Sprint says that the program, called Bring Your Own Sprint Device, aims to cut down on the volume of cell phones being thrown away or improperly disposed of each year. Customers, of course, benefit by not having to pay the full retail price for a new handset.
Some MVNO partners, such as EcoMobile, already offer a similar reprogramming service in the past. With today's announcement, Sprint is giving a more broad stamp of approval.
There are a number of carriers who piggyback off of Sprint's network, but Sprint spokesman John Votava said in an e-mail to CNET that the carrier is not yet ready to name them publicly. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are obvious contenders, but as wholly-owned Sprint subsidiaries Votava said that the operators will not participate in the program.
Sprint has a mini-Web site dedicated to the BYOSD may answer any lingering questions.