Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2014 7:23 AM by LT81
Jekkar Level 1 (0 points)

Recently, I purchased two Iphone 5s from the US to use overseas, so far I have had no luck getting them to recognize any of the local GSM carriers.


One is a MD105LL the other is a MD097LL.


Is there any reason why they would be stuck searching for the carriers? They are able to access the SIM features of each carrier but not getting any kind of signal on either of them.


I read somewhere they needed to be Restored and then select the Carrier Manually but they both report back saying they are unable to fetch the carrier list.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

iPhone 5, iOS 6.0.1
  • Jekkar Level 1 (0 points)



    Does this mean it is not activated for overseas use at present? 

  • stedman1 Level 9 (69,774 points)

    Where were the phones purchased? From Apple? Unlocked?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Unless you purchased these iPhones directly from Apple, as officially unlocked GSM models, you do not have officially unlocked iPhones. Rather, the two phones you purchased are carrier locked to US appears to be Cricket...& will only activate, in the US, on the appropriate carrier network the phone is locked to.


    If your intent was to use these outside of the US, I'm afraid you wasted your money.

  • Jekkar Level 1 (0 points)

    Purchased off Ebay. And sent to me overseas.

  • Jekkar Level 1 (0 points)

    They are both Cricket, and in the past I have bought Iphone 4S from Cricket and they were factory unlocked through Cricket without needing to do anything to them at all. They werent unlocked from the carrier, but factory unlocked phones. I have had 2 Iphone 4S that were the same without requiring any action. I read online that the Iphone 5s were all unlocked for International use by default..apparently the author was wrong.

  • stedman1 Level 9 (69,774 points)

    Sadly, as wjosten has stated, you have iPhones that are locked to US networks and you have wasted your money.

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    You read wrong.


    I'm sorry, but your best bet is to return these phones for a refund or re-sell them on eBay.


    The only source for officially unlocked iPhones, in the US, is directly from where else.

  • Rod D. Level 1 (0 points)

    @wjosten - you are WRONG!


    Cricket's iPhone 5 is indeed SIM unlocked for international use - that is their OFFICIAL policy.


    BUT, there are technical problems with the way unlock is currently implemented - so SIM unlock support is currently shaky.


    The official word from Cricket is that their iPhone 5 will NOT connect to GSM networks in areas where there is CDMA coverage (any CDMA network, not specifically Cricket's).


    That is, however, not entirely true from my personal experience. I live in an area (outside the US) that has CDMA coverage, and can use my Cricket phone with local SIM until it gets a carrier settings update (every 2 weeks or so), by which time it gets disconnected - requiring full erase and reactivate to reconnect.


    I assume that is a faulty technical implementation of their official policy (unlocked internationally / locked within the US) - but that's just my guess.


    Hopefully this buggy implementation will be fixed in iOS 6.1 - that is what I've heard from my local carrier - so keeping my fingers crossed.

  • BillGatesFondue Level 1 (0 points)

    So does it mean that I should move to the area where my local CDMA network will not be availible in order to activate cricket iPhone 5 with the GSM sim card?

  • Rod D. Level 1 (0 points)

    @BillGatesFondue - I would try that if I were you. No guarantees it will work in your country / your carrier, but that is what Cricket's customer support told me.


    You'll need to go through "Reset->Erase all content and settings" on your iPhone (do not connect to iTunes), and then go through the activation wizard. It may take a few minutes to lock on the GSM signal, so be patient.

    If it doesn't work, retry the whole procedure a few times until it does (once I had to redo the procedure 8 times until it worked, so, again, be patient).


    Also, carrier settings update may break connectivity for you as well. You cannot directly control when iPhone fetches these settings, but you can prolong the time until it does:

    1. NEVER go into settings->general->about

    2. NEVER connect to iTunes (you CAN back up to iCloud instead)


    Hope that helps.

  • BillGatesFondue Level 1 (0 points)

    So again - I should go through activation procedure WITH sim card inserted? Am I right?

    Also what do you think about using something like box wrapped in foil to separate the phone from CDMA?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    I would actually cover the roof of your house with aluminum foil...standard works just fine, you don't need heavy duty. That should do the trick.


    You know, these unlocked "Cricket" phones work great, everywhere, with zero issues...

  • BillGatesFondue Level 1 (0 points)

    I actually did it! That is what I do -

    1)activate the phone W/O any sim

    2)go to the settings

    3)insert sim

    4)reset all data end settings

    5)activate phone with sim card installed.

    If it is not work for you - try that again from the 1st step. Here is the image from my phone... You cant imagine my face, when I see the bars on the top left...


  • Rod D. Level 1 (0 points)

    @BillGatesFondue - happy it worked for you as well.


    @wjosten - I have a better solution: Cricket iPhone 5 owners around the world should flip them on eBay as decorative paperweights - that's the only way to get back a cool $1 for their useless piece of metal 

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