GSM vs CDMA – what is the difference and why should I care?
GSM and CDMA are two types of cellphone networks in the US. For the most part, if you have a phone on one network you can’t use it on the other. GSM means Global System for Mobile communications, which is a network that supports both cellular and data. The same goes for CDMA, which means Code Division Multiple Access
US Mobile currently only operates as a GSM network. What does that mean? Well GSM networks like US Mobile, T-Mobile, and AT&T use removable SIM cards. This means that unlocked phones from other American GSM carriers will work on US Mobile’s network.
On the other hand, Verizon and Sprint are CDMA carriers. CDMA carriers don’t use SIM cards and most CDMA phones are locked into their network. So you can’t use a Sprint phone on Verizon’s network or vice versa. Also, many CDMA carriers don’t allow you to do voice and data at the same time. However, CDMA networks tend to have better network coverage in rural areas.
Advantages of GSM vs CDMA
- Easier to switch phones
- Easier to switch carriers
- If you travel abroad you can switch your SIM card for a local SIM (just don’t forget to Snooze your US Mobile plan first)
LTE requires a SIM Card
LTE, is a 4G wireless technology, developed to achieve high-speed data. All LTE networks in the US are using GSM technology, as CDMA Technology can’t handle LTE. Due to this, newer Verizon and Sprint phones all use a SIM card. Seeing as all new phones aren’t using CDMA, the question is if CDMA is on its way out completely?
If you’re planning on bringing your GSM phone to US Mobile you can find more information in Is My Phone Unlocked. Can I Bring It To Any Network?. Or if you’re looking for a new phone, check out our webshop for unlocked phones.