IPhone gsm or global. CDMA vs. GSM: What s the Difference

Riconoscere la versione di firmware dell’ iPhone: GSM, GLOBAL o CDMA

Come riconoscere che tipo di firmware ha il nosto iPhone? GSM, GLOBAL o CDMA ? di seguito un elenco dei modelli di iPhone e i codici in commercio a oggi per riconoscere il tipo di firmware.

Questo dato è importante nel momento in cui vogliamo scaricare il firmware originale del nostro iPhone per tenerlo a portata di mano e riuscire in qualsiasi momento a ripristinare il nostro device allo stato di fabbrica.

iPhone X

Anno di introduzione: 2017 Capacità: 64 e 256GB Colori:

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:


iPhone 8 Plus

Anno di introduzione: 2017 Capacità: 64 e 256GB Colori:

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:


iPhone 8

Anno di introduzione: 2017 Capacità: 64 e 256GB Colori:

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:


iPhone 7

Anno di introduzione: 2016 Capacità: 32, 128 e 256GB Colori:

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:


iPhone 7 Plus

Anno di introduzione: 2016 Capacità: 32, 128 e 256GB Colori:

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1784: iPhone 7 plus FDD-LTE, TD-LTe UMTS/HSPA/DC-HSDPA GSM/EDGE

iPhone 6s

Anno di introduzione: 2015 Capacità: 16, 64 e 128 GB Colori: grigio siderale, argento e oro Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1633 o A1634: iPhone 6s (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1688 o A1687: iPhone 6s (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1700: iPhone 6s (modello GSM, Cina)

iPhone 6s plus

Anno di introduzione: 2015 Capacità: 16, 64 e 128 GB Colori: grigio siderale, argento e oro Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1634 o A1633: iPhone 6s plus (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1687 o A1688: iPhone 6s plus (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1699: iPhone 6s plus (modello GSM, Cina)

iPhone 6

Anno di introduzione: 2014 Capacità: 16, 64 e 128 GB Colori: grigio siderale, argento e oro Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1549 o A1522: iPhone 6 (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1586 o A1524: iPhone 6 (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1589: iPhone 6 (modello GSM, Cina)

iPhone 6 plus

Anno di introduzione: 2014 Capacità: 16, 64 e 128 GB Colori: grigio siderale, argento e oro Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1522 o A1549: iPhone 6plus (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1524 o A1586: iPhone 6plus (modello GSM/CDMA)
  • A1593: iPhone 6plus (modello GSM, Cina)

iPhone 5s

Anno di introduzione: 2013 Capacità: 16, 32 e 64 GB Colori: grigio siderale, argento e oro Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1533 o A1457: iPhone 5s (modello GSM)
  • A1533 o A1453: iPhone 5s (modello CDMA)
  • A1528: iPhone 5s (modello GSM, Cina)
  • A1530: iPhone 5s

iPhone 5c

Anno di introduzione: 2013 Capacità: 16 e 32 GB Colori: bianco, blu, rosa, verde e giallo

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1532 o A1507: iPhone 5s (modello GSM)
  • A1532 o A1456: iPhone 5s (modello CDMA)
  • A1526: iPhone 5c (modello GSM, Cina)
  • A1529: iPhone 5c

iPhone 5

Anno di introduzione: 2012 Capacità: 16, 32 e 64 GB Colori: nero e bianco

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1428: iPhone 5 (modello GSM)
  • A1429: iPhone 5 (modello GSM e CDMA)
  • A1442: iPhone 5 (modello CDMA, Cina)

iPhone 4s

Anno di introduzione: 2011 Capacità: 8, 16, 32 e 64 GB Colori: nero e bianco

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

  • A1431: iPhone 4s (modello GSM, Cina)
  • A1387: iPhone 4s (modello CDMA)
  • A1387: iPhone 4s (modello GSM)

iPhone 4

Anno di introduzione: 2010 (GSM), 2011 (CDMA) Capacità: 8, 16 e 32 GB Colori: nero e bianco

