TracFone Wireless operates functions as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and runs on the US’s most extensive and most renowned networks, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. However, it is the leading prepaid no-contract wireless that provides Tracfone compatible phones in America. This company offers a wide selection of quality cell phones from the best brands, low-cost plans, special deals, the ability to bring your own device, nationwide coverage (including 5G), and many other excellent services.
On the other hand, TracFone’s network coverage is a unique feature as the company operates on the most significant US networks and uses all of its towers. You can only access one of these networks based on your location and the device you have. Besides, knowing what carriers are compatible with Tracfone provides you with flexible options if you decide to bring your own device into this carrier’s network.
Moreover, most GSM and CDMA cell phones are compatible with at least one of these extensive networks. Thus, existing Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile customers got a higher chance of maintaining their current phone number and network if they switched to Tracfone. Interestingly, this carrier has no contract, no hidden fees, and offers affordable cell phones from different manufacturers. Tracfone is an ideal option if you don’t want to get tied to a long-term contract.
How Do You Switch to Tracfone?
i) Purchase a phone or keep your own
TracFone sells flip phones and the latest smartphones from top brands, such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and LG. Additionally, if you already own a device that works well for you, you can bring it over to TracFone. So, if you want to bring your own device, ensure that the device is compatible or unlocked. Afterward, you will need to purchase a SIM kit and activate the device.
ii) Activate your service
You will be required to activate your service when you have both a phone and a SIM kit. You can follow the easy instructions given inside the SIM kit. First, you can activate the TracFone service online at Tracfone select device. Or, you can use the TracFone My Account App or contact TracFone’s customer support at 1-800-867-7183.
iii) Refill your service.
This step requires you to select and purchase a plan at TracFone’s website and get cell phone plans with free phones. You can use the Auto-Refill option, TracFone My Account app, or refill at any of their registered retailers across the country. To refill your service, follow the guidelines given on the back of the card. Alternatively, you can also refill your service by calling 1-800-867-7183 or texting ‘BUY‘ to 611611.
How To Know Which Carrier Your TracFone Uses
The best thing to deal with carrier uncertainty is to select your network before phone activation. You can look at the carrier with the best coverage in your locality at TracFone coverage check and then buy or bring a phone that is compatible with this carrier. You can also check using TracFone’s Check Compatibility tool on their website to tell if a particular phone function on the network you prefer. Below are the quick tips;
1) Send yourself a message
You can forward a text message using your TracFone device to your email address. Check the email’s sending address on the ‘from’ section when you get the message, as it should have the carrier’s name. However, the email also comprises a ‘sig’ with the carrier’s logo at the bottom, or you can check the headers on the email to see which servers sent it.
2) Use an online lookup tool
You can launch your favorite browser and search for ‘phone carrier lookup by number‘ or similar searches. You will see several online services or tools you can use. These tools enable you to input your phone number, SIM card number, or IMEI, consequently confirming which network you use, even if you have the phone from an MVNO.
3) Check out the SIM number
Another method to determine which network you get registered on is by looking at the SIM number. In this case, the first six numbers of the SIM ID represent the carrier. Thus, 890126 is for T-Mobile, 890141 is for AT&T, and Verizon uses 891480.
4) Contact customer service
You can reach out to TracFone’s customer service either by calling or through a chat and ask them which network your phone works on. You will most likely need to provide your phone number and information, such as your SIM card number or IMEI.
What Phones Are Compatible With TracFone
You can have the complete list of TracFone compatible phones available in your locality at shop Tracfone phones. Besides, you need to choose the correct location carefully.
If you want to buy a new phone, TracFone offers quality new and renewed devices from top brands at affordable prices on the best Tracfone deals. However, if you want to bring your own phone, you can qualify if you have an unlocked phone or an AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or compatible CDMA or GSM device.
On the other hand, most GSM and CDMA cell phones are compatible with Tracfone. Additionally, some MVNOs that run on one of the major networks are also compatible with TracFone.
What Phone Technology Does TracFone Use?
Tracfone uses two different phone technologies, the GSM and CDMA. However, America’s significant carriers work on different technologies with AT&T and T-Mobile using GSM technology, while Verizon, and US Cellular, using CDMA phone technology. Thus, TracFone uses both GSM and CDMA technology since it also uses networks of all these carriers.
Additionally, GSM refers to Global System for Mobile communication. Worldwide, and it is the popular cell phone standard. In this case, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM networks in their cell phone services, and Tracfone GSM phones operate on one of these two carriers.
On the other hand, CDMA refers to Code Division Multiple Access. CDMA is the more popular cell phone standard in the US, but globally, it’s less popular. Verizon and US Cellular work on CDMA networks for cell phone service delivery. So, TracFone phones that utilize CDMA run on the Verizon network.
Tracfone Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP)
Tracfone is the most significant carrier for prepaid cell phones in the US, and it’s currently having the “Bring Your Own Phone Program” (BYOP). Using this program, you don’t need to buy a new phone to enjoy the services offered by TracFone.
Interestingly, you can utilize your existing cell phone to get free cell phone service for life unlimited everything, or activate through TracFone’s cost-effective cellular plans.
Moreover, you can buy a new unlocked smartphone that can get activated to work with different phone companies. The BYOP program applies to both iPhones and Android models. The following is the BYOP process to the Tracfone network.
1. Confirm your phone’s eligibility to the program
Generally, the eligible cell phones are from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, unlocked GSM phones, and some phone models that use CDMA technology are compatible. If you are unsure whether your phone qualifies for the program or not, you can go to TracFone’s official website on the Top Menu, then click on Shop > Bring Your Own Phone, followed by the “Check Compatibility” option.
2. Choose the Right SIM
Once you confirm your phone eligibility for the BYOP program, you can select which “kit” or SIM suits you. Besides, you need to take your time when choosing and consider your current area coverage and your type of phone. You can choose a TracFone BYOP AT&T SIM for an unlocked GSM or AT&T compatible phone. Then, you can choose a CDMA compatible BYOP TracFone SIM for LTE models that are CDMA compatible.
Notably, both GSM and CDMA are competing for wireless technologies. GSM phones require a SIM card, while CDMA phones contain internal memory and don’t require a SIM card. Both technologies are promising, although they have different data transfer technologies and different network methods. CDMA owns a single frequency band (850 MHz), while GSM contains multiple (850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
3. Activate Your Phone
Immediately you have made your decision; you need to activate the service with your mobile phone. For CDMA phones, you need to click on the “Register CDMA” and followed by “Activate CDMA;.” You may have to try clicking on “Activate GSM” for GSM phones and then update your ASPN settings. After the installation, you should be good to go. If you experience any challenge activating your network, you can go to TracFone’s official website (Top Menu, Click on Phones and BYOP, then Bring Your Own Phone).
Tracfone is a carrier that gives you the security of not experiencing anything you don’t need in your phone service. Fortunately, there are no activation fees, overage fees, cancellation fees, or locked up to a long contract. However, the eligible Tracfone compatible phones are Verizon phones, AT&T phones, T-Mobile, unlocked GSM cell phones, and some compatible models with CDMA technology. Most importantly, you can receive TracFone service on your existing phone as long as it is compatible with the given wireless carriers and network technologies.