In our last article, we spoke about things you needed to know about buying an unlocked phoneincluding the freedom of being off contract, and the wide selection of phones available. We also gave you some insight into phone variants and manufacturer warranties. Cell phone network technology is always improving and getting faster.
To help customers differentiate between data speeds, many networks and phone manufacturers tend to group things together by generation. You are probably used to seeing the 2G, 3G, and 4G monikers used.
What you may not know is that each generation contains many different small upgrades, and in the case of GSM and CDMA networks, completely different technologies.
Below is a chart outlining the family tree. As you can see, there are different types of 2G, 3G, and even 4G. And, to make matters even more confusing, different carriers and phone manufacturers classify certain protocols as different generations. A, tops out at 3. Because of the firmware, your phone will register as being on 4G even when connected "Can you hook up a verizon phone to sprint" what your carrier considers to be 3G.
This doesn't affect performance in any way. Those rules are as follows: As you will see later, this makes it much easier to determine what phones will work with what network. So, on top of all the cell-phone protocols, there are also cell phone frequency bands.
To avoid interference, different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum have been allocated for different uses. Radio stations get one part of the spectrum. Cell phones use higher frequencies than radio stations, and mostly lower frequencies than Wi-Fi, much in the same way radio stations broadcast on only one frequency Cell-phone companies get licenses to use certain frequencies in certain areas.
These differ slightly from region to region. To work with your wireless carrier, you phone must support the frequencies your wireless carrier uses.
When it comes to 2G, there are only four commonly used GSM frequencies: Fortunately, just about every GSM phone on the market supports all four of those bands. As long as your cell provider has an active 2G GSM network, you don't have to fret about that. Here, Can you hook up a verizon phone to sprint need to be a little careful if you are looking for full compatibility, especially if you are on a carrier using AWSas that isn't a widely used frequency band.
Still, there are a number of phones that support all five 3G bands, so if you want, you can have it all. For LTE, things get much more complicated. LTE involves pieces of spectrum that were recently allocated for cell phone use. In the US, certain carriers own rights to certain frequencies that don't line up with the parts of old TV spectrum carriers in other countries use.
In fact, there are more than 40 different LTE-frequency bands used around the world—so many, that you can't be sure a phone will work by just looking at the supported MHz. Each of these uses slightly different frequency allocations, around MHz. Now you know enough to purchase an unlocked smartphone confidently, and all you need to do to make sure your new phone works perfectly is follow these four easy steps. Generally, MVNO's have lower prices but have fewer high-end phones available in-store, which is no problem if you bring your own unlocked smartphone.
If you live elsewhere, then pretty much every network uses GSM for voice.
We have compiled a list of most worldwide GSM carriers and what frequencies they use, which can be found here. Now that you know what frequencies your cell carrier uses, you just need to make sure to get a variant of the phone you want that supports those frequencies. The frequencies a phone supports can be found in the specifications tab under cellular network, and will look like this:.
As long as frequencies match up, you can be sure that the phone will work fully with your carrier; you just need to insert the SIM card. The set-up process will differ from customer to customer, from carrier to carrier. Basically, you need to make sure the APN and MMS settings are set up correctly on your phone, and that your carrier has your account set for the fastest data speeds. With some carriers, these will be downloaded automatically when you first start up your phone.
This setup process should be painless, but many US carriers do not train their staff as well as they should when it comes to setting up an unlocked phone. Or set up your account on a carrier-branded phone first, and then switch the SIM card into the unlocked phone. I just bought a new iPhone 6 on eBay that is supposed to be compatible with T-Mobile and its subsidiaries.
I have been a Droid user forever. First, thanks SO very much for excellent information that you guys have made pretty clear to the average person. Thanks again for so much excellent Can you hook up a verizon phone to sprint. I can't connect to any LTE service here in Europe. It's not just an indicator thing I installed a network type indicator from the PlayStore to be sure of itif I set the Network type LTE the phone goes completely offline confirming this issue.