How to Get Free 5G Government Phones

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Is having a 5G phone really important or it’s all just unnecessary hype? Well, the fifth-generation network, or simply 5G, is now the key to making the most of your phone. And if unable to purchase one yourself, there are easy ways how to get free 5G government phones, plus monthly service.

Of course, the 4G LTE network is still widely in use, and there are no signs of 5G replacing it completely soon. Many cell phone providers are still expanding the infrastructure of the 5G spectrum, anyway.

As a user, though, do get a phone and service on a 5G network. It brings you data speeds that are not only superfast but also have low latency. Thus, you can enjoy a smooth online experience- either streaming videos, reading audiobooks, gaming with friends, or downloading/ uploading files.

A 5G Phone Shouldn’t be Just a Name

Sadly, all mobile carriers and phone manufacturers are never the same. We have some that are marketing their service and devices to support 5G, except the results aren’t visible.

If you have been paying close attention, carriers are offering 5G access in three different spectrums: low, mid-band, and mmWave. Each of these types of 5G has a different experience as they also utilize different cells.

The 5G mmWave (high-band) has the overall BEST experience, followed by mid-band (C-band), and finally low-band.

Most providers have mainly focused on the deployment of 5G mid-band and low-band. So, you should also make sure the 5G phone you have supports up to the 5G-midband of your carrier, at least.

How to Get Free 5G Government Phones
Free 5G Government Phones

The maximum (download) data speeds on 5G-midband for many of the networks I’ve gone through is 1Gbps (1000+Mbps). That’s more than ten times faster than the extended-range 4G LTE network.

5G-mm-wave records up to 4Gbps (4000+Mbps) download speeds for some networks. But a phone should also have a 5G-mmWave modem for it to access this spectrum and achieve such lighting data speeds.

Meanwhile, 5G-lowband is the slowest of the three spectrums of 5G. It has a maximum data speed of 300Mbps or 350Mbps. High-capacity 4G LTE can sometimes record similar or closer data speeds, albeit with higher latency. But this shouldn’t be surprising considering the two (5G-lowband and 4G LTE) utilize many same frequencies.

Are Free 5G Government Phones on Low-band, Mid-Band, or High-band/ mmWave?

In a nutshell, it all depends. How so?

The free 5G government phones are benefits you get under the Lifeline or ACP program. In these programs, the goal of the government is to help make sure even low-income families can connect.

Two crucial points you should know is that:

  1. In the Lifeline program, the government pays $9.25/ month (or $34.25 on federally approved tribal lands) for each subscriber. The amount cover for the monthly phone service only.
  2. As for the ACP program, the government offers each subscriber a service subsidy of $30/ month (or $75 if on tribal lands). The benefit also has a one-time device discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, computer desktop, or tablet PC.

In the two points, you can see there’s no mention of your right to get a free 5G smartphone in the Lifeline or ACP program. The companies participating in the programs often give away a free smartphone at their own expense.

On the list of Lifeline providers with free touchscreen phones, most of the smartphones you’re likely to get are entry-level brands. Many of the phones are also LTE models, except some providers now send 5G-capable brands.

A nice example is Airtalk Wireless with the Motorola Moto G STYLUS 5G for free. Newphone Wireless is also giving away free 5G government phones from Motorola, as well as Samsung, LG, and OnePlus.

In the two examples, the free 5G government phones you’re likely to get support up to 5G-midband connectivity. But you may also be lucky to get a phone with up to a 5G-mmWave modem for ultrafast mobile data.

How to Get Free 5G Government Phones

As I mentioned, you can only get free 5G government phones with the Lifeline program or Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) closed new enrollments for ACP on 8th February 2024. So, all new customers can only get a free government phone through the Lifeline program.

To qualify for the Lifeline phone program, the requirement is that you must be on a low income at or below 135% of federal poverty guidelines. Or else participate in an eligible government-funded assistance benefit, such as:

  1. Tribal Head Start
  2. Medicaid/ Medi-Cal
  3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  4. Veterans’ Pension and Veteran’s survivors benefit
  5. Federal public housing assistance (FPHA) benefit
  6. Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
  7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  8. Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  9. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

If you meet either of these eligibility requirements, go ahead and apply for Lifeline with your preferred provider. It’s so easy to apply online, as there are onscreen instructions to guide you.

In addition to online, you could apply the free 5G government phones by calling or emailing your preferred Lifeline company. Some of the companies even have physical stores, authorized retailers, and camping sites you can visit.

Companies You Can Get Free 5G Government Phones

There are various phone providers you can apply the free 5G phones through the Lifeline program. They include:

AirTalk Wireless

AirTalk Wireless is one of the best Lifeline programs at the moment. My favorite thing about the brand is how it allows you to choose the kind of free phone to get.

Secondly, AirTalk stocks high-end phones for the free phone program. The high-end phones include 5G brands like:

  • Motorola Moto G STYLUS 5G 2022

Features a decent Snapdragon 695 5G (6 nm) processor, built-in 128/ 4GB memory, MicroSD slot, WiFi 5 (802.11ac), integrated NFC chip, and support up to 5G midband.

  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

Features a MediaTek Dimensity 700 (7 nm) chip, 64/ 4GB internal memory, built-in NFC chip, compatible with WiFI 5 (802.11ac), and supports up to 5G midband.

