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Help Activating phone after Flashing CM9?

I have my old Elite laying around and I wanted to put it to use as a hotspot. Some other threads I've read say once you flash a new ROM you cannot activate the phone(Virgin Mobile). Others say you can log into to their site and set up the phone that way. I just didn't want to pay 80$ for a mobile hotspot, for something I'm probably only going to use for a month or so.
 

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