How Does Q Link’s BYOP Program Work?
Once you become a Q Link customer, you will receive a free SIM card, which will be tied to your account and will enable you to use all of your free monthly services. However, in order to use the SIM card, you will need a device to use it with. You can either use it with the provided tablet (assuming that you are eligible to receive the highly discounted tablet) or with a smartphone.
Most customers prefer to use their Q Link SIM card with a smartphone and as the company rarely offers free smartphones, most clients bring their own devices to Q Link. This fact makes Q Link’s BYOP program so very popular and frequently used. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at how the company’s BYOP program works.
The BYOP program allows Q Link’s customers to bring their own mobile devices to Q Link. However, as different devices support different technologies and networks, the program will only work if the phone you bring is carrier-unlocked and compatible with Q Link’s services and network. Moreover, in order to bring your phone to Q Link, you must meet the company’s BYOP eligibility rules (listed below).
Q Link’s BYOP Eligibility Rules in 2023
Any device you wish to bring to Q Link must be unlocked and compatible with Q Link. Additionally, it must meet the following BYOP eligibility requirements:
- The phone is eligible if all contractual and financial obligations are met with your current provider.
- The phone cannot be flagged as lost, stolen, or associated with fraudulent activity. If flagged, you must contact your current provider to unflag the device.
- The phone cannot be leased, as leased phones are ineligible.
How to Check If Your Phone is Compatible With Q Link in 2023
As you can see from everything mentioned about the Q Link BYOP program, it is of utmost importance that the phone you wish to bring is carrier-unlocked and compatible with Q Link.
But how can you know if that is the case or not?
Easily! You simply visit Q Link’s BYOP official website at qlinkwireless.com/byop.aspx. There, you can check your phone’s compatibility by entering your phone’s ESN, IMEI, or MEID number into the provided search box and pressing ‘Check My Phone’. The system will immediately let you know whether or not your device can be used with Q Link’s services.
In case you are unable to find your phone’s ESN, IMEI, or MEID number (ID number), you can see the instructions on how to locate your device ID at qlinkwireless.com/byop.aspx. Simply choose your phone type and follow the instructions provided below. Generally, all you have to do is to dial *#06# and your device ID will show on the screen.
In case your phone is carrier-locked, you can simply contact your previous carrier (the one that sold you the device) and ask the representative to unlock your device. In most cases, the agent will be able to do so remotely, however, it depends on the device and if you meet that carrier’s unlock eligibility rules. These rules depend on the carrier, however, they generally require the customer to have purchased the device directly from the carrier, that the phone is paid off in full, and that it’s not flagged as lost, stolen, or associated with fraudulent activity.
Given the fact that Q Link uses T-Mobile’s GSM network, it is advisable to bring a GSM phone or one that supports both GSM and CDMA network technologies.
How to Bring Your Own Unlocked Phone Compatible With Q Link?
Once you have established that the phone that you already have and love is carrier-unlocked and compatible with Q Link, you can start the process of bringing it to Q Link by following these instructions:
- In order to become a Q Link customer in the first place, you will have to make sure that you meet Q Link’s Lifeline and ACP eligibility criteria. You must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and a resident of one of the states where Q Link operates. Additionally, you must meet the FCC’s Lifeline and ACP qualifications. You can qualify based on your income (if your annual household income is at or below 135% for Lifeline and 200% for ACP of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) or based on your participation in another qualifying government assistance program (such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Tribal programs, etc.).
- If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will also be required to prove them to those that decide whether or not your application gets approved. You can do so by providing copies of valid official documents that verify your low income or program participation.
- You can then proceed to apply for the program. First, you must apply through the National Verifier at nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply. Then, you can apply through Q Link. To do so, visit qlinkwireless.com, enter your ZIP code and email address in the provided boxes, and press ‘Get It Now’. Follow the on-screen instructions to choose the plan and fill out the application form. Make sure to provide all the required information and documentation.
- If your application gets approved, you will receive a notification email, and a free SIM card kit via mail. You may also receive your new tablet. At this time, you will officially be a Q Link customer with an active Q Link account.
- Prepare the SIM card and your Q Link-compatible unlocked phone. Turn the device off and carefully insert the SIM card into the phone’s SIM slot. In case there is already an old SIM card in the SIM card tray, make sure to remove it first. After your Q Link SIM card is safely inserted into your unlocked compatible device, simply turn the phone back on, activate it, and enjoy your Q Link services with your unlocked Q Link-compatible phone.
As you can see, once you have become an officially accepted Q Link customer, bringing a phone to Q Link is very simple. All you have to do is to receive the SIM card, insert it into your old phone’s SIM card tray or slot, turn the device on, and activate it. You can activate your phone by following the instructions provided at qlinkwireless.com/Activate.aspx.
