SBJ1998

Updated FAQ on unlocking/GSM capability on USCC devices - 4/21/2015

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Rub if you can sticky this or add it to the FAQ I'll love you forever and ever.

 

Can I unlock my USCC device?

Yes, but it depends on how you define "unlock", for instance CDMA only phones are locked with a simple 6 digit code of all zeros that will allow you to reprogram or "flash" it to another CDMA network.

 

With the exception of the Nexus 6, if you have a non-iPhone 4G LTE device released before April 2015, it can only be unlocked to work with other CDMA/LTE networks, it will NOT work with GSM/W-CDMA(UMTS)/HSPA+ networks. Most Samsung and LG 4G LTE smartphones released on USCC will work with T-Mobile, but only with LTE. You must also be in a VoLTE enabled area and have a VoLTE capable device to make calls with a unlocked USCC device.

 

Why can't I use GSM on my non-iPhone 4G LTE USCC device?

Non-iPhone 4G LTE devices released before April 2015 are not certified by the FCC to operate on GSM, thus federal regulations require non-certified bands to be permanently disabled. Most USCC devices such as the S4 and Mega don't even have GSM hardware, it's been completely stripped off the phone. You may be able to activate your unlocked USCC device on a GSM network that supports VoLTE, but this is not guaranteed.

 

Are iPhones from U.S. Cellular GSM capable?

Yes, all iPhones sold by U.S. Cellular are capable of working on GSM and are fully unlocked with the exception of the iPhone 4s. The USCC iPhone 4s by default only works on international GSM networks and must be unlocked before using a SIM card from the United States.

 

I have an iPhone from U.S. Cellular, does it come pre-unlocked like the Verizon model?

All 4G LTE iPhones from USCC are fully unlocked for both domestic and international use, the iPhone 4s only works on GSM networks internationally and must be unlocked in order to be used on AT&T or T-Mobile.

 

Can I use my phone on U.S. Cellular again after unlocking it?

All devices except the iPhone 4s can still be used on U.S. Cellular once they have been SIM unlocked.

 

Why can't I use my 4s on U.S. Cellular after I unlock it?

The iPhone 4s, although a world phone, is manually programmed with USCC's PRL and doesn't require the use of a SIM to activate it. When the 4s is unlocked, the CDMA information is wiped from the phone and is impossible to reactivate on U.S. Cellular as the phone no longer has a way of contacting the network. This does not apply to the 5c, 5s, 6, and 6+ which may be reactivated on USCC after unlock because they use SIM cards to activate.

 

How do I use my U.S. Cellular iPhone 4s with another network in the United States?
You will either need to call customer service or visit a U.S. Cellular store to have your iPhone unlocked, the rep will fill out a work-order request with the iPhone's IMEI number and will send it off to be unlocked. This process takes around a day to complete.

 

Can I use my non-iPhone 4G LTE device with a CDMA R-UIM card?

Possibly, there have been many cases of successful activation of USCC devices on other CDMA networks such as Reliance India or China Telecom but full functionality isn't guarunteed(1x/EV-DO might be available but not LTE due to differences in frequency bands.)

 

Which non-iPhone 4G LTE devices on USCC are compatible with GSM?

Moto X(2nd generation)

Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

 

I see that iPhones sold by U.S. Cellular contain GSM capability, to what extent is GSM supported?

All iPhones sold by U.S. Cellular support almost every band used throughout the world. If you choose to move abroad after buying a U.S. Cellular iPhone, it will work on any GSM network with at least support for 3G without any modification neccesary. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold by U.S. Cellular are the same models as the ones sold throughout Europe and Asia as unlocked SIM-free devices, and support 20 LTE bands worldwide.

 

The following 4G LTE devices only support LTE/CDMA, they will never work on GSM, stop asking.

 

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Samsung Galaxy Mega

LG G3

LG G Flex 2

Moto X

Edited by SBJ1998

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Holy crap

Absolutely. Good info! Thank you!

So does this information also apply to the Nexus 6? Since it is known to have the hardware capable of working anywhere but it was not released after April 2015.

