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  1. MercenaryOne's Avatar
    So from a post yesterday about recommendations on a phone for my wife, we came across a ton of unlocked phones she likes. However on Amazon it shows GSM unlocked, working on ATT and T-Mobile services only. I know Verizon is/was CDMA, but didn't they add/get GSM? And isn't the point of an unlocked phone to use on other networks? Will GSM unlocked work on Verizon?
    04-28-2016 12:43 PM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    So from a post yesterday about recommendations on a phone for my wife, we came across a ton of unlocked phones she likes. However on Amazon it shows GSM unlocked, working on ATT and T-Mobile services only. I know Verizon is/was CDMA, but didn't they add/get GSM? And isn't the point of an unlocked phone to use on other networks? Will GSM unlocked work on Verizon?
    There are two main cellular network technologies: GSM and CDMA.

    GSM is more common worldwide, but there are some CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint.

    The two are not compatible. Some Verizon/CDMA phones also have GSM hardware so that they can function more practically overseas. EX. The Verizon Lumia Icon works on GSM networks technically.

    Also worth noting that Verizon will only allow specifically approved phones onto their network (for the most part, any phone that has VZW branding) despite being technically compatible with Sprint in some regards.

    ATT does not have that whitelist for example.

    GSM phones will not work on CDMA networks. The main GSM networks are ATT and T-Mobile in the US.
    ===
    Now, an unlocked phone can function on any network, technology allowing. Carriers sometimes lock phones to only function on their network because competition, etc. For example, you may buy an iPhone that is locked to ATT.

    In order to use that phone on say, T-Mobile or a GSM network overseas, the phone will have to be "unlocked," which involves jumping through a hoop or two applying for an unlock code. (worth noting that unlocked phones are generally worth more.)

    I hope I made sense.
  3. xandros9's Avatar
    So from a post yesterday about recommendations on a phone for my wife, we came across a ton of unlocked phones she likes. However on Amazon it shows GSM unlocked, working on ATT and T-Mobile services only. I know Verizon is/was CDMA, but didn't they add/get GSM? And isn't the point of an unlocked phone to use on other networks? Will GSM unlocked work on Verizon?
    There are two main cellular network technologies: GSM and CDMA.

    GSM is more common worldwide, but there are some CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint.

    The two are not compatible. Some Verizon/CDMA phones also have GSM hardware so that they can function more practically overseas. EX. The Verizon Lumia Icon works on GSM networks technically.

    Also worth noting that Verizon will only allow specifically approved phones onto their network (for the most part, any phone that has VZW branding) despite being technically compatible with Sprint in some regards.

    ATT does not have that whitelist for example.

    GSM phones will not work on CDMA networks. The main GSM networks are ATT and T-Mobile in the US.
    ===
    Now, an unlocked phone can function on any network, technology allowing. Carriers sometimes lock phones to only function on their network because competition, etc. For example, you may buy an iPhone that is locked to ATT.

    In order to use that phone on say, T-Mobile or a GSM network overseas, the phone will have to be "unlocked," which involves jumping through a hoop or two applying for an unlock code. (worth noting that unlocked phones are generally worth more.)

    I hope I made sense.
    04-28-2016 12:53 PM
  4. tgp's Avatar
    There are a few factory unlocked phones that work on Verizon. Here is the list:

    1. iPhone 6/6+
    2. iPhone 6S/6S+
    3. Nexus 6
    4. Nexus 6P
    5. Nexus 5X
    6. Motorola Moto X 2015 Pure Edition
    7. iPhone SE

    As far as I know this is all of them. If there are any others I am not aware of them. Apart from the devices here, you need to have a Verizon branded phone to work on Verizon.

    Also, any of these phones that are carrier branded will work on Verizon if they are SIM unlocked. For example, you can get an iPhone 6S from AT&T and use it on Verizon as long as you get the unlock code from AT&T.
    Last edited by tgp; 04-28-2016 at 06:08 PM. Reason: missed iPhone SE
    04-28-2016 01:40 PM

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