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

iphone, global, cdma, difference

iPhone 3GS

Anno di introduzione: 2009 Capacità: 8, 16 e 32 GB Colori: nero e bianco

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

iPhone 3G

Anno di introduzione: 2008, 2009 (Cina) Capacità: 8 e 16 GB

Numero del modello sul coperchio posteriore:

Download del Firmware originale

Una volta scoperto il modello di firmware da scaricare andate sul https://www.ipswdownloader.com nella parte superiore del sito trovare tre campi con menu a discesa. Nel primo campo selezionare iPhone, nel seconda campo selezionate il modello di iPhone con il codice GLOBAL CDMA GSM o nulla, infine scegliete quale firmware scaricare. Una volta finito cliccate su “Download” e sotto al bottone vi comparira il link con cui scaricare il vostro firmware.

Salvate questo files al sicuro per qualsiasi evenienza, con questo files potete riportare velocemente alle impostazioni di fabbrica il vostro iPhone senza avere una connessione internet attiva.

Utilizzare il files ipsw

Nella schermata di iTunes, quando il vostro iPhone è collegato, cliccate sul pulsante “Ripristina iPhone …” con il tasto “shift” per Windows e “Alt” sul Mac, così si aprirà una finestra dove potrete scegliere il file ipsw, a questo punto non resta che aspettare qualche minuto per il termine del processo.

Quando si esegue questa procedura è consigliabile entrare in DFU mode con l’iPhone se non sai come si fa leggi l’articolo su come entrare in DFU mode.

Condividi questa breve guida, e fai un salto all’inizio dell’articolo per lasciare il tuo voto, o in alternativa fai un salto sulla pagina e lascia un Mi piace.

Per qualsiasi domanda commenta qui sotto.

CDMA vs. GSM: What’s the Difference?

It’s time to walk away from CDMA and GSM, two technologies in their twilight years. No matter how much you love your old phone, you need to move to 4G or 5G.

I’m that 5G guy. I’ve actually been here for every G. I’ve reviewed well over a thousand products during 18 years working full-time at PCMag.com, including every generation of the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S. I also write a weekly newsletter, Fully Mobilized, where I obsess about phones and networks.

Two basic technologies in mobile phones, CDMA and GSM, represent a gap you can’t cross. They’re the reason you can’t use old ATT phones on Verizon’s network and vice versa. But what does CDMA vs. GSM really mean for you?

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobiles) are shorthand for two older radio systems (also known as 2G and 3G) used in cell phones. We first published this article in 2012 and kept it updated it throughout the 2010s, when it was important to know the differences between these two technologies. But in 2022, it’s absolutely time to get off of CDMA and GSM. Those networks are going away! If you have a phone that only uses 2G or 3G, you need to get a 4G or 5G phone, pronto.

  • ATT has already shut down its 2G GSM network and most recently said it will shut down 3G GSM/UMTS in February 2022 (Opens in a new window).
  • T-Mobile will shut down 3G GSM/UMTS in July 2022 (Opens in a new window). It has not set a date to turn off 2G, but has greatly reduced its coverage and quality.
  • T-Mobile will shut down the 3G CDMA network used by some Sprint and Boost customers on March 31, 2022 (Opens in a new window).
  • Verizon will shut down its 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022 (Opens in a new window).

In the twilight years of these networks, they’re being turned down to levels primarily designed to support devices like electric meters and vending machines. That means 2G and 3G reception and call quality will likely be poor, even before the formal shutdowns. It’s a 4G LTE world now, with 5G coming up fast. No matter how much you love your old phone, it’s time to switch over.

Yes, there are some 2G-only and 2G/3G-only phones still for sale, especially unlocked GSM phones. Don’t buy them. They’ll work poorly, and pretty soon they won’t work at all.

