Which network does TracFone use?
TracFone Wireless operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), holding agreements with the United States' largest wireless network operators to provide service using their networks, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, Sprint Corporation, and U.S. Cellular.
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- Unlocked. Unlocked phones are compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile as well as with services that run on GSM SIM cards.
- MVNOs. MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators are smaller carriers such as Cricket Wireless, Credo Mobile, Ting, and Red Pocket.
- In the US, Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular use CDMA. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. Most of the rest of the world uses 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.
- If you buy an iPhone from AT&T, it will be "locked" to AT&T's network. That means if you try to put in a T-Mobile SIM, it won't work. Same with an international SIM if you're traveling. Just because you're locked, though, doesn't mean you can't unlock.
- In the USA, Boost is a MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator) for Sprint, which makes it a CDMA2000 3G service. In Australia, they partner with Telstra, so this is UMTS (W-CDMA), i.e. the 3G technology used most places around the World.
AT&T has Cricket, Sprint has Boost Mobile, T-Mobile has GoSmartMobile and Verizon has Total Wireless. The sub-brands use the same towers and systems as the major brands, but at a lower price and with no contract. Although you should check first, the parent network phone should be compatible with the sub-brand service.
- Verizon and AT&T occasionally share cell towers. They use different frequencies and technologies for their service so they are not sharing the actual hardware on the tower though(for the most part). The towers are either owned by the carrier or by a 3rd party and leased to the carrier.
- Straight Talk is a type of carrier known as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), which means that it doesn't run or own a wireless network. Instead, it purchases the right to use towers from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.
- MetroPCS (stylized as metroPCS) is a prepaid wireless service in the United States that is part of T-Mobile US, Inc.. MetroPCS provides nationwide talk, text, and data depending on the plan services using GSM, HSPA, HSPA+ and 4G LTE networks.
Networks Used for Prepaid Service
- AT&T: Owns and operates its own network.
- Boost Mobile: Uses the Sprint network.
- Consumer Cellular: Uses the AT&T network.
- Cricket: Uses the AT&T network.
- Jitterbug: Uses the Verizon Wireless network.
- Kajeet: Uses the Sprint network.
- MetroPCS: Owns and operates its own network.
- Compatible phones include: GSM Unlocked phones, AT&T Compatible phones, T-Mobile Compatible phones, Sprint Compatible Phones, and some other CDMA Technology Compatible phones. In the United States, two of the four leading mobile network operators use GSM. How do I know if I will need a Straight Talk BYOP SIM?
- Straight also uses At&t towers. The boxes for those phones have GSM on the front, the verizon ones have CDMA or nothing. It's owned by TracFone. If the phone has a C at the end of the name of the phone (after the number) it works on Verizon.
- The phone sold by Walmart for use on StraightTalk is the A1429 CDMA. As a rule, you can not use a CDMA iPhone on any CDMA carrier other than the one it was originally sold for. if the straight talk iphone is GSM A1429 using CDMA 3G netwrok, I can switch to Tmobile LET 4G network when I move.
Updated: 2nd October 2019