I currently have an HTC phone on Virgin Mobile, which has given me pretty good service for the monthly rate. I want to upgrade to the iPhone 5s and continue to use Virgin Mobile since it has given me such good service. However, I will be moving out of state next year and am worried that Virgin Mobile will not provide good service there, so just in case I want to be able to switch my iPhone to a different carrier. Virgin Mobile says they will unlock iPhones purchased from them for free (https://community.virginmobile.com.au/t5/Phones-knowledge-base/How-do-I-unlock-m y-katifund.org-iPhone/ta-p/80), but after doing some research, apparently it is really hard to switch carriers on a Virgin Mobile unlocked iPhone since they use CDMA. Sorry, I am not a techie, so am really unfamiliar to all of this. Will someone explain what that means, and if I would be able to potentially switch carriers?

Thanks!


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Posted on Sep 16, 2013 10:08 PM


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User profile for user: carl wolf
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Answer: A:
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Check with the carrier for the costs and procedures involved.

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Posted on Sep 16, 2013 10:36 PM


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Sep 16, 2013 10:36 PM in response to gracejj In response to gracejj


Check with the carrier for the costs and procedures involved.


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Sep 16, 2013 10:36 PM


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Sep 17, 2013 3:48 AM in response to gracejj In response to gracejj


Virgin Mobile is CDMA. There is no such thing as an unlocked CDMA device.

That Virgin Mobile iPhone will not be able to be used on any other carrier.


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Sep 17, 2013 3:48 AM


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Vasic
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Mar 11, 2014 11:02 AM in response to gracejj In response to gracejj


Several confusing pieces of information here.

First, the link to Virgin Mobile in the first post is for Virgin Mobile Australia. They will unlock their phones if you ask them.

Virgin Mobile USA is a different company (in a different country) and does NOT unlock phones.

Second, the iPhone sold on Virgin Mobile USA does have a SIMM card slot, even though VM network is CDMA. These iPhones are hybrids and have radio circuitry that supports both CDMA (Verizon, Sprint, VM USA), as well as GSM (T-Mobile, AT&T in US, as well as the rest of the world). When activated on Virgin Mobile, phone uses CDMA and the SIMM card is inactive (as well as the circuitry supporting it). However, when you put an active SIMM card (for example, T-Mobile"s), the phone should be able connect to a GSM network. The problem is, this doesn"t work because the SIMM slot is locked and doesn"t allow SIMM cards from other carriers.

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Virgin Mobile iPhones are somewhat different from other American carriers, and it appears that there is no unlocking solution for these. I have searched the web thoroughly and haven"t been able to find anyone who would be able to unlock an iPhone sold by Virgin Mobile USA, so that it can be used with a SIMM card of another mobile carrier (domestic or foreign). For iPhones on Verizon, unlocking isn"t even necessary; they are CDMA phones, which means that the CDMA circuitry can only be activated on Verizon (therefore no Sprint or Virgin Mobile), but the SIMM slot is unlocked and can be used with any global carrier. With AT&T and T-Mobile, unlocking is required, since the two are GSM operators which use SIMM cards, so the phone is locked to the carrier. Unlocking can be done, in some cases (if you"ve been a customer long enough) even by the carrier itself, and there are third-party unlocking services out there. Unfortunately, Virgin is the only one where this, for some reason, cannot be done.