Does Solavei have its own Mobile Network?
No, Solavei service operates on T-Mobile's nationwide 4G network. Solavei members have access to the exact same levels of coverage and data speeds as other T-Mobile users. Coverage and service levels may vary from phone to phone, however, as data speed and other capabilities depend on the radio frequencies in its unique hardware.
What can affect my service?
Buildings, trees, walls, and weather can all diminish the radio waves that cellular towers broadcast. Even if our coverage map features 4G coverage, you may not get strong cell reception if, for example, you are in the basement of a big, concrete building. This is the case with any mobile phone under any carrier, not just Solavei. However, because different carriers operate on different radio frequencies, coverage may vary between a Solavei phone and an identical phone with another carrier.
Why can't all unlocked GSM phones (like iPhones) get 4G data speeds?
Each wireless carrier uses a certain set of radio frequencies for different services or data speeds on their mobile phones.
Most mobile phones can only detect a few different radio frequencies. An AT&T phone uses different frequencies for different services than a Solavei phone — so you may experience different levels of coverage or data speeds, depending on which carrier your phone came from.
If a phone uses a different set of radio frequencies for 4G than Solavei does, that phone may not be able to access 4G data speeds on Solavei’s network, or even use the Solavei network at all.
The reason we ask you to check the Device ID (IMEI) number from your phone during enrollment is to check whether your phone is compatible with the Solavei network.
- You can check compatibility by going to Solavei.com and looking under "verify your phone"
- Current members can also go to solavei.com and log in to use the Device ID (IMEI) check, which is labeled "Prequalify Phone" at the top of the screen.
How do I know if my phone is unlocked?
If you purchased your phone with a contract and have not contacted that carrier to get your unlock code, your phone is most likely locked. If you purchased your phone from someone stating the phone was "unlocked" and you want to double check, the Data APN settings in your phone can only be changed in an unlocked phone, so if you have access to that function in your menu, your phone is most likely unlocked.
Will I ever be able to get 4G data on my iPhone with Solavei?
Our network operator participates in ongoing efforts to enhance our network so that more phones, including the iPhone, will get data speeds up to 4G. These changes are already being rolled out in select markets.
The 4G logo will not appear next to the carrier logo, however, if you are using a compatible iPhone in one of our re-farmed markets you will experience speeds that are comparable to a 4G experience. Your phone should display a 3G logo, only because the device lacks the software to display the 4G icon.
- Current major markets that get up to 4G (HSPA+) on the 1900 MHz network — Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Anaheim, Fresno, Los Angeles, Modesto, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Stockton, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Boston, Cambridge, Springfield, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Warren, Minneapolis, Newark, Las Vegas, Reno, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Seattle and more.**
- Solavei's mobile network partner plans to add even more major cities** to the 1900 MHz network with locations announced as they become available.
** Information current as of 5/2013
Will Visual Voicemail work on my iPhone on the Solavei Network?
To utilize Visual Voicemail, you can download a third party app such as YouMail. Find out more about Visual Voicemail.
Can I use a "jailbroken" phone on the Solavei network?
We don't recommend purchasing or using an iPhone unlocked by anyone other than the original service provider, as some of the services and features that you expect on an iPhone may not be available on a "jailbroken" device.
Is iMessage supported?
Yes, iMessage is supported. You must have the iMessage feature turned on in Settings>Messages>iMessage:ON. It is also recommended to upgrade to the latest operating system.
When a new iOS comes out will my iPhone re-lock during the update process?
If you followed the proper steps through your carrier, your Device ID (IMEI) should be excluded from the re-locking step of the update through iTunes. If you used another method to unlock your iPhone, then there is a strong possibility that your phone will be "relocked," and you will have to go through the unlocking process again.
Does Solavei offer mobile hotspot?
Mobile Hotspot and Tethering are not currently supported services.
Can I connect my iPhone to iTunes once the APN Settings are changed?
Yes, if you followed the proper unlocking steps, you can still connect to iTunes.
iPhone 5 FAQs
Does Solavei offer Nano SIMs?
Yes! Learn more about how to get your SIM Card.
What is a Nano SIM card?
A Nano SIM card is smaller and 15% thinner than a Micro SIM card, a new standard that launched with the iPhone 5. Do not to attempt to modify your current SIM card to fit it into the Nano SIM slot in the new iPhone 5 for the following reasons:
- You could irreparably damage your SIM card, which would cause you to lose saved data and be without service until you receive a replacement SIM card.
- You could damage the new iPhone 5 because of the difference in size and configuration of the Nano versus current SIMs.
How do I know if my iPhone 5 will get the best service and coverage?
On April 12th, an updated iPhone 5 model was launched that has new hardware to support the 1700/2100 frequencies that we use for 3G/4G data speeds nationwide. Not all iPhone 5's sold from April 12th forward will be the updated iPhone 5 because dealers will have remaining stock of the older iPhone 5 version. Unlocked, iPhone 5c and 5s's will all be able to take full advantage of the Solavei network if.
You can find out what version of the iPhone 5 you have by one of the following two ways:
1. On the Box
Look for "1700/2100" under UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA.
Look for one of the below model numbers.
2. In Settings
Tap "General" then "About." The model should be one of the following:
How do I buy an unlocked version of the iPhone?
On Apple's Online Store
To purchase an iPhone 5s or 5c (the iPhone 5c is comparable to the iPhone 5) on www.apple.com, follow the below steps.
- Select iPhone from the top menu
- Select the desired phone at the top of the page
- Select the blue "buy now" button in the top right menu
- Select the color you want (ignore the price for this step)
- Scroll down past the carrier section to the "Unlocked and contract-free T-Mobile" section
- Select the iPhone with the storage that you want
- Select the "SIM Free" option
- In the top right corner under "Summary" please click on "Select"
- Add any desired accessories and click on "Add to cart" (even if you didn't choose any accessories)
- On the next page click "Check Out" and follow the next steps.
In an Apple Retail Store
When you go to purchase an unlocked iPhone 5s or 5c (the iPhone 5c is comparable to the iPhone 5) in an Apple store.
- Inform them that you want to buy an unlocked iPhone 5s or 5c compatible with T-Mobile
- The amount of memory and color you want included with your phone (16GB, 32GB, 64GB) and (white,black)