Technology within the mobile phone industry is ever evolving, and specifications and capabilities are always improving. Although many users still follow the traditional route of getting a phone with a contract, this does mean you are tied to a specific network provider – which can then cause problems.
Whilst you might find the coverage is great at the start of your contract, your situation could change. You could move house or have a change of work location and then find you suddenly have a problem.
For these reasons and many others, these days, many more customers are opting to purchase their handset outright. That way, they can then shop around for the best deal to suit them for a network provider without a contract.
This makes it significantly easier to change network should their personal circumstances dictate it’s necessary. When following this course of action, it’s essential that you make sure your device and your network are fully compatible with each other. Otherwise, there may be issues and you may find yourself stuck with a phone you cannot fully utilise.
T-Mobile and Verizon are the two leading network providers. However, T-Mobile phones are only partly compatible with the Verizon network. Therefore, some T-Mobile phone models simply won’t work on Verizon.
There are a number of reasons for this, mainly linked to their broadcasting communications, CDMA (code-division multiple access) and GSM (global system for mobile communications) standards. You may well be asking yourself what this even means.
It can be a minefield to try and navigate these issues, especially if you lack technical knowledge. With that in mind, in this article we will try and break this down for you, to help you explain a little more, in simple language, why it can cause problems and how to best avoid these issues.
What Is T-Mobile?
T-Mobile is a famous mobile brand name. Although their head office is within the USA, the company is actually predominantly owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, who have their head office in Germany.
T-Mobile offers services within the USA and across Europe. It is a popular network in many of the countries it operates in. In particular within the US where it is well liked both for its excellent network speeds and its good network coverage.
What Is Verizon?
Verizon is also an American based telecommunication company. Founded in 2000, they supply wireless products and services and are considered one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. The entirety of the Verizon company is solely owned by Verizon Communications.
Both of these companies are award winning and at different times each has been named the leading network provider. It’s fair to say the title changes hands between them regularly as they are very well matched, so they could almost be considered equal.
Generally speaking, as far as these companies are concerned, T-Mobile phones are widely considered to have the best network speeds, while Verizon covers a slightly higher network area.
This is why often a lot of customers would like to utilise both and get their handset form one company and use the other for their network, to benefit from the perks of both companies.
T-Mobile Phones Work Partially on Verizon
The answer of whether your T-Mobile will work on the Verizon network is unfortunately not a simple yes or no answer. Ultimately, it depends upon the kind of T-Mobile phone you are using. For example, as a general rule, unlocked iPhones are quite compatible with either network.
However, unlocked Android phones don’t always work smoothly with Verizon. This is because Verizon utilizes CDMA technology whereas T-Mobile phones use GSM. These are the different methods of communications we discussed earlier. The exception to this is iPhone 7 and 7 plus devices which are known to have issues utilising the Verizon network – even when unlocked.
This is because some of these models we’re designed to only work with GSM networks. Although, it is worth noting if you have a T-Mobile 4G LTE device this should work smoothly on Verizon’s LTE network. This is because both of these runs over the same spectrum so the 4G LTE data should work just fine.
It’s a little like the olden days when everyone watched movies on a VCR (video cassette recorder, for anyone born in this century). When they were first introduced, there were two different types of machines, Betamax and VHS. VHS movies wouldn’t play on a Betamax device and vice versa – which was quite impractical.
Ultimately VHS became the popular choice and the Betamax died out. This issue is similar. Phones designed to use a CDMA network cannot always use a GSM network and vice versa.
Verizon SIM Card Partially Works With T-Mobile Phones:
Inserting a Verizon SIM card in a T-Mobile phone is not an issue as the sizes are universal. The issue is whether the phone will completely work after that. Some will work partially, but only if your T-Mobile phone is ‘unlocked’.
Second to this is as discussed, whether your phone is capable to handle the two main distinct types of networks, CDMA and GSM. Because Verizon is still operating CDMA, while T-Mobile uses the GSM network.
As with most things these days, your first point of call is to google. Just do a search and usually you can find plentiful information online regarding whether your specific T-Mobile device will work on the Verizon network.
If you think it will work, then of course you need to get a SIM card. But if you wanted to keep your old T-Mobile number, then you will need to contact the relevant department with your new provider to see if they can transition this switch for you.
If you can’t find the information you need or you still have concerns, then we would suggest speaking to the network provider you want to switch to and ask for their guidance.