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4G/5G data
mins
texts
/mo
Same coverage - massive savings!YOU SAVE:
T-Mobile
Magenta - $70/mo
$840/yr
AT&T
Unlimited Extra - $75/mo
$900/yr
Verizon
Play More Unlimited - $80/mo
$960/yr
$0$20$40$60$80
Monthly cost
Average monthly data usage is only between 3-5GB
Avg. user rating
Benefits

    GSM Carriers in 2022

    What carriers are GSM?

    Cheapest GSM carrier
    1GB 4G/5G data
    $10/mo
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    Prepaid GSM carrier
    4GB 4G/5G data
    $15/mo*
    Powered by:

    See Deal

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    Family GSM carrier
    12GB 4G/5G data
    $20/mo
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    * Free 10 Day Trial
    Unlimited GSM carrier
    Unltd 4G/5G data
    $29/mo
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    See Deal

    Find the cheapest phone plans in your area

    GSM is one of two cellular technologies that help bridge the gap when there's no 4G signal. AT&T and T-Mobile are the two main networks, along with their MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that run on the GSM network.

    MVNOs have started growing in popularity along with a wide range of options whatever your needs and budget. And because they're powered by the main networks you don't have to sacrifice quality coverage.

    If your phone is on the CDMA network or unlocked, you can still save money on the best MVNO plans.

    We've broken it down further for you below.

    Best cheap GSM carrier

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/moTello SIM Card - Tello 1GB $10/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    1GB
    Price
    $10/mo
    Powered by:
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    Tello 1GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 1GB data for only $10 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Tello review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    Tello 1GB

    1GB

    $10

    View Plan

    Tello 2GB

    2GB

    $14

    View Plan

    Tello 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    Cons

    • No roaming

    • Coverage in rural areas

    Benefits

    • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

    • Keep your current phone number

    • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

    • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

    • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

    • 24/7 customer service

    Best prepaid GSM carrier

    See Deal
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB $15/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 4GB $15/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    4GB
    Price
    $15/mo** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Mint Mobile 4GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 4GB data for only $15 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Mint Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Mint Mobile 4GB

    4GB

    $15*

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $20*

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $25*

    * Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

    • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

    • Reliable network coverage

    • Works with most GSM phones

    Cons

    • No family plans

    • Minimum 3 months

    Benefits

    • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • 7-day money-back guarantee

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

    • Keep your phone number

    • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

    • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

    • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

    • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

    Best GSM carrier for families

    See Deal
    US Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 12GB $20/moUS Mobile SIM Card - US Mobile 12GB $20/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    12GB
    Price
    $20/mo* Free 10 Day Trial
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    US Mobile 12GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 12GB data for only $20 per month. US Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the Verizon & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's US Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    US Mobile 1GB

    1GB

    $12

    View Plan

    US Mobile 5GB

    5GB

    $15

    View Plan

    US Mobile 12GB

    12GB

    $20

    View Plan

    US Mobile 18GB

    18GB

    $25

    View Plan

    US Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $35

    View Plan

    * Free 10 Day Trial

    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Flexible, no contract plans

    • 24/7 customer service

    • 5G coverage available

    Cons

    • No international calling

    • Phone selection

    Benefits

    • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

    • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

    • Keep your own phone number

    • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

    • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

    • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

    • 24/7 customer support

    Best GSM carrier for unlimited data

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited $29/moTello SIM Card - Tello Unlimited $29/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    Unlimited
    Price
    $29/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Tello Unlimited plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data for only $29 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Tello review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    Tello 1GB

    1GB

    $10

    View Plan

    Tello 2GB

    2GB

    $14

    View Plan

    Tello 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    Cons

    • No roaming

    • Coverage in rural areas

    Benefits

    • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

    • Keep your current phone number

    • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

    • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

    • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

    • 24/7 customer service

    Best GSM carrier for one person

    See Deal
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/moBoost Mobile SIM Card - Boost Mobile 5GB $5/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    5GB
    Price
    $5/mo** 66% Off for 3 Months
    Powered by:
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    Boost Mobile 5GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 5GB data for only $5 per month. Boost Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the AT&T & T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Boost Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Boost Mobile 5GB

