Giving unlocked At&t iPhone 6s plus to friend on Virgin mobile.

Time-Lord

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Nov 23, 2015
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So as the title suggests, does anyone know if this will work. I have at&t. id like to give my friend my 6s plus that I have tied to At&t's network when I get the X. he has virgin mobile so sprints network. I wanted to know if it would work at all. I contacted apple support and they said it would work fine because they're designed to work with all networks as long as its unlocked through At&t. At&t said no it wouldn't work. but virgins website said it should work too. so I'm not too sure who to believe because I don't want him to buy this from me and it not work for him. so if anyone else has done this or knows, the help would be greatly appreciated!
 
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bodonnell202

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As long as it is unlocked it should work just fine. For the 6s Plus the only difference between the AT&T model (A1634, which I assume is the model you have) and the model typically sold to Sprint customers (A1687) is support for band 30 on the AT&T model - all other supported bands are the same.
 

Time-Lord

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 23, 2015
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Thats what I thought. Because even Virgin has SIM cards. At&t said it wouldn't work because if the networks but I was pretty sure that if it was unlocked, it would be fine because the 6s models contain Both CDMA and GSM bands in them. I just don't get why I'm getting so many conflicting answers from different people.
 

Time-Lord

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 23, 2015
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yea I did that and it said its fine. but are you sure that not just if I myself wanted to switch to virgin? as opposed to giving my friend my old at&t iPhone thats now unlocked?
 

protoxx

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Oct 10, 2013
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Technically the phone would work. However to get their $1/month promotion they need to have it activated on another network and transfer the number.

Virgin (being a sprint company) has some interesting lock/unlock requirements. If you buy an iPhone from them and then get it unlocked they will never activate it again on their network. (you're phone is dead to them). Strangely punitive policy.
 

bodonnell202

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Thats what I thought. Because even Virgin has SIM cards. At&t said it wouldn't work because if the networks but I was pretty sure that if it was unlocked, it would be fine because the 6s models contain Both CDMA and GSM bands in them. I just don't get why I'm getting so many conflicting answers from different people.
AT&T probably just said no because it wouldn't work with iPhone 7 & 8 models (thanks to the Intel/Qualcomm modem split) and the rep you spoke to not knowing the 6S was any different.
 

fischersd

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AT&T probably just said no because it wouldn't work with iPhone 7 & 8 models (thanks to the Intel/Qualcomm modem split) and the rep you spoke to not knowing the 6S was any different.
Not sure exactly what you're trying to say here. The Intel modems don't support CDMA (that's why they're cheaper - no Qualcomm licensing), but the Qualcomm modems that are in the Models for Verizon and Sprint would work just fine on AT&T.

Specs from Apple on the 7+:

Cellular and Wireless
  • Model A1661*
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Model A1784*
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Edit: Or are there specific LTE bands that you think the phones don't support for AT&T or Sprint?
 

eyoungren

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So as the title suggests, does anyone know if this will work. I have at&t. id like to give my friend my 6s plus that I have tied to At&t's network when I get the X. he has virgin mobile so sprints network. I wanted to know if it would work at all. I contacted apple support and they said it would work fine because they're designed to work with all networks as long as its unlocked through At&t. At&t said no it wouldn't work. but virgins website said it should work too. so I'm not too sure who to believe because I don't want him to buy this from me and it not work for him. so if anyone else has done this or knows, the help would be greatly appreciated!
The technical aspects are easy. As stated, if you get it unlocked it should just work.

What you may run into is Sprint's backend systems. Finding someone who knows how to put the IMEI in the database may be the trick.
 

fischersd

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The technical aspects are easy. As stated, if you get it unlocked it should just work.

What you may run into is Sprint's backend systems. Finding someone who knows how to put the IMEI in the database may be the trick.
Do you mean for UMA/GAN (wifi calling) or why would they need to import the IMEI? (it's not like CDMA where you need to transfer the ESN between carriers).
 

eyoungren

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Do you mean for UMA/GAN (wifi calling) or why would they need to import the IMEI? (it's not like CDMA where you need to transfer the ESN between carriers).
Because this is Sprint, which owns Virgin.

