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  #1  
Old 03-03-2019, 6:24 AM
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Default Using an old Verizon iPhone in AT&Tís network?

I have an old iPhone 5 I no longer use and I not infrequently go to Front Sight where Verizon signal coverage sucks and AT&T rules. The phone was bought and used with Verizon until the contract ran out, then I upgraded. At home and work, Verizon signals are superior when comparing mine to friendsí phones.

Is there a practical way I can re-employ my iPhone 5 to work with AT&Tís system? Thinking of just buying a limited pre-paid non-subscription service with AT&T for my occasional trips where AT&T has better signals.
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Old 03-03-2019, 6:45 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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Generally, no.

The iPhone 5 model you have, if it has GSM hardware at all, is locked by Verizon to be unable to roam on anything but CDMA/LTE unless physically outside of the country of purchase, via a SIM with a non-domestic carrier ID.

If it can be activated on AT&T, LTE will not function and it will only be 3G or less. This is because the Verizon SIM has a key for unlocking the LTE bands that doesn't exist on other vendor's SIM cards (to prevent access to Sprint's network), plus the phone may not support all bands in use.

The three iPhone 5 models include: GSM model A1428 that supports LTE Bands 4 and 17 (AT&T/T-Mobile); GSM model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, and 5 (Verizon Global/ROW); and CDMA model A1429 that supports LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25 (Verizon/Sprint).

If you must have Verizon, and roam on AT&T, consider a minimum of an iPhone 6 that is the unlocked variant from Apple and not from a carrier. This model will roam on any network with the proper SIM.

Last edited by Robotron2k84; 03-03-2019 at 7:26 AM..
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:12 AM
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Verizon has to unlock your phone at no charge by law if you don't owe them money on it. You can contact them, they will give you the code needed to unlock it and the instructions on how to enter the code. After that is done put an AT&T sim card in the phone and see if it works.

From what I found looking into this the iphone 5 will work but will for phone calls but will not work with LTE data.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:47 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorn5150 View Post
Verizon has to unlock your phone at no charge by law if you don't owe them money on it. You can contact them, they will give you the code needed to unlock it and the instructions on how to enter the code. After that is done put an AT&T sim card in the phone and see if it works.

From what I found looking into this the iphone 5 will work but will for phone calls but will not work with LTE data.
Don't confuse customer portability with network portability. Verizon and Sprint are Qualcomm CDMA licensees, and their licenses mandate they do not allow customers to interoperate with other licensees, or else Qualcomm misses a royalty payment. You can ask Verizon to unlock your phone all day and night, and they will minimally comply and unlock it so it can utilize another SIM, but that in no way means they will further unlock the licensed spectrum and coding.

YMMV

Last edited by Robotron2k84; 03-04-2019 at 6:45 AM..
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Old 03-03-2019, 4:48 PM
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Thank you for the replies, gentlemen.

Robotron2k84, if I go and buy an unlocked iPhone 6, how do I know it was an unlocked variant from Apple, and not a variant from a carrier?
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Old 03-03-2019, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanz2 View Post
Thank you for the replies, gentlemen.

Robotron2k84, if I go and buy an unlocked iPhone 6, how do I know it was an unlocked variant from Apple, and not a variant from a carrier?
If you're planning to go with AT&T, why not just buy a phone from them together with the plan so you can ignore the lock/unlocked issue? The only time you need an unlocked phone is if you plan to use a MVNO like Red Pocket Mobile or US Mobile etc.
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Old 03-03-2019, 6:57 PM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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If you are taking about the iPhone 6 and not 6 plus, the one to get is a European A1586, which is identical to the Sprint device, except it is unlocked and can roam on any network.

The Sprint model has the widest support of any iPhone carrier model, but is forever locked to CDMA same as Verizon if purchased via a plan. That phone is the gold standard, but not the one sold in the U.S.

Each iPhone revision has its special unlocked part, and you may want something newer than a 6.

However, the unlocked iPhone 6 U.S. Apple part is A1549:

iPhone 6 16GB Gold (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG5Y2LL/A
iPhone 6 64GB Gold (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG652LL/A
iPhone 6 128GB Gold (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG622LL/A
iPhone 6 16GB Space Gray (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG5W2LL/A
iPhone 6 64GB Space Gray (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG632LL/A
iPhone 6 128GB Space Gray (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG602LL/A
iPhone 6 16GB Silver (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG5X2LL/A
iPhone 6 64GB Silver (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG642LL/A
iPhone 6 128GB Silver (CDMA) Verizon Wireless MG612LL/A

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbearbear View Post
If you're planning to go with AT&T, why not just buy a phone from them together with the plan so you can ignore the lock/unlocked issue? The only time you need an unlocked phone is if you plan to use a MVNO like Red Pocket Mobile or US Mobile etc.
SIM swapping does get a little old after the first few times, which is a requirement to utilize a different network without a roaming agreement between the two providers.

Last edited by Robotron2k84; 03-03-2019 at 9:48 PM..
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Old 04-01-2019, 8:56 AM
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Verizon hasn't locked their iPhones in years. In fact, they are the only ones that don't. You can literally take a Verizon phone that was just purchased, even on contract or device payment, stick a competitors SIM in and it will work.

If you have the iPhone 5 and not the 5c or above, you won't be able to use it on AT&T. Here is a link though if you want to look at providers other than Verizon, but they are all using Verizon's network, so it's all essentially the same unless one of the 3rd party providers doesn't have access to the latest PRL(preferred roaming list) which tells the phones which towers it can communicate with.

https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhone...witch-carriers
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