    5GB

    $5*

    * 66% Off for 3 Months
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 1GB - 12 Mths

    1GB

    $8*

    * $100 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $20*

    * $240 for 1 year service
    View Plan

    Boost Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $25

    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Nationwide coverage on AT&T & T-Mobile

    • 5G & 4G LTE data speeds

    • Buy online and no credit checks

    • Bring your own phone

    • Cheapest unlimited data plan

    Cons

    • No data only plans

    Benefits

    • Owned by Dish and runs on T-Mobile's nationwide network

    • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or extra fees

    • Bring your own phone (GSM compatible) or choose from a wide selection of new phones

    • Mobile hotspot allowance with all plans

    • International service and roaming available as add-on packs

    • Customer support available by phone - 4am - 8pm PST Monday to Friday, 4am - 7pm weekends

    Best GSM carrier for seniors

    See Deal
    Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 250MB $15/moUltra Mobile SIM Card - Ultra Mobile 250MB $15/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    250MB
    Price
    $15/mo
    Powered by:
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    Ultra Mobile 250MB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 250MB data for only $15 per month. Ultra Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Ultra Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Ultra Mobile 250MB

    250MB

    $15

    View Plan

    Ultra Mobile 2GB

    2GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Ultra Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $49

    View Plan
    Review
    3.5

    Pros

    • Simple account dashboard

    • Unlimited international talk and text

    • Nationwide coverage

    Cons

    • Customer service

    Benefits

    • Coverage provided on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • Prepaid service - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your own compatible GSM phone or buy one from Ultra Mobile

    • Mobile hotspot use supported

    • Unlimited global texting and unlimited calling to 80+ countries

    • International roaming credits available in $5, $10, or $20 denominations

    • International plan tier comes with uTalk - a feature that gives you up to 1250 bonus minutes to your choice of 39 additional destinations

    • Customer service available by phone, email, and chat from 6am to 6pm every day

    Best GSM carrier for students

    See Deal
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 10GB $20/moMint Mobile SIM Card - Mint Mobile 10GB $20/mo
    Minutes
    0
    Texts
    0
    Data
    10GB
    Price
    $20/mo** Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Mint Mobile 10GB plan includes 0 mins, 0 texts and 10GB data for only $20 per month. Mint Mobile plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Mint Mobile review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Mint Mobile 4GB

    4GB

    $15*

    * Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 10GB

    10GB

    $20*

    * Only $60 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile 15GB

    15GB

    $25*

    * Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan

    Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $30*

    * Only $90 for 3 Months Service
    View Plan
    Review
    4.5

    Pros

    • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

    • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

    • Reliable network coverage

    • Works with most GSM phones

    Cons

    • No family plans

    • Minimum 3 months

    Benefits

    • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • 7-day money-back guarantee

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

    • Keep your phone number

    • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

    • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

    • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

    • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

    Best GSM carrier for talk & text

    See Deal
    Tello SIM Card - Tello 0GB $8/moTello SIM Card - Tello 0GB $8/mo
    Minutes
    Unlimited
    Texts
    Unlimited
    Data
    0GB
    Price
    $8/mo
    Powered by:
    See Deal

    Tello 0GB plan includes unlimited mins, unlimited texts and 0GB data for only $8 per month. Tello plans offer wireless coverage on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE network. To learn more about why this is one of the best cell phone plans, check out MoneySavingPro's Tello review

    Plans
    PlanDataPriceView plan

    Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

    0GB

    $8

    View Plan

    Tello 1GB

    1GB

    $10

    View Plan

    Tello 2GB

    2GB

    $14

    View Plan

    Tello 5GB

    5GB

    $19

    View Plan

    Tello 10GB

    10GB

    $24

    View Plan

    Tello Unlimited Data

    Unlimited

    $29

    View Plan
    Review
    5

    Pros

    • No contract. No bulk buying.

