Some much needed context on sunset devices
All the major players in the USA are close to the shutting down all their 2G networks in order to provide better service to their customers and to reuse the 2G spectrum for LTE instead. As cellular carriers are moving away from legacy networks and customers delay upgrades, it makes the 2G/3G sunset (love the metaphor, don’t you?) a significant transition for many companies.
On April 30, 2019, our network provider Sprint announced that they were implementing a security update to their network. Some older phone models are not compatible with the update and therefore will not receive OTA (over-the-air) activation and updates.
If when going through the Bring Your Own Device process, our website alerted you to the fact that you have one of these older phones, you may be able to still activate it with Tello, but there will be significant service limitations and it will eventually lose service permanently.
Voice & Text Service Only:
The phone will NOT work with cellular data.
This means that you cannot have a data plan as part of your service. Since a data plan is required in order to send/receive group text messages and picture/video messages, you will not be able to use these services.
OTA Activation & Updates:
The phone will have to be manually programmed and you will no longer receive network and firmware or software updates. Although we can provide instructions to manually program the phone – see below – you will eventually experience a degradation of service due to not receiving network updates.
What do we recommend?
If this is a possibility, we recommend that you replace the phone with a newer model available with Tello. Keep an eye on our constant promotions and phones on sale and get a great deal on a new device.
However, if you are not able to purchase a different phone now, we would recommend trying to activate the phone and using it in the short term until you can upgrade. If you decide to try to use this phone with Tello, it will only be able to make and receive calls and basic text messages as detailed above.
After your order is processed, you will then need to manually program the phone by following these instructions:
1. Log in to your online Tello account and click on “My Phone”.
2. Locate the MSID and MSL numbers on that page.
3. On your phone keypad enter ##MSL# (where MSL is the MSL number from your online account).
4. Select the option to “Edit”.
5. In the MDN or phone number field, enter your 10-digit phone number (without the 1) and press “OK”.
6. In the MSID field, clear all the zeroes and enter the MSID number (from your online account), and press “OK”.
7. Touch “Done”, the phone will reboot (if it does not reboot automatically, do so manually).
8. The phone should now be activated.
If you have questions or need assistance, please go to our Contact page and email us with your inquiry & ESN/IMEI/MEID. We’ll tend to your every need, in no time!