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Old Jun 21, 2013, 11:49 PM   #1
Altemose
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(GUIDE) iPhone 4 and 4S Running on Page Plus

Hello Fellow MacRumors Members,

Upon my research of trying to make a jump to prepaid on my iPhone, I was really left between a rock and a hard place. I had a Verizon CDMA iPhone 4 32GB. Now as many of you know, the CDMA iPhone 4 does not have a SIM card slot. So all GSM carriers were out of the question. The phone was given to me by a friend who had upgraded to the iPhone 4S and then the 5. It really was something I was thankful to have and now I needed to find a use for it.

The Verizon family plan would not allow a smartphone (purchased either outright or at subsidized) to be put on it at the price it was currently. We would need to switch to the new Share Everything. Not really an option as it would cost more for less literally even if we all stayed with basic phones.

Upon researching the CDMA prepaid carriers I came across Virgin (Sprint network), Boost (Sprint network), TalkForGood (Verizon network), and Page Plus (Verizon Network). Both Virgin and Boost would not work where I live even if I flashed it to the Sprint baseband due to coverage issues. So it was a choice of TalkForGood or PagePlus.

(TalkForGood is a great option for those who use little to no data on their phones or use do alot of either calling OR texting. If that meets your needs check them out as they are a fantastic option and are pretty new.)

PagePlus, unlike TalkForGood, does not openly support iPhone activation. So we need to use some unofficial ways to get it activated.

Step 1: Create a Page Plus account at https://www.pagepluscellular.com/login/register/

This will give you access to the customer service online chat feature. This is necessary to get it going. Don't worry, you do not need a phone active in order to create an account.

Step 2: Submit a request to get a new number using the standard activation page with the iPhone's MEID where it asks for the ESN. (YOU MUST HAVE A CLEAN ESN FOR THIS TO WORK). It will of course fail and give a "DEVICE REJECTED" error code. Don't worry this is all normal. We just want to submit the request to get our foot in the door.

Step 3: Log into your account and fire up chat. Tell them you do not know why activation failed and would like to activate your phone. Do not say it is an iPhone unless they explicitly ask. Most of the time they will have no issue getting it going.

Step 4: Provide the appropriate MEID for the ESN number, and make sure you state your zip code you want your number to be in. If you are porting a number we will get there.

Step 5: After the representative gives the A-OK to begin activation, wait roughly 15 minutes for the system to update. Then dial *22890. Make SURE voice roaming is turned on for this step. Otherwise activation may fail and you will be left with a "No Service" indicator.

Step 6: Congratulations you are now activated. If you plan on keeping the new number, go ahead and make some test calls with the $2.00 credit that is on the house. If you are porting in continue on.

Step 7: Either call Page Plus or chat them and fill out the appropriate questions for porting in a number. Most numbers take as little as three hours.

Step 8: Wait three hours after finishing the call and dial *22890 again and the "My Number" info should update to reflect your newly ported number.

Step 9: You can now either add money or switch to a No-Contract plan.

Step 10: Enjoy your iPhone bill now cheaper.

NOTES:
Before beginning make sure Voice Roaming is on.

Do not add a plan until after the number has ported if applicable.

Once the phone is in the system it should never be removed, so you do not run the risk of deactivation.

If your phone is currently active on VZW. Switch the VZW line to another phone to get the iPhone freed up

I wrote this guide as a means to help those who are looking to switch with an iPhone as I had to kind of go in the dark when it came to moving over. I hope this helps anyone interested and do not be afraid to ask any questions.

Altemose

Last edited by Altemose; Sep 23, 2013 at 09:13 PM.
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Old Sep 22, 2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to write this out!
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Old Sep 23, 2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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Data

How did you get the wireless data working so that you didn't get the message "Could not activate cellular data network. You are not subscribed to a cellular data service"?
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Old Sep 23, 2013, 09:12 PM   #4
Altemose
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Cellular Data

Troubleshooting Data is a pesky thing to do. Here are some things that will help you out. I recommend that you do all of these except for #6 unless necessary in order to eliminate any possibilities for problems.

1) Reset your device by holding Power (Sleep/Wake) and Home until the Apple logo reappears like it is turning on then release.

2) Go to Settings --> General --> Reset --> Reset Network Settings

3) Go to Settings --> General --> Cellular Data --> On, Roaming "Voice Only"

4) Go to Phone --> Keypad --> Dial *22890 and wait for it to say something like "Service Update Complete"

5) Go to Messages --> Create New Message --> To 7243 type "Bal" without quotes within the message field. Within one minute you will get a message with your usage and amount left of every bucket (Data, Minutes, Texts). Verify that you have Data left over.