Don’t weep for CDMA and GSM. They’ve had long lives. Sprint’s CDMA network is 25 years old (Opens in a new window). The first GSM network launched in the US in 1995 (Opens in a new window). There are more efficient ways to use our limited airwaves now.

G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G

When cell phone providers talk about a G, they mean a generation of wireless technology. Each generation is able to support more users and has better data transfer capabilities.

iphone, global, cdma, difference

The first generation was analog cellular phones. When carriers switched to 2G digital systems in the 1990s, they chose among several competing options; some of them died out, but CDMA and GSM are the two 2G camps that survived. They remained split during the ’00s through the third generation of cellular, which added better data speeds but stayed incompatible.

The CDMA/GSM split ended, in theory, as carriers all switched to LTE, a single, global 4G standard, starting in 2010. But the difference remained because phones still needed to access the older 2G and 3G networks, primarily for voice calls. ATT, T-Mobile, and Verizon all started to phase in voice calling over 4G in 2014, but it took a while. All four carriers now support voice over 4G.

Now carriers are installing 5G, which (after a few false starts) will be a single global standard called 5G-NR. 5G is still in the early stages. You can’t make voice calls over it quite yet, and it doesn’t have true nationwide coverage. But 4G LTE is very mature now, and if you’re still on 2G or 3G, you should have no concerns about upgrading to a 4G-compatible phone.

One Standard Doesn’t Mean Compatibility

LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the globally accepted 4G wireless standard. All of the US carriers use it. For more, see 3G vs. 4G: What’s the Difference?

And all of the carriers use the same 5G standard. (For more on that, see our explainer on 5G.) So you’d think, hey, that should make everyone compatible, right? Wrong.

To be compatible, you need three things:

  • To be using the same technology, like speaking the same language
  • To support the same frequency bands—being able to tune to the right channel
  • To be allowed on the network

In the 4G and 5G world, everyone will be using the same radio technology, but they may not have the same channels, and carriers may not permit other carriers’ devices to be used on their networks.

The biggest problem is frequency Band compatibility. Carriers operate on different radio channels, and one carrier’s model of a phone may not include channels used by other carriers. This is frequently a problem across international borders, as with the six different international models of the Samsung Galaxy S20.

On Verizon and ATT, 4G devices that haven’t been certified by the carrier have trouble making voice calls or sending text messages over that network. They’ll connect and get data, but they can’t make calls.

ATT has a list of which phones will work (Opens in a new window) when it turns off 3G.

Many, but not all, popular phones now support all three major carriers’ LTE networks. The Motorola Moto G4, E4, and later; the Samsung Galaxy S7 and later; the OnePlus 8 and later; and Google Pixel phones all work across all carriers. For iPhones, all iPhone 6 and later phones work on all carriers’ LTE systems.

Yes, this is more complicated than the old 2G world. One advantage of GSM was that if a phone and carrier both adhered to the standard, and the phone supported the right channels, the network had to accept the phone. That isn’t the case any longer.

Verizon has replaced most of its 3G network with 4G, but some s still remain (see West Virginia here)

Which Carriers Are CDMA? Which Are GSM?

In the US, Verizon, US Cellular, and the old Sprint network (now owned by T-Mobile) used CDMA. ATT and T-Mobile used GSM.

Most of the rest of the world used GSM. The global spread of GSM came about because in 1987, Europe mandated the technology by law, and because GSM comes from an industry consortium. What we call CDMA, by and large, is owned by chipmaker Qualcomm. This made it less expensive for third parties to build GSM equipment.

So why did so many US carriers go with CDMA? Timing. When Verizon’s predecessors and Sprint switched from analog to digital in 1995 and 1996, CDMA was the newest, hottest, fastest technology. It offered more capacity, better call quality, and more potential than the GSM of the day. GSM caught up, but by then those carriers’ paths were set.

It’s possible to switch from CDMA to GSM. Bell and Telus in Canada did it to get access to the wider variety of off-the-shelf GSM phones. But Verizon and T-Mobile are focused on 4G and 5G, not 3G. They are retiring the older networks rather than switching.