 

http://teamuscellular.com/Forum/topic/3547-us-cellular-service-faq/

Sent from my Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 was certified by the FCC as a Multi-Mode CDMA/GSM/LTE device, so it shouldn't apply in this case.

Added that, thanks for the heads up!

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soooo should i be able to unlock my note 3 from uscc to work with straight talk on the cdma side?

CDMA yes, GSM no. 

 

You'll need to purchase a donor phone as it has certain resources *cough* MEID *cough HEX AAA Profile 0 keys cough* used to connect to the network that you will need to clone to your Note 3 but I'm not allowed to discuss that here.

 

Google DFS CDMATool, you will need your 6 digit MSL code(usually all zeros), and 16 digit Samsung password which is 2013051320130909.

 

Good luck, and remember, you didn't get this information from me ;)

Edited by SBJ1998

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awesome. i have 2 iphones from verizon...would i be able to use one of those for the clone?

You can't use an iPhone as a donor...

 

Also, I legally can't provide you with anymore advice than I already have. 

Edited by SBJ1998

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Simple clarification please-

US Cellular S5 from a year ago - locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

US Cellular S6 purchased this year- locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

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Simple clarification please-

US Cellular S5 from a year ago - locked/unlocked?

Locked

Unlockable by US Cellular at the store?

Yes.

supports GSM frequencies outside America?

No. Not possible. Won't happen. I answered that in the FAQ.

US Cellular S6 purchased this year- locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

You can unlock it yourself with root or in store.

in North America, maybe. Anywhere else, no. Probably not.

No USCC branded phone is designed to work outside the US. It may work in small isolated areas on some bands but if you need it in Europe or Asia, buy a phone from there.

You can't make it work with a uscc phone.

Sent from my Nexus 6

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Moto X generation 2, has GSM bands. But when I insert any GSM card it asks for an unlock code, very much like a GSM locked phone. So in my view Moto X 2nd Gen though it is GSM capable the GSM functionality has been sim locked by USSC.

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Oh boy... De ja vu. My head is spinning....

From what I have read the only gsm bands that are the same between all the variants of the 2nd gen x are the 2g bands. Who wants to be restricted to 2g?

Yes all variants are Sim locked of some sorts I believe, in the US... That is except the T-Mobile variety appears to not be sim locked.. checked out the wiki...

But we all know that what you read our see on the internet is 110% real! Going now to rapid charge my phone in the microwave..

Edited by dBuster

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Moto X generation 2, has GSM bands. But when I insert any GSM card it asks for an unlock code, very much like a GSM locked phone. So in my view Moto X 2nd Gen though it is GSM capable the GSM functionality has been sim locked by USSC.

It will work on T-Mobile's LTE band and nothing more. It doesn't have anything else.

Sent from my Nexus 6

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Simple clarification please-

US Cellular S5 from a year ago - locked/unlocked?

Locked

Unlockable by US Cellular at the store?

Yes.

supports GSM frequencies outside America?

No. Not possible. Won't happen. I answered that in the FAQ.

US Cellular S6 purchased this year- locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

You can unlock it yourself with root or in store.

in North America, maybe. Anywhere else, no. Probably not.

No USCC branded phone is designed to work outside the US. It may work in small isolated areas on some bands but if you need it in Europe or Asia, buy a phone from there.

You can't make it work with a uscc phone.

Sent from my Nexus 6

 

Actually, all of the currently available iPhones that US Cellular carries are listed as world phones and work on those "global" GSM bands.  That has been verified on this forum in a dedicated thread.  I assume you mean no phone OTHER than all of the iPhones sold by US Cellular work globally?  The US Cellular website (for what it is worth) still only shows the iPhones as world phones.  However, I'd never count on the US Cellular website as being the final word on anything when it comes to technical specs.

 

Is it known 100% that the S6 variation that US Cellular carriers is missing the 900/1800 bands for its GSM radio or just "feature limited" by software?

