Lifeline Program Bring Your Own Phone - BYOP
Sometimes I get the question as to whether or not you can use your own cell phone with the free government phone service. The quick answer is yes. The longer answer is…as long as it’s an unlocked phone that is compatible with the service provider’s network.
Cell phones communicate using different technologies. There’s CDMA (used by carriers such as Verizon, Spring and US Cellular) and GSM (used by AT&T). Many of the newer phones are compatible with both technologies. However, if you have an older cell phone and want to use it with your free government phone provider, you’ll need to double check for compatibility.
Free Service Providers and Their Requirements
Most phone service providers that participate in the Lifeline Program to offer free phones and service have the information on their websites. If you can’t find it on their website, call them. However, if you do call them, you’ll need to have your phone’s serial number, IMEI or MEID number. This is what they use to see if your phone will work with their networks.
Below is a listing of several free phone service providers. If your provider is on the list, please visit their website to confirm cell phone compatibility. The list will be updated as time permits.
One Tip for your Free Phone Service
When it comes to using or bringing your own cell phone, it’s best to have one with as much space as possible. Too often I hear complaints that although the phone was given for free, there’s very little space to download apps, save photos, etc. Keep that in mind when acquiring a cell phone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This site was created to help people find information about free government phones. We do not mail, activate or repair free government phones nor do we provide service. If you have questions about phone service we suggest you contact the phone service provider directly.
Last Modified: 2 December 2022
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