AT&T WirelessSM

How to bring your phone or device to AT&T

Love your device but not feeling the love from your current cellular provider?

Sometimes, you just want to switch carriers but keep the device you already have. If your relationship with your current carrier is feeling like a headache, or the costs keep rising, or the coverage isn’t quite what you expected—then switching to another carrier may be the best move.  

Luckily, you can just bring your own compatible phone or bring your own device and connect it to the AT&T network to get service. And remember, a device doesn’t only mean a smartphone. Bring your own device (or BYOD) also includes your smartwatch or tablet.  

If you like your current smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, you can BYOD to AT&T and quickly switch carriers. In most cases, your current GSM-compatible smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch will easily connect to AT&T’s network, so you can keep the device you love.

What does bring your own phone (BYOP) mean?

You bring the device, and your carrier supplies the wireless plan. That’s how bring your own phone (or BYOP), works in a nutshell.

What does BYOD mean?

BYOD stands for "bring your own device." It's a term used to describe the practice of bringing your own mobile phone, smartwatch, or tablet to a wireless carrier instead of buying a new device from the carrier.

What’s the difference between BYOP and BYOD?

The difference between BYOP and BYOD is that one is limited to phone only. But device can include your smartphone, tablet, or even a smartwatch. 

I have a device. How do I activate it on AT&T?

If you already have a device, make sure it’s unlocked and compatible with the AT&T network. You can activate your device with AT&T by visiting the BYOD page. Follow the on-screen instructions to select a plan, transfer your number, and complete the activation process to get your device connected to the AT&T network.

Benefits to bringing my own phone or device

There are several key benefits to bringing your own phone or even a smart device like a tablet or smartwatch.

  • You may have just finished paying off your device with your current cellular provider. Even if you didn't buy your device from AT&T, you can keep your device and simply add an AT&T wireless plan to get new service connected on that device.
  • When you BYOD, you won’t need an AT&T Installment PlanSM since you already own your device.
  • You’ll even be able to keep your current number if it’s eligible for transfer.  
  • Enjoy exclusive offers when you bring your own device to AT&T. 

Can I bring my own cell phone to AT&T?

AT&T makes it easy to BYOD and switch to the AT&T network using your existing device and phone number. Even if you didn't buy your device from AT&T, you can activate it on an AT&T wireless plan. Keep in mind, if you’re leasing your phone and paying it off monthly, then you’ll need to pay off your device before it’s technically yours.

In most cases, your GSM-compatible smartphone will work just fine when you switch carriers to AT&T. But to be sure, determine if your phone is compatible with AT&T’s network by following these easy steps:

Step 1: Check if your device is compatible on the AT&T network.
Keep in mind, your phone must be GSM-compatible. CDMA phones will not work. 

Download this PDF to view our current list of tested and approved phones for the AT&T network

Step 2: Confirm your phone/device is unlocked.
When a smartphone is “locked”, it means it's locked into using your existing mobile service provider's network, so simply swapping a SIM card from a different network won't work. Learn how to unlock your phone, tablet, or smartwatch

Step 3: Choose a wireless plan to get service.

Compare AT&T unlimited plans to find the one that’s right for you.

Or, if you’re ready to get started, see if you qualify for $250 in bill credits when you bring your device and transfer your number.

Step 4: Back everything up. Keep your personal data like contacts, photos, and apps on your device safe and organized by backing it all up before you switch carriers.

Step 5: Gather important account information.

Locate the info you’ll need to give your new carrier to have your phone connected to the AT&T network. If you’re bringing your own device, you’ll need your phone’s ESN/IMEI number located on the back or under the battery. Note: If you have an iPhone, you can find your IMEI number by dialing *#06#. Learn more about what you should know when switching carriers

What phones are not compatible with AT&T?

The best way to check if your phone is compatible with AT&T's network is to do a compatibility check on AT&T's website. You'll need your phone's IMEI number to check compatibility, which you can find by dialing *#06# on your phone.

Can I bring my own phone to AT&T Prepaid®?

Absolutely! If you’re looking for more flexibility and prefer to pay upfront for your wireless service, AT&T Prepaid may be the right choice for you. You can bring your compatible unlocked device and connect it to the AT&T network. All you have to do is make sure your unlocked phone is compatible, get your SIM card, pick an AT&T Prepaid plan, and activate service.

Plus, with AT&T Prepaid service for your phone, you get: no annual contract, no credit check, easy activation, and several great prepaid plans to choose from.