What is the difference between CDMA and GSM?

We specialize in consumer electronics. For this reason, it is important to know the difference between CDMA and GSM networks. These are the two main types of networks. In the US, Sprint and Verizon run on CDMA networks while AT&T and T-Mobile run on GSM networks. 

It is important to note that one isn't particularly better than the other, and both ultimately provide the same services - the quality of service depends on the carrier. One difference is that GSM can be unlocked so you can switch between carriers. A CDMA phone will be locked to a carrier and will not use a SIM card. Instead, it will be linked to the network through a phone number. 

Another difference is that with GSM, 2G and 3G networks allow you to make voice calls and transmit data at the same time, while CDMA does not. 

As major carriers develop their 5G technology, the differences between these two will not matter. CDMA phones will work on GSM networks. That is why you’re able to use your Verizon phone when traveling to places where GSM is the standard, such as Europe, Asia, and South America. 

Because of 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G - these differences matter less and less. LTE will require a SIM card, and CDMA phones now have SIM card trays or an eSIM. 

Still not sure which phone is right for you? Ask us a question here or contact your carrier directly. 

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