CDMA Prepaid Plans with Sprint Phone

by Terry B.
(Ann Arbor, MI, USA)

I'd like to activate a Sprint CDMA phone I own with a prepaid plan. Who offers that type of plan. I'd prefer not to buy another phone.

Comments for CDMA Prepaid Plans with Sprint Phone

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Dec 13, 2010
Converting Sprint Phone to Prepaid
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Generally speaking, Sprint does not allow its handsets to be activated on its prepaid plans under Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile. HOWEVER, depending on how old your phone is, you may be able to. This is possible because there was a time that although they didn't officially support it (and certainly didn't promote it), ANY Sprint phones could be activated on Boost. They did have processes to occasionally remove Sprint phones from the prepaid plans, however, at some point less than two years ago, they officially grandfathered certain Sprint devices to be able to be used on Boost (I'm not sure if this is the case for Virgin, as this occurred prior to the Virgin acquisition).

So if your phone is two or more years old, it's very possible that it will work. Note, though, that not all Sprint phones were grandfathered. Only Sprint phones that had already been activated on Boost plans. i.e. They were trying to avoid people who had these phones activated already from being kicked off and having a bad experience, and likely moving to a competitor if they had been happily using their Sprint phone on a prepaid plan for a long time and suddenly got kicked off.

Of course, policies and procedures change all the time, so you never know what the case is today. You do have other options though. MetroPCS and Cricket dealers will often flash Sprint phones to be used on their networks (any CDMA phone in fact). The process isn't always clean though, so you'll want to make sure you ask a lot of questions about whether messaging, Web/data will work. Sometimes with flashed phones only voice works, though I have seen many examples of these carriers having fully functional CDMA phones from other carriers work on their networks. Keep in mind that there is a risk that something goes wrong and the phone can not be reverted back, meaning that it won't even work on Sprint any longer, so please be aware of the risks, and ask the dealer whether they've had experience with your particular phone.

I'm sure there are other MVNOs of Sprint that can get these phones to work on their networks, and hopefully someone with this experience will respond. Generally, though, Sprint prevents its partners from doing this to prevent them from losing money on subsidized handsets being lost to other wireless providers.

Unless you're really attached to your phone, I expect that before too long you'll want to replace your phone anyway, and there are so many great options for prepaid out there now that you may just want to try another provider.

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