iPhone 5 is not activated.

Hi, I need help! I bought a new iPhone 5 (Sprint) without contract. I activated the phone with a Sprint sim card inside it. So far, I haven't got a statement saying that the iPhone is activated. Instead, everytime I turn on the phone, there is always a statement: "Waiting for the activation" with no signal and after sometime, it says: "iPhone is not activated. Contact your carrier if this problem continues to occur", but at this point there are signal bars. I don't know whether the iPhone is activated at this point. FYI, I am not a Sprint customer, and so I don't have Sprint services/plans and phone number for the iPhone 5, because I want to give it to my parent (she is not in the US). I called Sprint customer service but they said that I have to have a Sprint account to activate it. Is that true?

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