The Technology Behind CDMA and GSM

CDMA and GSM are both multiple-access technologies. They’re ways for people to cram multiple phone calls or internet connections into one radio channel.

GSM came first. It’s a time division system. Calls take turns. Your voice is transformed into digital data, which is given a channel and a time slot, so three calls on one channel look like this: 123123123123. On the other end, the receiver listens only to the assigned time slot and pieces the call back together.


GSM and CDMA are competing wireless technologies with GSM enjoying about an 82% market share globally. In the U.S., however, CDMA is the more dominant standard. Technically GSM (Global System for Mobile communications, originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is a specification of an entire wireless network infrastructure, while CDMA relates only to the air interface — the radio portion of the technology.

CDMA vs GSM in US (short version)

Code division multiple access (CDMA) describes a communication channel access principle that employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme (where each transmitter is assigned a code). CDMA also refers to digital cellular telephony systems that use this multiple access scheme, as pioneered by QUALCOMM, and W-CDMA by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is used in GSM’s UMTS.

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM Card)

SIM (subscriber identity module) card, the onboard memory device that identifies a user and stores all of his information on the handheld. You can swap GSM SIM cards between handsets when a new one is necessary, which enables you to carry all of your contact and calendar information over to a new handset with no hassle. CDMA operators answer this flexibility with their own service that stores user data, including phone book and scheduler information, on the operator’s database. This service makes it possible to not only swap over to a new handset with little trouble, but it also gives users the ability to recover contact date even if their phone is lost or stolen.

International Roaming with GSM and CDMA

Where international business travel is an issue, GSM leaps forward in the race for the title of “Most Accessible.” Because GSM is used in more than 74% of the markets across the globe, users of tri-Band or quad-Band handsets can travel to Europe, India, and most of Asia and still use their cell phones. CDMA offers no multiband capability, however, and therefore you can’t readily use it in multiple countries. However, certain phones like the iPhone 5 now have Quad-Band GSM built in so they can be used overseas with special calling plans from carriers.

Data Transfer Methods in GSM vs. CDMA

Another difference between GSM and CDMA is in the data transfer methods. GSM’s high-speed wireless data technology, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), usually offers a slower data bandwidth for wireless data connection than CDMA’s high-speed technology (1xRTT, short for single carrier radio transmission technology), which has the capability of providing ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)-like speeds of as much as 144Kbps (kilobits per second). However, 1xRTT requires a dedicated connection to the network for use, whereas GPRS sends in packets, which means that data calls made on a GSM handset don’t block out voice calls like they do on CDMA phones.

Interaction between GSM and CDMA

In cities and densely populated areas, there are often high concentrations of GSM and CDMA connection bases. In theory, GSM and CDMA are invisible to one another and should play nice with one another. In practice, however, this is not the case. High-powered CDMA signals have raised the noise floor for GSM receivers, meaning there is less space within the available Band to send a clean signal. This sometimes results in dropped calls in areas where there is a high concentration of CDMA technology. Conversely, high-powered GSM signals have been shown to cause overloading and jamming of CDMA receivers due to CDMA’s reliance upon broadcasting across its entire available Band.

The result of this little cross-broadcasting joust has led some cities to pass ordinances limiting the space between cell towers or the height they can reach, giving one technology a distinct advantage over the other. This is something to note when choosing a wireless provider. The distance between towers will severely affect connectivity for GSM-based phones because the phones need constant access to the tower’s narrow Band broadcasting.

Popularity and Market Share

GSM is a lot more widespread in Europe and Asia. In the United States, Sprint and Verizon networks are CDMA whereas ATT and T-Mobile are on GSM. Most of Europe uses GSM and so does China. In India, Hutch, Bharti and BSNL are on GSM whereas Reliance and Tata Tele are on CDMA networks.

