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Thread: Is my Tracfone already unlocked?

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    Is my Tracfone already unlocked?

    I bought a refurbished Tracfone Samsung Galaxy S7. For the hell of it I put in a Sprint sim and it didn't give me any kind of error message. Does this mean that the phone is already unlocked? I checked the serial number at tello.com to see if the phone would work with them and it said that it would not.

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    do you get any signal bars or no service message ??

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    I got a no service message but the sim is not active.

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    Typically if a phone is locked to TF, a foreign SIM card installed will result in a message displayed “ SIM Not Supported”.
    Since this is not the case, perhaps the refurbished models are not locked.
    Or, maybe the Samsung S7 does not have cdma functionality with sprint.
    You might try a SIM card from any other MVNO or Mother ship Verizon, ATT, etc.... if you have one.

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    I don't have any active sims other than Tracfone. I'll see if I can try a sim from a friend's phone. I'm wondering if there is some list that the phone is not currently on that it gets put on when you unlock it or maybe a year after it is first activated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supercoupondude View Post
    I don't have any active sims other than Tracfone. I'll see if I can try a sim from a friend's phone. I'm wondering if there is some list that the phone is not currently on that it gets put on when you unlock it or maybe a year after it is first activated.
    The surest way to find out if your phone is unlocked by TF is to put in a non-TF SIM, it doesn't have to be active. Like another member said, if you don't get the "Invalid SIM" message, it's a positive sign.

    Checking the IMEI at another carrier only verifies whether or not your phone is compatible with their system or on their whitelist. They don't know anything about the unlock status of your TF phone.

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    It accepted the Sprint sim so it appears that it is unlocked. I just tried the serial number at verizon.com and it said, "Unfortunately, your device isn't compatible with our network." I know that it is compatible with Verizon because it has a Tracfone Verizon sim. Is Tracfone selling phones that can't be used with Verizon or Sprint even when they are unlocked because they are not whitelisted? I am assuming it will work with AT&T or Tmobile but I still need to try a friend's sim.

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    Don't take this wrong, but is this the IMEI off the red activation card or what?

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    Phones must be whitelisted for activation on Sprint-- and I doubt that any Tracfone-branded phone appears in the Sprint database. The fact that the SIM wasn't rejected outright leads me to think it's unlocked.

    Verizon requires that phones be whitelisted for initial activation on Verizon. For some reason, it's been reported before that even Tracfone-Verizon-network phones do not appear in the Verizon whitelist database. (They'll activate on Tracfone's companies on the Verizon network, but not anywhere else on the Verizon network.) The phone not being accepted by Verizon Postpaid/prepaid is probably also inconclusive. I've read that if a Tracfone is unlocked, and Verizon-capable, an already-active Verizon SIM can be swapped in to the phone, and it will likely work.

    I agree that installing an unactivated SIM should suffice as a test. If it's not rejected, it's likely unlocked. You might try submitting an unlock request at Tracfone's unlocking portal, and see what it tells you?

    The model number I can find for a Trac Samsung S7 is G930VL. The VL suffix usually indicates that the phone doesn't have GSM radios. If that holds, even unlocked the phone wouldn't be usable on the AT&T network. I doubt it will clear on T-Mobile, either, even if unlocked, since it's probably not cleared for T-Mobile VoLTE. You could check here: https://www.t-mobile.com/resources/bring-your-own-phone

    TLDR my guess is the S7 is unlocked, but that's of minimal value in using it elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenhandle View Post
    The model number I can find for a Trac Samsung S7 is G930VL. The VL suffix usually indicates that the phone doesn't have GSM radios. If that holds, even unlocked the phone wouldn't be usable on the AT&T network. I doubt it will clear on T-Mobile, either, even if unlocked, since it's probably not cleared for T-Mobile VoLTE. You could check here: https://www.t-mobile.com/resources/bring-your-own-phone
    I checked this Samsung site about the Tracfone Samsung S7 . The model number is a bit different from what TF calls it: G930VZKATFN instead of G930VL. According to the specs listed on the Samsung site (click on See More Specs), it has all the LTE bands used by AT&T, T-mo, Verizon, and Sprint. So if it's shown incompatible by any of those carriers, it's because they didn't whitelist it, and not because it doesn't have the proper LTE bands.

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    I got the IMEI from the phone but it's the same as the red card. I tried the Tmobile link provided above and it said, "This phone doesn't support one of the following technologies: Extended Range LTE or Voice over LTE." I bought and activated the phone three months ago using the $50 Amazon gift card promotion. It is my understanding that Verizon is no longer allowing activation of non VOLTE phones so I assume it is VOLTE capable. Hpham, you indicated that the problem may be that "they didn't whitelist it." Do you mean that Samsung didn't whitelist it? It seems like maybe Tracfone doesn't need to lock a phone as long as it is not on the whitelist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supercoupondude View Post
    H.Pham, Do you mean that Samsung didn't whitelist it?
    The whitelist is created by each carrier, not the phone manufacturer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    I checked this Samsung site about the Tracfone Samsung S7 . The model number is a bit different from what TF calls it: G930VZKATFN instead of G930VL. According to the specs listed on the Samsung site (click on See More Specs), it has all the LTE bands used by AT&T, T-mo, Verizon, and Sprint. So if it's shown incompatible by any of those carriers, it's because they didn't whitelist it, and not because it doesn't have the proper LTE bands.
    Thanks for checking! Did it mention 3G bands, since I think this is still required for most phones for voice on AT&T?

    There doesn't seem to be a reason to whitelist the ESNs on Sprint, since I don't believe any of the Tracfone Group companies sell Sprint-network devices.

    VoLTE on T-Mobile was the big question, and that appears to be answered now. I agree that it's likely to be a certification issue on T-Mobile, instead of physical hardware/software. If it has the 2G band for voice, it might still be usable for a while. (Very short while?)

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    Oops, I missed that hpham posted the Samsung link-- so I looked. I'm not great at looking at frequencies, but I do see UMTS band 5(850) and band 2 (1900), which I think are the bands AT&T uses for voice, barring VoLTE. So perhaps it will work on the AT&T network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenhandle View Post
    Oops, I missed that hpham posted the Samsung link-- so I looked. I'm not great at looking at frequencies, but I do see UMTS band 5(850) and band 2 (1900), which I think are the bands AT&T uses for voice, barring VoLTE. So perhaps it will work on the AT&T network.
    It should work on AT&T and T-mobile as well, unless T-mo recently disallows non-VoLTE phones. Between April and June this year, I had a postpaid account with T-mo to do their $200 BYOD deal. I used several old phones: LG G3, LG Phoenix 2, Lumia 640. Although all of them got the message "This phone doesn't support one of the following technologies: Extended Range LTE or Voice over LTE", T-mo still accepted them and they worked fine for voice and 4G data.

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