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Liberty Wireless lets you bring your own device

One reason Page Plus has received such critical acclaim is because you can activate any Verizon Wireless phone, instead of purchasing one from Page Plus. While the practice isn’t exactly uncommon now — MetroPCS has a flashing program, and Cricket supposedly does them — it’s still a boon for consumers. Instead of spending money on another — probably low-grade — handset, Page Plus allows you to use an existing handset and save that money for service. The latest carrier to hop aboard the bring your own device (BYOD) bandwagon: Liberty Wireless. You can now activate any Sprint phone, from the main carrier or an MVNO, when you sign up with Liberty.

The carrier lists three requirements on its site:

1. The phone must be from Sprint or a Sprint MVNO. These include 9278 Mobile, AirLink, Beyond, Credo, Embarq, Excel Wireless, Global Talk PCS, GSR Mobile, Helio, Jitterbug, Mobile PCS, Movida, PlatinumTel, Qwest, STI Mobile, Time Warner, Total Call Mobile, U Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Working Assets, ZUMA Prepaid. I’m sure there are others.

2. The ESN/MEID must be good. I’m assuming they just mean it hasn’t been flagged in the system for infractions.

3. Phone must not be active with any other carrier.

If your phone meets these requirements, you can go to Liberty’s website and select the BYOD option on the home page. You’ll have to pay a non-refundable processing fee of $1. Then, after you receive confirmation of purchase, send an email to [email protected], including your name, address, ZIP code, contact number, ESN/MEID Decimal, and ESN/MEID Hex. You should do this by forwarding the confirmation email, since Liberty asks that you attach it.

The process can take up to a week, during which Liberty will activate your phone and put 200 minutes into your account. They will email you the relevant information — MDN, MSID, and MSL codes — but you have to figure out the programming process on your own, and Liberty does not offer support on the phones. That’s an enormous caveat emptier. Do not get into this if you don’t know how to complete the process. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up leaving a nasty comment on our Liberty Wireless review.