is obviously wrong. After that I stopped even getting the message. The cellular data setting just stays at Voice.

    I know other people in my area who have an iPhone SE that is working with "Voice & Data" over Verizon. They have Verizon plans. This tells me the problem is with Tracfone, either in their system connection to Verizon or possibly in their APN profile. The customer service person insisted this could not be the case. It had to be my phone. Her "supervisor" said the same.

    I tried two other iPhone SE's with Tracfone over Verizon. Each had a "Voice & Data" option in Cellular Data settings. Each would not turn on voice, only data.

    Any suggestions, please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    I have been using Tracfone over Verizon for nearly five years. My current phone is an iPhone SE purchased new from Apple. The top line of my screen currently says I am connected to "TFW LTE".
    When was the (BYOP TF/Verizon?) SIM in your iPhone SE activated? If it was activated before mid-2018, most likely it was not provisioned for VoLTE. Even if a phone is VoLTE capable, you can't turn on VoLTE if the SIM is not provisioned for VoLTE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    When was the (BYOP TF/Verizon?) SIM in your iPhone SE activated? If it was activated before mid-2018, most likely it was not provisioned for VoLTE. Even if a phone is VoLTE capable, you can't turn on VoLTE if the SIM is not provisioned for VoLTE.
    According to my notes, it was activated 5/14/2018. My wife's SIM card for her SE was activated on 1/15/19. If the date of SIM activation is the key, then hers should be working even if mine is not. But her SE is acting just like mine.

    Going back to my older SIM card, how would I know for sure if it is provisioned for VoLTE or not? Based on my comments above, it does not appear that TFW support would tell me, or even understand the issue.

    In a sensible world, TFW would not have sent me or my wife texts telling each of us to activate VoLTE if their system showed the phone or SIM was not VoLTE compatible. Or, they would have told me I need a new SIM card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    According to my notes, it was activated 5/14/2018.

    Going back to my older SIM card, how would I know for sure if it is provisioned for VoLTE or not? Based on my comments above, it does not appear that TFW support would tell me, or even understand the issue.
    The only way to know for sure whether the issue is with your phone or your SIM is to do some SIM-swapping with someone who has a phone that has VoLTE working on TF/Verizon (phone is VoLTE capable and SIM is VoLTE provisioned). If your phone doesn't work with VoLTE when using their SIM, then your phone is the issue. If their phone doesn't work with VoLTE when using your SIM, then your SIM is the issue.

    Most TF reps have no clues what VoLTE is.

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    THIS THREAD is about getting VoLTE to work with iPhone 6s, similar to the issue with your iPhone SE. I know nothing about iPhones, perhaps someone who know them well can offer you some suggestions/ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    The only way to know for sure whether the issue is with your phone or your SIM is to do some SIM-swapping with someone who has a phone that has VoLTE working on TF/Verizon (phone is VoLTE capable and SIM is VoLTE provisioned). If your phone doesn't work with VoLTE when using their SIM, then your phone is the issue. If their phone doesn't work with VoLTE when using your SIM, then your SIM is the issue.

    Most TF reps have no clues what VoLTE is.
    For reasons I have never understood, it is sometimes possible to switch TFW SIM cards and have them work in other, similar phones, and sometimes not.

    Example: I have two SE phones, the one mentioned above and one purchased in France. Neither were ever carrier locked. I cannot get my TFW to work at all in the French one, though it has all the necessary CDMA and LTE bands. On the other hand, I can readily switch my TFW SIM card back and forth with my older iPhone 5s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    For reasons I have never understood, it is sometimes possible to switch TFW SIM cards and have them work in other, similar phones, and sometimes not.

    Example: I have two SE phones, the one mentioned above and one purchased in France. Neither were ever carrier locked. I cannot get my TFW to work at all in the French one, though it has all the necessary CDMA and LTE bands. On the other hand, I can readily switch my TFW SIM card back and forth with my older iPhone 5s.
    Apple might have some kind of "regional lock" on the French iPhone. I don't know. Apple is a control-freak. If I'm not mistaken from reading some posts, when you activate an iPhone with a provider, you have to activate it with Apple as well. You don't have to do anything like that with Google for an Android phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Apple might have some kind of "regional lock" on the French iPhone. I don't know. Apple is a control-freak. If I'm not mistaken from reading some posts, when you activate an iPhone with a provider, you have to activate it with Apple as well. You don't have to do anything like that with Google for an Android phone.
    Nope, nothing like dual activation with Apple.

    I've used iPhones since the 4s, swapping AT&T and foreign SIM cards at will. The newer iPhones, at least starting with the 5s, were also interchangeable from Verizon to AT&T to various foreign providers and back. There were models that did not have CDMA, so didn't work on Verizon. But any 5 or later iPhone with CDMA also worked with GSM like AT&T and most foreign carriers. Apple was never involved in activation nor in unlocking phones. At least, not in my experience with more than a dozen iPhones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    Nope, nothing like dual activation with Apple. Apple was never involved in activation nor in unlocking phones. At least, not in my experience with more than a dozen iPhones.
    I might be wrong then.

