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Thread: US Mobile requires unlocked phones???

  1. #1
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    US Mobile requires unlocked phones???

    I just switched over to US Mobile LTE from Xfinity. I've used other Verizon MVNOs for years and they always simply required a Verizon phone. I noticed that I am able to make calls, but have no internet so I got ahold of them on chat and they guy told me that I have to have an unlocked phone. Is this true? I just switched from Xfinity on my Verizon locked S20 and had no issues over there. Had Boom and Pageplus before that with no issues on locked Verizon phones.

  2. #2
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    If you can make calls on US Mobile, then your Verizon-locked phone should be OK. You probably need to update your APN to get data.

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    Don't know if it's related but I recently did a test run on USMobile LTE. Used a phone I had active on PP several years ago. I think but can't say for sure that it's locked. My issue was I could get data but couldn't get hotspot to work which is allowed on their custom plans. Kept getting a message that said I need to contact the carrier to have it added to my plan. Their FAQs has a "Can't get HS to Work" section which says some Verizon locked phones may not work for HS. Likely because of the firmware Vzw has built in. Went through all the recommended APN settings online and with a CSR. None worked. The CSR then said to give it 24 hours while they work on something. Next day HS worked. Maybe they had a way to contact Vzw and get around some of these specific carrier requirements or tweaked the APN settings from their end.
    US Mobile has good customer service, but like any carrier there are those CSRs that aren't on top of everything. I'd recommended looking up that topic in the FAQ's and contacting CS again and talk to another CSR. If anything they should say they'll escalate it and get back to you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by n74740 View Post
    I just switched over to US Mobile LTE from Xfinity. I've used other Verizon MVNOs for years and they always simply required a Verizon phone. I noticed that I am able to make calls, but have no internet so I got ahold of them on chat and they guy told me that I have to have an unlocked phone. Is this true? I just switched from Xfinity on my Verizon locked S20 and had no issues over there. Had Boom and Pageplus before that with no issues on locked Verizon phones.
    I agree with the comment above — if calling works, the device isn’t being blocked by the network or the SIM isn’t being rejected by the device, and I also think it’s an APN setup issue.

    Comcast Xfinity Mobile settings usually use an APN of: COMCAST.RSLR.VZWENTP

    The set up for US Mobile uses the more typical Verizon APN settings and they have a nice document on Samsung setups:
    https://usmobile.helpdocs.io/device-...-use-super-lte

    You ultimately need all 4 APNs for various things to work. So while the primary one will get you data, the rest do serve other purposes, so don’t stop if the first entry gets your data working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n74740 View Post
    noticed that I am able to make calls, but have no internet so I got ahold of them on chat and they guy told me that I have to have an unlocked phone.
    I wonder why companies don't provide simple training on such frequently-encountered issues to their customer service reps.

    I have no idea what the cost/revenue structure in the prepaid phone industry is, but just intuitively, it seems like companies would recover what they spent on training their CSRs just by retaining more customers, wouldn't they?

    I don't know why companies are so stingy about spending on training. People here on HoFo know more about how to solve phone problems than phone company reps!
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code (you get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or a brand new phone!)
    You can sign up for Red Pocket and get $25 off your monthly-plan order using my referral code. Feel free to PM me for the codes. Thank you!

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    I was aware the APN might be the issue and that's what I thought the CS rep would point me to, but he only said basically "sorry, your phone isn't unlocked so it won't work." I went in to the APN settings and they were actually a message something like "User doesn't have access" or something and no APN at all showed up. I put a Verizon prepaid and an Xfinity sim in the phone and they both loaded the proper APN settings. I also have a locked Galaxy S8 that I put the sim in and it actually seemed to work. I had to port out to Verizon prepaid because I take a lot of call for work and didn't have time to mess with it any further. I did, btw, chat with Red Pocket and they told me the same thing about the phone needing to be unlocked.

  7. #7
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    I absolutely agree with you -- as part of the activation process you should have been presented the APN the document I linked above (or the corresponding generic Android document or iPhone document) based on your IMEI.

    If you weren't shown that -or- the importance of going through the APN settings wasn't emphasized, then they have an issue with their setup process. It should have said "IMPORTANT" in big bold red letters to ensure everyone understood these were steps that needed to be taken.

    FWIW, had you come from most other Verizon MVNOs or Verizon itself, I don't think you'd have this issue -- Xfinity seems to be the only Verizon MVNO that I'm aware of that uses a special APN (though there may be others). This issue is more prevalent on the AT&T MVNOs as AT&T has a few different APNs for their MNVOs.

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    It is wackadoodle that APN stuff is not more automatic and transparent, there is no way that normal people should have to deal with this horse puck. Someone probably gotta move to Sweden to fix the base station code before fixing the handset code for this stuff. Probably the underlying reason is that the APN stuff is insecure AF so they gotta lock it down administratively and sorta manually. Gotta root-cause it and fix it. DM me, can do, already did it for router capabilities plus SBCs and more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bald2718281828 View Post
    It is wackadoodle that APN stuff is not more automatic and transparent ...
    It is with iPhones, correct? In fact I don't think I can change the APN settings on my iPhone SE. At least I don't see any setting to change it. And so far I haven't had issues with voice or data even with different carriers, so it must be automatic.
    If you think the pandemic is bad now, just wait. Doctors tell us the next variant plays the accordion.

  10. #10
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    The APNs are somewhat automatic. All iPhones and newer Samsung devices do auto-provision, but those are generally not based on APNs stored in the SIM, but rather based on APNs stored in the device firmware or downloaded from a server. For example, iPhones load APNs that are already in the firmware based on the first 8 digits of the SIM card (which determine the carrier). 8901410x are AT&T, 8901260x are T-Mobile and 8914800x are Verizon (and the iPhones already have the settings for carriers around the world). My guess is that the new Samsung auto-configuration works similarly, but I don't know for sure.

    The OP's phone was sort of an anomaly -- based on the assertion that it's locked, it's likely an Xfinity Mobile device, which is a Verizon model but with the Xfinity settings built in (native Verizon devices would automatically unlock after 60 days). Even if it were unlocked, the device wouldn't switch any settings with a SIM with the same first digits (e.g., Xfinity to another Verizon MVNO and vice-versa). If it had an Xfinity firmware in it, that would explain some of the issue.

    GSM networks can download configuration settings from the network, but I don't think Verizon ever implemented this feature (I know T-Mobile does this for many devices -- you get a text message saying your device doesn't have settings for the network, but they will be downloaded).

    I agree this should be easier -- for the longest time AT&T conveniently kept iPhones off their MVNOs by crippling MMS and some other features. The did this because the native AT&T profile loaded with the MVNO SIM (since they were effectively AT&T SIMs), but AT&T forced the MVNOs to use different APN/MMS settings than native AT&T. The basic APN is easy to override with a profile, but MMS and hotspot settings aren't. Larger MVNOs that sold iPhones got their own profiles, but those were limited to the bigger players (Tracfone, PureTalk, etc.), but the smaller players (H2O, Redpocket, etc.) were unable to overcome this barrier.

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    Thanks for the info High technology. My phone is not an xfinity version. It is for certain Verizon.

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    Double kudos for high technology,great info, helping us all stay current.

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