Sim cards and carriers, discussion
#1
I have been trying to determine what sim cards and carriers will work on the current Pine phone OS releases,

I have tried multiple sim card 'kits' from TracFone and Net 10,  they come with   AT&T,  T-Mobile, and Verizon carrier sim cards.

Verizon sim cards always show "NO SIM CARD"  from both TracFone and Net 10  'sim card kits'   ?

The T-Mobile sim cards take a while "searching"  when looking in the settings >  'Modem'  but they do eventually show a carrier, signal and network type.
  I did activate an account with 'Simple Mobile' (T-Mobile NVMO) that works, but T-Mobile is weak in many of the areas I am in.
    I picked Simple Mobile over TracFone as they offer more service for the same price,   for T-Mobile carrier service.

The TracFone, Net 10/AT&T sim cards do show a sim card but they do not (for me) show a carrier, signal or network type, even waiting over an hour.
   But,  I do have a PMOS Pine phone on an activated TracFone/AT&T account that is working 'ok'.
-------

> I also tested an un-activated  AT&T sim card that was direct, not through an NVMO and it shows a strong signal, carrier, and network type pretty quickly. 

My 'daily driver' Brave Heart phone is running 'very well' on an official  "AT&T Prepaid account"...
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Note:  I am semi-rural, so my results may not be typical.

I hope to hear some others mention their experiences with getting Verizon to work..?  NVMO's ?  ?
    ( I personally dislike Verizon, but there are some places,  that is the only carrier )
  ( When Verizon came to Tucson, Arizona, (1980's)  they bought all the existing communication services, and shut them down ) 

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While the hardware and software are important to any smart phone,  actually connecting to a carrier is also kind of vital....

* Deals can be had with carriers, but they do prioritize,  The top of the list are the full price consumers on post pay,
  then their direct PrePay customers, at the bottom of the list,  is the discount NVMO customers
   "Check-out Pure Talk NVMO" for some great deals !
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#2
You also need to know which frequencies the cells in your area are using - some carriers use a mixture of supported and unsupported frequencies, and some cells don't use any of the supported frequencies.
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#3
(09-29-2020, 01:00 PM)wibble Wrote: You also need to know which frequencies the cells in your area are using - some carriers use a mixture of supported and unsupported frequencies, and some cells don't use any of the supported frequencies.
IMHO it is not only depending on the frequency bands, but more on the details of the handshakes in the triangle built by Simcard, moden and the software feeding the antenna of the provider.
The same OS image allowing perfect telephone and sms connections in Austria does not work in neighbor Switzerland...
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#4
(09-29-2020, 01:00 PM)wibble Wrote: You also need to know which frequencies the cells in your area are using - some carriers use a mixture of supported and unsupported frequencies, and some cells don't use any of the supported frequencies.
Just on the hardware side of things I've always had a look on https://www.frequencycheck.com/ before importing a succession of oddball devices into an oddball country.  I checked before I ordered my PinePhone last week Smile.  This won't help you at a local level, as wibble points out, it only provides an overall view.  Your carrier may provide a 'coverage map', my carrier does, but the map is pretty vague and very optimistic. 

As for Verizon, I understand they are a bit weird.  When I ordered my Cosmo Communicator it had three radio variants, EU+US, Japan, and one specifically for Verizon customers. 

(09-29-2020, 09:09 AM)bcnaz Wrote: Note:  I am semi-rural, so my results may not be typical.
I'm rural myself so I think I know what you mean, it seemed like a good idea at the time Smile working from home can be a challenge with dodgy comms.
If it isn't broken, take it apart and fix it.
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#5
Currently I have a flip phone on AT&T in the U.S. It looks like GSM frequencies used by AT&T are compatible with the pinephone. I see people have been talking mainly about using a pre-paid AT&T SIM card. Will it be feasible to use my current SIM to use the pinephone with my existing account, at least once software stabilizes to the point where phone functionality is working?  (I'd have to have my full-sized SIM transferred to a micro-SIM.) I'm thinking of buying one of the next batch of Community Edition pinephones to play around with as a portable Linux box with the idea of using it as a phone in the future.
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#6
(10-11-2020, 07:44 PM)Zebulon Walton Wrote: Currently I have a flip phone on AT&T in the U.S. It looks like GSM frequencies used by AT&T are compatible with the pinephone. I see people have been talking mainly about using a pre-paid AT&T SIM card. Will it be feasible to use my current SIM to use the pinephone with my existing account, at least once software stabilizes to the point where phone functionality is working?  (I'd have to have my full-sized SIM transferred to a micro-SIM.) I'm thinking of buying one of the next batch of Community Edition pinephones to play around with as a portable Linux box with the idea of using it as a phone in the future.

AT&T may require you to get a newer "smart phone" sim.

I use tracphone sim to test the pinephone, and once it does  (software) what I want, I plan on dropping my current provider sim card into it
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#7
Sounds like a good approach.
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#8
i use Shaw/Freedom in BC and it works well
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#9
The "re-sellers" are mostly online automated activation, just purchase their sim card and a prepaid plan, then activate it.
It is still possible at this time to do this pretty much Anonymously, paying in cash.

You can buy both at the big box stores like Best Buy, Target, Wally world, or many of the neighborhood general stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General,
at least here in the USA.

I have purchased the sim cards as cheap as a dollar and prepaid Smart phone plans starting at $20 per month from Family Dollar.

There are online sellers at places like Ebay, and probably many other places..
      LINUX = CHOICES
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#10
Has anyone been able to get a Verizon or Verizon MVNO sim card to be recognized by the Pine phone ?

I guess 'plainenough' did get one going with the help from a Verizon employee at the retail store, but that seems to be the only one..?

So far in the US  it seems just AT&T and T-Mobile and their MVNO's are the carriers who have sim cards that work in the Pine phones.
      LINUX = CHOICES
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   Donate to $upport
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