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HazelhoffHenk Level 1 Level 1

Before I ordered my iPhone 5 from StraightTalk I explained that I wanted to use it as a CDMA (Verizon) in the US and as a GSM (Vodafone) in Europe.

I specifically asked if the phone would become a CDMA phone again when I removed the Vodafone GSM Sim after returning to the US. The answer was Yes.


The CDMA function worked well in the US and the GSM function worked equally well in Europe.

However, when I did remove the GSM card, the iPhone 5 stopped working.


According to StraightTalk, the only way to return to the CDMA function is to have them do a factory reset, which means loosing all data and downloaded apps.

Of course, nobody told me that when I asked the question.

Does anybody know if this is a requirement for every iPhone 5 or just for StraightTalk phones?

iPhone 5, iOS 6.1.4, StraightTalk iPhone 5
Solved by kennethfromhope mills on Mar 1, 2014 1:46 PM Solved

This answered a lot of questions.  Going to Spain this summer, and I also have the iPhone 5 from Straight Talk! 


Any advice you can give me on looking for a plan to call the States, so my son can talk to his mother if he wants to?

  • 12342dawe Level 1 Level 1

    GSM and CDMA are different hardware configurations. Restoring or resetting a device should not affect anything...

  • amy_lou Level 4 Level 4

    straighttalk is definitely not the authority on how iphones work. next time you want to get a real answer about a phone, speak to the people who are the experts on it - the manufacturers

  • chattphotos Level 4 Level 4

    ST's information is inaccurate.


    The only time you ever have to erase your phone is to complete the carrier SIM unlock.


    But what do you mean by "phone stopped working" as in it no longer powers on? No Verizon carrier access?


    My Sprint iPhone 4S is operating normally here in Europe, I change SIM cards whenever I cross into Germany, and the phone keeps working normally.


    The change back to CDMA mode is nearly immediate upon removal of a SIM card so what is your phone not doing?

  • KiltedTim Level 9 Level 9

    You can NOT use a straightalk iPhone 5 on Verizon. Ever. The only CDMA carrier it can be used on is straighttalk. If you wanted to use Verizon, you should have purchased a Verizon phone.

  • HazelhoffHenk Level 1 Level 1

    According to StraighTalk, their "resetting" will cause all data to be deleted. It does not make sense to me either.


    After I removed the SIM card, the mesage in the upper right corner said "No Service".

    Resetting Network Settings made no difference.

    When I talked to StraightTalk they made me dial some specifice codes. TFW service showed up in the upper left corner but they could not get it to work.

    My mobile number is still valid. When I dial it from a landline, I get my voicemail.


    As far as I know, StraightTalk uses the Verizon network for CDMA coverage (even if it says TFW on the phone) but I don't know how they tie into that network.


    The problem is that the StraightTalk people seem to work from a script that provides standard answers. They may not know what they are talking about or they they do not want to make the extra effort to resolve this problem.


    Either way, I am stuck with these people. If someone can tell me what should be done, I can ask them to take the necessary actions. Otherwise, I may have go through the exercise of making sure that all data has been synced with my Mac and then download all data and apps after StraighTalk had one their thing.

  • KiltedTim Level 9 Level 9

    You need to put the StraitghtTalk SIM back in the phone. Is it in there, or did you just remove the Vodafone SIM?

  • HazelhoffHenk Level 1 Level 1

    CDMA does not use SIM's.


    This from the Internet.


    Straight Talk is a prepaid cellphone plan offering both limited and unlimited talk and text options. Sold through stores such as Walmart, Straight Talk uses both Verizon and AT&T networks to provide coverage. Depending on the type of phone purchased, Straight Talk users can have access to the same coverage provided by Verizon's own cellphone plans, but at a lower price.

  • KiltedTim Level 9 Level 9

    No, it doesn't. But some CDMA carriers use the Nano SIM in the iPhone 5 for activation, and it is used for LTE.


    Did the phone come with a SIM from StraightTalk? If it did, then put it back in.  StraightTalk can get access to the same coverage as Verizon, but you can not have the phone activated by Verizon for use on an actual Verizon plan. That's what was implied by your initial post. StraightTalk may use the same network, but it is not Verizon.

  • HazelhoffHenk Level 1 Level 1

    No, the phone came without a SIM.


    When I used at home it worked as a CDMA phone. StraightTalk must have used a Verizon tower because Verizon is the only carrier that covers our neighbourhood.


    When I inserted my Vodafone SIM card in Amsterdam it instantly switched to GSM.

  • HazelhoffHenk Level 1 Level 1

    Well, I am back again and my iPhone 5 is now working as a CDMA phone.

    During my telephone calls with StraigtTalk it became obvious that they knew very little about the iPhone 5.

    None of the people I talked too was aware of the fact that the iPhone 5 supports CDMA as wel as GSM.


    Eventually, I got hold of a supervisor who told me that StraightTalk did not allow the iPhone to be used with another carrier. The fact that I actually used Vodafone as GSM carrier in Europe, did not change her opinion.


    In order to get my phone working again, I did have to do a factory reset and erase all data.

    Fortunately, I had done an iPhone backup using iTunes. Restoring all data, apps, songs etc. took about 15 minutes. The only thing I had to do was connect the iPhone to my Powerbook with the USB cable, select the iPhone icon and hit restore.


    Since Apple makes it so easy (assuming that you do backups), I have no problem going through the same exercise the next time we travel.


    Thanks for all the feedback.

  • tonefox Level 6 Level 6


    Since Apple makes it so easy (assuming that you do backups),

    Congratulations: you have struck the Motherlode!  

  • KiltedTim Level 9 Level 9

    HazelhoffHenk wrote:


    Well, I am back again and my iPhone 5 is now working as a CDMA phone.

    During my telephone calls with StraigtTalk it became obvious that they knew very little about the iPhone 5.

    Not surprising when your phone company is Wally World.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 8 Level 8
    Mac OS X

    The iPhone 5 has CDMA and GSM built in. There are only 2 hardware configurations, and both support BOTH CDMA and GSM. The only difference is the LTE bands supported.

  • toronbolo1972 Level 1 Level 1

    oh ok if go 6 month vacation to europe i can use my iphone 5 cdma model a1429 with on straight talk in europe use a sim gsm and when i return remove the sim gsm and reset my iphone 5 back to cdma with straight talk

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