My number will not work on Sprint/CDMA?
July 9, 2016 6:25 PM   Subscribe

I recently switched from Verizon (CDMA) with a Moto-X to Ting (T-Mobile/GSM) with a Nexus 5.

(Not really related to my question, but the Moto-X sucked, I like the Nexus 5 much better). Anyway, the GSM reception is poor, so Ting sent a Sprint/CDMA sim to try. When they tried to initialize the new sim, they tried and tried and ultimately said that my number (not my phone) could not be used on Sprint/CDMA. So they switched me back to GSM/T-Mobile.

Is this really true? I've had my number for quite some time, 12 years I think. I'm in the same state, though a different area code than went I got the phone, originally got it with Verizon. Can I call Verizon and have them release the number?
posted by falsedmitri to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where are you?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:46 PM on July 9, 2016

Response by poster: Santa Fe, NM
posted by falsedmitri at 7:21 PM on July 9, 2016

Wireless Local Number Portability is supposed to be available everywhere in the US by now. The process of implementing it began in 1996 and it was phased in gradually around the country because it required hardware, but the phase-in was completed a long time ago.

I think that they're trying to "baffle you with bullshit" and I think you should contact the New Mexico Public Utilities Commission and ask for their help. That's what they're there for.

I think they're also trying to drown you in buzzwords. Verizon has switched their system to LTE; I don't think they have any CDMA any longer. And I didn't think anyone in the US had GSM any more.

Also, IS-95, J-STD-008 and CDMA2000 (which collectively are often referred to as "CDMA") don't support SIMs.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:08 PM on July 9, 2016

I believe ATT in the U.S. is GSM, as is T-Mobile. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA. CDMA phones can also use SIMs to support 4G LTE. GSM frequency bands differ around the world.

I've an original Nexus 5 on Ting (Sprint) for some time with good results. I'm afraid I can't help with the assertion that the number is the issue. Perhaps you might contact your previous carrier and ask if there were, somehow, restrictions in place on that number.

Ting's online forum seems a useful place, as well. Ting personnel participate.

Good luck, Strange stuff can happen. I've sworn off one of the major carriers after buying a phone and the two-year deal in one of their shops, watching one of their employees set it up. One month later I woke up to find the phone d-e-a-d. The carrier said the phone had been previously assigned to another account that was canceled due to payment delinquency, and the phone permanently deactivated. That fact that I bought a new phone from them in their store did not register. The shop was no help and the carrier refused to discuss the issue.
posted by justcorbly at 5:13 AM on July 10, 2016

Thomasforums is where the phone geeks hang out - you might get good help there.
posted by Dashy at 6:29 AM on July 10, 2016

It won't help with your porting the number exactly, but since you have a nexus you can probably enable wifi calling with Ting on the T-Mobile network. My experience is that quality is less good but ok on a wifi call and it is good enough to get me through my most common coverage gaps.
posted by mattamatic at 6:38 AM on July 10, 2016

Thomasforums is where the phone geeks hang out - you might get good help there.

I think you mean HowardForums, no?
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:55 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes! Howard forums. Sorry for the misdirect.
posted by Dashy at 10:06 AM on July 10, 2016

Response by poster: @Chocolate Pickle:
Thanks for the advice. It seems though, that NMPRC does not regulate wireless phone companies.

I'm not sure the Ting forum will be of much use. I've been back and forth with Ting tech support and this is where I am now.
posted by falsedmitri at 2:15 PM on July 10, 2016

Response by poster: Nonetheless, I've submitted a complaint to the NMPRC, and the FCC for good measure.
posted by falsedmitri at 3:29 PM on July 10, 2016

Apparently, a successful port requires the provider to have service in the area to which that number belongs. Hopefully Falsedmitri's issue is not that, as it looks to be largely unresolvable.

It has something to with the "CSA", which from my reading is the 3 digits after the area code. Not much information out there, but I was able to find this:

@Chocolate Pickle: AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM, as are all of their related MVNOs. LTE is considered to be a GSM technology, which is why the CDMA providers like Sprint who offer it now require SIMs to use it.
posted by Sleddog_Afterburn at 5:10 PM on July 10, 2016

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