Does OnePlus 7 Pro work on Sprint? Here’s what we know
Ensuring uniformity across various protocols is a tough challenge. For example, the cellular connectivity standards are mostly divided into two distinct implementations: GSM and CDMA. It is really difficult for an end user to pick a compatible phone that will work on both.
In the USA, two of the the big four wireless carriers, i.e. AT&T and T-Mobile are the supporters of GSM. On the other hand, Verizon and Sprint have developed their infrastructure on the basis of CDMA.
With the advent of 4G+ and 5G, carriers are slowly phasing out the legacy GSM/CDMA tech which are largely used for transmitting voice data. New generation protocols such as VoLTE and VoWiFi are IP based, thus it is possible to use a certified non-CDMA phone on Verizon’s network.
The term “CDMA-less device” refers to a 3GPP Type 3 (LTE-centric device with 3GPP legacy modes with GSM voice fallback) or 3GPP Type 4 (LTE-only device with GSM voice fallback) device.
However, the situation is not so simple for Sprint. The prime reason behind the small number of compatible phones on Sprint is the carrier’s fallback calling mode, which is still based on the CDMA2000 protocol.
Very few unlocked phones come with required radio modules to connect with those networks, thus one can’t enjoy Verizon-like freedom on Sprint. As an addon, Sprint maintains a whitelist on the IMEI of the phone. Thus users need to go through a registration process beforehand.
PiunikaWeb readers should remember that a set of job listings on the OnePlus site triggered the rumor of launching the OnePlus 7 series on every major US carrier network. There is no update on the matter so far, while T-Mobile once again took the exclusive deal to carry the OnePlus Pro.
Nevertheless, people are getting curious about the compatibility between Sprint’s network and the available bands in the OnePlus 7 Pro. Interestingly, the phone does feature plenty of supported network bands.
Sprint primarily uses band 25 (1900 MHz), band 26 (850 MHz) and band 41 (2500 MHz) for their LTE connection. All of which are supported by the current cellular radio of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Theoretically the phone should work on Sprint as data-only or pure VoLTE based device.
In fact, someone has tried out the same and experienced a fascinating phenomenon. After activating the Sprint SIM with a whitelisted device, the person could use call, SMS and mobile data on their OnePlus 7 Pro!
So odd thing happened. I tried activating the phone online through my Sprint and got the error “invalid IMEI” however I plugged my sim card and everything works. Calls, texts, internet, no volte though. I do keep getting this message that the sim card is locked and to contact customer care, but like I said everything works.
On the other hand, the review of the OnePlus 7 Pro in Wired listed the phone as compatible with Sprint’s network. However, the reviewer failed to cite any credible source.
Both OnePlus and Sprint support executives are giving dubious answers to the queries. For example, only the Nebula Blue variant is allegedly compatible with Sprint’s network – if you believe the reply from OnePlus.
Any correlation between the color of the outer shell and the network connectivity is highly unlikely, and one user has faced the hard truth:
Tried today myself, before I noticed this thread. I can also attest that it does not work with Sprint. First, I tried to swap the device online myself. Fail. Second, I tried to get it activated through online chat. Fail. 3rd I tried to see if my local sprint store would have any luck. Fail. Ignore all the articles and chat responses that say it will work. Plain and simple, it doesn’t. (12gb nebula blue factory unlocked)
However, another OnePlus 7 Pro user has been able to get mobile data (including wireless tethering) working by using a pre-activated Sprint SIM in SF Bay area.
I received my phone on Monday and entered my imei on the sprint website with no luck. I than popped in my iPhone 7 Plus sim and no luck with voice or data.
After reading your post, I popped in my sim again and I can get high speed lte 80mb in the San Francisco Bay Area. I can even share my data via hot spot.
However, I’m unable to make/receive phone calls or texts. I also received the sim lock notification. I wonder if the Reddit user who was able to receive calls and texts lives in an area where sprint has rolled out volte?
Perhaps sprint is working on allowing this device on their network?
At this moment, we can only speculate that Sprint will eventually whitelist the OnePlus 7 Pro on their network (just like Verizon). The work-in-progress VoLTE rollout by the carrier can also be an effective parameter behind this anomaly.
Sprint users, are you willing to buy the OnePlus 7 Pro if the carrier allows it? Let us know by commenting below.
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