How to Convert Sprint CDMA to Boost Mobile CDMA

By Joetta Charnell

Code Division Multiple Access, or CDMA, is a widely used cell phone technology. Instead of using a constant frequency to transmit the audio signals, CDMA uses various frequencies that require a specific code to send and receive signals. Cell phone providers typically use different technologies to keep their phones from working on other networks. However, they sometimes form alliances which let users unlock their devices to switch networks. An alliance between Sprint and Boost Mobile means a phone can be converted from Sprint CDMA to Boost's network, or vice versa.

Step 1

Buy a Boost CDMA phone. Alternately, you can look online for an exchange site or message board to purchase or borrow Electronic Serial Number (ESN) codes from other cell phone users. The ESN code is a unique number for a CDMA phone that identifies both the model of the phone and the account to which the phone is linked. The ESN is used by the service provider to activate a mobile plan. You will need this plan to activate and use the Sprint CDMA phone later.

Step 2

Find the ESN code on the Sprint CDMA phone. Look under the battery for this 16-digit code, or look on the side of the box it came in. Write the code down.

Step 3

Call Boost customer service and ask to activate the device. Provide the ESN from your Sprint CMDA phone, but do not give the exact model of the phone. Some Boost representatives might try to keep you from activating the phone if they learn it is a non-Boost device. But others will perform the activation with no issues. Call back later if the representative won't help you.

Step 4

Ask to have the phone manually activated if the Boost customer service representative tells you the phone will activate itself. Listen for the codes you will need to enter in the phone. Usually, you will have to input ##xxxxxx# (with x being your Master Subsidy Lock).Wait for a specific prompt or popup, then select "Edit" in the menu. Enter your phone number, then enter the MSID (Mobile Station ID), which the customer service representative can provide. The representative will work with you to verify the completion of these steps.

Step 5

End the call when prompted. Power off the phone to complete the conversion from Sprint CDMA to Boost CDMA.