Related Comparisons

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CDMA vs GSM. Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 25 Jul 2023.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев: CDMA vs GSM

Anonymous Комментарии и мнения владельцев (5)

April 11, 2011, 1:58am

John Lassing, The reason other carriers don’t use WiMAX is simply that they don’t OWN the spectrum! Sprint Nextel bought up all of the 3.5GHz and MMDS licenses a while back, so Verizon had no choice but to move to the inferior technology. Granted Sprint and Clear have been very slow (VERY slow) in moving out coverage but the technology itself is solid. China? They’re renowned for hanging on to old crap. I’m amazed they’ve moved past 2G at all!!

— 99.✗.✗.21

February 4, 2011, 8:06am

Well HSPA is build on top of W-CDMA. It actually incorporates multiple technologies (TDMA, W-CDMA and code multiplexing). So the comment that CDMA networks are superior and GSM-based operators have worse networks is, well totally misguided. Most GSM operators have a UMTS (aka. 3GSM, WCDMA, HSPA) overlay network. Both use CDMA as a base, but 3GSM expands it considerably. As to GSM limitations ,well 82% market share of GSM vs. 18% market share of CDMA kind of illustrates the difference. GSM and WCDMA is by far more prevalent than the dying CDMA. GSM also has had a constant roadmat through 3G to 4G. Also roaming works globally. It’ll be around for some years, but it constantly in a downward cure (subscriber base wise). LTE and WiMAX are essentially the same technology. WiMax’s main problem is that it didn’t do mobility very well (makes sense if you look at the origins of the spec). LTE was brought out to make sure mobility works properly and thus is one of the big reasons that it prevail

— 83.✗.✗.183

November 26, 2009, 12:08pm

Dr Simon Geraldene, you have got it so wrong. WiMAX is a niche trechnology at best and is seriously struggling. it’s losing money all over the world. The future is quite clearly GSM. so HSPA, HSPA Evolved/ and LTE. There’s no point comparing WiMAX with LTE. you should be comparing HSPA with WiMAX. HSPA and HSPA are used globally and gaining traction (200 million HSPA subscribers vs. WiMAX’s 100,000 globally). everything will lead to LTE (also part of the GSM family of technologies), but HSPA will be around for a good few years yet. Think global traction and economies of scale! Neither of which WiMAX has.

So LTE is the future. just look at what the operators in the US are doing:

We’ll ALL be using LTE withing 10 years. CDMA and WiMAX will be technologies of the past.

August 22, 2010, 1:13am

You guys do realize that HSPA is really an implementation if W-CDMA built on top of a GSM network right? The only part of the world that uses GSM exclusively is Europe, pretty much everyplace else has s of CDAM and GSM. North America, South America, Africa, Europe, The Middle East and Asia. all have CDMA along with GSM.

iphone, global, cdma, difference

CDMA is actually a superior technology to GSM. It propagates further, works better inside structures, has built in noise cancellation, more calls per cel cite, automatically hands off calls to different cel cites to minimize congestion, and works better in low signal areas to name a few. The only thing that GSM brings top the table other than coverage in Europe, is better battery life, but that’s because it is a less powerful chip-set.

It is true that eventually almost everyone int he world is going LTE, but Verizon is not switching they are transitioning, and their CDMA (EVDO-A) will be up and running for at least another 5-6 yeras if not longer.

— 75.✗.✗.94

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Global GSM Control, What is it?

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Our iPhone spy application provides tracking of all instant messaging applications, GPS location, live listening and recording of phone calls and environments, as well as alerts and reports on important data. Unlike other iPhone spy applications, Global GSM Control allows you to track more than 15 of the most popular instant messaging services, intercept calls and listen to live environments of the monitored phone. With over 150 features, Global GSM Control provides functionality that no other iPhone spy application can.

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Is my iPhone GSM or CDMA?

Global GSM Control for iPhone offers you several interesting features to monitor and track the activities of your mobiles. It will perfectly meet your needs. By operating in a discreet and secure manner, it will allow you to track information about your child or teenager, or to ensure the loyalty of your employees and avoid abuse of their professional cell phones by keeping track of their phone activities.

