The other three national carriers have embraced BYOP more or less enthusiastically while Sprint has thrown up all sorts of roadblocks against it. You can't use a phone sold for Sprint postpaid on Sprint Prepaid or Virgin Mobile. You can only use a limited number of Sprint phones on Boost. Using a phone sold for one Sprint prepaid brand, such as Boost Mobile, on a different Sprint Prepaid brand like Virgin Mobile is strictly prohibited. None of these restrictions makes technical sense as Sprint postpaid phones and the phones sold for all three prepaid of Sprint's prepaid brands support the same network technologies and bands.
Yesterday, Sprint quietly opened the BYOP door a tiny bit. You can now use certain iPhone models and the unlocked Special Edition versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge sold by Best Buy on Virgin Mobile. Here's the complete list of non-Virgin Mobile phones that can be used on Virgin Mobile:
- iPhone 7 (Verizon Only)
- iPhone 7 Plus (Verizon Only)
- iPhone SE (Verizon Only)
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 5s (Verizon Only)
- iPhone 5c (Verizon Only)
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Special Edition
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Special Edition
- $35/month, unlimited, talk, messaging and data with the first 5 GB at high speeds
- $45/month, unlimited, talk, messaging and data with the first 10 GB at high speeds
I sort of understand the reasoning behind blocking postpaid phones on prepaid. I think Sprint management fears that if they allowed postpaid users to use their phones on less expensive prepaid, many postpaid customers make the switch to prepaid, hurting Sprint's bottom line. But I believe that reasoning is flawed. Once a customer has run the numbers and determined that they can save money with prepaid they have already made up their mind to make the switch. Sprint has lost that customer as a postpaid customer, but they can still have a chance to keep them as a prepaid customer. Allowing the customer switching to prepaid to use their current phone gives the customer an incentive to stay with a Sprint prepaid brand. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all seem to understand that and allow users switching from postpaid to prepaid to keep their phones. Sprint does not and I believe that's typical of the clueless management that's made Sprint number four.
Source: Virgin Mobile