    • 24/7 friendly customer support

    • 4G LTE/5G nationwide coverage

    • Free Hotspot & Wi-Fi Calling

    • Free international calls to 60+ countries

    Cons

    • No roaming

    • Coverage in rural areas

    Benefits

    • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

    • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

    • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

    • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

    • Keep your current phone number

    • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

    • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

    • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

    • 24/7 customer service

    Best GSM network carriers

    By Rob Webber - Last updated on
    Check Carrier Coverage

    GSM carrier benefits

    • Same great nationwide coverage: These cell phone carriers operate on the very same networks as the big three carriers.
    • Much lower prices: Save up to $600 per year on your cell phone plan. Why are MVNOs so much cheaper? They don't have the huge overhead and advertising costs the big guys do.
    • No contracts: Don't get trapped into a two-year agreement. Switch carriers when you decide to with a no contract phone plan.
    • Same cell phone service: Just because you're paying less, that doesn't mean you have to scrimp on features. Plans with unlimited everything are easy to find from these prepaid carriers. Usually, a low-cost carrier plan comes with unlimited talk and text as standard, high-speed data, and even mobile hotspot data features.
    • Keep your phone and number: You can bring your own phone and keep your phone number. No need to sign up for pricey device payments.
    • Customize your plan: You decide how much data you need. Choose to pay as you go, opt for unlimited or no data, minimal minutes, or unlimited talk text and data. Unlimited data plans come at a much better price with an alternative carrier. Pick the plan options that fit your budget - not the one your carrier thinks you need.
    • Great customer support: Smaller mobile providers are known for their attention to their customers. Stop feeling like an anonymous number getting lost in the crowd! Check out our carrier user reviews before switching.

    Best GSM carrier on T-Mobile

    Mint Mobile10GB plan* Only $60 for 3 Months Service

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    10GB

    4G/5G data

    $20/mo*

    $2 per GB

    Powered by: T-Mobile

    T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile comparison

    Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $600 per year

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    T-MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5GUnltd*$70/mo$840/yr
    Mint MobileT-Mobile 4G & 5G10GB$20/mo$240/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$50/mo$600/yr

    Best GSM carrier on AT&T

    Boost Mobile5GB plan* 66% Off for 3 Months

    Unlimitedmins

    Unlimitedtexts

    5GB

    4G/5G data

    $5/mo*

    $15/mo

    $3 per GB

    Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

    AT&T vs Boost Mobile comparison

    Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $750 per year

    CarrierNetwork Coverage4G/5G DataPriceAnnual Cost
    AT&TAT&T 4G & 5GUnltd*$75/mo$900/yr
    Boost MobileAT&T 4G & 5G5GB$15/mo$150/yr
    *Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$60/mo$750/yr

    GSM carrier features

    • 4G LTE & 5G data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big three cellular networks you'll pay less without sacrificing speed. More and more are adding 5G coverage all the time so you can expect high-speed data.
    • Unlimited talk and text messaging: Finding a new unlimited plan has never been easier. Virtually all small carriers include unlimited text and calls in their plan options. Compare cheap talk and text plans with or without data.
    • International calls to Canada and Mexico: International calling is a must for many people. Luckily MVNOs offer some of the best international phone plans, with free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on others.
    • Multiline discounts: Low-cost carriers also offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with multi-line discounts.
    • Wi-Fi calling: This feature is handy when you're out of your service area, allowing you to make calls over the internet instead of on your cellular connection.
    • Tethering/hotspot data: Many low-cost carriers allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. Pick an MVNO with the best mobile hotspot plans so you can share your mobile hotspot data with other devices.
    • HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming and some don't. Read the fine print to find the option you want.

    Best GSM carrier plans

    CarrierDataNetworkPrice
    Tello 1GB plan1GBT-Mobile$10
    Mint Mobile 4GB plan4GBT-Mobile$15** Only $45 for 3 Months Service
    US Mobile 12GB plan12GBVerizon & T-Mobile$20* Free 10 Day Trial
    Mint Mobile 15GB plan15GBT-Mobile$25** Only $75 for 3 Months Service
    Tello unlimited data planUnltdT-Mobile$29

    GSM network coverage

    Which prepaid carrier is best for you? That depends on which network has the best coverage in your area.