Once you have finished the activation process, you should receive a text message welcoming you to the Q Link network. However, even if you don’t receive the message, you can still check whether or not the phone has been successfully activated (and simultaneously, if it really is fully compatible with Q Link’s network) by trying to place a phone call, send a text message, or use your monthly data. If you are able to access the network and use it to perform those operations, it means that you have successfully brought your old unlocked phone to Q Link and that it works well with the provider’s network.
List of Unlocked Phones Compatible With Q Link in 2023
Unlocked phones compatible with Q Link include the following phone models:
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7 (RED)
- iPhone 7 Plus (RED)
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone X
- Galaxy S7 Special Edition
- Galaxy S7 Edge Special Edition
- Galaxy S8
- Galaxy S8+
- Galaxy S8 Special Edition
- Galaxy S8+ Special Edition
- Galaxy Note 8
- Galaxy Note 8 Special Edition
- Google Nexus 5
- Google Nexus 5X
- Google Nexus 6
- Nexus 6P
- Pixel XL
- Pixel 2
- Pixel 2 XL
- Moto E4
- Moto E4 Plus
- Moto G4
- Moto G4 Play
- Moto G4 Plus
- Moto G5 Plus
- Moto G5S Plus
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Moto X4
- Moto Z2 Play
- Alcatel iDOLTM 5s
- BLU S1/Vivo S
- Essential Phone
- LG X Charge (Amazon only)
- Orbic Wonder
This is an official list of unlocked phones compatible with Q Link provided by the provider itself. However, the list may not be completely up to date. In fact, the more recent the phone you wish to bring is, the more likely it is to work well with Q Link, simply because newer phone models (iPhones and Android phones) tend to support various network technologies, including GSM, CDMA, and LTE. As such, if your phone model isn’t included, it may still be compatible. On the other hand, even if your phone is included on the list, it is not guaranteed to be eligible (depending on whether or not it is carrier-unlocked and if it meets the BYOP eligibility rules). Generally, GSM phones are more likely to work well with Q Link’s network, simply because Q Link is powered by T-Mobile’s GSM network. GSM phones are generally sold by T-Mobile, AT&T (also a GSM carrier), and all of their MVNOs.
Where Can You Purchase Unlocked Phones Compatible With Q Link
Any store that sells carrier-unlocked phones that happen to be compatible with Q Link’s services is a good place to buy a phone that you are planning to bring to Q Link. However, some of the most popular places that hold unlocked phones compatible with Q Link Wireless include:
- Q Link Wireless itself. Q Link offers a decent selection of phones. As such, if you don’t have a phone that you are planning to bring to Q Link yet, you can purchase it from the company itself. After all, getting a phone directly from Q Link may be your safest bet. Granted, these phones are not carrier-unlocked, but that is fine because they are locked to Q Link’s network. And they are definitely compatible with Q Link’s services. See the selection and purchase a phone at qlinkwireless.com/customer/shop/phones.
- Amazon. This online marketplace offers a huge selection of unlocked phones compatible with Q Link. You can choose from new, refurbished, and used devices.
- eBay. This online marketplace also offers a wide variety of unlocked mobile devices that should work well with Q Link’s network and services.
- Best Buy. Best Buy is a popular retail store that offers lots of different unlocked phone models, many of which should work well with Q Link.
- Walmart. This retail store also offers tons of unlocked phones compatible with Q Link.
- Newegg. This is an online retailer that sells consumer electronics, including Q Link-compatible phones.
- TracFone. For some reason, customers report that phones purchased from TracFone also tend to work well with Q Link’s services.
- T-Mobile, AT&T, and their MVNOs. As Q Link is powered by a GSM network, phones provided by other GSM carriers tend to work well with Q Link – as long as they are carrier-unlocked, of course!
What Services and Products Does Q Link Wireless Offer
Q Link Wireless is a phone and wireless service provider that offers free phone service through its participation in Lifeline and ACP. Lifeline is a federally funded government program that provides low-income people with free monthly phone and wireless services. ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program) is a new assistance program that offers discounts on monthly internet services. Q Link customers who qualify for Lifeline and ACP can get the following benefits:
- Free unlimited monthly talk minutes
- Free unlimited monthly text messages and picture messages
- Free unlimited monthly data
- Access to America’s largest 4GLTE/5G network
- Access to 10 million free Wi-Fi locations
- A new tablet with a one-time ACP discount of up to $100 (the device only costs $10.01)
- A free SIM card and activation
- The opportunity to keep your phone and number through Q Link’s BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program
- In certain states and under certain conditions, customers can also get a free smartphone, however, this is not a regular practice
Q Link also offers prepaid mobile phone services.