6) If you still have no Data, call Page Plus and ask them to disable and re-enable data on your account. Your pass code to your account is different from your Voicemail code and if you have not changed it, it is your last 4 digits of your number.

Just so you know, Sprint iPhones generally work with Page Plus. However, if a half flash is done, only calls and texts will work.

Have fun!

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Old Oct 5, 2013, 03:43 PM   #5
liaamikiir
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Hi Altemoose,

I bought my roommate's old iPhone 4 after she upgraded to the 5. She specifically told them she was selling it, so they said it was set up in anticipation of being sold.

I've been trying to set it up with PagePlus for the better part of a day. I bought a number using the MEID, but when I dial *22890, I get a busy signal (?!) and *228 gets me US Cellular's setup page. I talked to online tech support, and they say I'm still somehow on Verizon's plan and that I need to talk to a dealer.

The nearest dealer is 200+ miles away. Any suggestions to try before I make a field trip?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 5, 2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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Verizon Activation

Hey,

First of all get Verizon on the phone and ask why it is still tied to a number. A dealer may help, but Chad Schultz on the Page Plus Facebook page is a dealer who is extremely helpful. I don't know what dealer he works for, but if you can PM him on Facebook I am sure he can help you. In the top left by the signal bars or dots (iOS 7), does it say "Verizon" or "Extended" or just bars and a 3G logo? Perhaps try a restore completely by entering DFU mode. Then as you set it back up see if activation goes through. If dialing *228 brings US Cellular, it makes it seem like you are in a roaming area, which may also be a bug.

Start with a restore! Then reactivate and go to Settings-->General-->About and post a screen shot of what you see. It should say "Verizon" for network and "Verizon 15.0" for the carrier. A restore should give the latest carrier information. Worst case, try to contact an online dealer instead of a 200 mile trip.

Just reply back with any questions.

Altemose
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Old Oct 7, 2013, 08:29 PM   #7
elgrego
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Page Plus re: Sprint; learning more

Hi, Altemose -

Thank you for this. I have a few questions I hope you can answer:
  1. will Page Plus activate a Sprint iPhone 5s? Is there any limitation on that? I know that Page Plus does not provide 4G service, but can the phone be activated anyway and just use 3G?
  2. will Page Plus factory-unlock a Sprint iPhone 5s? What about TalkForGood? I would like the Sprint phone (so that I have more carrier options in the future), but I'd like to be on the Verizon network for now. If Page Plus won't do it, how would one factory-unlock/IMEI-unlock a Sprint iPhone 5s?
  3. if so, then once the Sprint phone has been activated on Page Plus, could I take it to a Verizon account and add it with no problems? I have heard that a Page Plus activation puts the MEID onto Verizon's whitelist.
  4. does any flashing or jailbreaking have to be done? (Seemingly not, from your instructions.)
  5. how do you know all of this? I've been trying to learn about the ins and outs of all of this, but google seems to produce results like a pile of spaghetti. Lots of contradicting information and misinformation. Have any suggestions for a place to get reliable information?

Thanks!

Last edited by elgrego; Oct 7, 2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: clarified a question
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Old Oct 7, 2013, 09:38 PM   #8
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Sprint iPhone 5S and PPC

Elgrego,

When the iPhone 4 was still being sold, it had a bootrom exploit that allowed it to be jailbroken regardless of firmware, provided the jailbreak utility was able to install to the new firmware. When Apple began selling the iPhone on Sprint (and subsequently Virgin Mobile), it was literally the same as the Verizon iPhone 4 aside from carrier settings. With the help of a CommCenter Patch and a carrier bundle for Page Plus. Many jailbroken phones regardless of ESN were added to Page Plus.

Those days are over...

The iPhone 5S is yet to be jailbroken, and when it is there is no guarantee that it will be able to consistently jailbroken regardless of firmware like the 4. Newer iPhones from the 5 onwards require a LTE SIM to even activate and connect to the Verizon network.

I am not going to lie and say it isn't possible, but I cannot recommend that one uses a phone that could be useless every time a update comes out or someone playing on your phone installs one wrong tweak. I can personally confirm that the Verizon 4 and 4S natively activate with no tweaks. It views it as activated on "Verizon". Any thing newer requires a jailbreak and the installation of carrier files, which isn't for the faint of heart. My recommendation is to pick up a brand new Straight Talk iPhone 5, or a reconditioned model and activate that. It has LTE disabled internally so it should activate and if something goes wrong, just return it.