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    More often you're right, and your comments and help are always appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandySea View Post
    I have been using Tracfone over Verizon for nearly five years. My current phone is an iPhone SE purchased new from Apple. The top line of my screen currently says I am connected to "TFW LTE".

    When Verizon announced that it was switching technology from CDMA to VoLTE (Voice over LTE data), compatible iPhones included SE, 6s, and later models.

    On Dec. 27, 2019, I got a text message from TFW directing me to turn on VoLTE, with the simple directions for iPhones. Turn on "Voice & Data" the iPhone Cellular Data settings. In my case, all that happened for the first few days after I get the text message from TFW and tried to turn on VoLTE was that I got a message to contact TFW support. All TFW support could tell me was that my phone was incompatible with VoLTE. That is obviously wrong. After that I stopped even getting the message. The cellular data setting just stays at Voice.

    I know other people in my area who have an iPhone SE that is working with "Voice & Data" over Verizon. They have Verizon plans. This tells me the problem is with Tracfone, either in their system connection to Verizon or possibly in their APN profile. The customer service person insisted this could not be the case. It had to be my phone. Her "supervisor" said the same.

    I tried two other iPhone SE's with Tracfone over Verizon. Each had a "Voice & Data" option in Cellular Data settings. Each would not turn on voice, only data.

    Any suggestions, please?

    does your iPhone SE have all the latest ios updates including carrier updates ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    does your iPhone SE have all the latest ios updates including carrier updates ??
    My phone says iOS 13.3 and that it is up to date.

    With TFW, it has become hard to tell about carrier updates in recent years. The first time I called customer service about this VoLTE problem (see my OP), they said they were doing something to update my phone and I should restart it. I assumed that was a carrier update but the service person didn't seem to know what exactly the system was doing to my phone.

    Ok, I just checked my phone # on the TFW site. It says: "This device does not require an update to its Access Point Name (APN) settings."

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    Whenever I have problems like this with the iPhone SE I use on Tracfone I do a full reset. And when setting the phone up I do not restore from backup.

    My SE is a ST/TW from maybe about 2 years ago. It came with a Verizon TF Sim. Over the two years I've flipped from using an AT&T Sim ad back many times.

    Currently I'm using that AT&T TFW Sim. When I was last on the Verizon TFW sim VoLTE worked fine.

    My advice if you try and try and get nowhere is to get a new sim card from Best Buy for $1 and do the full reset. Just don't restore from backup when setting the iPhone up again. Yeah it's a pain to do all that app setup from scratch. One thing I do before the reset is take screen shots of my app layout to help get my apps in the same place.

    I know a reset isn't what you wanted to hear but it may be your only choice. I've used iPhone since the iPhone 3G days. Sometimes a fresh clean start is needed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Complete SIM kit from eBay, ships free and fast $1
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    Same complete SIM kit plus a 1200/1200/3000/365 day airtime card $49.99
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tracfone-Pr...0AAOSwp1Bc5a~n

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tersanyus View Post
    Whenever I have problems like this with the iPhone SE I use on Tracfone I do a full reset. And when setting the phone up I do not restore from backup.
    . . .
    I know a reset isn't what you wanted to hear but it may be your only choice. I've used iPhone since the iPhone 3G days. Sometimes a fresh clean start is needed.
    Thanks for your comments, Tersanyus. You are right that I do not want to hear about full resets. Been there, done that, too many times.

    Having said that, two things in your post stand out. First, going back a ways here and on SmartPhoneMatters.com are a long series of posts from me regarding resetting the iPhone. In that era, the problem was the TFW was inserting a hidden APM that could not be deleted without a full reset.

    The phone worked fine in the US so most people would never even have know there was a problem. The reason it was a problem is that it prevented the phone from getting data when using a foreign SIM card. It did still allow regular phone use in the foreign country. So it was hard to debug, too.

    I did come up with an alternate solution that is too complicated and unnecessary for this discussion. I also found out that the hidden APM was SIM related. By replacing my old TFW SIM with a mid-2018 one, the problem disappeared.

    The second point of your post that I quoted is that you have Verizon VoLTE working on your SE, as do others. This suggests to me that Tracfone should have a way to get it working on my SE as well. Could be a new SIM, could be something in my account, or maybe the phone does need a new APN setting to work VoLTE. I don't know.

    The account possibility comes from a similar experience I had with "free international dialing" not working. It took me a year to get someone at TFW to say "Oh, we just need to reset something in your account. " Many others reported the same problem but never got to anyone at TFW who understood the problem or admitted that it needed to be fixed at their end. In fact, most TFW support people denied that free international dialing even existed, though it was heavily promoted on the TFW website.

    Before I try a reset, I will try a few more times to get the issue escalated at TFW.

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