If you are concerned about the safety of your children, Global GSM Control software will be your ally to monitor their iPhone activities

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Reliable software, great support

User of the software for more than 2 years I find the software conforms to my expectations with very useful and reliable features, regular updates with sometimes new options offered for free and adaptations to ensure compatibility with the new Android version (which is essential to ensure continuity in case of phone update or device change). The support is at the top even during this difficult period, thanks to them for their patience and availability.

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Web Control Center

Global GSM Control monitoring software for iPhone allows you to have a detailed access on all activities on the phone from your online account. To start enjoying all its features, you need to download the GGC application on the iPhone you want to monitor. Once installed, you can access all the data via your Global GSM Control user account from anywhere in the world!

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Unlike some monitoring software that is too complicated to understand or use, Global GSM Control can be downloaded, installed and launched in minutes. With an intuitive interface, you will be able to quickly access all the information gathered by our monitoring tools. You will be able to get the answers you need in the shortest possible time and by yourself.

Why choose Global GSM Control?

The only surveillance software for iPhone that allows you to listen in on phone calls and the surroundings of the target phone.

The only surveillance software for iPhone that allows you to listen in on phone calls and the surroundings of the target phone.


Global GSM Control monitoring software is designed only for parents who wish to monitor their minor children or for employers who wish to supervise the use of their company’s phones and tablets by employees, provided that they are informed and have obtained their written consent.

global-gsm-control.com is not responsible for any illegal use of this software. global-gsm-control.com is not authorized to provide legal advice concerning the use of its software. You are advised to consult local legal advisor prior to installing and using Global GSM Control. For more information, please visit our LEGAL DISCLAIMER

The terms spy, spyphone, phone tracker are used for reference purposes only, and are not representative of the examples of use of the software offered. The purpose of our software is to ensure the safety of your children and to promote the productivity of your employees.

It is the user’s responsibility to check and obey all laws in force in his country, and in the country where the software is used. In particular, it is TOTALLY FORBIDDEN to use Global GSM Control software for sneaky purposes without the knowledge of owners of the monitored devices. Viewing SMS and other activities of a cell phone and installing Global GSM Control on the cell phones of others without their knowledge are prohibited activities. Global GSM Control software is designed only for parents who wish to monitor their minor children or for employers who wish to monitor their employees with their written consent. www.global-gsm-control.com does not assume any responsibility for any misuse or damage caused by its software. www.global-gsm-control.com will not be held responsible for any illegal use of its software. If you have any doubts, consult your lawyer before using our software. To learn more, please read our full LEGAL DISCLAIMER

By purchasing our monitoring software you confirm that you have read, understood and agreed to the Terms of Use

CDMA vs. GSM: What’s the Difference and Which Does Your Phone Use?

Is your phone using CDMA or GSM? What’s the difference between the two, anyway?

Readers like you help support MUO. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read

GSM and CDMA are prominent 2G and 3G radio technologies. You’ll benefit greatly from knowing the differences between the two, especially when you want to switch carriers.

In the US, different carriers use different technologies. For instance, ATT uses GSM while Verizon uses CDMA.

If you’re looking for the differences between CDMA and GSM, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll also detail the different GSM carriers and those using CDMA, plus how to check which network Band your phone uses.

CDMA and GSM Technologies

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobiles) are frequency bands associated with the second and third generation of wireless technology (2G and 3G).

Under the hood, CDMA works in packet switching mode while GSM works in circuit switching mode. For you as an end-user, the most crucial distinction between the two is GSM allows you to make calls and use data at the same time while CDMA doesn’t.

Between the two, GSM is the most popular with a larger market share around the world. As such, GSM is more suitable for someone who travels frequently. over, thanks to SIM cards, you can easily switch between different devices by simply porting over your card.

