Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2013 6:12 AM by Michael Black
5bm Level 1 Level 1

apple is selling the unlocked iphone 5 will it work with the consumer cellular network?

  • Michael Black Level 7 Level 7

    They use the AT&T network, but you need to ask them if they offer nano-SIM cards.  If they do not have those newer, tinier SIMs available, then you are out of luck.  Otherwise, I'd think an unlocked GSM iPhone 5 should work fine, as the unlocked model is the same (other then being unlocked) as the AT&T model.

  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6

    Consumer Cellular uses GSM voice, and 2G data (Edge, GPRS), which should work with iPhones.  There is no 3G (HSPA), "4G" (HSPA+), or LTE data. Many iPhone features may not be compatible or available (FaceTime, MMS, iMessage, Visual Voicemail, etc). 

  • EclecticCitizen Level 1 Level 1

    Where were you able to find that information about Consumer Cellular's data network?  Their website doesn't give specifics in the description, but the data coverage map shows 4G LTE (& it looks like the exact AT&T coverage map, just missing the AT&T logo).   If they offer the exact AT&T technology for 2/3 the price, and no contract, it could be a great option.    If it's 2G data though, that's a deal breaker for unlocked iPhone use. 

  • Michael Black Level 7 Level 7

    It IS the AT&T coverage map, because Consumer Cellular owns no network hardware of their own - the lease use of AT&T's network.  Consumer Cellular is an MVNO with no actual network of their own.  As such, no they do not offer the "exact same technology as AT&T" as AT&T never lets their subscriber MVNO's access to the latest and greatest they offer their own direct consumer customers (otherwise, why would anyone bother to get service direct from AT&T).  Also, MVNO's are able to offer their low(er) rates not merely because they do not own their own network, but because the subscribe to a bargain basement level of access to the network service provider's network infrastructure - they negotiate their fees with AT&T and keep them low by only paying for base level access to AT&T's network.

  • EclecticCitizen Level 1 Level 1

    OK, so MB summarized the obvious part of how Consumer Cellular works as a company and restated what was already here.   Does anyone have a source to verify what technologies they use from the AT&T network? (& I don't want you personally as the source)    Their coverage map shows that they offer AT&T's full 4G & LTE, but that would be surprising at their price point. What Modular747 listed sounds logical, I'm just wondering where that info came from.    Any Consumer Reports or other data on them?  

  • Michael Black Level 7 Level 7

    Search their blog on their web site - question has already been asked and answered by Consumer Cellular rerps - their smartphones can expect to get up to 3G speeds, but no more than that .  Their dataconnect service has no connection to AT&T's higher tier data speeds.

  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    I am in the process of switching my family from Verizon ~$300/mo to Consumer Cellular (CC)  ~$100/mo which uses the AT&T network as an MVNO reseller. $30 for minutes and 1 phone + $10 each phone x 3 + 2GB Data $30 (each additional GB $15)


    I know another family that made the switch to iphone 3GS with CC...I used them as a referral and we both got a $10 credit.


    They give 5% off for AARP members $16/year or their under 50 "affiliates" $12/year....Spend $12 or 16 to save $50- Yes


    Consumer Cellular does not offer MMS through the iPhone...So that means you may email  video and photos and cannot send those as text-messages.


    I now have 4s, 5  & 5s AT&T iphones... CC reports if the phone works with AT&T it will work through them



    Consumer cellular has yet to offer nano-sim cards and there are plenty of templates and videos about cutting down sim cards with sharp scissors to the right dimensions and you can thin the card a bit with an emory board or some sand paper... Can be done in a couple of minutes per card after you watch the video an print a micro-sim template.


    I am still testing the waters from least crucial user (younger daughter) to most crucial (mom)...first iphone 4s for daughter. Then iphone 5 and 5s


    The 4s works with the micro-sim card provided by Consumer Cellular


    Exported contacts from Verizon as vCard-3.


    Imported to icloud


    Rep advised me to call in to port my numbers from Verizon then call in again after number activate Data

    moved over


    They needed Verizon acct #


    Phone number ported over in a couple of minutes on 1st phone and they report it may take up to 24 hours for Verizon to work their magic


    After first phone was ported I logged into CC website to enable data on all 4 lines


    Then called into CC again so they could text me the link for needed APN-updater and get me to read them the iphones IMEI # to complete the data activation on the phone.


    I restarted the phone and I had the web without Wi-Fi = Cellular Wireless Data plan working


    Phone indicates 4G in some locations- 4G LTE may come at a later date for the 5 and 5s



    Set up voicemail and my  daughter's phone seems good so far


  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    I just ported my AT&T iPhone 5 to Consumer Cellular... imessage and facetime and visual voicemail all work for me  : )


    As far as I know NO multimedia messaging service (MMS) means I can NOT send (or receive) audio files, ringtones, photos, and videos to any other phone via text message...A small price to pay, me thinks, to save $200/month for my family of 4 iPhone users.


    I asked the Consumer Cellular Rep this morning about why not promoting sim card cutting for the iPhone 5, 5c & 5s... and she said that if the card were to get damaged and they let customers know about the ability to cut SIM cards that they would need to eat the cost....Seems like an untapped buisiness opportunity to me.

  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    There is this step-by-step guide too sumer-cellular/


    I would make one tweak and that is to use the consumer cellular iphone apn updater rather than the  apn updater described on the site above...


    See How do I set up Data for my iPhone?

  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    Interested in saying YES to an MVNO?



    Check out a extensive  list of Mobile Virtual Network Operators ors#Voice_and_data_service_operators


    If you click on the heading "Host Network" you may sort alphabetically


    If we end up needing unlimited data my fall back is

    4 people- unlimited voice, text & data on AT&T network for $165


    Since my family lives, works and studies in Wi-Fi zones much of the time I expect we will all be able to share the 2GB of data in a given month and time will tell.


    <Personal Information Edited by Host>

  • BriaDaCam Level 1 Level 1

    How did you get visual voicemail to work on your iPhone with consumer cellular?   I am having absolutely no luck.


    I did get MMS & SMS to work.


    Any help would be appreciated.

  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    Consumer Cellular activated voicemail easily for me they captured my IMEI number and linked voicemail, and the rest was functional history... We have 4 iPhones (1 x 4s, 2x 5, and 1 x 5s) all sharing one Consumer Cellular account.


    The voicemail setup is a bit different with Consumer Cellular...Instead of using the iPhone prompts you go into phone and go to keypad hold the "1" down for awhile...Then you will launch the voicemail setup realm where you can leave an outbound message and access code etc. See


    If you still are challenged, you might call Consumer Cellular Technical Support again and make sure they have IMEI number on file for your phone and go up the tech support hierarchy to see if anyone one of their support staff has a bright idea.


    What iOS are you running?


    I "upgraded" to iOS7 on my iPhone 5  and lost my MMS and the SIM swap technique has not worked for me since iOS7. I will try to get my 5 unlocked through a friend with an AT&T account.  The iPhone 5s running iOS 7 was able to do the SIM-swap technique, and it was linked delivered by Apple with a T-Mobile SIM rather than an AT&T SIM as with my iPhone 5.


  • BriaDaCam Level 1 Level 1

    They have my IMEI number.  I tried going up the heirarchy and got absolutely nowhere.


    What is the SIM swap technique to which you refer?

  • yojamey Level 1 Level 1

    Here is a link to the SIM Swap technique to get access to MMS settings


    To test if you really have MMS in place send a photo, via imessage,...If it actually goes through you have MMS, if not, then no MMS yet


    MMS settings or not and voicemail should go through.

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