Is Verizon a GSM? (Explained)

is verizon gsm
is verizon gsm

GSM is a technology of transferring signals and data wirelessly over multiple channels across one medium to the other. There are quite a few technologies that are being used for this purpose, and to understand if Verizon uses GSM or some other technology, it would be a lot better that you understand what is out there to compete with GSM, what GSM is and how it works.

There are essentially 2 technologies, GSM and CDMA. These are the most commonly used technologies across the world and different carriers use either of them. To have a better insight on which carrier is using which technology and how it would mean for you in terms of quality, let’s have a detailed look at both.


CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access is a radio system used in cell phones. It is a basic technology that offers 2G and 3G networking and is used primarily in the US by most carriers for telecommunication on mobile devices. The devices that are using these services are getting scarce and in a short span, you will notice that CDMA support will be obstructed from most devices on the market with the release of 5G technology that is in the trial phase at the moment.

Verizon is not a GSM network as it uses CDMA for communication. Not to mention that they have plans of turning off the CDMA this year and have their technology upgraded to 5G. This means that if you have a phone that does not support 4G LTE and you have to rely on CDMA for your communication, you must think of an upgrade as this is the right time to.

Most carriers do support CDMA, but you might have noticed that you get a carrier-locked phone from Verizon or AT&T that is not able to work on the other network. The sole reason for this is that they have either CDMA or GSM feature disabled on the phone based on their technology and you have to stick to them for the rest of your phone’s life. This is not only a great marketing tactic but it also got an edge for you as a consumer that you can choose if you are going to go with CDMA or GSM. This way, you can choose the right phone for you and have ample knowledge to make the right choice for yourself.


GSM stands for Global System for Mobiles. It is an old radio system that is highly durable and is used all over the world for mobile phones. GSM supports 2G mobile networks that means there are no chances that you can get a better signal or faster communication speeds on the network but you can rely on its connectivity across the world.

Is Verizon A GSM?

GSM does not support 3G and that is one of the most important reasons that Verizon refrained itself from GSM and went instead for CDMA that supports both 2G and 3G network compatibility in one place. However, if you have a phone that supports GSM only, and you are looking to switch your phone carrier to Verizon, it would not be the right choice for you as Verizon is not compatible with GSM and you cannot use it on your GSM supported phone.

There are also some other gadgets such as smartwatches, and kids band that are common in the US for knowing the whereabouts of your kids and a way to connect with them. These devices do support CDMA but there are chances that they not and only have GSM compatibility. In such instances, if you have a Verizon family plan or you are looking to get Verizon, you need to consider the devices that are supported by Verizon and can operate on CDMA instead of GSM.

Verizon is not a GSM network and does not work with GSM devices. AT&T is on GSM while Verizon uses CDMA. If you are considering making a decision to change your carrier or get a new device. This is something that you always need to keep in mind in the US because the devices that are not CDMA compatible cannot work with the Verizon network. Not to mention, GSM support is planned to be discontinued this year by AT&T as well.

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