    Whether you go with a GSM carrier (T-Mobile and AT&T) or a CDMA carrier (Verizon) you'll enjoy national coverage, just like with the major carriers.

    Network performance ratings

    NETWORKOVERALLRELIABILITYSPEEDDATACALL
    Verizon Coverage9596949694
    AT&T Coverage9494959692
    T-Mobile Coverage8688828982

    Source: Rootmetrics

    Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

    GSM network carriers on T-Mobile

    CarrierNetwork(s)
    Boost MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    Boom! MobileVerizon & T-Mobile
    Consumer CellularT-Mobile
    FreeUP MobileT-Mobile
    Metro by T-MobileT-Mobile
    Mint MobileT-Mobile
    Red PocketAT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon
    Republic WirelessT-Mobile
    Simple MobileT-Mobile
    Straight TalkT-Mobile, AT&T & Verizon
    TelloT-Mobile
    TingT-Mobile & Verizon
    TracfoneVerizon, AT&T & T-Mobile
    Ultra MobileT-Mobile
    Unreal MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    US MobileVerizon & T-Mobile
    Gen MobileT-Mobile
    WingAT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile
    Good2Go MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    Hello MobileT-Mobile
    GoSmart MobileT-Mobile
    Reach MobileT-Mobile
    LycamobileT-Mobile
    Walmart Family MobileT-Mobile
    Speedtalk MobileT-Mobile

    GSM network carriers on AT&T

    CarrierNetwork(s)
    Boost MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    Cricket WirelessAT&T
    FreedompopAT&T
    H2O WirelessAT&T
    PureTalkAT&T
    Red PocketAT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon
    Straight TalkT-Mobile, AT&T & Verizon
    TracfoneVerizon, AT&T & T-Mobile
    Unreal MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    WingAT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile
    Good2Go MobileAT&T & T-Mobile
    Black WirelessAT&T
    easyGO WirelessAT&T
    Airvoice WirelessAT&T
    Optimum MobileAT&T

    What is the GSM network?

    GSM - or Global System for Mobile Communications - is a mobile network that is used worldwide, unlike CDMA which is used mainly in the US. It is the most popular cell phone technology and it is much easier to swap between phones on GSM networks as your information is stored on a SIM card.

    Since it started GSM has evolved much faster than CDMA and 4G LTE is a GSM standard which means that both Verizon and Sprint are now using GSM technology on their previous CDMA phones. GSM, along with CDMA, is the technology that fills the gap when your 4G signal drops.

    What is a GSM SIM card?

    A SIM (subscriber identity module) card is what is provided to you by your carrier when you sign up to one of their plans. It has a unique identification number and holds your phone information, like your contacts and personal data.

    The GSM SIM card makes it easy to switch between phones as you can just take it out from one phone and pop it into your new phone. Some older devices may still be locked to your current provider, so you will need to make sure they are unlocked before changing over.

    When it comes to the SIM cards there are three types of SIM - standard SIM, micro SIM and Nano SIM. The type of SIM card you will need depends on your phone but the most common is the Nano SIM.

    Which is better CDMA or GSM?

    This can still be a confusing topic for consumers and it's really more a personal preference when it comes to CDMA and GSM.

    It's easier to swap phones with a GSM phone as the information is stored on a SIM card and GSM carriers do not have as much control over the phone used. With CDMA you need the permission of your carrier.

    Whether you have a CDMA phone or a GSM phone you can find the best low-cost carriers for both networks.