CDMA phones are compatible with 2G/3G CDMA networks, while GSM phones only work with 2G/3G GSM networks. So if you want to use your CDMA device on a GSM network, it won’t work.

As such, it’s essential to know what kind of technology your phone uses. Understanding the difference between CDMA and GSM comes in handy when you want to switch carriers. Of course, assuming you have an unlocked phone that isn’t tied to one specific carrier.

While phones did support one or the other in the early days, nowadays, most have both CDMA and GSM. However, the question of whether or not your phone supports one or the other, or both, largely depends on where you bought it. We’ll show you how to check whether your phone supports GSM, CDMA, or both bands later. But, first, here are the different GSM and CDMA carriers in the US.

GSM and CDMA Carriers

In the US, different carriers use different bands. The only GSM carriers are ATT and T-Mobile. CDMA carriers include Sprint’s old 3G network (now owned by T-Mobile), US Cellular, and Verizon.

The network used also influences the frequency Band supported by smartphones sold by respective carriers across the US. For instance, ATT and T-Mobile only sell GSM-compatible phones. The only special case is Verizon, which despite having a CDMA network, sells phones that support both GSM and CDMA bands.

Does Your Phone Use CDMA or GSM? Here’s How to Check

There are five different ways of checking whether your phone uses GSM, CDMA, or supports both.

Does Your Phone Have a SIM Card Slot?

In the old days, one of the easiest ways to tell the type of Band supported by a phone was whether it had a SIM card slot or not. GSM phones had a SIM card slot while CDMA phones didn’t. CDMA phones don’t need a SIM card since the phone number is linked to the device itself.

However, with the advent of 4G and 5G networks, many smartphones have SIM cards, so it’s no longer an efficient method. But if your device doesn’t have a SIM card slot, it uses CDMA. That said, the advent of eSIM changes things again, which is why checking for a SIM slot isn’t a reliable option.

Using the Settings App

You can also check by digging through the Settings app on an Android or iOS device.

  • On iOS, open the Settings app, tap General, and select About.
  • On Android, open the Settings app, tap About phone, and select Status.

Keep in mind that precise steps will vary from device to device on Android due to the fragmented nature of the OS. In the About (iOS) or Status (Android) page, scroll down and check for a MEID, ESN, or IMEI number.

If your phone has a MEID or ESN number, it uses CDMA, and if it has IMEI, it uses GSM. If you see both, that means your phone supports both GSM and CDMA networks.

Where Did You Buy Your Device?

Devices bought directly from manufacturers commonly support both CDMA and GSM for better compatibility. So, for example, if you bought your phone direct from Samsung or Apple, chances are it supports both.

However, carrier-locked devices are usually associated with a particular network Band. As previously stated, different carriers support different bands. Every wireless carrier sells devices that are compatible with its network Band.

Smartphones from ATT and T-Mobile are GSM-compatible since both carriers use GSM technology like most of the rest of the world. However, while Verizon is a CDMA carrier, it sells smartphones that support both GSM and CDMA. That means a Verizon unlocked smartphone can work on T-Mobile’s or ATT’s GSM networks without issue.

Check Your Phone Model Information

Another easy way to tell whether your iOS or Android device is a GSM or CDMA variant is by looking up the model number online. You can find your phone’s model number at the back or with the packaging box it shipped with. Once you have the model number, you can look it up online to determine whether your device supports GSM, CDMA, or both.

Refer to the Manufacturer’s Documentation

The paperwork that ships with your device also contains details about the network Band supported by your device. However, you don’t need the paperwork if you know your specific device model, as you can look it up on the manufacturer’s website.

GSM vs. CDMA: What Does the Future Hold?

As stated above, GSM and CDMA are only applicable to 2G and 3G networks. With the advent of 4G, all carriers around the world use the global LTE standard. GSM and CDMA only come into play as a fallback where there’s poor or no LTE coverage. And as we enter the 5G era, the two network bands will continue to be less critical. For instance, major US carriers will start closing their 3G networks in early 2022.