Almost exactly a year ago, Sprint revealed something quite radical: a full year free unlimited service if you bring your own phone
It should of course be a time limited offer. But guess what? It is still available.
This is not to be confused with Sprint's other recent headlines plan:. This is available to everyone, not just people switching from another provider, and the rate is good beyond the first year. (By the way, this offer runs out today .)
But let's talk about this free plan, because there certainly have to be some strings, hooks, hooks and whatever.
Not really. The plan remains surprisingly generous: you can keep your current phone (if it's compatible, natch – which means it needs to be unlocked and Sprints supports CDMA tapes) and your current phone number.
The latter is indeed a key requirement: you can not set up a new service. You need to transfer a number from AT & T, T-Mobile or Verizon. (If your phone currently has no active service, you may be able to work around that, see below.) Can you port from a smaller provider? If it's not a Sprint MVNO (like Boost Mobile), the answer is likely. I'm on Cricket Wireless (an AT & T MVNO), and when I plugged in my IMEI number, Sprint said I was eligible.
How free is free?
What is actually contained in this free plan, and what will really cost ? The plan envisages a full year of Sprint Unlimited, giving you unlimited calls, SMS, and 4G LTE data, including 1080p video streaming and 10GB mobile hotspot data.
As far as the cost is concerned, you pay 2.99 for ] SIM card and $ 10 for overnight shipping. You also have to pay the $ 30 activation fee, but you will get it back after two months. In addition, Sprint charges a "$ 1.99 standard fee and a $ 0.40 regular fee," as well as other taxes and fees.
In other words, plan to spend about $ 3-4 a month to keep this "free" line active.
After your first year, regular rates are $ 60 a month, with price breaks per line if you have additional ones. (For example, $ 40 for the second line, $ 30 for the third, and so on.)
How to Get the Sprint Deal When You Have No Existing Number
As mentioned above, this offer is only good if you are porting an active number from another (non-sprint) bearer. But what if you have a phone that currently has no service (and therefore a number)?
There may be a workaround. When I tried to use a similar deal from Virgin Mobile (a Sprint MVNO), I was able to enter a Google Voice number. Follow these steps:
Step 1: If you do not already have one, get yourself a Google Voice number. It's free.
Step 2: Unlock the number so it can be ported to Virgin Mobile. You can do this by visiting www.google.com/voice/unlock and following the steps there. There is a $ 3 unlocking fee. Once you receive the confirmation message, take a screenshot. You probably will not need it, but it's a good thing just in case.
Step 3: Call Sprint (866-782-8777) and ask for the Free Unlimited Plan. (However, you still can not sign up online because the Google Voice number is not technically registered for your phone's IMEI number.) If the employee asks for your phone number and carrier, tell Google Voice.
I can not promise it works, but for Virgin Mobile. (Share your success or failure stories in the comments.)
Editor's Note: This entry was originally published on June 13, 2017 and has since been updated with new information.