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If it can't use them then I have to assume the hardware itself isn't there because the FCC stopped making carriers permanently lock those bands.

As for the iPhone thing, yes, I meant that the iPhone are capable of pretty much everything as far as global connectivity.

Good catch!

Sent from my Nexus 6

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Moto X generation 2, has GSM bands. But when I insert any GSM card it asks for an unlock code, very much like a GSM locked phone. So in my view Moto X 2nd Gen though it is GSM capable the GSM functionality has been sim locked by USSC.

USCC 2nd gen Moto X does have full GSM support AFAIK. You just need the NCK code to unlock the SIM slot.

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Simple clarification please-

US Cellular S5 from a year ago - locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

US Cellular S6 purchased this year- locked/unlocked? unlockable by US Cellular at the store? supports GSM frequencies outside America?

S6 might pick up GSM outside of the U.S. after some jerking around with QXDM, but I doubt it.

 

S5, nope, absolutely no GSM support at all. Even if SIM-unlocked you're limited to SIM-based CDMA networks.

I have no idea about the S6 and if it is already unlocked or locked.

 

The S5 doesn't actually have a SIM slot, it has a UICC/R-UIM slot that allows it to work with compatible CDMA and LTE networks, SIM cards are only used for GSM networks. The actual slot on the S5 is physically compatible with GSM SIMs(in the sense it will fit in the slot) but you're not going to pick up any signal, except maybe on LTE.

The S5 can be unlocked by the MCE toolbox that USCC uses.

Edited by SBJ1998

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Also I want to add while it's technically possible(albeit very difficult) to enable GSM on a USCC Samsung Galaxy or LG, it's technically illegal as the FCC hasn't licensed the phone to operate on GSM or W-CDMA. It's pretty unlikely that you're going to be caught or that the FCC actually cares enough to press charges, but you could receive fines, jail time, or they could confiscate your phone.

 

That being said, this phone was really just intended to be a LTE/CDMA device, not GSM. Though you're welcome to jerk around in QXDM and report your findings.

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Also I want to add while it's technically possible(albeit very difficult) to enable GSM on a USCC Samsung Galaxy or LG, it's technically illegal as the FCC hasn't licensed the phone to operate on GSM or W-CDMA. It's pretty unlikely that you're going to be caught or that the FCC actually cares enough to press charges, but you could receive fines, jail time, or they could confiscate your phone.

 

That being said, this phone was really just intended to be a LTE/CDMA device, not GSM. Though you're welcome to jerk around in QXDM and report your findings.

 

Hi @SBJ1998 and others. I'd like to ask about my Galaxy Mega SCH-R960 rooted. Reading the quoted post and your first post, I'm a bit confused, esp about two sentences:

1. ...Most USCC devices such as the S4 and Mega don't even have GSM hardware...

2. ...while it's technically possible(albeit very difficult) to enable GSM on a USCC Samsung Galaxy or LG...

 

Can you clarify a bit please? I am a dev and can tweak stuff! :) but if Mega 6.3" does actually lack PHYSICAL components for GSM, I'd like to know (if maybe you can provide evidence that'd be good as well). Thanks.

 

Also, I'd like to know if SCH-R960 is OR can become a so-called World Phone? ---> again by tweaking and unlocking bands using xda post on QPST etc.

Yes I read the FAQ thanks to @iRub1Out and tried to search and RTFM first. :)

 

Update: here you said:

 

USCC Mega uses the same Qualcomm chipset as the Sprint variant which contains worldwide multi-class CDMA EV-DO/GSM/UMTS/LTE(TD/FDD) capability. USCC Samsung devices ARE world phones, it's just turned off.

The reason you don't see GSM frequencies listed by the FCC on USCC devices is because it's turned off in the modem and is invisible to the end-user.

 

 

So, it's 'possible' physically, right?

Edited by idoit

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Also I want to add while it's technically possible(albeit very difficult) to enable GSM on a USCC Samsung Galaxy or LG, it's technically illegal as the FCC hasn't licensed the phone to operate on GSM or W-CDMA. It's pretty unlikely that you're going to be caught or that the FCC actually cares enough to press charges, but you could receive fines, jail time, or they could confiscate your phone.

