Compare cheap cell phone plans- Switch & save $600/yr

The 5 best CDMA carriers in 2024

What carriers run on the CDMA network?

MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

CDMA is one of two cellular technologies that help bridge the gap when there's no 4G signal. Verizon (and previously Sprint) currently use the CDMA network.

MVNOs are growing in popularity because they operate on the main US networks to give you the same nationwide coverage but low monthly costs.

We've selected the top MVNO carriers on the CDMA network with a variety to fit all needs and budgets. By switching to a low-cost carrier you'll be able to save up to $600 a year.

We've broken it down further for you below.

Image of cell phone with Twigby
Twigby 5GB plan
Best CDMA carrier with free trial
$10/mo
Image of cell phone with US Mobile
US Mobile 10GB plan
Best cheap CDMA carrier
Image of cell phone with Visible
Visible unlimited data plan
Cheap CDMA carrier for families
Image of cell phone with Twigby
Twigby 10GB plan
Cheap CDMA carrier for unlimited data
$15/mo

CDMA network carriers

Best CDMA carrier with free trial

Twigby 5GB plan

Image of cell phone with Twigby
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
5GB
data
$10/mo*
$20/mo
See at Twigby

*$10/mo for 1st 3 Mths

4.4 Read our Twigby review
$690 in annual savings

Best cheap CDMA carrier

US Mobile 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon & T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$20/mo*
See at US Mobile

*30 Day FREE Trial

5 Read our US Mobile review
$660 in annual savings

Cheap CDMA carrier for families

Visible unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Visible
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
3.4 Read our Visible review
$600 in annual savings

Cheap CDMA carrier for unlimited data

Twigby 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with Twigby
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$15/mo*
$25/mo
See at Twigby

*$15/mo for 1st 3 Mths

4.4 Read our Twigby review
$630 in annual savings

How to choose the best CDMA carrier

What network coverage do you prefer?

Network access is a key consideration wherever you live, but especially in rural areas. Luckily, low-cost carriers operate on the same 5G & 4G LTE networks as major carriers. T-Mobile scores the highest for 5G coverage, according to an Opensignal 5G Experience Report (2023). If there is a particular network you prefer, choose an MVNO that operates on that network. Use our coverage checker to find the best cell phone service in your area.

How much data do you need?

Do you really need an unlimited data plan? The big wireless companies want you to believe so, but in reality, the average monthly cellular data consumption is around 10GB. However, if you spend most of your time at home or work on Wi-Fi, it's likely your cellular data usage will be much lower. You can choose a data plan tailored to your needs with cheap cell phone providers, meaning you can pay less if you use less. But if you do choose an unlimited data plan, be aware that high-speed data is normally capped.

Is hotspot data included?

Most carriers allow hotspot data usage but limit the amount of data that can be used via tethering. The limit depends on the carrier and plan you choose. Some carriers also offer data only plans so you can access the internet on mobile devices like iPads, tablets, and mobile hotspots when Wi-Fi's not available.

What's the monthly price?

While big wireless unlimited plans cost around $75-90 per month, the best MVNOs offer budget-friendly plans, ranging from $5-35 per month without sacrificing wireless coverage and data speeds. Watch out for hidden fees & taxes; some carriers include these in the price, and others, such as Verizon and AT&T, don't.

How many lines do you need?

With big wireless, you only get the advertised price if you buy four lines. With MVNOs, the price you see is the price you pay, even for one line. Many low-cost carriers now offer further discounts for multi-line plans.

Can I bring my own phone or buy a new device?

While the big three love keeping their customers locked into a constant phone upgrade cycle, MVNOs encourage you to bring your own phone. This means you take back control and only change your phone when it suits you. If you do want to purchase a new phone, many MVNOs offer an affordable and easy way with 0% financing over 1-2 years.

Are there any deals or promotions?

Big wireless promotions can seem good at a glance. But once you read the small print, it often leads to buying things you don't need and committing to 3-year phone contracts. Many MVNOs offer short-term introductory promotional pricing for new customers, and their pricing is much more transparent.

What perks or add ons can I expect?

Most big wireless plans include "free" TV subscriptions. Initially, these seem like a great deal. However, these usually turn into a paid subscription that is automatically added to your bill a few months down the line. A few low-cost carriers, such as US Mobile, do offer plan options with free subscription services, but we generally recommend keeping these subscriptions separate so you don't end up paying for things you don't need.

Is international calling included?

Most MVNOs offer free international calls to many countries. If this is important to you, make sure to choose a carrier that includes this.

Are there parental controls?

Some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) provide parental controls that allow parents to monitor their children's cell phone usage and data consumption. By using these features, you have the ability to establish limits on data usage, limit access to specific apps or websites, and even keep track of your child's whereabouts. These capabilities are accessible either through subscription plans or can be adjusted in the settings of your mobile device.

Check out our cell phone plan comparison to ensure you find the best deal.


CDMA network carriers list

  • Boom! Mobile

  • CREDO Mobile

  • Lively

  • Page Plus Cellular

  • Red Pocket

  • Spectrum Mobile

  • Straight Talk

  • Total by Verizon

  • Tracfone

  • Twigby

  • US Mobile

  • Visible

  • Xfinity Mobile

  • Affinity Cellular

  • Cox Mobile

  • MobileX


CDMA 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.

What is the CDMA network?

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access - is used mainly across the US. This is one of the main differences between CDMA and GSM, as GSM is a technology used worldwide.

Both technologies fill in the gap when 4G is not available to make sure you still have coverage.

Which is better CDMA or GSM?

This can still be a confusing topic for consumers, and it's really more of 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.


Find the best cell phone service in your area

Cut your phone bill by up to $600/yr
Find a cheaper plan in seconds
Same coverage - switch instantly

Compare the cheapest CDMA phone plans

Carrier Network Data Price
US Mobile 2GB plan Verizon & T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage 2GB $10/mo
Twigby 5GB plan Verizon 5G/4G Coverage 5GB $10/mo $20/mo
US Mobile 10GB plan Verizon & T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage 10GB $18/mo
Visible unlimited data plan Verizon 5G/4G Coverage Unltd $25/mo
US Mobile unlimited data plan Verizon & T-Mobile 5G/4G Coverage Unltd $25/mo

CDMA carriers FAQs


Recap: What is the best CDMA carrier?

Verizon runs on the CDMA network, and switching to a Verizon MVNO can cut your monthly cell phone bills in half.

Bridging the gap when 4G is not available, CDMA is mainly used in the US. Although old CDMA phones had no SIM card, ones made in the last few years do, and most are compatible with the GSM network.

If you're looking to bring your own phone you can check if your handset is compatible with our IMEI checker.

Carrier guides

Related Content

Phone plans guides
Best 5G cell phone plans in 2024
19 min read
Apr 30, 2024
Best bring your own phone plans in 2024
19 min read
Apr 30, 2024
Best cell phone plans in 2024
20 min read
Apr 29, 2024
Best cell phone plans for kids in 2024
19 min read
Apr 30, 2024
Best cell phone plans for seniors in 2024
20 min read
Apr 29, 2024
Best cell phone plans for students in 2024
19 min read
Apr 29, 2024
Best cell phone plans for two in 2024
19 min read
Apr 30, 2024
Best phone plans for one in 2024
20 min read
Apr 30, 2024
How much could you save?
Calculate your savings now
Same coverage - cut your bill by up to $600/yr
Meditating monkey
Find a cheaper plan in seconds
Switch in minutes