Many readers ask me about using the Sprint iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5 and in this article I’ll with you what I know about it. I personally do not use a Sprint iPhone nor use Straight Talk’s Sprint network so I do not have first hand experience with the matter.
Straight Talk uses 4 different networks (ATT, Verizon, Sprint and TMobile). When you sign up for Straight Talk your phone will use one of these four networks. Usually Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) customers use the same network they were on or that the phone was sold for when moving to Straight Talk.
So for example, if you were a Sprint customer, or have a Sprint iPhone, you’ll use it with Straight Talk’s Sprint network.
Using the Straight Talk’s Sprint Network
To use your iPhone with Straight Talk’s Sprint network, the phone needs to be eligible. The phone has a ID number called an MEID. You’ll need to check the MEID with Straight Talk to see if that specific phone is eligible. You can find the MEID in the phone’s settings. To check your phone is eligible, see Checking If You Can Use Your Verizon Smartphone with Straight Talk Wireless
Not all phone’s are eligible. If the phone was reported lost or stolen or the phone is still under contract, you may not be able to use it. Worse, if you do register the phone it’s possible in the phone’s ESN could be marked as bad and the phone will no longer operate on the Sprint network.
If your Sprint iPhone 5s, 5c, or 5 is elegible you then need to purchase a Network Access Code to register it on Straight Talk’s Sprint network.
It’s not clear to me if you’ll be able to get 4G fast LTE service or be limited to slower 3G service. Usually Sprint phone would need a SIM card to get 4G LTE service and Straight Talk doesn’t currently sell them.
Using the Straight Talk’s Verizon Network
Your Sprint iPhone 5s, 5c, or 5 might also work with Straight Talk’s Verizon network. Use the same steps above to see if the phone is eligible for use on Straight Talk’s Verizon network. Like with the Sprint network you’ll need a to buy a Network Access Code. If you are able to use your phone with the Verizon network, you should also buy a Straight Talk Verizon nano SIM so you’ll get 4G LTE service. Several smartphonematters readers have told me they have done this. The details are not clear.
Using the Straight Talk AT&T or TMobile Verizon Network
If your iPhone 5s, 5c, or 5 is unlocked it will work with Straight Talk’s ATT or TMobile network. You just need to get the right SIM card. I recommend you make sure the phone really is unlocked before buying though. You can to this by finding a friend that uses an iPhone 5 or later with ATT or TMobile. Borrow their SIM and put it in the phone. If the phone is unlocked, you’ll be able to make phone calls from that persons phone number. Sprint iPhones sold after a certain date are unlocked. Previously sold phones are locked but you may be able to get Sprint to unlock the phone for you. Unlocking Your AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone