Why is my phone not accepted at Tello?
Will my phone work at Tello?
This is the most common question people have for us. (well, this and “are your prices really that small?” – YES, but let’s focus on devices for now).
Bringing the phone you love at Tello is easy-peasy, especially if you already own an unlocked GSM-compatible device that supports LTE BANDS 2, 4 an 12, and is compatible with VoLTE. If you are on a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan, your phone is probably unlocked. Just in case, the most reliable way to find out is by calling your current carrier.
🛎️ To see if the device is a match, use our handy online tool to check your phone compatibility.
If after going to our Bring Your Own Device page and entering the IMEI you get an “Oops” message (🤯 ) or something related to an unresolved account issue (🤔 ), don’t sweat it. We’re here to provide info & help so you can sort any problem, join Tello asap & enjoy the savings you’ve been longing for!
Why am I seeing the “Oops” message when checking my phone’s compatibility?
There are several possibilities why your device is not eligible to be enrolled with Tello at this time and here are the most common:
1. Your device is not designed for the US market
You may have purchased your device abroad or the device was manufactured abroad and therefore it is not compatible with the network used by Tello.
2. Your device is a CDMA network only device
Tello only accepts unlocked GSM devices or unlocked multi-network phones that incorporate both CDMA & GSM (Examples are Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, and Motorola X).
To confirm that your device is CDMA only, you can check the IMEI/MEID/ESN code of the phone with a CDMA only provider. If it is accepted there, it cannot be brought to us right now.
3. Incompatible Bands
Your device may not have the right frequency bands to work on the Tello GSM network and so is not on the list of eligible devices.
To best use the new network, your phone needs to have, as minimum requirements LTE frequency bands 2, 4, 12 + VoLTE and when talking about an ideal connection: bands 2, 4, 12, 66, 71 + VoLTE. Key takeaway: Regardless of the phone brand you fancy, always go for a device that supports voice over 4G (VoLTE), which will help make the most of the newly expanded network.
If buying a phone from a 3rd party seller, make sure that the specs of the device you are considering buying have some of the GSM bands above included. Phone manufacturers will always include this information as part of the phone specs.
4. Misplaced Digit
Just double-check that you have copied the exact IMEI/MEID/ESN code into the field provided.
Mis-typing the code or leaving the code a digit short is a common way of getting stuck – it happens a lot!
5. Your Phone is Too Old
There are some really old phones hanging around still that are no longer compatible with Tello (Blackberry, Plam). We know, quite the bummer :(. When we say old phones, we generally mean pre-2018 ones, but it does depend on the model.
6. FED Not Met
You received the message: “This device can’t be activated on Tello right now due to an unresolved account issue with your previous provider. Please contact them to solve it.”
This means that the device has not reached financial eligibility with your previous provider and the account holder is the only one that has the authorization to request a fix.
You need to confirm with your previous provider that you have ended your contract with them and specifically request that they unlock your device. Providers may take between 2 and 5 business days before completing the device-unlocking process and then you should check compatibility here on Tello again after that.
If you bought the phone from a 3rd party you may want to ask for a refund.
👀 A Note About “Unlocked” Phones From 3rd Party Sellers:
Most phone sellers will say “the phone is unlocked to use with any carrier”.
This does NOT mean that the phone will actually work with every carrier. Regardless of whether the phone is “unlocked” or not, some phones were manufactured to only work on a specific network.
Therefore, we do not recommend purchasing phones from unverified third-party sellers before you have had the opportunity to properly check the phone’s compatibility using the compatibility tool provided on our website https://tello.com/bring_your_own_phone.
🤖 Need a double-check?
If you still think that your device passes all these criteria above and that it should be compatible with Tello, then please email us with the following device information; IMEI/MEID/ESN: Make & Model: Current / Most recent US Provider: With such information, we will be able to investigate further and get back to you in no time!