Dec 13 AT 6:27 PM Taylor Wimberly 112 Comments

How to setup the Nexus 4 and Google Voice for Solavei

nexus-4-shiny-630

Since Google sells the Nexus 4 unlocked and without a contract, it makes the perfect smartphone for pre-paid wireless service. We already covered the best pre-paid plans for the Nexus 4, but I wanted to take a moment and explain my personal setup. After carefully reviewing all the options, I decided to go with Solavei since they have a clearly defined data policy and they offer bonuses for referring friends and family.

It appears that hundreds of you also came to the same conclusion because I am getting questions almost every day about using the Nexus 4 on Solavei. I’m glad to answer questions for anyone that needs help, but I thought it would be nice to document everything in a single post that we can refer to.

Getting a micro SIM from Solavei

The first step to enrolling with Solavei includes checking your phone’s IMEI number to make sure it is compatible. Solavei operates on T-Mobile’s network and the Nexus 4 works great on it, but Solavei has not updated their database with all of the latest IMEI numbers. If you try to enter the IMEI number from your Nexus 4, you will see a message that says your phone is not usable.

In order to “trick” the IMEI check, you can use the IMEI number from any supported phone that also uses a micro SIM card. I used the IMEI number from a Galaxy S III and Solavei shipped me a micro SIM that works with the Nexus 4.

Use this IMEI number to get a micro SIM: 353721053628149

If you accidentally ordered a normal sized SIM card from Solavei, you can get a Micro SIM Cutter from Amazon and trim your card down to size.

Access Point Names (APN) Settings

After you receive your Nexus 4 and Solavei SIM card, you might need to update your APN settings. I have heard several people say that they activated their Solavei SIM card, popped it in the Nexus 4, and they had internet working with the default T-Mobile US APN settings. I went ahead and used the APN settings suggested for the Nexus 4 on the Solavei support site:

  1. On the device, tap the Menu icon.
  2. Select Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Access Point Names.
  3. Press the Menu key and tap New APN.
  4. Select Name, enter solavei and tap OK. -
  5. Select APN, enter solavei and tap OK.
  6. Enter the user name and password listed below. If no value is listed, leave the field blank.
    • User name: <leave blank>
    • Password: <leave blank>
  7. Select MMSC, enter http://solavei.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc and tap OK.
  8. Select MMS proxy: <leave blank>
  9. Select MMS port: <leave blank>
  10. Select MMS protocol: WAP 2.0
  11. MCC: 310
  12. MNC: 260
  13. Select : Authentication type: Not set
  14. Select APN type:default,supl,admin,mms,hipri (no spaces in here)
  15. APN enable/disable: APN enabled.
  16. Press the Menu key and select Save
  17. Press the radio button next to Solavei to set the profile as default.
  18. At this time, turn the phone Off and then back On again.
  19. Test the settings by sending a picture message to yourself.
  20. Tap the Menu icon.
  21. Tap Browser.
  22. Enter a non-Google web site to test.

 

Google Voice Settings

I switch pre-paid services all the time, so I went ahead and ported my main number to Google Voice. This allows me to enroll with any pre-paid service and take whatever new number they give me. Then I just login to my Google Voice phone settings and forward my Google Voice number to the new number I receive. Then I install the Google Voice Android app and set it to handle all outgoing calls.

 

The Google Voice app will walk you through the setup, but you can change your call settings at any time.

  • Open the Google Voice app
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Making calls
  • Select Google Voice to make all calls

I also use the Google Voice app to send and receive text messages (SMS).

  • Open the Google Voice app
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Sync and notifications
  • Go to Receive text messages
  • Select receive via the Google Voice app

Call Forwarding Settings for Google Voicemail

Finally, I also use Google Voice to handle all my voicemail. Solavei supports call forwarding, so you just need to forward to your Google Voice number when busy, unreachable, or unanswered.

Open the Phone app, enter these MMI codes one at a time, and hit send:

  • **61*PHONENUMBER#   Forward when busy
  • **62*PHONENUMBER#   Forward when unreachable
  • **67*PHONENUMBER#   Forward when unanswered

Make sure to enter the country code before your phone number. Example: 1-333-333-3333 would be **61*13333333333#

After entering the MMI codes, you can check the Phone app to make sure they are set.

  • Open the Phone app
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Call forwarding
  • Review settings

If you run into problems, you might need to call customer support (866-SOLAVEI) and ask them to remove the “Call Forwarding Block Feature”. See this support thread for additional help.

Need additional help?

If you run into any other problems, you have several options. Leave a comment below, visit the official Solavei support site, or call customer support. I’ve only called customer support once, but they were friendly and took care of my issue right away.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with using the Nexus 4 on Solavei. The data speeds are fast (10-15 Mbps down, 1-2 Mbps up), coverage is what you would expect from T-Mobile, and my service is now free since I referred enough people.

Full disclosure: I am a Solavei member, but I’m not going to share my referral link unless someone asks me for it. There are plenty of other members on this site that have enrolled and I’m sure they would be happy to share their link if you are interested in joining.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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