Sprint is announcing a new program called "Bring Your Own Sprint Device" that is aimed at reducing waste by letting users bring used and inactive Sprint devices to approved MVNO partner carriers. The program will let deactivated and otherwise unused phones be re-activated on MVNOs that use the Sprint network, like Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. The MVNO carrier will determine the device's eligibility to be re-activated -- although the requirements have not yet been specified -- and then activate it for use like any other device on the network. Sprint is focusing on reducing the waste associated with the number of phones that sit unused or are thrown away, which could be notably decreased if more used phones can be reused on other carriers.

Another big part of this is increasing the number of devices available to Sprint MVNO customers. Traditionally these carriers have limited device selection to those they sell directly, which aren't always great. If this program is indeed open to all used and deactivated Sprint-branded devices, carriers like Virgin and Boost could lure in many new customers that wouldn't have considered them previously because of their device selection.

Source: Sprint


Reader comments

'Bring Your Own Sprint Device' lets users activate used Sprint phones on MVNOs


If they're using the rules Ting is (I assume Sprint gave them the rules), the requirements are something like this:
* Only non-LTE phones
* No Blackberry, iPhone, or Windows Phones
* Not active
* No blacklisted ("BAD") ESN (not reported lost or stolen, or from an unpaid account)

Also, if you're switching from Sprint to an MVNO, you might need another phone to port your number to while the device migration happens (https://ting.com/blog/bring-a-sprint-device-to-ting-you-know-you-wanna/).

I just bought two used Samsung Epic 4G Touch (Galaxy S II for Sprint) phones off eBay with a clean ESN and had no trouble activating them on Ting.

Ting will let you buy LTE phones from them, you just can't bring your own at this time.

Either way they will be using Sprint's network, which is over crowded. If this was another carrier doing this then sure but unless Sprint can improve their network substantially then I don't see the point.

Network Vision? HAHA. Guess what. My area "supposedly" got its VISION corrected a few months back. Today I still have 1-bar of signal and unusable Sprint service indoors without the aide of my AIRAVE femtocell which Sprint had to provide free-of-charge for me to stay with them. I'm also in an area that used to have great service, until - well, let's just spell it out - the iPhone arrived on the network. Now this is not an "I hate Apple" statement, because I like Apple products and use them often, but the coincidence of my signal crashing and the iPhone launching are simply to hard to ignore or discount. I think Sprint has talked a good game regarding Network Vision, but I also think they've put more attention and resources into deploying 4G in order to complete with Verizon and AT&T (and soon T-Mobile) while letting their 3G network languish. 3G was terrible even where I work, and today I still don't know if that's improved any - mostly because 4G is there now and it's the network my Galaxy Nexus sees first.

Finally someone else has seen the same things as I have. The first day Sprint started selling the iPhone here, I couldn't get a data connection at all and it really hasn't improved that much since then. I keep hoping their LTE rollout gets "rolling out" much faster.

If you don't like the service either call Sprint CS and ask for a credit on your monthly bill or pay the ETF and leave.

I have pretty good LTE coverage but they must address the 3G issue. It is pretty bad even after all the Network Vision upgrades in my area.

Not sure what the reason is for this.

The AIRAVE question was one I wanted to ask. Currently, they do not allow MVNO communications over the AIRAVE devices. Are they going to open those up? I have one for Sprint on my account, due to the extremely bad service in my rural area (not iPhone related, more like failing tower that they have ignored). Another family member has Virgin Mobile, and can't pick up a signal over the device...

Likely, you'll have to buy the phone at full retail. In the 2yr contract you would sign, still would come out cheaper. Just a high upfront cost.

My family uses Sprint and I have one upgrade available. :) If Sprint lets us use LTE phones on Virgin, I would strongly consider it.

on a family plan possibly, but other wise lets see:

24*35 + 600 = 1440 vs 24*80 + 100 = 2020
mvno vs sprint

mvno is far cheaper.

Likely not going to be apart of the program until Sprint allows their LTE devices to be activated without hacking ESN's on MVNOs.

Is this possible?

I am currently on Virgin Mobile and if it is then could you please explain the process to me?


It probably helps that T-Mobile is no longer looking like it's about to be absorbed by Ma Bell and is actually putting a major effort into their network and radically overhauling their no-contract plans :)

Now Sprint and T-Mobile need to BOTH step up their game in the coverage department and they'll keep the duopoly (a bit more) honest!

I abandoned Sprint in January with no look of ever going back. For those that do continue to get good service more power to you. You are part of a group that are a few and far in between...

I didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but is there a certain date they are going to start doing this? Or is it essentially tell your MVNO that you have a Sprint phone to activate, and they'll try to figure it out?

Edit: I did a little searching and found the answer. The program starts with the announcement, and it's pretty much up to the MVNOs to take it from here.

Total BS! I literally was on the phone today with SPRINT trying to activate as-you-go service using an Sprint iPhone with a perfectly clean ESN (MEID) and was flat out refused, and told if I purchased a specific to use Pay-as-I-go iPhone 4 I could activate it on this service. Make sense? NO! This "supervisor" tried telling me only Sprint "pay as you go" phones purchased either at a Sprint store or their website is acceptable because (ready for this?) a "contract" is required when activating the phone. WTH idiots, yes I spoke to 2 other supervisors and also my local Sprint store. If anyone here has activated an already owned Sprint iPhone on this service I would sure like to hear how!

Sprint pay as you go is different then boost, vm etc. I have a list of accepted phones and they are mostly old model phones that are end of life. I looked on my sheet of phones that could be transferred over and the iphone was not one of them. The only way I have been able to get an iPhone on boost is to activate a donor phone then repair the ESN and HA / AAA 3g keys. The idea is to keep old phones out of land fills so they keep the newest phones off the list so you have to pay more to use the service.

I should have read the article more thoroughly. I just spent $360 on a Sprint phone that I cannot use on Virgin Mobile.

I just got off the phone with Virgin Mobile (2/4/2014) and they told me that we will be able to bring Sprint to their service in May 2014. Yes, this includes certain models of iPhones as well. I have an iPhone 4S which they assure me is compatible.