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CDMA SIM Card: Plan Comparison

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Network: T-Mobile 4G LTE
Data: Unlimited*
Monthly Cost: $70
Annual Cost: $840
Network: T-Mobile 4G LTE
Data: 8GB
Monthly Cost: $20
Annual Cost: $240
Switch & Save: $600/yr
Don't waste money on data you don't use!*average data usage of unlimited data plan customer is 3-5GB

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All NetworksVerizonT-MobileSprintAT&T
Monthly Price
Data
Minutes
Coverage Checker
Powered by:
1Ting - 500 Mins & No Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
500mins1000texts
0 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
2Ting - 100 Mins & 500MB Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
100mins100texts
0.5 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
Tello
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
0 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
4Tello - 500MB Data* Free Double Data until May 29th
Tello
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
1 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
5Ting - 1000 Mins & No Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
1000mins1000texts
0 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
6Tello - 1GB Data* Free Double Data until May 29th
Tello
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
2 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
7Ting - 500 Mins & 500MB Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
500mins1000texts
0.5 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
8Ting - 100 Mins & 1GB Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
100mins1000texts
1 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
Tello
100minsUnlimitedtexts
2 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
Tello
300minsUnlimitedtexts
2 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
Tello
500minsUnlimitedtexts
2 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
12Tello - 2GB Data* Free Double Data until May 29th
Tello
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
4 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days
13Ting - 100 Mins & 2GB Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
100mins1000texts
2 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
14Ting - 500 Mins & 1GB Data* $20 Off for 6 Months
Ting
500mins1000texts
1 GB4G data
Powered by:SprintT-MobileVerizon
Ting SIM Card
NetworkT-Mobile & Sprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA & GSM
Mobile HotspotNo
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes 60 countries
Money Back GuaranteeNo
15Tello - 4GB Data* Free Double Data until May 29th
Tello
UnlimitedminsUnlimitedtexts
8 GB4G data
Powered by:Sprint
Tello SIM Card
NetworkSprint
Data Speed4G LTE
3G NetworkCDMA
Mobile HotspotYes
Bring Your PhoneYes
Keep Your NumberYes
ContractNo - prepaid
Credit CheckNo
Customer Service24/7
International CallsYes - Includes Mexico, Canada & China
Money Back GuaranteeYes - 3 days

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Find the Cheapest CDMA SIM Plan

Michelle McLean

Michelle McLean

You have probably heard of inserting your SIM card when activating service with your carrier network, no matter the device. It could be your phone, your tablet, or whatever - it's a useful piece of universal equipment.

However, what exactly is a SIM card? Furthermore, since SIM cards are both used by GSM and CDMA networks, what are GSM and CDMA networks? Better yet, which MVNOs are compatible with CDMA SIM cards?

Within this guide, you'll find information relating to the definition of the SIM card, what carrier networks are compatible with the CDMA network, the differences between GSM and CDMA, and the Internet of Things.

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What Is a SIM Card?

So what exactly is a subscriber identity module card? Well, a subscriber identity module (SIM) card is a type of smart card created for mobile devices. This tiny card contains your unique profile - in other words, your identification number, your personal data such as contacts, and more.

This card also helps you connect with your mobile phone service provider, allowing you to be part of its network.

To put it simply, the SIM card provides all the information a mobile network needs. It lets you know who you are and whether or not you have permission to access the network.

Additionally, you should be aware that there are different mobile SIM card sizes. Depending on your cell phone model and the size of the SIM card slot, you may need a standard SIM, micro SIM, or nano SIM card. And just what are the differences between the sizes?

Well, the standard SIM represents the second generation of SIM cards, measuring 25mm x 15mm x 0.76mm. The micro SIM is the third generation of SIM cards, measuring 15mm x 12mm x 0.76mm. Finally, the nano SIM acts as the fourth generation of SIM cards, measuring at 12.3mm x 8.8mm x 0.67mm.

Switching Providers

At one point in your life, you'd probably like to bring your own phone when you switch service providers. Well luckily for you, the SIM unlocking process is quite simple. All you need to do is visit your carrier and they will unlock your phone for you!

However, it should be noted that your carrier sometimes won't unlock your phone. When won't they? Well, for instance, you could owe $200 on your phone before you officially own the phone. In that case, the carrier network may not provide you with the unlock code.

CDMA vs GSM

GSM and CDMA are two different mobile phone technologies. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications. CDMA, on the other hand, stands for Code Division Multiple Access. GSM is more globally accepted compared to CDMA. But the difference lies in the method of radio wave conversion - yes, the same radio waves that your cell phone broadcasts.