There are threads on forums teaching how to get a 5, 5C, or 5S on the Page Plus Network but not without a jailbreak and serious tweaking.

I hope this clarifies,
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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I already had a PagePlus account and wanted to swtich from the Droid I was using to the iPhone 4s. I bought a clean Verizon iPhone and tried switching my phones out on PagePlus. It didn't work. Here's the chat conversation I had with the PagePlus rep. Is there something I did wrong?? Dialing *22890 didn't work. Does anyone know what I should do?

You are now chatting with 'Morgan'

Morgan: Hello! Thank you for contacting Page Plus Cellular. How can I help you today?

incarnate99: Hi Morgan, I have a new phone that I'd like to switch out.

Morgan: I'd be happy to help you with that ESN change!

Morgan: What's the phone number that you're contacting us about? What's the old ESN/MEID please? What's the new ESN/MEID please?

incarnate99: My old MEID DEC is xxxxxxxxxxxx or the MEID HEX is xxxxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: not sure which you need

Morgan: What's the phone number that you're contacting us about?

incarnate99: and the new MEID is xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: the phone number is xxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: do both phones need to be shut off?

Morgan: Verizon 4G LTE devices are not compatible with our OTA programming method. (*22890 or *228) They are also unable to be manually programmed. Unfortunately, there is not much we know to get these devices working at this time. To get this phone to work with Page Plus Cellular You need to look for the programming online or ask a Page Plus Cellular Dealer that is firmiliar with 4G programming. The new device will not work until the proper steps have been taken to porgram the # into the phone. That is not something we can help you with thru Customer Service. Did you want to use this phone anyway?

Morgan: Did you want to use this phone anyway?

Morgan: . The new device will not work until the proper steps have been taken to porgram the # into the phone

incarnate99: So, the new device won't work at all?

Morgan: Not until its programmed.

Morgan: We dont program 4G phones.

incarnate99: Do you know of a dealer in my area that can help?

Morgan: You will need to look one up by clicking on the DEALERS tab on the website.
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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Just wanted to give a big shout-out and THANK YOU to Altemose. Your guide worked to perfection while activating my 70-year old mother's "new" iPhone 4S on Page Plus (got it on eBay for $200 in mint condition). $30/month seems too good to be true, especially with 500MB data. Time will tell. Thanks again!
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Old Oct 25, 2013, 04:09 PM   #11
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I just had the same experience as incarnate99 with my Verizon iPhone 4S. Here is the explanation I received via chat:

Quote:
Nicole: 4G LTE devices (with MEIDs starting with 256 or 990000) are not compatible with our system. They are able to be activated by dropping the last digit of the IMEI (99000) but they are not able to be programmed with OTA (*22890 or *228) and unable to be manually programmed. Unfortunately, there is not much we know to get these devices working at this time. Do you want me to use this device anyway? In other words, our system will accept the IMEI if we drop the last digit, so we can activate. But a phone will not work without programming, our usual programming methods do not work for these phones so we can't help you to get it working. You'll have to find your own programming methods and there's no guarantee that it'll work.

Nicole: If the phone is 4G, we can activate the phone, but we have no programming for the phone to work, you would have to go to a dealer to get the phone programmed.
So instead I used Exclusive Cellular to activate it with a temporary number and am now waiting for my GoPhone number to be ported from AT&T before I add a plan (which they offer at a slight discount - the $55 plan costs $52.95).
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Last edited by bjmsam; Oct 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM. Reason: update
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Old Oct 26, 2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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iPhone 4S and 4G

The iPhone 4S is a 3G only phone for Verizon and Sprint. AT&T Models will show "4G" which in actuality is HSPA+ 21. Verizon and Sprint do not use that spectrum and only give three speeds of data. GPRS or 1x, 3G, and 4G LTE (only available on iPhone 5). Page Plus only uses 1x or 3G.

Ask for an ESN change directly through Page Plus. They may say its 4G based off of the lie of 4G on AT&T. Give them the MEID then programming should work. Not to discredit the reps, however the iPhone 4S is not 4G and I have activated one directly on Page Plus by simply activating the ESN and dialing *22890.

In summary, the GSM models of the 4S do support a slow version of 4G, however CDMA models like Verizon only use 3G and 1x. So provided you have a clean ESN it will activate perfectly.

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Old Oct 27, 2013, 06:12 PM   #13
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Thumbs up

Thanks for clarifying. I (and incarnate99) should have simply answered "yes" to Nicole (and Morgan), as there was absolutely no problem activating and programming (via *228) my Verizon (3G CDMA) iPhone 4S. I subsequently added the $55 plan and am now all set!
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Old Oct 29, 2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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Activations With OTA Programming

Verizon gives Page Plus and other MVNOs the *22890 number to dial which dictates which company and phone number the phone is tied to. Some phones are picky and want to only use native Verizon OTA. So if *22890, the Page Plus default, doesn't work, then dial *228 and choose Option 1.

