news that Sprint will no longer allow its MVNOs to activate recent Sprint smartphones left many wondering if the Nexus 5 from the Google Play Store could be activated on Sprint MVNOs like Ting, PrepaYd or RingPlus. It looks like the answer is YES!
Even though the Nexus 5 is on the list of newly blacklisted devices, Ting is reassuring customers that if a Nexus 5 was sold by the Play Store, it can be activated on Ting now and in the future. Presumably that should also be true for other Sprint MVNOs that support BYOSD ("Bring Your Own Sprint Device").
The statement about the Nexus 5 comes from Ting Product Manager Justen Burdette and reads;
We've double-checked with Sprint. The short version is that unsubsidized Nexus 5 models purchased from Google Play should continue to be eligible for activation with Ting.
As we have said before, devices purchased from Sprint, Amazon, and Best Buy are not eligible.
We have a great relationship with the team at Sprint and we value them as an incredible partner. They make an investment in every retail device and customer, and part of the reasoning for the "iconic" device delay is to make sure that investment is not lost. We respect that goal.
We also love that the Nexus 5 gives customers a front-and-center choice to skip subsidies and choose what they want in a wireless provider."
Activating a Nexus 5 on Ting requires a special Sprint LTE micro SIM, part number SIMGLW206R and these are hard to get. At least some Sprint stores have them but all but a few are refusing to give or sell a SIM to anyone who isn't a Sprint customer. The cards are available on Ebay for $15-$20 and at some BestBuy stores for $30.
Getting a SIM, at least for Ting customers should get easier and less expensive soon, according to a post on the Ting Blog, Ting is in the process of getting a batch of SIMs that they will make available to Ting customers for free or at a nominal cost. You can sign up here to be notified when the SIMs are available from Ting.
If go have a Nexus 5 that you are trying to activate on a Sprint MVNO this thread on Ting's help forum and this one on RingPlus' forum look like good sources of information. There are lots of challenges getting everything working but several users have managed to get their Nexus 5s fully functional on Ting, RingPlus and PrepaYd.
Update: Ting has published a blog post announcing an open Beta for anyone who wants to activate a Play Store Nexus 5 on Ting. According to the post, Ting has started shipping LTE SIMs to interested users and will be providing email and telephone support for Nexus 5 users starting later next week.
Updated: Effective Nov 15, Sprint to Block Its MVNOs from Activating Galaxy S4, HTC One, Nexus 5 and Others
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