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Can I use my AT&T phone with another carrier?

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Is AT&T a CDMA or GSM Network?

AT&T is a GSM network carrier and works with GSM cell phones.

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. GSM and CDMA are the 2 types of 3G networks that cell phone carriers use to provide your service.

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In the past, you couldn't use a CDMA network's phone on the GSM network and vice versa. However, most newer smartphones can operate on either type of service.

Some older phones can as well, just make sure you research your specific device to find out whether it's compatible with both before buying a cell phone plan.

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Cheap GSM Plans

If you're shopping around for a new carrier, consider MVNOs - Mobile Virtual Network Operators. These are smaller mobile providers that rent space on the same networks the big guys use and then sell it to you at a lower price.

There are plenty of great AT&T MVNOs to choose from, such as PureTalk, h20 Wireless and Red Pocket which means you can get AT&T service without paying AT&T prices.

AT&T vs h2o Wireless Price Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $562 per year

CarrierNetwork Coverage4G LTE DataPriceAnnual Cost
AT&TAT&T 4G LTEUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
h2o WirelessAT&T 4G LTE6GB$30/mo$338/yr
*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$45/mo$562/yr

AT&T MVNO Benefits

  • Get the same great service: You get cell phone service on the very same networks the major providers use.
  • Save over half: MVNO plans typically save you 50% or more over the big four carriers.
  • Custom plans: Only pay for what you actually need and use.
  • No contracts or credit checks: No commitment and everyone is welcome!
  • Keep your phone: Most MVNOs are BYOP (bring your own phone) - keep your device and your number.

AT&T GSM Carriers

Pure TalkAT&T
h2o WirelessAT&T
Red Pocket MobileAT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Straight TalkAT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
TracFoneAT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Consumer CellularAT&T, T-Mobile
FreedomPopAT&T, Sprint
FreeUP MobileAT&T
Net10AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon

Cheap GSM Phones

You can also save a bundle on your smartphone by purchasing a used or refurbished GSM phone to go with your new plan.

Refurbished Phone Benefits

  • Save half or more off retail: For less than half the price you can get a smartphone model just a year or two old.
  • It's a great value: Most model years only see minor tweaks to existing smartphone designs. Get a steal of a deal without sacrificing the features you love.
  • Keep your freedom: Buying your phone outright means you can leave your carrier any time you want - like when you find a cheaper cell phon0e plan.
Rob Webber

Rob Webber

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