Like I said, the 4S on CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint are only 3G devices, contrary to GSM iPhone's HSPA 21 being labeled as 4G. You should have no problems with a iPhone 4 or 4S. Though they work (even the Straight Talk iPhone 5), no one here is responsible if Verizon or Page Plus finds the need to remove your phone.

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Old Oct 30, 2013, 05:41 PM   #15
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Why would pageplus remove a phone if they activated it?
Also Im looking to buy an iphone 4 and continue using pageplus. So do I still need to do the port your number option anyway? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!,
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Old Oct 31, 2013, 08:37 AM   #16
dallen3
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iphone active on Verizon network

This is super helpful, thanks for posting! I am curious, if you want to port your number from an active Verizon account, do you first have to call verizon to deactivate it or will you be able to port it straight in?
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Old Oct 31, 2013, 08:28 PM   #17
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an ebay seller will port your number for $4.95. is this an ok option if i'm not that great w/ technology? anyone see any problems with this? i can follow altamoses instructions. but this would be easier

Sorry- forgot ebay listing on 1st post--

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...DER:SIMPLEITEM

Last edited by sailattic; Oct 31, 2013 at 08:29 PM. Reason: add'l info
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Old Nov 3, 2013, 12:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incarnate99 View Post
I already had a PagePlus account and wanted to swtich from the Droid I was using to the iPhone 4s. I bought a clean Verizon iPhone and tried switching my phones out on PagePlus. It didn't work. Here's the chat conversation I had with the PagePlus rep. Is there something I did wrong?? Dialing *22890 didn't work. Does anyone know what I should do?

You are now chatting with 'Morgan'

Morgan: Hello! Thank you for contacting Page Plus Cellular. How can I help you today?

incarnate99: Hi Morgan, I have a new phone that I'd like to switch out.

Morgan: I'd be happy to help you with that ESN change!

Morgan: What's the phone number that you're contacting us about? What's the old ESN/MEID please? What's the new ESN/MEID please?

incarnate99: My old MEID DEC is xxxxxxxxxxxx or the MEID HEX is xxxxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: not sure which you need

Morgan: What's the phone number that you're contacting us about?

incarnate99: and the new MEID is xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: the phone number is xxxxxxxxx

incarnate99: do both phones need to be shut off?

Morgan: Verizon 4G LTE devices are not compatible with our OTA programming method. (*22890 or *228) They are also unable to be manually programmed. Unfortunately, there is not much we know to get these devices working at this time. To get this phone to work with Page Plus Cellular You need to look for the programming online or ask a Page Plus Cellular Dealer that is firmiliar with 4G programming. The new device will not work until the proper steps have been taken to porgram the # into the phone. That is not something we can help you with thru Customer Service. Did you want to use this phone anyway?

Morgan: Did you want to use this phone anyway?

Morgan: . The new device will not work until the proper steps have been taken to porgram the # into the phone

incarnate99: So, the new device won't work at all?

Morgan: Not until its programmed.

Morgan: We dont program 4G phones.

incarnate99: Do you know of a dealer in my area that can help?

Morgan: You will need to look one up by clicking on the DEALERS tab on the website.
Just to let you know the 4/4S isn't a 4G/LTE phone....
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Old Nov 5, 2013, 01:38 AM   #19
elgrego
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Alternose -

Thank you for the very informative reply. Is the turning off of 4G on a Straight Talk CDMA 4G iPhone (5/5S, assuming they get it soon) permanent? Would the 4G work if I put it on Verizon's network directly, or would it be forever hamstrung?

Also, out of curiosity, how did you learn all of this? I've been trying to learn about the ins and outs of all of this cellphone insanity, but google seems to produce results like a pile of spaghetti. Lots of contradicting information and misinformation. Have any suggestions for a place to get reliable information?

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altemose View Post
Elgrego,

When the iPhone 4 was still being sold, it had a bootrom exploit that allowed it to be jailbroken regardless of firmware, provided the jailbreak utility was able to install to the new firmware. When Apple began selling the iPhone on Sprint (and subsequently Virgin Mobile), it was literally the same as the Verizon iPhone 4 aside from carrier settings. With the help of a CommCenter Patch and a carrier bundle for Page Plus. Many jailbroken phones regardless of ESN were added to Page Plus.

Those days are over...

