by sb (admin)
Hi, a reader, Pris, contacted me about using her old contract phone with a prepaid service. Here's our email exchange which I received permission to reprint here.
From the feedback form:
First Name: Pris
Subject: Using your own phone
Message: Great site! Does one have to buy a phone from the service in order to use their prepaid minutes or can you use the expensive phone you already paid through the nose under contract to own? Mine is not super fancy, just nice Motorola i776
My initial reply:
Thanks for your kind words. About your question, it depends on which service you go with. Tracfone, Net10 and Straight Talk are NOT compatible with using your own phone. However, some of the other services might work.
In your case, the i776 is (I think) a CDMA-type phone offered by Sprint. This means it's not compatible with the companies that use GSM phones such as AT&T and T-Mobile. However, there are a couple of prepaid services that use Sprint's network such as Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. Your best bet would be see if you can use it with one of those those services (probably Boost). A longer shot would be to try to use it with one of Verizon's prepaid plans as Verizon also uses CDMA-based phones.
Hope this helps.
She wrote back to say:
Thank you so much! Your website was really helpful. Boost will accept my phone for a $19.95 entry sim card with $10 in minutes purchase. This will save me around $40.00 a month thereafter. When I called Sprint to see about contract obligations, and there were none, they offered to transfer me to Boost. Interesting that they are playing both ends.
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