Only Sprint IMEIs, which include Virgin and Boost Mobile are allowed in Sprint's whitelist. If the IMEI is not in the whitelist, you get no service.

Sprint does have BYOD, which apparently Virgin does as well. But since it all goes back to Sprint, OP may need to find a rep that knows how to get the IMEI into the whitelist.

With Sprint itself, this is an internal ClickIt ticket and someone who can operate their DNA2 system.

I'm not sure how Virgin handles this exactly, which is why I say OP may encounter this.

Your average customer service rep for Virgin, Boost and Sprint isn't going to know anything at all about this though. Which is why finding someone who does may be the issue.
 

fischersd

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Because this is Sprint, which owns Virgin.

Only Sprint IMEIs, which include Virgin and Boost Mobile are allowed in Sprint's whitelist. If the IMEI is not in the whitelist, you get no service.

Sprint does have BYOD, which apparently Virgin does as well. But since it all goes back to Sprint, OP may need to find a rep that knows how to get the IMEI into the whitelist.

With Sprint itself, this is an internal ClickIt ticket and someone who can operate their DNA2 system.

I'm not sure how Virgin handles this exactly, which is why I say OP may encounter this.

Your average customer service rep for Virgin, Boost and Sprint isn't going to know anything at all about this though. Which is why finding someone who does may be the issue.
Heh. Well, that's an ass-backwards way to provision. Hopefully Sprint will eventually get with the program. Whitelisting IMEI's is kinda silly.
I guess it's likely just their process hasn't changed from being a primarily CDMA carrier.
 
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eyoungren

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Heh. Well, that's an ass-backwards way to provision. Hopefully Sprint will eventually get with the program. Whitelisting IMEI's is kinda silly.
I guess it's likely just their process hasn't changed from being a primarily CDMA carrier.
They could have modernized it when they first got the iPhone 4s. They didn't. And their unlock policy didn't change until February 2015 and has actually regressed somewhat since then. I mention that because not modernizing the backend as a strategy to maintain locked phones seemed to be part of the plan in retaining customers.

You know those people that can't see the forest for the trees? That's Sprint. They'll focus on cutting edge wondertech only to abandon it later for something else while never giving a thought to their current systems.

As a former 16 year customer this was one of my major aggravations with them.
 

fischersd

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They could have modernized it when they first got the iPhone 4s. They didn't. And their unlock policy didn't change until February 2015 and has actually regressed somewhat since then. I mention that because not modernizing the backend as a strategy to maintain locked phones seemed to be part of the plan in retaining customers.

You know those people that can't see the forest for the trees? That's Sprint. They'll focus on cutting edge wondertech only to abandon it later for something else while never giving a thought to their current systems.

As a former 16 year customer this was one of my major aggravations with them.
Well, they won't be able to cling to their old ways once everything goes eSIM. The GSMA will freak out on them if they mess up the provisioning standards.
 

bodonnell202

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Not sure exactly what you're trying to say here. The Intel modems don't support CDMA (that's why they're cheaper - no Qualcomm licensing), but the Qualcomm modems that are in the Models for Verizon and Sprint would work just fine on AT&T.

Specs from Apple on the 7+:

Cellular and Wireless
  • Model A1661*
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Model A1784*
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Edit: Or are there specific LTE bands that you think the phones don't support for AT&T or Sprint?
What I'm trying to say is if he had asked the same question about a 7 Plus or 8 Plus instead of a 6s Plus the answer would have been no, it will not work since the AT&T model of the 7 or 8 Plus (with the Intel modem) does not support CDMA, the 6s Plus AT&T model however does support CDMA. If the AT&T rep the OP had talked to wasn't aware of which models do and do not support CDMA the default answer may be to say no.
 

eyoungren

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Well, they won't be able to cling to their old ways once everything goes eSIM. The GSMA will freak out on them if they mess up the provisioning standards.
They aren't going to be around by that point with this merger happening.

