How do I change my Sprint Samsung Conquer 4G’s SPC code without calling Sprint?

Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda November 7, 2012

How do I change my Sprint Samsung Conquer 4G’s SPC code without calling Sprint? If anyone could answer this question for me, that would be great!

  1. Kannon Y
    November 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    The SPC is a one-time use code that will let you activate your phone. If you have already activated your phone, it will likely require that you use the MSL to program your device.

    Here's how to get the MSL.

    The MSL stands for Master Subsidy Lock, which is a lock code that prevents subsidized phones from changing networks. However, the only network that Sprint phones can change to is Verizon and even then, there are incompatibilities in data technologies. Your phone won't be fully compatible with Verizon's network. This is probably by design, although carriers deny such accusations.

    Carriers basically give the customer a phone for very little but then recoup their losses through an inflated monthly fees. After the first year, they make all of their money back (for iPhones at least) and everything after that is pure profit for them. They more or less double their money on investment. Which is why prepaid carriers have become so popular over the past few weeks.

    Unfortunately, if you have a subsidized phone, it also means you signed a legally binding contract preventing you from leaving the service, unless you pay an Early Termination Fee, typically allowing the service provider to recoup the loss on the phone, plus earn additional profit. The article disputes this claim, however.

    This is part of the reason they require that you call them for the code. If you haven't fulfilled your contract, it's unlikely that they will supply the unlock code. This more or less translates into - if you owe any kind of money on a Sprint account, you can't receive an unlock code.

    However, I did see several methods for changing the MSL, but don't know how effective these are and can't vouch for their safety.

    • Kannon Y
      November 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      On second thought, it appears that if you have already used your SPL code, you will need to speak with Sprint in order to unlock it for activation on another network. It's just too complicated and dangerous to attempt other methods of unlocking.

      I checked around quite a bit and this blog entry details some of the pitfalls in getting an unlock code for a CDMA device.

      • Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda
        November 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        I don't know what an SPL code is. Can you please clarify?

      • Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda
        November 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Thank you for explaining what exactly I am trying to do, and the risks in doing it. I understand the risks. Now I just need a step-by-step-type guide here on MakeUseOf on what exactly I need to do. In the end, I am ultimately trying to make my Sprint Samsung Conquer 4G work with either Verizon *and* Sprint, or just Verizon (if Sprint cant be used while using Verizon), without contacting Sprint or Verizon.

        I do have one question, however. If I do successfully connect my phone to Verizon, and assuming I activate my own phone as opposed to Verizon activating it for me, can I get in trouble? If so, can I easily get caught? Verizon is a great service, just unnecessarily expensive. I just don't want to get into any trouble, but I only use my phone for entertainment. And paying *that much money* for entertainment solely, is complete nonsense. I believe there is a way to go about doing this, just can't find it yet.

        • Kannon Y
          November 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

          Excuse me, I meant to write "SPC", not SPL.

          Anyway, I agree with you - carrier contracts are absolutely ridiculous. It shouldn't be legal for them to lock consumers into multi-year contracts at outrageous rates. Unfortunately, we don't have any other options once you've signed the contract. :-(

          Read this article at WikiHow on why it's hard to get CDMA phones working across networks. The short end of it is that the technology is designed to lock the phone down - and only an illegal process known as cloning will work. I couldn't find any specific legal documents dealing with why it's illegal, but it's probably related to some form of breach of contract or perhaps an FCC ruling.

          According to this Wiki entry, it's illegal in the UK, but there's no source.

          Also, I believe that the data technologies used by Sprint and Verizon differ. While you are allowed to change your device over, it's not as simple as with GSM, which involves simply a SIM card swap. CDMA is designed from the ground up to lock phones into a particular network. It wasn't until Verizon was forced by the government to allow any device on their network that they began grudgingly allowing Sprint phones. Unfortunately, most 4G phones (I've been told) do not properly work across CDMA networks.

          According to the article above, you can only get good compatibility if both have the same phone on their network and it only works if you can get a copy of that provider's ROM, which you would install. A dual use phone, with access to both networks, is just not possible without a ROM customized to operate on both networks.

          So, in short, I don't believe what you're trying to do is even possible, although I applaud your ambition!

        • Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda
          November 12, 2012 at 1:54 am

          Aww... well okay. Thanks for trying. Case closed.

  2. Drew Butler
    November 8, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Google "cdma workshop". awesome tool.. should help you along...

    • Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda
      November 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Which one do I download out of the three?

    • Cristián Torres-Gluck Balmaceda
      November 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      I'm just trying to figure out like a step-by-step way to change my phone's SPC number.

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