Is it possible to use a GSM SIM on an unlocked iPhone with service with Virgin Mobile (switch SIM)?

Tech-StitchTech-Stitch Novice 3
Here is the thought. We have an iPhone 6 that we are looking to bring to that Virgin Mobile plan ($1  / for the year). The phone is unlocked and presently takes any GSM sim. Moreover, it passed Virgin Mobile's compatibility check. The question is if it is possible / has anyone tried using a GSM sim to get service on an activated Virgin / Sprint iPhone? I ask because we may run into coverage issues at times and will be keeping a Tracfone SIM active which we would place on the phone to get GSM service if out of the Sprint area. Thanks for your thoughts!

Edit:
To add more complexity, I just realized that the SIM that the phone has is not GSM but rather a Verizon one. I thought that those were married to the phone they are using, but it turns out that we were able to switch that SIM from a 5S to a 6 without any kind of interaction from Tracfone (new iPhone took it and all worked fine). I now wonder if it is possible / has anyone tried to switch to a Verizon SIM on a phone active with Virgin / Sprint?

Maybe what I am asking is too much or just not possible, but I rather not activate one of those phones that will have the Tracfone (Verizon SIM) if the Virgin Mobile activation will cause problems later. I figured I'd ask prior to taking the plunge.

Comments

  • jamielihjamielih Moderator 126
    Not an iPhone here, but I use an FreedomPop GSM SIM in a Moto G4 phone that is tied to Sprint MVNO Tello's service by switching SIM cards when desired.
    Tech-Stitch
  • Cool, that's a start! Thanks for sharing!
  • mmfacemmmmfacemm All Star 48
    edited September 14
    Usually whichever sim is in takes over.  Not sure about a verizon sim in a sprint activated phones since they both use cdma.  might work.  Just try it - you can't break anything by trying.  you should be able to use a gsm sim no problem.I use gsm sims all the time with sprint activated mvno lines.  Sometimes you have to do a restart but sometimes not.  
  • Tech-StitchTech-Stitch Novice 3
    edited September 14
    Thanks! I took the plunge (Virgin Mobile). Now waiting on the number port and final activation. Will report findings just in case other users have the same question / concern.
  • jamielihjamielih Moderator 126
    @mmfacemm said:
    Sometimes you have to do a restart but sometimes not.  

    I always have to start (not "re"-start), because I first stop (i.e., turn off) the phone before swapping SIMs, keeping the phone stopped while swapping.

    Are you hot-swapping SIMs?
  • Diedrich_DuoDiedrich_Duo MVP 43
    edited September 14
    @jamielih said:
    Not an iPhone here, but I use an FreedomPop GSM SIM in a Moto G4 phone that is tied to Sprint MVNO Tello's service by switching SIM cards when desired.

    @jamielih and @mmfacemm
    I also have a Moto G4 (currently onTwigby).  A couple of questions for you from this tech-challenged smartphone user: Are all Moto G4s dual-SIM, or just some?  (Mine is the XT1625 model if that makes any difference.)  If it is dual-SIM, can I have two in at the same time and still use either carrier, and if so, how would I go about setting that up?

    (Full disclosure... when I bought the phone at Best Buy I had one of their helpful "blue shirts" install my SIM so I wouldn't mess things up... didn't notice if there was one SIM slot or two... and I've never opened up the phone since.)

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide!
  • jamielihjamielih Moderator 126
    @Diedrich_Duo said:
    Are all Moto G4s dual-SIM, or just some?

    I'm not aware of any dual-SIM Moto G4. I have not even bothered to Google search that, though.
    Diedrich_Duo
  • KentEKentE Moderator 167
    I believe the only dual-SIM motos are international versions that would only be available in the US via the grey market.  (i.e., not likely via Best Buy.)
    Diedrich_Duo
  • @jamielih said:
    @Diedrich_Duo said:
    Are all Moto G4s dual-SIM, or just some?

    I'm not aware of any dual-SIM Moto G4. I have not even bothered to Google search that, though.
    @KentE said:
    I believe the only dual-SIM motos are international versions that would only be available in the US via the grey market.  (i.e., not likely via Best Buy.)

    Thanks to both of you for your quick replies!  Fortunately, I'm still very happy with my service from Twigby, and since they use the Sprint network and also roam on Verizon, it's sort of like having dual coverage already.  :)
  • Tech-StitchTech-Stitch Novice 3
    edited September 24
    Alright! Now that my Virgin service is active and the FreedomPop number ported to them, I have the final results to share which answers the original question. The iPhone used (5S) will take any SIM including the Tracfone (via Verizon) and reprogram itself upon booting. No negative impact was seen when returning the Virgin SIM back to the phone after having tried a FreedomPop SIM and then the Tracfone SIM. No idea if this would be possible with a carrier agnostic phone such as the Nexus 6P or those Moto phones being sold on Amazon. Thanks to all that chimed in to provide your thoughts!

    Another update:
    The same applied to an iPhone 6 that was assigned to another Virgin Mobil line. I believe it was further proof that this can be done. Just always remember that unlike the Verizon one, the Sprint SIM is tied to the IMEI of the phone.
    KentE
Sign In or Register to comment.