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Thread: Unlocking a just-purchased 5 year old Sprint phone ??

  1. #1
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    Unlocking a just-purchased 5 year old Sprint phone ??

    I am looking to buy an old Sprint phone to check the Sprint Network reception here (we have T-Mobile and AT&T network phones and both use a tower that is farther and out of line-of-sight, than two other closer towers that I speculate may be Sprint and Verizon.

    If the Sprint network is better, than I want to use a paygo Sprint MVNO, so AFAIK I need to have an unlocked phone.

    I am considering one phone that is roughly 5 years old, but in nice shape, the owner is moving to Verizon, the IMEI is clean (I checked), but it is Locked and he has less than 50 days of Sprint service, so they will not unlock it.

    As a new owner of the phone, with no Sprint service, can I get Sprint to unlock it, as provided by the terms of the Obama unlocking law ?

    [And yes I know that there are advertisers here who can unlock it for a fee, but that is not the question.]

    Thanks !

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Dude View Post
    I am looking to buy an old Sprint phone to check the Sprint Network reception here (we have T-Mobile and AT&T network phones and both use a tower that is farther and out of line-of-sight, than two other closer towers that I speculate may be Sprint and Verizon.

    If the Sprint network is better, than I want to use a paygo Sprint MVNO, so AFAIK I need to have an unlocked phone.

    I am considering one phone that is roughly 5 years old, but in nice shape, the owner is moving to Verizon, the IMEI is clean (I checked), but it is Locked and he has less than 50 days of Sprint service, so they will not unlock it.

    As a new owner of the phone, with no Sprint service, can I get Sprint to unlock it, as provided by the terms of the Obama unlocking law ?

    [And yes I know that there are advertisers here who can unlock it for a fee, but that is not the question.]

    Thanks !
    What phone are you talking about?

    Are you wanting to unlock to use on something other than sprint? Or unlock for use on an sprint MVNO. Sort of confused.

    Generally even IF it had the correct bands it’s never a good idea to use a sprint phone on another carrier.

    Now if the latter you wanting to use it on a Sprint MVNO there’s nothing to unlock. It’ll either work or it won’t. If it was prepaid etc etc it would have to be used for 6 months or a year before it can be used on a MVNO.


    How much are you gonna be paying for said 5 year old phone? You can get boost mobile phones for as low as $30 brand new in most places to test sprint coverage.


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    Quote Originally Posted by A Dude View Post
    I am looking to buy an old Sprint phone to check the Sprint Network reception here (we have T-Mobile and AT&T network phones and both use a tower that is farther and out of line-of-sight, than two other closer towers that I speculate may be Sprint and Verizon.

    If the Sprint network is better, than I want to use a paygo Sprint MVNO, so AFAIK I need to have an unlocked phone.

    I am considering one phone that is roughly 5 years old, but in nice shape, the owner is moving to Verizon, the IMEI is clean (I checked), but it is Locked and he has less than 50 days of Sprint service, so they will not unlock it.

    As a new owner of the phone, with no Sprint service, can I get Sprint to unlock it, as provided by the terms of the Obama unlocking law ?

    [And yes I know that there are advertisers here who can unlock it for a fee, but that is not the question.]

    Thanks !
    Unlikely. Sprint is terrible about unlocking unless you are a current customer, the phone is paid off and has been on postpaid for at least the 50 day minimum. Does it pass the Tello BYOD check?

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    Yes, it passes the Tello BYOD check.

    It is likely from before Feb 2015, so it is MSL locked, not SIM locked.

    It's under $50.

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    no, if they won't unlock it for the original owner before he leaves sprint, then you have to have it on sprint postpaid for 45 days minimum. best just buy an unlocked phone vs trying to jump through hoops.

    also check cellmapper to see which towers are in your area.

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    I don't think any carrier will unlock a phone that they didn't sell or if the user hasn't met the minimum unlocking criteria under any circumstance. Unlike At&t and T-mobile that have used SIM cards in their devices for almost 20 years, Sprint phones aren't unlocked like GSM phones as they relied on CDMA technology for all cellular services 5 years ago (age of the phone in the OP's question). Might be different with LTE or VOLTE enabled phones. Nothing new.
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