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Sprint opening BYOD to all MVNOs

One recent trend in prepaid invoves bringing your own device to a new carrier, termed BYOD. This is a boon for consumers, who don’t have to purchase a new phone when they switch carriers. It can be a bit complicated, given the divided network technologies in the US, combined with the practice of locking phones. But MVNOs have an advantage, in that they work off the networks of postpaid carriers — so they can therefore activate phones from that carrier with little hassle. That is, if they have permission from the carrier. Sprint has just granted that permission, and it could prove to be a win for consumers looking to switch to prepaid after fulfilling a postpaid contract.

The condition, of course, is that the device has to be Sprint compatible. But Sprint customers, current and former, who have old devices lying around can go and activate them on a Sprint MVNO starting today. They can also go and purchase an old Sprint-locked device in a marketplace such as eBay and gain the same benefit.

The prospect of buying an old device on eBay is especially interesting. Most of the phones sold on eBay are unlocked, and therefore cost quite a bit more than you’d expect from a locked phone. But older, carrier-locked models can be a bit cheaper for buyers. It helps sellers get even a small amount of moeny for unused devices, and it gives value-seeking customers a way to get a cheap phone for potentially valuable cell phone service.

Again, the service starts today. The MVNO, of course, will have to approve all device activations.

Via Phone Scoop.

5 Responses

  1. Phil Says

    Please give an example. Are you saying I could take an old Sprint iPhone to Virgin Mobile or another such prepaid carrier?


    Posted on March 6th, 2013 at 7:56 am
  2. Omar Says

    This is going to be huge! Think of all the people above 40 years of age who don’t have data plans and still pay $40+ bills every month. This is half that, and they can continue using their phones (or buy one for under $50 on eBay.

    The potential problem with this is that, considering that the only handsets compatible with the Sprint network are Sprint’s own phones, post-paid Sprint customers might become pre-paid customers who represent no net gain for Sprint in terms of subscribers all while lowering the Sprint’s revenue per subscriber.

    In short, this is good new for Sprint if it’s not Sprint’s current post-paid subscribers, who are best positioned to take advantage of this, who end up employing the program.


    Posted on March 6th, 2013 at 3:59 pm
  3. Omar Says

    The “this” in “this is half of that…” found in my previous comment’s first paragraph is Voyager’s and ChiChat’s $19 and $20 unlimited talk and text plans, respectively.


    Posted on March 6th, 2013 at 4:05 pm
  4. Ike Denvers Says

    This is a policy implemented months ago late last year. So far Sprint Mvnos Ting, Kajeet, Eco, Prepayd ad Chit Chat participate. There are many, many Sprint mvnos. Hopefully, more of them will join. There are limitations though. No iphones, Blackberries , Palm devices, push to talk, Virgin/Boost/Sprint prepaid phones, bad esn and non Sprint phones. Better then what they had a year ago which was nothing.
    Virgin mobile is a Sprint prepaid division, not an mvno so there is no byod on VM. Boost mobile officially supports nearly 30 Sprint devices, none of then 4G and only three of them are smartphones . Hopefully, they will allow more.


    Posted on March 7th, 2013 at 5:13 am
  5. Rich Says

    But if you have US Cellular, which Sprint bought out, you will have to buy a new phone once the takeover is complete, because US Cellular phones are not compatable on the Sprint network.


    Posted on May 20th, 2013 at 2:33 am

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