With a GSM carrier, the frequency bands are divided so that multiple users use a tower simultaneously. CDMA networks, on the other hand, layer digitized calls over each other and unpack them on the back end thanks to the issuance of sequence codes. So when you think of CDMA, you think of layers. With GSM, you should think of a square divided up into equal bars.

Yet, as far as carriers go, who relies on what technology?

Well, Verizon and Sprint both rely on CDMA technology, while AT&T and T-Mobile networks use GSM technology. So expect GSM SIM cards with AT&T and T-Mobile networks, but CDMA SIM cards with Verizon and Sprint for your CDMA phone.

You'll notice that when you bring your own phone to a GSM network that you'll need a GSM phone. So be sure to check whether or not you have a GSM phone or CDMA phone with the carrier's official network compatibility page.

CDMA MVNOs

Below, you'll find a list of the MVNOs that are compatible with the CDMA carrier LTE network.

There are tons of CDMA compatible MVNOs, but the above list are some of our favorites. Check them out for our in-depth reviews and find a great cell phone plan that fits your budget.

Smart Device SIM

More and more devices are now being connected to each other. For instance, your iPhone is connected to your Apple Watch, exchanging information. Or perhaps your car is tied to your Android device. This is commonplace in the modern world. This is also known as the Internet of Things.

The Internet of things is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

Let's refer to this example: your smartwatch and your smartphone. To put it simply, your smartwatch - say the Samsung Gear S2 - is tied to your smartphone. Not only does your smartwatch show you notifications like text messages, the weather and more, but it can help record your activity, which can be relayed to your smartphone.

Of course, there are many more devices that are integrated with each other. Another relevant example is SIM cards. Nowadays, they are not only used in mobile phones but also inside GPS trackers, smartwatches, tablets, and more.

Overall, you should be aware that your SIM card is a valuable piece of plastic, containing your unique identity within these items. While losing the SIM card isn't as detrimental as losing your social security card, it still is an important tool.

Not only that but there are some carrier networks, like US Mobile and TPO Mobile, that offer SIM cards specifically for non-smartphones.

Recap

As you can tell, there are plenty of mobile providers that rely on CDMA technology.

Otherwise, you'll likely find yourself purchasing either an unlocked phone from a retailer or directly from the official carrier website, which can be expensive.

SIM cards are useful for giving a data plan to a plethora of devices such as activity trackers, alarm systems, smartwatches, and more.

CDMA SIM Card FAQs

What is a CDMA SIM card?

A SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card is a removable memory chip that stores information unique to the cell phone user.

What does a CDMA SIM card do?

Cell phones need a SIM card in order to connect to a phone network in order to make calls.

How do I remove a CDMA SIM card from my phone?

The position of the access cover varies by phone but it’s usually on the side of the device. To remove the SIM card, use an eject tool or paper clip and push to release the SIM card tray.

How do I insert a CDMA SIM card into my phone?

The position of the access cover varies by phone but it’s usually on the side of the device. Place the new SIM card into the SIM card tray and slide the tray into your phone.

What SIM card size do I need?

There are 3 SIM card sizes: standard, micro and nano SIM. All phones released since 2014 (Apple iOS and Android) now support the nano SIM card. Older phones will require either the standard or micro SIM card but most MVNOs will send out a SIM card that can be adapted to all 3 sizes.

How much does a CDMA SIM card cost?

The cost of the CDMA SIM card varies between carriers. Typically, the cost is $4-5 but some carriers offer free SIM cards with their prepaid cell phone plans.

Where can I buy a new CDMA SIM card?

You can purchase a CDMA SIM card online or in a cell phone or electronics store.

How do I activate my new CDMA SIM card?

Activating your new CDMA SIM card is straight forward. When you receive your SIM card, contact the carrier and they will talk you through the activation process.

How do I configure my new CDMA SIM card?

You may need to adjust the APN settings on your phone. The carrier will help you with this during activation.

Will my device work with a CDMA SIM card from another carrier?

Any unlocked device with a CDMA SIM card slot should work. However, phone compatibility does vary by exact device and carrier, so it’s important to check that your phone is supported on the carrier website, prior to ordering a new SIM card.

Can I keep my phone number when I switch the SIM card?

Yes, it’s simple to transfer your phone number when you bring your phone to a new carrier.

Do these low-cost carriers provide cell phone coverage in my area?

Although you may not be familiar with some of the carriers, all MVNOs are powered by one or more of the 4 major networks (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint). Therefore, you should not experience any loss in service.

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All low-cost carriers are powered by the major US networks

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