Tello isn't offering free phones: I'm not aware of any MVNOs that are.
Timeline seems to vary a little, or at least the timeline of MVNO's warning their customers about this. Tello says Oct 31. If T-Mobile sticks to the current schedule, that's 2 months before the CDMA network gets shut down.
I have a Red Pocket $3/mo line on legacy Sprint, and Red Pocket hasn't said a thing to me about the shutdown. (Of course, it's happening whether Red Pocket tells it's customers about it or not.)
I don't think Dec. 31 is necessarily the deadline to migrate out of Sprint's network if you have a Sprint capable 4G VoLTE capable phone. That shutoff isn't until June of next year. My dad is actually using the same RedPocket plan you mentioned above and his iPhone 6s should theoretically be fine come January. I wish I could find out for sure though through actual use, but unfortunately his year is up in December and I am planning to move him off RedPocket.
Yeah, thanks for the correction!: I'm just used to thinking in the frame of my older CDMA Sprint devices. (And I'm guessing those are the devices many are using on Sprint MVNOs. Just to be clear, my phone on Red Pocket CDMAS is definitely not capable of VoLTE on that network, or any other.
Tello's wholesale agreement with T-Mobile may specify the earlier date.
Tello doesn't want to deal with a crush of last-minute folks trying to find a solution, and upset when their phone quits working. That's not unusual with MVNOs that pride themselves on customer satisfaction-- better to get them to transition earlier than the absolute deadline, and not lose service. (Ting has followed a similar path with transitions, for just that reason.)
I was slow to transfer our lines over from CDMA to GSM. Finally got the last 2 done this weekend.
I'd gotten an email reminder about the migration, including offering a free month's renewal when switching.
Since I usually renew early, I expected that the free renewal wouldn't work for me.
Just wanted to share that it works fine with early renewal. My account did show an upcoming billed amount of $0 after a $5 credit. When I went to do the early renewal, I didn't have an option of paying with Tello dollars while that $0 renewal cost was in effect. I did have to enter CC expiration date, etc., as if the CC was going to be charged, but it did not charge the card.
For those who want to enable WiFi calling after migrating, it appears that the e911 address info needs to be entered via the Tello dashboard, not directly from the phone. (But maybe that's my older Android version?)
Have the warning emails changed?
I migrated ours a couple of weeks ago. I had the phones, decent coverage on either network, and figured I might as well get it over with.
My Red Pocket/FreedomPop/Sprint line keeps working, though. I won't go out of my way to do anything to save that line, other than maybe porting out the number, though. It's primary value to me is a small (4.5" Android) phone that I like for working at outdoor jobsites.
March 31, 2022 is indeed T-Mobile's shutdown date for Sprint's legacy CDMA network. For what it's worth, Sprint's LTE network soldiers on until June 30th. Phones using a Sprint SIM and supporting VoLTE will, theoretically, still work for voice until the latter date.