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Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Journeyman

Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Hello everyone,

 

I have an unlocked Att S10+ device, but I cannot activate it because it is saying it is not compatible. Aren't all S10 devices have all of the same hardware for all carriers? I have verified it is unlocked when I went to a sprint corporate store but the device is just not compatible and can't be loaded into their system from what they say. Am I missing something? I know Att uses GSM and Sprint uses CDMA, but that should not be the issue with this device since it they all use the same hardware. Any help and info will be much appreciated. 

 

Thanks!

19 REPLIES 19
Sprint Social Care S.M.A.R.T. Agent

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Hi kcsoccer. Unless it's the "special edition" S10+ bought directly through Samsung, it won't be able to be brought over. Those SE models are truly unlocked, while any S10 model bought directly through another carrier wouldn't be able to be brought onto Sprint as they were built specifically for that carrier.

 



"Hail Yourself!" - Ben Kissel


Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Hey oldgreg_sprit. Thanks for the reply. How are these devices built different for the different carriers? What are the differences for an at&t and sprint device? I thought Samsung made these devices universal for all carriers like they did for the S8 and S9.

 

Thanks

Sprint Social Care S.M.A.R.T. Agent

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Only the SE (special edition) models from Samsung are truly unlocked for each carrier. The other S10 models sold through their respective carrier were only built to support that network and cannot be moved between networks. 

 



"Hail Yourself!" - Ben Kissel


Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Is there a document about this? I cannot find anything saying that. It just makes no sense to me since all devices use the same hardware and only thing different would be the carrier's firmware.

 

Thanks!

Sprint Social Care S.M.A.R.T. Agent

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

If they aren't built to support the appropriate bands and network type then they can't work on another network. Like you mentioned with AT&T and Sprint having different network types, that's where this comes into play. The phones weren't built to support the Sprint network, only the AT&T network. 

 



"Hail Yourself!" - Ben Kissel


Highlighted
Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Like I said, this device should not matter since it uses the same hardware for all carriers. Can you show any press release or documentation about the hardware being different on S10 devices for different carriers? I have confirmed with Samsung that all S10 devices uses the same hardware and would be compatible for all carriers if the device is SIM unlocked. How did you guys do your BYOD program with other past Samsung devices such as S9 or S8 from At&t? Were they not able to activate it on sprint? Those devices had the same hardware for all carriers as well. An unlocked SIM device should allow me to activate on sprint, no matter what carrier I bought it from, as long as the device would support the appropriate bands for that carrier. Which, the S10+ does since it uses the same hardware for all devices on all carriers. They do not make special devices for each carrier like they did in past.

Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?


@OldGreg_Sprint wrote:

If they aren't built to support the appropriate bands and network type then they can't work on another network. Like you mentioned with AT&T and Sprint having different network types, that's where this comes into play. The phones weren't built to support the Sprint network, only the AT&T network. 


I think what the OP is talking about is the fact that the phones are identical HW wise but the SW that controls the features/bands is what is different.

 

That said it's possible to run Sprint official firmware on the device (it would even get OTA updates) which would make it 100% identical at that point, HOWEVER it would NOT exist in the Sprint DB because it's not identified as a SE or Sprint model and thus can't be activated unless someone was able to get it manually added.

 

The S8 and S9 case is because Samsung released a tool/app that allowed the device to handle the updating of the firmware during activation so the device could switch firmware over without manual intervention. That has NOT "yet" been released for the S10 and no word if it will or not. So while you can manually flash the phone Sprint hasn't enabled support for ones NOT in the DB since the app/tool to automatically do it all has not been released by Samsung and customers otherwise activating ones without the proper firmware would result in poor service due to deactivated bands.

 

That said I'd like to see Sprint handle these better on a case by case. I get not wanting to help/support manual flashing but in the event a customer got a authorized service center, or did themselves could/would Sprint add the device to the DB to allow activation after software confirmation? (I know they "could") but by asking I mean a better policy should be created around handling of these situations for phones confirmed to running the Sprint software (which a local store could do or phone by inquire).

Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Hey @BryanX  thanks for the input! I got the device SIM unlocked and flashed the firmware to the latest U1 for the S10+ so my device should be able to switch carriers by popping whichever carrier SIM card in there. I was able to get t-mobile sim card to work on it so I know it is SIM unlocked. I should be able to get all Sprint LTE bands and CDMA with this firmware. It is identical as if were an SE version. I did not know about the tool/app for S8 and S9 to switch carriers, hopefully the S10 will have something like that soon. I'm just confused why no one can add it to their database for activation because I know it will work on their network.

 

Thanks!

Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?


@kcsoccer wrote:

Hey @BryanX  thanks for the input! I got the device SIM unlocked and flashed the firmware to the latest U1 for the S10+ so my device should be able to switch carriers by popping whichever carrier SIM card in there. I was able to get t-mobile sim card to work on it so I know it is SIM unlocked. I should be able to get all Sprint LTE bands and CDMA with this firmware. It is identical as if were an SE version. I did not know about the tool/app for S8 and S9 to switch carriers, hopefully the S10 will have something like that soon. I'm just confused why no one can add it to their database for activation because I know it will work on their network.

 

Thanks!


It's possible for it to be added (I've seen/head it done a number of times) but the issue is it's not a standard thing and most employees won't have access or information on how to handle it even since the 95% of other cases fall under the above of not being compatible due to firmware.

 

I guess we'll have to see what Sprint comes back with comment wise. I think it's just a lack of clear policy/procedure for unique cases where the user manually flashed the device. Most companies tend to the other 90% of the customers so wont always be able to accommodate the few even if "technically" it is compatible.

 

Hopefully as time goes on things adjust better. I'd rather the day when Branded phones simply don't exist and if providers want to load the so called "bloat" items on it does based on activation on said provider and control of the CSC instead of the user data partition... It's silly one providers firmware doesn't support bands on the other when you take into consideration they have roaming agreements in place too for said providers lol.

Community Manager

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Let's slow down the train fellas.  There are some devices that are universal like the S8, S8+, and S9 based on memory.  There are others that require the Special Edition for many reasons like contractual exclusivity agreements etc.  In the case of the S10, only the Special Edition, sold by Samsung only, can be BYOD.

 

Sure you can flash a Sprint ROM and all that, but the problem you would face is the ESN/MEID would not be loaded into our system.  And as a result, you would still be unable to activate the device.  We cannot and do not add ESN's to our system for this purpose. Mainly when a device is not loaded, we send it to the OEM for verification and they reply "This is an (insert carrier that is not Sprint) device."  Now, you can use QXDM and change the ESM on your device, but that is illegal and a whole different conversation.

Journeyman

Re: Unlocked At&t S10+ not compatible to Sprint?

Hey @Em_Will_I_Am thanks for your info! If that's the case then I'll leave Sprint. I don't get why they cannot add the device into their system when it is paid off, unlocked, and comes back clean. They made the phones to be compatible for all carriers,

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