 

That being said, this phone was really just intended to be a LTE/CDMA device, not GSM. Though you're welcome to jerk around in QXDM and report your findings.

 

Hi @SBJ1998 and others. I'd like to ask about my Galaxy Mega SCH-R960 rooted. Reading the quoted post and your first post, I'm a bit confused, esp about two sentences:

1. ...Most USCC devices such as the S4 and Mega don't even have GSM hardware...

2. ...while it's technically possible(albeit very difficult) to enable GSM on a USCC Samsung Galaxy or LG...

 

Can you clarify a bit please? I am a dev and can tweak stuff! :) but if Mega 6.3" does actually lack PHYSICAL components for GSM, I'd like to know (if maybe you can provide evidence that'd be good as well). Thanks.

 

Also, I'd like to know if SCH-R960 is OR can become a so-called World Phone? ---> again by tweaking and unlocking bands using xda post on QPST etc.

Yes I read the FAQ thanks to @iRub1Out and tried to search and RTFM first. :)

 

Update: here you said:

 

USCC Mega uses the same Qualcomm chipset as the Sprint variant which contains worldwide multi-class CDMA EV-DO/GSM/UMTS/LTE(TD/FDD) capability. USCC Samsung devices ARE world phones, it's just turned off.

The reason you don't see GSM frequencies listed by the FCC on USCC devices is because it's turned off in the modem and is invisible to the end-user.

 

 

So, it's 'possible' physically, right?

 

The GSM antennas in the Mega reside in the USB daughterboard, the R960 daughterboard is completely stripped of the needed resistors/antennas for GSM.

 

You would need a Sprint L600 daughterboard to add the GSM hardware, but even that the GSM hardware is now in the phone the RIL(radio interface layer) is blocking GSM.

The actual motherboard has the needed power amplifiers and chipset to run on GSM.

 

I would definately take a look at the thread on enabling extra bands on Qualcomm based phones as well as purchase the L600 daughterboard(it can be had for like $5).

 

This isn't a guaruntee that GSM would work, but at least it would put you in the right direction.

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I had my galaxy s5 unlocked does this mean I can also use gsm only why I ask is because I put a Verizon Sim card in my phone and I could do just as much with uscc.

Also I want a stand alone smart watch sears.com has them for like 90 bucks and it is quad band gsm fully unlocked. If you go to sears.com and type in smartwatch look for the 90 dollar watch and read about it. It would help out to answer my question can I use it if I stick my uscc Sim card in it?

Also the 2 different simcard uscc has one is global and the other isn't if I use the global Sim card in my s5 or the smart watch will I be able to use cdma and gsm?

Thank all of you...from Virginia

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Can't you root your phone and enable the hidden file and find the folder or Info and wright the gsm codes your self?

Found a hack after I rooted my phone on tethered found the hidden file and froze a file or something to do with the logo of uscc tethered said something about make a payment plans and it would cut you off so I froze a file and now I can use my phone as a Hotspot or tether now that my phone is unlocked and uscc flash my phone its all back as it should.

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Only way I could get my galaxy s5 g900r4 unlocked was to take to a store there isn't any unlock codes floting around to do this....

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You already asked those questions in this thread:

http://teamuscellular.com/Forum/topic/8421-gsm-on-the-galaxy-s5/#entry165519

 

asking the same thing in multiple places wont get you answers any faster, please dont do that.

 

No. You can't use GSM.
No, you can't unlock it yourself.

no, there is no "code" to unlock it.

There's no hack, glitch, mod, spell, or trick - you can't use the S5 on a GSM network.

 

Weve tried.  It is not going to happen.

http://teamuscellular.com/Forum/index.php?/topic/8422-Mega-List-of-"Can-I-GSM/Sim-Unlock-my-(insert-phone-name

 

Please dont ask the same thing we've answered thousands of times before.

 

Sent from my Nexus 6

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