iPhone 5s from Verizon on Sprint?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Eric8199, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #1
    Question. I have an iPhone 5s on Verizon, which I know is an unlocked phone and the same exact phone that Sprint and AT&T also use.

    Next summer, I am going to a NASCAR race located in the middle of nowhere (Eldora). I went last year and had no service on Verizon. Of course, since Sprint is a NASCAR sponsor, they bring a bunch of portable towers to the track and their service is the only service that actually works.

    Would it be possible for me to get a Sprint sim card and pay a month of service (pre-paid if possible) in order for me to actually have service at the track? I seem to remember reading that Sprint make it impossible for devices not issued by them to be used on their service.

    Anyone have an answer? Thanks.
     
  2. djuarez03 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #2
    From what I've read on here, I don't think its possible. Only Sprint phones will work on the Sprint network.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    Possible, but very un-Probable. You'd have to call them, but I doubt they'd just hook you up for one month even if this would be contract free. More likely they'd just try to establish service and you'd have to call to cancel the following month.
    Generally correct. If it does not have Sprint branding on it or it's not a phone they sold (such as the iPhone which does not have branding) they don't usually activate it.

    Part of the issue is how Sprint deals with it's own iPhones. And that goes back to the first quote. Sprint pairs their SIM cards with the MEID (based on the IMEI) of the iPhone. Generally, since Sprint has already bought the iPhone from Apple (whether it's sold at a Sprint store or an Apple store or what have you) Sprint already has the IMEI and it is prevented from being in the unlock database. To get LTE to work on your Verizon iPhone would require Sprint pairing a SIM card with your iPhone and they don't have the IMEI because you didn't buy your iPhone from Sprint. The pairing locks the device to their network.

    It's that hitch that is unlikely to have them activate your phone for you. They can activate iPhones that were sold at full price because what you are buying is still a Sprint iPhone with it's IMEI already recorded, it's just contract free.

    Short answer, I don't think you'll be able to do this.

    You could however, try Virgin Mobile or Boost. Both of those MVNOs are prepaid and they use Sprint's network.
     
  4. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    No can do.

    Sprint 5S has a different model number from AT&T , TMO, Verizon.
     
  5. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #5
    Sprint only lets Sprint-blessed phones on their network.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #6
    Technically true.

    Apple however, can force them to do it as apparently that's part of the terms of Sprint's iPhone contract with Apple.

    However, I've only heard of Apple doing it because they did not have a Sprint model in stock and wanted to satisfy the customer.
     
  7. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #7
    I thought Verizon and Sprint phones can roam on each other's networks, just at 1xRTT (which is slower than EVDO or LTE)?

    When I had a Sprint phone years ago, I would sometimes roam on Verizon when out of Sprint coverage. I knew it was Verizon because dialing a bad number would say "Thank you for using Verizon! The number you have reached..." and so on.

    Roaming agreements are usually reciprocal so I don't see why you couldn't roam on Sprint unless the agreements have changed since then.

    ----------

    I should add: you might want to check if T-Mobile or AT&T have coverage there. If so, you can get a pre-paid SIM from either and use it in your Verizon iPhone, as all Verizon iPhones are unlocked now.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #8
    Yes, actually, the roaming agreements have changed. I'm not certain what specifically has changed, but Sprint has dropped some agreements and renegotiated others. This all happened around the time they offered the new plans.

    Some of the impetus were a few customers with roaming bills costing Sprint about $10,000 per month. The way Sprint was working roaming was to count certain "roaming" areas as "in-network." So, Sprint customers didn't see any different, but in fact they were roaming. Sprint was picking up the tab. Now Sprint is treating those areas as actual roaming areas and the customer is now being nailed for it.

    Additionally, the new plans (of which the OP would have to get one because the old Everything Data plans are no longer offered) only allow 100mb of roaming data per month. The old ED plans allowed 300mb.
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #9
    Would this all not be a great deal simpler if we all just paid full price for our phones, and the carriers were required to sell sim cards for their networks and let us use the phones without arguing about where the phone came from? It's so dumb that Verizon will only let you use phones that your purchase from them and not allow you to bring in your own phone.

    Ditto for tablets like the iPad. Buy one and use it anywhere and switch carriers any time.

    Unfortunately the carriers own enough Congressmen and have enough "influence" with the FCC. In most countries they call this bribery...
     
  10. c0LdFire macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    #10
    Sort of off the topic, but according to Verizon's coverage map they do have service at this track now. Maybe it's been expanded since last year if enough people complained about it? Just a thought.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #11
    You would think so and I am absolutely all for that. But, even if we could make this actually happen we'd run into the technical issues.

    Verizon and Sprint are CMDA while AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM, with some portion of T-Mobile having CDMA. Each carrier, because of the spectrum they hold operates on a different frequency and not all iPhones are capable of operating on all the frequencies.

    Then you have the MVNOs. If we could solve that mess either by legislating the carriers or forcing manufacture of what would probably be a universal iPhone then we could probably realize this.
     
  12. Eric8199 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #12
    That would be nice. I think it has to do with the large number of people there during the race though. Overloaded the towers.

    Thanks everyone, for the help.
     

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