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Thread: How long old CDMA flip phone will work?

  1. #16
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    Tello sells basic phones, and has ultra cheap plans. Talk plans range from $5 to $8 dollars a month. And, their service/network quality is just fine. Just be sure to get a GSM phone. This phone is the only GSM-LTE basic phone they offer at this time: https://tello.com/buy/phones/coolpad...ed-black-512mb

    There's no certainty about how Sprint's CDMA network will sunset. Most things I read from reputable places (PCMag, FierceWireless) say the CDMA sunset will be complete by December 2021. So, you have some time.

    Anyone with a compatible GSM-LTE phone (which is most phones sold today, including flip phones) will be fine. Sprint, or any Sprint MVNOs will transfer your service and you won't even know the difference.

    2G/3G sunsets are all over the place, historically. ATT turned off their 2G network in 2016 with the literal flip of a switch. T-Mobile has sunset their 2G/3G network in a swiss-cheese way (some towers still have it, others don't). And, Verizon keeps pushing their sunset date further and further out.

    Ultimately, if you're worried, just get a new GSM-LTE phone.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowyWhite View Post
    Our mutual friend Sweeper found out that the Doro 7050 was unlocked and he was using it on real T-Mobile.

    After he was done with it he passed it on to me.

    I just made a test call to make sure that the phone keeps 4G LTE on when on a call and it does indeed.

    It is a surprisingly nice phone.
    I had recommended it to crOw for his Grandma who was having some problems with a smartphone and the touch screen.

    My Mom would have liked the Doro if she would have had the chance to use it.

    Sent from my Monstrous Moto e5
    SnowyWhite, do you happen to know if the SIM that came with the Doro would work in a different TracFone?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by millept View Post
    SnowyWhite, do you happen to know if the SIM that came with the Doro would work in a different TracFone?
    "The sim is a T-Mobile based sim, so it should work in a DL labeled phone."

    This is directly from the Sweeper.

    Sent from my Monstrous Moto e5

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowyWhite View Post
    "The sim is a T-Mobile based sim, so it should work in a DL labeled phone."

    This is directly from the Sweeper.

    Sent from my Monstrous Moto e5
    Thanks!

    Sent from my moto g(6) (XT1925DL) using HoFo mobile app

  5. #20
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    I am also worried if they shut down parts of the CDMA network, the phone might work at her home but not have the same coverage as before. For example, the phone might work at home but not on the road when you need it to call a tow truck.
    This should be a concern no matter what T-Mo does with Sprint's CDMA; Sprint's coverage was awful and relied heavily on roaming. Sprint and US Cellular are the ONLY two CDMA carriers I've heard of not planning to dump CDMA around the end of the year, so you are highly likely to have "no service" in former roaming areas by January 2021 or so.

    They do make LTE flip phones, (this one doesn't have the right bands for T-Mo but...) Exalt LTE for example behaves EXACTLY like a traditional flip. It runs Android but you would now know it using it... seriously, the only differences I noticed... 1) It does start a little slower since it's booting Android with a (very!) customized home screen. 2) the texting app says "Verizon Messages" at startup, and the screen background is red instead of blue... it behaves like the traditional flip phone texting including having to use T9 though. 3) Buried deep deep in the settings, you can turn on a hotspot (it also lets you connect to a wifi network to potentially use wifi calling). That's it! No touch screen, no facebook messenger and junk, no frills.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    This should be a concern no matter what T-Mo does with Sprint's CDMA; Sprint's coverage was awful and relied heavily on roaming. Sprint and US Cellular are the ONLY two CDMA carriers I've heard of not planning to dump CDMA around the end of the year, so you are highly likely to have "no service" in former roaming areas by January 2021 or so.

    They do make LTE flip phones, (this one doesn't have the right bands for T-Mo but...) Exalt LTE for example behaves EXACTLY like a traditional flip. It runs Android but you would now know it using it... seriously, the only differences I noticed... 1) It does start a little slower since it's booting Android with a (very!) customized home screen. 2) the texting app says "Verizon Messages" at startup, and the screen background is red instead of blue... it behaves like the traditional flip phone texting including having to use T9 though. 3) Buried deep deep in the settings, you can turn on a hotspot (it also lets you connect to a wifi network to potentially use wifi calling). That's it! No touch screen, no facebook messenger and junk, no frills.
    I found a review of the phone you mentioned. It is interesting that it uses android.

    https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/lg-exalt-lte

    She is unlikely to use anything other than voice calls so being easy to make voice calls is important. It should also be easy to select a number from the contact list. And easy to answer a call.

