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Can someone explain to me how to mobile phone market works in the US?

I am sure I have asked this question before, but I am totally confused. How does the mobile phone market work in the US?

Here in the UK it is pretty simple. You walk into a phone shop, pick you phone, tell the guy what network you want, and how much a month you want to pay and then walk out the shop with your shiny new phone.

I dont understand none of the mumbo-jumbo that the US people blabber on about so can someone explain it to me
Jason, thats crazy. In the UK (baring any branded phones – like specifically made by the network itself) all phones are cross compatible with any network. They are however, usually locked onto a single network, but all networks usually carry all phone models.

Putting that to one side, you can even get the phone unlocked and put in any simcard from any network you choose. You can even buy phones already unlocked and then take out a sim only deal (which just gives you the simcard).

So basically (with the exception of network branded phones and ‘3 Mobile”) all phones work on all networks.

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2 Responses to “Can someone explain to me how to mobile phone market works in the US?”

  1. Jason May 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Big box retailers such as Best Buy and Radio Shack are starting to do the same thing. They carry all the phones available from the major cell phone markets (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) and let you pick the phone and plan that best suits you. However, the phones (devices) themselves are not cross compatible for each network. e.g. you like a phone from T-Mobile but want a plan from Sprint. It will not work. You must purchase a phone AND a plan from the same carrier.

  2. emotionalzombie7997 May 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    In the U.S. there are two kinds of networks, CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA networks. AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM networks.CDMA networks do not use sim cards for their phones. The phones are locked to the network. But you could not get a AT&T phone and use it with the Verizon network.

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