  • OnePlus 9 5G

Features a brilliant 6.55-inch 120Hz display, Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) processor, 128/ 8GB built-in memory, captures vibrant videos in 4K quality, compatible with WiFi 6 (802.11ax), and supports up to 5G midband.

  • TCL 20 AX 5G

Features Snapdragon™ 480 5G processor, built-in 64/ 4GB memory, MicroSD card slot, Compatible with WiFi 5 (802.11ac), and supports up to 5G midband.

  • Revvl V+ 5G

Features MediaTek Dimensity 700 (7 nm), 64/ 4GB built-in memory, integrated NFC chip, and supports up to 5G midband.

Newphone Wireless

Newphone Wireless is the second Lifeline you can get free 5G government phones. That shouldn’t surprise you, considering it’s a brand of HTH Communications, the same company that owns AirTalk.

Similar to AirTalk, Newphone lets you select the free phone to get into the Lifeline program. Then, among the phones they have are luxury brands and 5G-capable models, such as:

 OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Features a 6.5-inch FHD+ display, Snapdragon 690 5G (8 nm) processor, 128/ 6GB internal storage, built-in NFC chip, compatible with WiFI 5 (802.11ac), and supports up to 5G midband.

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

Features a 6.4-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 855 (7 nm) processor, 128/ 6GB built-in memory, integrated NFC chip, captures vivid videos in 4K quality, and supports up to 5G mmWave.

Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Features a 6.5-inch HD+ display, MediaTek Dimensity 720 (7 nm) processor, 64/ 4GB built-in memory, integrated NFC sensor, captures clear videos in 4K quality, and supports up to 5G midband.


Features extra-wide 6.8-inch HD+ display, MediaTek Dimensity 700 (7 nm) processor, 64/ 4GB internal storage, built-in NFC, and supports up to 5G mid-band

 Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is another company you usually can apply for the Lifeline phone program. It doesn’t have the option to choose the device to get as with AirTalk or Newphone. But there’s a chance to get decent devices from well-known brands.

Furthermore, Assurance Wireless may give you a 5G phone, Revvl V+ 5G, if approved for the Lifeline program. Only keep in mind the phone is their backup option, as they frequently send LTE phones.

Key Takeaway: Free 5G Government Phone Service

As you can see, not a lot of Lifeline companies are giving away 5G-enabled phones in the free phone program. In fact, AirTalk and Newphone Wireless are the only ones you have a high chances of getting a 5G device.

Even then, the phones either of the two give you aren’t brand-new stock. They are refurbished devices they receive from their parent company, HTH Communications.

While many of the Lifeline providers don’t give you a 5G-capable smartphone, they now offer 5G access on the free monthly service. Thus, you still have a shot at enjoying fast and superfast browsing with your own device.

Some of the best Lifeline companies you get free 5G phone service per month include:

 Carrier NetworkLifeline-Only DataACP+ Lifeline Data
SafeLink WirelessVerizon/4.5GB (6GB California)Unlimited (2.1TB)
AirTalk WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB15GB
Cintex WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB15GB
Assurance WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB (6GB California)25GB
Q Link WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB28GB
Newphone WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB15GB
Access WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB (6GB California)15GB
TruConnectT-Mobile250MB (6GB California)14GB
Life WirelessAT&T4.5GB (6GB California)15GB
StandUp WirelessT-Mobile4.5GB (6GB California)10GB
Gen Mobile 4.5GB7GB
Assist WirelessT-Mobile50MB or 3GB12GB
SafetyNet Wireless  AT&T1GB (6GB California)22GB

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are the free phones from the government worth it?

Yes, the free phones from the government are worth it, as they help struggling families connect at no cost. The free phone program usually provides a one-time smartphone and a free service plan per month.

Which company has the best free 5G government phone?

AirTalk and Newphone Wireless have the best free 5G phone from the government. However, the best company with the free 5G phone service is:

  • SafeLink Wireless- offers truly unlimited data, talk, and text
  • Qlink Wireless offers up to 28GB of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text
  • Assurance Wireless- offers up to 25GB of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text
  • Safety Net Wireless- offers up to 22GB of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text
  • AirTalk Wireless- offers unlimited talk and text, plus 15GB of high-speed data
  • Cintex Wireless- offers unlimited talk and text, plus 15GB of high-speed data
  • Newphone Wireless- offers unlimited talk and text, plus 15GB of high-speed data

How can I get a free 5G phone from the government?

The FCC announced ACP will no longer accept new enrollments. So, the only way you can get a free 5G phone is to apply for the Lifeline program and qualify.

Is the AirTalk free phone better than Safelink Wireless?

Yes, the AirTalk free phone program offers better smartphones than SafeLink Wireless. It often features even devices from luxury brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, Google Pixel, et cetera.

However, SafeLink Wireless offers better free phone service than AirTalk per month. If you combine Lifeline and ACP plans, it has truly unlimited data, talk, and text.

Final Thoughts

If interested, that’s how to get free 5G government phones at the moment. The ACP program is no longer accepting new enrollments. So, the free phone is now only available in the Lifeline program.

To qualify for the Lifeline phone program, you must be on a low income at or below 135% of federal poverty guidelines. Alternatively, you can apply with Medicaid, EBT, tribal Head Start, or any other eligible government-funded assistance benefit.

When you apply for the free phones with the Lifeline program, do remember only a single enrollment is allowed per household. If another person in your household is already enrolled, you won’t qualify.