    GSM unlocked phones

    PhoneCarrierNetworkMonthly PriceTotal Cost
    Apple iPhone 11 64GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$17/mo for 24 mths$399
    Apple iPhone SE AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$18/mo for 24 mths$429
    Samsung Galaxy S20 AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$22/mo for 24 mths$529
    Apple iPhone 12 mini 64GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$22/mo for 24 mths$529
    Apple iPhone 13 mini 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$26/mo for 24 mths$629
    Apple iPhone 12 64GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$26/mo for 24 mths$629
    Apple iPhone 13 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$30/mo for 24 mths$729
    Samsung Galaxy S20+ AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$31/mo for 24 mths$750
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$31/mo for 36 mths$1,099
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$33/mo for 24 mths$799
    Apple iPhone 14 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$35/mo for 24 mths$829
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$37/mo for 24 mths$899
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
    Apple iPhone 14 Pro 128GB AT&TRed PocketAT&T 5G/4G LTE$42/mo for 24 mths$999
    Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen) 64GB AT&TUnreal MobileAT&T 5G/4G LTE-$379

    • Save 50% or more off retail: Get flagship smartphones in excellent condition for hundreds less than new.
    • It's great value for your dollar: New phone models usually only get minor upgrades from year to year so hold onto your money and still get all the best features.
    • Retain your freedom: Buying your phone outright means you can decide when to leave your carrier for a cheaper cell phone plan.

    What does GSM unlocked mean?

    Most carriers want to keep you as a customer, so often you'll find your device is locked to the carrier you originally signed up with so you can't just pop your SIM card into a phone with another network. If your device is locked, don't panic you still have options!

    If your phone is locked you may be able to unlock it once it has been fully paid off or you can still save money with one of AT&T or T-Mobile's MVNOs.

    Some carriers, however, do provide unlocked phones and if your phone is only a few years old then it is likely to be unlocked as most new phones use both the GSM and CDMA network.

    With an unlocked phone, you can find the best cell phone plan for your budget and not worry about the fuss of switching carriers.


    GSM carriers FAQs

    Is AT&T GSM?

    AT&T operates on the GSM network. AT&T unlocked phones should work with GSM carriers.

    Is T-Mobile GSM?

    T-Mobile operates on the GSM network. T-Mobile unlocked phones should work with GSM carriers.

    Is Verizon GSM?

    Verizon operates on the CDMA network. Verizon unlocked phones may only work with CDMA carriers.


    Recap

    There's a wide variety of cell phone plans available on the GSM network with carriers like Mint Mobile, PureTalk, and Red Pocket Mobile, to name just a few,that can save you money.

    If you're looking to bring your own phone, as long as it's compatible you can easily switch between carriers.

    If you've got a CDMA phone without a SIM card slot there are plenty of low-cost options to upgrade your handset with most MVNOs offering 0% finance plans over two years.

    If you want to check your phone is compatible you can use our IMEI code checker.

    MoneySavingPro methodology

    We're here to bring transparency to telecoms, putting power back in your hands. This guides everything we do.

    • We've got high standards. We use our industry expertise to find carriers that reach these standards. We all deserve the best value for money, choice and customer experience.
    • We care about accuracy. MoneySavingPro is run by cell phone geeks and money saving obsessives. Our content team researches everything thoroughly so that information you read here will give you the whole picture. Everything we do is backed up by the data.
    • We keep things simple. It's our job to break down what you need to know, so you can make informed choices.
    CarrierBest for...MinsTextsDataPrice
    Tello SIM Card - Best cheap GSM carrierTelloCheapest GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimited1GB$10/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best prepaid GSM carrierMint MobilePrepaid GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimited4GB$15/mo
    US Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for familiesUS MobileFamily GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimited12GB$20/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for unlimited dataTelloUnlimited GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited$29/mo
    Boost Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for one personBoost MobileIndividual GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimited5GB$15/mo
    Ultra Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for seniorsUltra MobileSenior GSM carrierUnlimitedUnlimited250MB$15/mo
    Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for studentsMint MobileStudent GSM carrier0010GB$20/mo
    Tello SIM Card - Best GSM carrier for talk & textTelloTalk & text carrierUnlimitedUnlimited0GB$8/mo
    Rob Webber
    Rob Webber

    Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

    Big wireless coverage at small prices
    T-Mobile 5G & 4G LTE coverage
    Verizon 5G & 4G LTE coverage
    AT&T 5G & 4G LTE coverage