But should that fail, eventually it will force their hand. Verizon is killing CDMA in a few years and that leaves only Sprint.
 

fischersd

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What I'm trying to say is if he had asked the same question about a 7 Plus or 8 Plus instead of a 6s Plus the answer would have been no, it will not work since the AT&T model of the 7 or 8 Plus (with the Intel modem) does not support CDMA, the 6s Plus AT&T model however does support CDMA. If the AT&T rep the OP had talked to wasn't aware of which models do and do not support CDMA the default answer may be to say no.
Umm. You do know that Sprint also has an LTE network, right? All CDMA carriers are going GSM...
Edit: I should be more accurate....all CDMA carriers are eventually going LTE - UMTS/HSPA is where the paths meet. :)
[doublepost=1509047521][/doublepost]
They aren't going to be around by that point with this merger happening.

But should that fail, eventually it will force their hand. Verizon is killing CDMA in a few years and that leaves only Sprint.
Dec 31, 2019 is when Verizon's stated they're shutting down their CDMA network. (from what I understand, the CDMA carriers are only keeping it going so people that can't afford new phone have time to migrate).
 
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Mlrollin91

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Umm. You do know that Sprint also has an LTE network, right? All CDMA carriers are going GSM...
[doublepost=1509047521][/doublepost]
Dec 31, 2019 is when Verizon's stated they're shutting down their CDMA network. (from what I understand, the CDMA carriers are only keeping it going so people that can't afford new phone have time to migrate).
CDMA is used for voice, while GSM (LTE) is used for data. Sprint and Verizon cannot shut down CDMA until all voice can be done via VoLTE. So its a coverage issue, not so much a device migration issue.
 

fischersd

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CDMA is used for voice, while GSM (LTE) is used for data. Sprint and Verizon cannot shut down CDMA until all voice can be done via VoLTE. So its a coverage issue, not so much a device migration issue.
Well, yeah, a lot of the GSM carriers did that at first too - data over LTE, so they get the better bandwidth, but they were initially carrying the voice channel over UMTS or HSPA. I think all of the NA GSM carriers now support VoLTE.

If Sprint has LTE for data, shouldn't those same base stations support UMTS??
Edit: or HSPA - I think that's what Bell and Telus did up here.
 

Mlrollin91

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Well, yeah, a lot of the GSM carriers did that at first too - data over LTE, so they get the better bandwidth, but they were initially carrying the voice channel over UMTS or HSPA. I think all of the NA GSM carriers now support VoLTE.
Yes, they are all supported. But doesn't mean its available. I'm in Los Angeles County and there are still highly populated areas that don't have AT&T VoLTE (falls back to "4G").

So until its available to every single Verizon and Sprint customer, they cant pull CDMA, otherwise they lose voice entirely.
 

fischersd

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Yes, they are all supported. But doesn't mean its available. I'm in Los Angeles County and there are still highly populated areas that don't have AT&T VoLTE (falls back to "4G").

So until its available to every single Verizon and Sprint customer, they cant pull CDMA, otherwise they lose voice entirely.
*sigh* Ok. Not that the GSM carriers were much better. They still haven't ratified the VoLTE roaming standards....they need to get cracking and get it done.
 

bodonnell202

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Umm. You do know that Sprint also has an LTE network, right? All CDMA carriers are going GSM...
Edit: I should be more accurate....all CDMA carriers are eventually going LTE - UMTS/HSPA is where the paths meet. :)
[doublepost=1509047521][/doublepost]
Dec 31, 2019 is when Verizon's stated they're shutting down their CDMA network. (from what I understand, the CDMA carriers are only keeping it going so people that can't afford new phone have time to migrate).
I know that Sprint has LTE, but an iPhone 7/+ or 8/+ bought from AT&T does not support CDMA and CDMA support is required for a phone to work on the Sprint network. This may be why the AT&T rep that talked to the OP told him that his phone would not work on Sprint/Virgin as the rep may have not realized that the AT&T model of the 6s/+ does support CDMA. I was just trying to come up with a logical explanation as to why the OP may have been getting mixed messages as to whether or not his unlocked 6s Plus would work on the Virgin/Sprint network.