GSM Sims for TextNow

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1 month 3 weeks ago #31 by Phoniac
Replied by Phoniac on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
Here's my data point on TextNow's Free cellular plan. 

Mine is on a Sprint-only phone.  It's working for me as of right now - knock on wood.  I plan to keep it going until they force me to buy a new GSM sim, at which point I will have to decide whether I want to stick around or leave.  

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #32 by KentE
Replied by KentE on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
Just read through an interesting discussion on Howard Forums:
www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1922758-TextNow-Stand-Alone-Free-Plan-Network-Change/page2

Little tidbits:
Apparently VoLTE is required for proper activation. The SIM will install, but LTE won't work and the VoIP app doesn't work. Odd, since they won't get any use out of VoLTE anway. (VoIP voice.) Phones still locked to T-Mobile will activate.

One iPhone user reports that iMessage doesn't work on the GSM SIM, but did with a Sprint SIM. (I'm wondering if this might be the lack of an iPhone carrier bundle-- a problem several converted-to-T-Mobile MVNO's are having. The other issues that show up due to the lack of a carrier bundle wouldn't likely be apparent on Text Now, since a phone there won't be using some of the other features that are missing without the carrier bundle.)

And apparently T-Mobile's Scam ID feature is tagging TextNow numbers as "Scam likely". Ironic, and a problem I hope T-Mobile and TextNow can address.
 
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1 month 3 weeks ago #33 by scriptninja
Replied by scriptninja on topic GSM Sims for TextNow

 And apparently T-Mobile's Scam ID feature is tagging TextNow numbers as "Scam likely". Ironic, and a problem I hope T-Mobile and TextNow can address.
 

Unfortunately, for the same reason some places/providers automatically assign a high spam score to (or even outright block) the entire .science top-level domain, that may in fact be well-deserved...

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1 month 3 weeks ago #34 by KentE
Replied by KentE on topic GSM Sims for TextNow

 And apparently T-Mobile's Scam ID feature is tagging TextNow numbers as "Scam likely". Ironic, and a problem I hope T-Mobile and TextNow can address.
 

Unfortunately, for the same reason some places/providers automatically assign a high spam score to (or even outright block) the entire .science top-level domain, that may in fact be well-deserved...
 

Yes, it's possible some TextNow accounts are spammers/scammers.  It seems likely to me that T-Mobile's Scam ID is targeting all VoIP providers that don't have verification procedures in place.  (I think eventually that will be a design requirement.)
 
My thought:  the biggest violators aren't going to mess with TextNow accounts when there are plenty of options for VoIP providers that are pretty much tailor-made for scammers/spammers, and they seem to aggressively market themselves for that purpose (despite protestations of innocence.)  That said, I've seen several inquiries on other forums from individuals looking for traditional cellular providers that are 1) cheap setup cost, 2)allow truly unlimited texting, 3)allow frequent number changes, perhaps weekly.  I can't imagine any possible purpose for that combination that doesn't involve spamming, so I guess there's a market.
 
The irony to me is that T-Mobile is powering TextNow's service.  Whether there's a good reason or not for them to get ID'd that way, it seems to reduce the utility of a TextNow line. 

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1 month 1 week ago #35 by ajzwilli
Replied by ajzwilli on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
While the GSM has been available - it is officially announced now:

blog.textnow.com/blog/2021/06/15/free-phone-service-with-an-upgraded-gsm-network/

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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #36 by dst11
Replied by dst11 on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
If I get a TextNow SIM, could I get TextNow service on my unlocked ATT Sonim XP5 ? The ATT variant of the XP5, unlike the Verizon variant, doesn't do VoLTE.

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1 month 1 week ago #37 by KentE
Replied by KentE on topic GSM Sims for TextNow

If I get a TextNow SIM, could I get TextNow service on my unlocked ATT Sonim XP5? The ATT variant of the XP5, unlike the Verizon variant, doesn't do VoLTE.
 

That is a good question.  One might guess that being data-only, it wouldn't matter whether the phone was VoLTE capable or not.  But a user report on Howard Forums makes it sound like T-Mobile VoLTE is needed to get the SIM to activate for LTE at all. 
www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1922758-TextNow-Stand-Alone-Free-Plan-Network-Change?p=17177296#post17177296

That user tried a couple of phones that he knew did not have VoLTE on T-Mobile, and they either failed to have data at all, or showed only 3G with a non-working app.The block has got to be on the network side (T-Mobile).

 
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1 month 1 week ago #38 by ZZWang
Replied by ZZWang on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
It might be only for activation purpose. I tested the sim on an old Moto E2 which only supports 4G (no lte). It seems working fine. 
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1 month 1 week ago #39 by idanth
Replied by idanth on topic GSM Sims for TextNow

If I get a TextNow SIM, could I get TextNow service on my unlocked ATT Sonim XP5? The ATT variant of the XP5, unlike the Verizon variant, doesn't do VoLTE.
 


You have to activate new SIM in VoLTE compatible (with T-Mobile) phone, otherwise you will get error during activation.

Next, Sonim XP5 is not smartphone as far as I see and it is not VoLTE compatible with T-Mobile VoLTE.

Obviously, you can not install TextNow app on this phone and you will not be able to use TextNow free plan.

I do not know if TextNow has non-VoiP paid plans (without their app), but even if so, without VoLTE compatibility and without 3G Band 4 (1700 MHz), this phone will be close to useless on T-Mobile.
 
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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #40 by idanth
Replied by idanth on topic GSM Sims for TextNow
Regarding TextNow free plan on non-VoLTE phones:

In some cases it just does not work on non-VoLTE phones. For example, the phone does not get data even if APN is correct.
In some cases you get weird glitches (the app is running but does not accept voice calls).
In some cases the phone is stuck with 3G/H/H+ (and the voice quality is very bad or calls do not work).
I managed to solve last problem by two ways
- in engineering menu I set network mode to LTE only
and/or (depending on phone)
- manual search for network and select "Home LTE" network

Currently I am able to run TextNow App on T-Mobile LTE network on my unlocked Lg X Force M322 (formerly Xfinity Mobile phone).
This phone can not be used with regular T-Mobile plans/voice calls because it does not have VoLTE and even without VoLTE it does not have 3G Band 4, so it drops to 2G during voice calls, but after I locked it to "HOME LTE", I get very good data connection and TextNow app works without issues.
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