    If she gets a smartphone the only thing that worries me is if she presses the wrong thing and something pops up on the screen then she might not know how to get back to the screen to place a call. Because of this it is probably better she has a flip phone.
    Last edited by brad4cell; 08-01-2020 at 02:33 PM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    This should be a concern no matter what T-Mo does with Sprint's CDMA; Sprint's coverage was awful and relied heavily on roaming. Sprint and US Cellular are the ONLY two CDMA carriers I've heard of not planning to dump CDMA around the end of the year, so you are highly likely to have "no service" in former roaming areas by January 2021 or so.
    Could you roam with Boost before? Since before the merger, Sprint customers have been able to roam on T-Mobile IF you had a compatible phone. It's a ticking clock without a face being on the Sprint network.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Could you roam with Boost before? Since before the merger, Sprint customers have been able to roam on T-Mobile IF you had a compatible phone. It's a ticking clock without a face being on the Sprint network.
    For at least the last 2 years, all Boost plans include 50 roaming minutes per month on Android phones only. No data roaming. I've seen conflicting information about text roaming. There's either none or it's unlimited as long as you haven't used up your roaming minutes.
    Find and compare prepaid plans at https://prepaidcompare.net

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajholik View Post
    Tello sells basic phones, and has ultra cheap plans. Talk plans range from $5 to $8 dollars a month. And, their service/network quality is just fine. Just be sure to get a GSM phone. This phone is the only GSM-LTE basic phone they offer at this time: https://tello.com/buy/phones/coolpad...ed-black-512mb
    Tello is CDMA only.

    Ting and HelloMobile are both CDMA (Sprint) and GSM (T-Mobile). I just received GSM SIM from Hello Mobile instead of old CDMA SIM and it works OK. No plan change.

    In general, it is good idea to replace CDMA SIMs by GSM SIMs ASAP (if possible). There is at least one cheap GSM-LTE phone compatible with T-Mobile. For example, https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/alcatel-go-flip-3 (it is Android, but you can not use Android functionality, it is used to support VoLTE and not open for end user). This phone should be OK for topic starter's mom.

    Regarding CDMA itself: there is no announcement yet about shutdown, but any given moment T-Mobile can say that it will not activate new CDMA devices/SIMs (old phones will continue to work for some time). In addition to this, T-Mobile started to change its network topology that already causes service degradation for CDMA/CDMA-LTE devices (in some areas, Sprint phones do not connect to Band 41 anymore).

    So, if T-Mobile coverage is OK in your area, switch to T-Mobile SIM (and, possibly, to T-Mobile compatible phone).

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    Tello is CDMA only.

    Ting and HelloMobile are both CDMA (Sprint) and GSM (T-Mobile). I just received GSM SIM from Hello Mobile instead of old CDMA SIM and it works OK. No plan change.

    In general, it is good idea to replace CDMA SIMs by GSM SIMs ASAP (if possible). There is at least one cheap GSM-LTE phone compatible with T-Mobile. For example, https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/alcatel-go-flip-3 (it is Android, but you can not use Android functionality, it is used to support VoLTE and not open for end user). This phone should be OK for topic starter's mom.

    Regarding CDMA itself: there is no announcement yet about shutdown, but any given moment T-Mobile can say that it will not activate new CDMA devices/SIMs (old phones will continue to work for some time). In addition to this, T-Mobile started to change its network topology that already causes service degradation for CDMA/CDMA-LTE devices (in some areas, Sprint phones do not connect to Band 41 anymore).

    So, if T-Mobile coverage is OK in your area, switch to T-Mobile SIM (and, possibly, to T-Mobile compatible phone).
    Thanks for the info.

    I tried to get her to change to a new carrier now but she wants to wait until her phone stops working.

    That phone looks like one she might like but $100 seems kind of expensive for a flip phone.

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