Bought an iPhone 4S. Weird network

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by dextr3k, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Hi All, I have an interesting iPhone 4S on my hands to see if anyone can help me.

    It is an iPhone 4S model number: MD277LL/A which indicates its a Verizon.

    I purchased it, but it apparently still has the CDMA settings flashed. So my Carrier displays as vf nl 16.0. I understand the 4s is a world phone. So unlocked I figured I would be good, right?

    However, using China Unicom cards, I have no service, and occasionally I get the Carrier name with 0/5 Bars of service. I cannot make or receive calls or texts on this card. The SIM is verified working. China Unicom uses the GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / UMTS 2100 frequency bands for its network. I know with my iPhone 4, I can connect to 3G network automatically.

    So I switched to a China Mobile SIM, with this I get full signal, can make and recieve calls. And after switching data roaming on, I get edge, which is correct because they use a propitiatory 3G tech. However iMessage and Facetime will not activate and I cannot 'read' the sims number.

    So I know this phone is not locked. But it autofills in the APN settings with some vodafone account. And I cannot get it to work. I am stumped!!:confused:
  2. sammy-boy macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2013
    Staffordshire, UK
    Is the phone blocked/blacklisted? I bought an iPhone 5 that showed the operator and no bars, turned out to be blocked. Returned it for a refund thankfully!
  3. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    I am overseas. So even if Verizon has it blocked it shouldn't affect me? Also I do get reception with another carrier. So I am confused
  4. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    I had restored the phone again last night. And a message popped up:

    Your iPhone is activated on a US CDMA network. International roaming requires a SIM card.

    So....that still doesn't explain why one GSM carrier works and the other GSM carrier does not.....
  5. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Unlock and activation aside, perhaps one GSM carrier uses different bands/frequencies from another (ones that the phone might not support given its model or something along those lines)?
  6. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    They are on different bands, but as far as I know, the GSM works for both. In fact China Unicom, the SIM that doesnt work, actually uses International GSM standards (same as AT&T), so it should be even more compatible. I know with my AT&T iphone 4, I get E and 3G just by pluggin in the sim cards. So I am positive that it should work. Wasnt the CDMA iphone 4s considered a world phone?
  7. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA

    Activate on your iPhone (Safari). I don't know if your specific carrier is listed in the scroll bar provided, but should be.

    Works for me.
  8. patt2k macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2012
    vf nl 16.0

    means it was unlocked with Gevey Sim.
  9. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    But there is no card imposer. And I have upgraded it to I don't know whats going doesn't seem to have anything to do with Gevey...
  10. patt2k macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2012
    it's also Vodafone Netherlands.

    I know this has been used to unlock with gevey etc..
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Are you sure that verizon 4S is gsm unlocked?
    Those dont come GSM unlocked out the box like the iphone 5, 5S and 5C, for the 4S the verizon customer has to request a international gsm unlock and has to be approved by verizon in order to use it outside the US with other carriers GSM sims.
  12. dextr3k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    I am aware that they are not unlocked. Which is what makes this really weird. I am not using a sim imposer. and it works with one overseas network, but not the other (this other network uses the same 3G network as AT&T). There are no software unlocks, and I am on iOS 7.1.

    So while it does point to gevey unlock, it still doesn't explain why it would only be unlocked for one particular network.....

    Oh well, I will just use the other network then...
  13. Drad macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2014
    I too have vf nl 16.0

    Has anybody find out what vf nl 16.0 really means? I too am having issue, I changed my Iphone4s LCD, the sim card i was using was working with my iphone. After LCD replacement it does not anymore, then carrier was VF NL 16.0. I am a vodafone NL subscriber...

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