When it comes to cell phone carriers, there are two cellular standards that are used. These are GSM and CDMA.
If you've been looking for a carrier for your cell phone service, you will probably have come across these terms, but what do they actually mean? Well, let's take a closer look at both GSM and CDMA.
If you live outside the United States or Russia, then you probably have a GSM phone. The GSM network is the standard one for the majority of the world and it stands for Global System for Mobile Communication.
One of the key features of the GSM network is the use of SIM cards, so if you use a GSM phone you will have a SIM card in your phone.
Tired of High Phone Bills? Calculate Your Savings!Save Now
With cell phone carriers that use the CDMA network, there is no SIM card because the cell phone is tied to the specific wireless carrier network. The CDMA network is generally used in the United States and Russia. However, GSM networks are also used in both of these countries as well.
CDMA stands for Code-Division Multiple Access and there are a number of CDMA phone carriers.
In This Guide
A number of cell phone carriers use host networks that are code-division multiple access, or CDMA. This includes the CDMA phone carriers that buy network space from Verizon and Sprint. There are also some carriers that operate on both CDMA and GSM networks.
Below is a list of the cell phone carriers that operate on Verizon, which is a CDMA network and operates a fast and efficient 4G LTE network:
One of the carriers on the Sprint network is Boost Mobile, which provides access to a range of prepaid plans. This means that you have the flexibility of no contract, which is ideal for those that don't want to commit to a long-term plan.
You can benefit from both individual and family plans with this provider. This includes plans that offer unlimited talk and text with an allocation of data, which you can add to if you wish. You can also choose a plan that offers unlimited text, talk, and data if you prefer. All plans are competitively priced too.
Virgin Mobile also operates under the Sprint network, and you can look forward to a very competitively priced plan that offers unlimited text, talk, and data. You can opt for both prepay plans and monthly plans with this provider depending on whether you want to sign up for a long term monthly contract or not.
You can benefit from a range of perks with Virgin Mobile. One of these is the ability to stream music without it impacting your data allowance, although this is available on only certain music streaming sites. You should have no problems finding a suitable plan to suit your budget and needs with this provider.
If you are looking for a budget cell phone plan, FreedomPop has plenty to offer. You can benefit from a good selection of no-contract plans, so you don't have to worry about long-term contract commitments. You can also benefit from plans that require no upfront payments and are available at a very competitive monthly cost.
The data, text, and minutes available will vary from one plan to the next. You can get a very basic plan if you do not use your mobile much and then there are a number of premium and unlimited plans for those that require more minutes, texts, and data.
With Tello, you can select from both prepay and pay as you go plans based on the one that best suits your needs. You can look forward to very competitive prices on the plans, with prices starting at under $20 per month if you don't require mobile data.
In addition, you can look forward to benefits such as no early termination fees and the ability to use your phone as a mobile hotspot. The plans are designed to suit everyone, from those who don't want long-term contracts and don't use much data to those that require a lot of data and unlimited minutes and texts.
GreatCall is one of the cell phone carriers that run on the Verizon network and offers a range of plans to suit different needs. This wireless carrier tends to focus its plans toward senior citizens. Its plans actually come with health and safety options for seniors. It also provides a range of no contract plans to suit different needs. These plans are available with the Jitterbug phone, which this carrier has become known for.
There are several main plans that you can choose from with this provider. This includes the $41 monthly plan, which is the most basic and cheapest. There is also an unlimited talk and text plan for those that do not require much data, and finally the $75 plan. None of these plans require you to pay anything upfront.
You can select from an impressive range of plans from Credo Mobile, which is another of the CDMA cell phone carriers. With over three decades in the mobile industry, this is an experienced carrier that offers competitive deals to suit a range of requirements. The benefits offered will vary based on the plan you choose, so this is something you need to check when deciding which of the plans is best suited to your needs.
You don't have to pay any upfront costs with these contracts, and the plans start at just $30 per month. You can choose from the most basic plan, which is the most inexpensive, through to 1GB, 3GB, 6GB, or unlimited data plans. Some of the benefits, which can vary from plan to plan, include free wifi hotspot and money-off deals on certain handsets.
Page Plus Cellular
With prepaid plans to suit a variety of requirements and pockets, this carrier offers several options. The plans from Page Plus Cellular are generally available at a low monthly cost, but there is an upfront amount to pay, which varied based on the plan you choose. There is no unlimited data available but you can get unlimited calls and texts with the LTE network. When it comes to data, the plans offer between 1GB and 8GB data.
Another unique thing with this carrier is that you can actually opt for an annual plan. This gives you 2,000 minutes and means that you won't have to worry about monthly billing. However, you do need to go through one of the retail partners to get the annual card.
Another cell phone carrier that comes under the Verizon CDMA umbrella is ROK Mobile. You will find plenty of different plan options to choose from with this carrier, with both budget and more comprehensive plans available. Another perk with this provider is that it offers a range of additional perks when your service is activated. This includes everything from accidental death insurance through to roadside assistance coverage.
You can enjoy the flexibility of no contract plans with this carrier. You also benefit from no upfront costs and competitive monthly pricing on plans. This carrier does also run on the Sprint network, which is another CDMA network.
If you are looking for fast internet speeds, Total Wireless is a great option. This prepaid carrier operates on Verizon and offers low-cost plans without any upfront costs. If you don't really use mobile data, that's no problem. You can opt for a very affordable plan without any data included. Alternatively, you can go for a slightly higher priced plan with data included.
These plans are perfect for those who are on a budget, as the plans can be customized and are pay-as-you-go without the need to worry about a contract. So, if you want total flexibility and convenience, this could be a great option.
There are also carriers that operate on a combination of networks, such as Straight Talk Wireless. Some of the providers that operate on combined networks include:
As you can see, there are many cell phone carriers that operate under these two CDMA networks, although some also operate under GSM networks. The variety of plans available between these providers means that finding the right one for you shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure you compare the cost, minutes and texts, data allocation, and whether you need to sign up to a contract or pay anything upfront.
You'll need a SIM card if you plan on bringing your own phone to a new carrier so you can activate your device. Check out CDMA SIM cards to see which are compatible for you.