Author Topic: Verizon Galaxy S3 4.4 Unlocking for MNVO? (Read 4520 times)

WageSlave

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Verizon Galaxy S3 4.4 Unlocking for MNVO?
« on: September 29, 2014, 06:17:26 PM »
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone that's a little over two years old. For those two years, I was under a contract with Verizon.

I can't seem to get a clear answer on how to unlock this phone for MNVO use. I've done a lot of Googling, but depending on which forum/post I look at, the phone either requires rooting plus fancy firmware hacking or nothing at all... or something in-between.

So: my phone is on 4.4.2 (KitKat). If I go to Settings -> More Settings -> Mobile networks -> Network mode, I can choose between Global, LTE/CDMA, and GSM/UMTS.

My Verizon account is fully paid and in good standing. I called them and asked to unlock it, and they wouldn't.

I was going to try to use Platinum Tel (ptel) with this phone. I went ahead and bought a ptel sim. I've installed it in the phone, but now there's a notification that says "Phone activation: This SIM card is from an unknown source."

I'd like to be sure I'll be able to port my number without any issue before I actually try. Is that message harmless? Or is indicative of a problem I need to work out beforehand?

Hopefully someone here has gone down this road?

Thanks!

I.P. Daley

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Re: Verizon Galaxy S3 4.4 Unlocking for MNVO?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 06:44:33 PM »
I know LibrarIan has a Verizon Galaxy S3 on a GSM MVNO, and IIRC, the GSM end should already be carrier unlocked for the US due to the whole FCC/Verizon LTE spectrum purchase agreement. It should just work... but it might depend on when you're putting the SIM card in (either before or after turning on). There should be no fancy flashing or unlocking necessary.

The only option I can think of off-hand is to either dig through the system menu for network preferences or dial *#*#4636#*#* as that too should bring up a menu option to toggle between preferred network types. If you're set to CDMA instead of GSM and it's expecting a Verizon LTE SIM card, that would likely give you the error message you're seeing.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

WageSlave

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Re: Verizon Galaxy S3 4.4 Unlocking for MNVO?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 10:12:30 AM »
I know LibrarIan has a Verizon Galaxy S3 on a GSM MVNO, and IIRC, the GSM end should already be carrier unlocked for the US due to the whole FCC/Verizon LTE spectrum purchase agreement. It should just work... but it might depend on when you're putting the SIM card in (either before or after turning on). There should be no fancy flashing or unlocking necessary.

Thanks for the info, I.P. So do you think that "Phone activation: This SIM card is from an unknown source" notification is indicative of an actual problem, or just a nuisance message?

The only option I can think of off-hand is to either dig through the system menu for network preferences or dial *#*#4636#*#* as that too should bring up a menu option to toggle between preferred network types. If you're set to CDMA instead of GSM and it's expecting a Verizon LTE SIM card, that would likely give you the error message you're seeing.

The network preferences is pretty easy to get to (Settings -> More Settings -> Mobile networks -> Network mode), and that allows me to choose between Global, LTE/CDMA, and GSM/UMTS. By default it was set to "Global". I also tried switching to GSM/UMTS, and that warning notification remains.

Also, FWIW, I inserted the ptel SIM while the phone was powered down. I've tried power cycling several times, even after switching network mode. The notification remains.

I also tried the dial code you suggested... is there some trick to doing that? Or do you just punch it in and dial like a regular number? When I did that, it actually tried to call out.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Verizon Galaxy S3 4.4 Unlocking for MNVO?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 10:56:35 AM »
Not sure on the first question, it might just be an order issue.

Good to hear on the network settings access, and the dial code isn't consistently available on Android builds anymore. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. The important part is that you can access the network settings.

Digging a little deeper, the error message might just be that: a non-Verizon SIM warning message. (OHS NOES! YOU DON'T HAVE A VERIZON SIM IN YOUR PHONE! HOW CAN WE GOUGE YOU FOR PHONE SERVICE IF YOU'RE LETTING ANOTHER PROVIDER GOUGE YOU INSTEAD!?) After a little more research, it might work just fine once (if) you clear the message. The key is to look to see what network provider is listed on the screen. If you see "PTEL MOBILE" where it normally says "VERIZON", I think you should be fine.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.