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a man holds a international factory unlocked phone and trying to activate device  on AT&T

How to Activate Your GSM Unlocked Phone on AT&T or Verizon - Step by Step Guide

Workaround to use most GSM Devices with AT&T or Verizon regardless of Device IMEI Compatibility:

If you're an AT&T or Verizon customer and you own an GSM unlocked or international factory unlocked phone, you may have encountered a compatibility challenge when trying to activate your device on the network. While the hardware of your phone is compatible with Verizon, AT&T and its MVNOs, the IMEI serial number may not be recognized by the carrier, preventing you from fully utilizing the services. The Device is Hardware compatible, but the IMEI number of the device is not Registered in AT&T / Verizon Server. This is a restriction these carriers have imposed on their customers so that they purchase Branded AT&T Locked Devices or Verizon Locked Devices

But don't worry! In this blog post, we'll explain an effective workaround that many AT&T and Verizon customers have discovered. By providing AT&T with a dummy compatible IMEI number printed on the sticker provided by us, you can activate the service for your device and enjoy seamless functionality.

Why it works?

Click Details to see why and how this workaround works. Also included are MVNO carriers that work under these 2 Major carriers. This workaround will work for them as well. 

Both Verizon and AT&T in the past have had restrictions on phone cellular band requirements due to unique carrier bands for each carrier. This is no longer true. 

Verizon & AT&T are both 4G VoLTE / 5G Only carriers now! They have discontinued use of these restrictive 2G / 3G cellular bands. This means they use the same 4G LTE Bands to function as Most GSM Carriers in the US, like T-Mobile. In the Past, Verizon used CDMA Technology to make calls, but since Jan 1st, 2023 they have migrated all calling to Voice over LTE Technology. Similarly AT&T, has done the same and now depends on LTE Cellular Bands for Calling and Data. 

This Trick will work with any MVNO Carrier that works under these Carriers as well!

A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a wireless carrier that leases network capacity from a major carrier and then resells it to customers under its own brand.

A List of AT&T and Verizon MVNO's can be found below

AT&T MVNOs are service providers that utilize AT&T's network infrastructure to offer their own wireless services. Some of the popular AT&T MVNOs include:

  • Cricket Wireless
  • Straight Talk
  • Consumer Cellular
  • H2O Wireless
  • Red Pocket Mobile
  • TracFone Wireless
  • Net10 Wireless
  • Pure TalkUSA
  • FreedomPop
  • Good2Go Mobile

Verizon is one of the largest wireless carriers in the United States, and it has a number of MVNOs that offer service on its network. These MVNOs include:

  • Straight Talk
  • TracFone
  • Xfinity Mobile
  • Visible
  • Spectrum Mobile
  • Page Plus
  • Pix Wireless
  • Credo Mobile
  • Reach Mobile
  • Total Wireless
  • Net10
  • Ting
  • Twigby
  • US Mobile

Active Service? Get Started Quickly with Your Active AT&T / Verizon SIM

If you have an active AT&T / Verizon SIM card and a new device that you want to use, there's good news for you! By simply inserting your active SIM card into your new device, you can activate it and start enjoying all the services and features offered by AT&T / Verizon. There is no need to update your carrier with the device information, as it will auto update once you start using your device.

IMPORTANT: If you currently pay for carrier provided Insurance on your device, it is recommended to remove it as this workaround may void carrier insurance. 3rd Party insurers should be contacted and provide original IMEI Serial number on the device so that  you can remain insured. 

This easy workaround eliminates the need for complex procedures or the use of dummy IMEI numbers. Remember to ensure that your SIM card is active and properly inserted into the device's SIM card slot.

  1. Ensure your AT&T / Verizon SIM card is active

  2. Power off your new device

  3. Locate the SIM card slot

  4. Insert the AT&T / Verizon SIM card

  5. Power on your new device

  6. Complete the activation process

  7. Enjoy your AT&T / Verizon services

If you are activating a new service or something is not working, then follow instructions below to activate device. 

Discovering the Workaround

The workaround is relatively simple: you need to obtain a dummy compatible IMEI number that is printed on the sticker provided by us. By providing this dummy IMEI to AT&T / Verizon, you can prompt the network to activate the service for your device, overcoming the restriction that was preventing full functionality.

Activating New Service

If you do not have an active SIM with the carrier, you will need to activate the SIM card first before inserting into the device. To activate the service on your device, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a dummy compatible IMEI number: You can find this dummy IMEI number on the sticker provided by us. We have ensured that the dummy IMEI you use is compatible with AT&T / Verizon. If you have not received one, Contact us and Request a Dummy Compatible IMEI for your order. If you did not order device from us, we can not provide one. 
  2. Contact Carrier customer support: Reach out to AT&T / Verizon customer support and inform them that you have to update your new or current account with New Device IMEI number. (You can dial 611 from any Active Verizon or AT&T Device.)
  3. Provide the dummy IMEI number: Share the dummy IMEI number printed on the sticker with the customer support representative. They will update their system with this Compatible IMEI. Do NOT provide the IMEI on phone itself, as they will deem the device is not compatible. They will confirm compatible IMEI is good, and should activate your service. (Please note the only issue with this work around is that you can not claim insurance on your device if you pay for it. There are no other restrictions with this work around.)
  4. Insert your AT&T / Verizon SIM card: Once the service is activated, you can insert your SIM card into your new device. It should now work seamlessly, allowing you to enjoy all the features and services provided by AT&T / Verizon.


By utilizing a dummy compatible IMEI number and following the steps we've outlined, you can activate the service on your international factory unlocked phone with AT&T / Verizon. This workaround has been successful for many customers, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of AT&T and Verizon's network coverage and services. 

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