The iPhone 5S is yet to be jailbroken, and when it is there is no guarantee that it will be able to consistently jailbroken regardless of firmware like the 4. Newer iPhones from the 5 onwards require a LTE SIM to even activate and connect to the Verizon network.

I am not going to lie and say it isn't possible, but I cannot recommend that one uses a phone that could be useless every time a update comes out or someone playing on your phone installs one wrong tweak. I can personally confirm that the Verizon 4 and 4S natively activate with no tweaks. It views it as activated on "Verizon". Any thing newer requires a jailbreak and the installation of carrier files, which isn't for the faint of heart. My recommendation is to pick up a brand new Straight Talk iPhone 5, or a reconditioned model and activate that. It has LTE disabled internally so it should activate and if something goes wrong, just return it.

There are threads on forums teaching how to get a 5, 5C, or 5S on the Page Plus Network but not without a jailbreak and serious tweaking.

I hope this clarifies,
Altemose
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Old Nov 11, 2013, 07:43 AM   #20
danielsomers
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password issue, itunes/icloud

Thanks for this very informative post, and the follow-up discussion! It worked for me. The only glitch I've had, which I hope someone here may be able to help with, is that my existing apple id/password did not work and I had to get an icloud account to register the phone. (It was a few days ago and I can't recall precisely how it worked, but that was the upshot.) So I don't think I'll be able to synch with my itunes and computer. (Haven't tried yet--I'm limited to mobile broadband where I live and have to download the latest itunes, next time i have better internet, before it'll even let me try to synch) Any thoughts on how to deal with this? THANKS! Daniel
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 08:16 PM   #21
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The iPhone 5 from Straight Talk

The iPhone 5 from Straight Talk is physically identical to a regular Verizon iPhone 5. However, the ESN declares that it will function barring the 4G LTE SIM as a 3G phone. If you took it to Verizon and said "Activate This" and they throw a new SIM in, it will work.

The carrier name will be "Verizon" and will be using the Verizon carrier bundle. However if activated on Page Plus, it will be using the "Tracfone" bundle which declares the carrier as "TFW".

Once again I am not responsible for anything someone manages to do to their phones, or someone who buys something that doesn't work. I am simply giving what I know has worked at least for me.

Hope everyone is loving Page Plus.

Altemose
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Old Dec 11, 2013, 04:12 PM   #22
Paulgr
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I have 2 out of contract Verizon iphone 4's I'm still using on Verizon that I would like to use on page plus instead, my only concern is keeping both numbers I have presently with Verizon. How does one do this without losing your numbers?
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Old Dec 14, 2013, 10:37 AM   #23
hiphy
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I just purchased a refurbished iPhone 4 from Woot and activated it on Page Plus. It's only been a couple of days but so far so good. My only complaint is, although It allows data over wifi, it won't allow calls or text over wifi. Not sure if this is unique to iPhone or true for android as well.
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Old Dec 15, 2013, 03:01 PM   #24
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To bring over a Verizon number all that *should* need to happen is to file a port request with CS over at Page Plus and give them the ESNs. I have had no problem with porting at Page Plus, but I cannot guarantee that you won't.

As for calls and texts going across Wi-Fi. That is called Wi-Fi calling and is available for T-Mobile customers. To clarify, regular calls and texts go across the network, but iMessage, FaceTime, and web browsing will go over Wi-Fi if connected. If you are worried about minutes give the Vonage Mobile app a try. It gives 3000 minutes a month over Wi-Fi and links with your phone number. Calling out works with your number as the ID and receiving a call is done through the cellular network however.

Altemose
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Old Dec 16, 2013, 04:31 PM   #25
kande duck
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PagePlus + iphone = no sound on receiver? Please help!

I've used my iphone 4 for the past year on page plus, with no problems. I had it set up through beigephone.com. Since its been so good, I bought my mom's iphone 4 to set up and give to my husband. I had no problems establishing the account, and I can use the phone to make and receive calls.

However, I can only hear through earbuds, or on speaker. There is zero sound on the receiver. I can hear the keys as I dial a number, but that sound comes through the speaker. I've done a full reset & restore, checked the earbud jack for debris, and looked at the receiver screen (not a lot you can see there). I don't see any thing wrong from where I sit. I've had this problem with other phones, and it was always earbud-jack related.

So my question is, is there any possibility that there is a software glitch somewhere, or something that beigephone did that I don't know to do? If not, is there anything else I can do - software or hardware - before spending money having someone else look at it? I'm pretty sure its the phone itself, but thought I might find some good advice here!

FYI - the phone is model A1349, the same as mine.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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