"Bring your own device" written on a chalkboard

Verizon’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program – Everything You Need To Know

Verizon has a bring-your-own-device program (sometimes called a BYOD, BYOP, or bring-your-own-phone program) for subscribers that don’t want to purchase devices directly from Verizon. While a lot of phones are eligible for Verizon’s BYOD program, the list of eligible phones isn’t as long as the list of phones eligible for AT&T or T-Mobile’s BYOD programs.

The easiest way to check whether you can bring your own phone to Verizon is to enter your phone’s information in Verizon’s compatibility tool.

Whitelisted phones

Verizon’s website has a list of Android phones eligible for Verizon’s BYOD program and a separate list for eligible phones from Apple. Unfortunately, both of these lists are significantly out of date.

Compatible iPhones

Most iPhones sold in the U.S. in the last several years will be eligible for Verizon’s BYOD program as long as the devices are not locked to a carrier other than Verizon. The iPhone 6 and more recent iPhones are usually eligible. If you’re considering bringing an iPhone to Verizon, I strongly suggest running your IMEI number through Verizon’s tool to double-check compatibility.

Compatible Android phones

A lot of unlocked Android phones are eligible for Verizon’s bring-your-own-phone program. High-end phones and recently released phones are especially likely to be eligible. Again, running Verizon’s compatibility tool is the most reliable way to see whether your Android phone is eligible.

Required specifications

For a phone to work well with Verizon, it must:

  • Not be locked to another carrier
  • Be compatible with HD Voice/VoLTE
  • Support some of Verizon core LTE bands

Verizon’s bands

Technically inclined people may want to check which frequencies and bands used by Verizon are compatible with their phones.

LTE bands

Verizon relies on five primary bands for LTE service:

  • B2
  • B4
  • B5
  • B13
  • B66

Verizon also uses bands 46 and 48 in some areas. While Verizon may rely on these two bands more extensively in the future, compatibility with these bands is not currently necessary for good performance on Verizon’s network.

5G bands

So far, Verizon’s 5G service relies on three bands:

  • n5 (850 MHz) – Used for Verizon’s low-band 5G
  • n261 (28 GHz) – Used for Verizon’s millimeter wave 5G
  • n260 (39 GHz) – Used for Verizon’s millimeter wave 5G

In the future, Verizon’s 5G service will make use of additional frequencies.

Verizon’s bring-your-own-phone promotions

Verizon is running a handful of promotions for customers that bring their own phones.

Postpaid unlimited plans

Customers that sign up for one of Verizon’s high-end, postpaid unlimited plans can get $150 back. The high-end plans include:

  • The Play More Unlimited plan
  • The Do More Unlimited plan
  • The Get More Unlimited plan

Subscribers that join the Start Unlimited plan, the cheapest of Verizon’s postpaid unlimited plans, are eligible for $100 back.

The money comes in the form of a virtual Verizon gift card. Here are the key details for the promotion (emphasis mine):

Receive up to a $150 Verizon e-Gift Card when you add a new smartphone line and activate with your own 4G or 5G eligible smartphone on select unlimited postpaid plan between 10.1.20 and 12.31.20. Visit vzw.com/digitalrebatecenter to redeem your offer, promo code provided on receipt. Start Unlimited plan receives $100 Verizon eGift Card…We reserve the right to charge the amount of the Verizon e-Gift Card to your Verizon Wireless account if service is canceled within 12 months…This gift card can be used to buy merchandise & services at stores/kiosks operated by Verizon or at verizon.com…Gift cards can be used to pay a Verizon Wireless or Fios bill by visiting Verizon.com or using the My Verizon app.

While the terms I’ve seen don’t explicitly mention that a number must be ported into Verizon, I’m not sure that isn’t a requirement.

Tablets and smartwatches

Verizon customers that bring their own smartwatches or tablets to postpaid Verizon plans may be eligible for a $100 virtual gift card. The terms of the promotion are similar to the terms of the previously discussed promotion for people who bring phones to Verizon’s postpaid unlimited plans. Customers looking to take advantage of this promotion must port in a number from another carrier.

Prepaid plans

Verizon customers that bring their own phones and sign up for Verizon’s 15GB prepaid plan or Verizon’s unlimited data prepaid plan may be eligible for a $60 service credit. Among other things, customers taking advantage of their deal must port in a phone number.