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GSM and CDMA at Plug

To keep it super simple, let's just say that there are two types of networks in telecommunications: GSM and CDMA. Do you know the big telecom giants? T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint? Also, please note that Sprint merged with T-Mobile! These telecom giants dominate the cellular airwaves across the USA and use only the two types of networks we mentioned earlier. T-Mobile and AT&T primarily operate in the GSM network, while Verizon and Sprint operate in the CDMA network. Each carrier has its own network towers (3G, LTE, and/or 5G) that operate each of its own cellular networks. And as you already know, these network providers also have their own special contracts and deals with the phone brands that you love to buy.

You can argue forever about which carrier is better, and debate all day long about the pros and cons of each network type; but at the end of the day, you choose a phone plan that's exactly right for you. 

But sometimes, the big four telecom giants don't have the right phone plan for customers. What do the customers do? They get a phone plan with a smaller provider like Cricket, Boost, Mint, Metro, or Straight Talk. These smaller carriers operate as MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, to be fancy. Again, to keep it super simple, these MVNOs use the physical network towers of the telecom giants and 'feed off’ of their network coverage. Why choose an MVNO? They offer very budget-friendly plans with great coverage. This is where knowing your network is important because you can save yourself a lot of stress by doing a little research and getting the right device. 

To help you out, we gathered the most widely-used MVNO telecom companies and grouped them together with each of the four major carriers they're compatible with. They're listed in alphabetical order and the bolded ones tend to be the most popular.

Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows), type your provider, and press enter!

MVNO's compatible with AT&T (GSM):

  • AirVoice Wireless
  • Black Wireless
  • Boom Mobile
  • campusSIMs
  • Consumer Cellular
  • Cricket Wireless
  • EasyGO Wireless
  • good2GO Mobile
  • H2O Wireless
  • Jolt Mobile
  • Net10 Wireless
  • Pix Wireless
  • Puretalk USA
  • Red Pocket Mobile
  • Straight Talk
  • TracFone

MVNO's compatible with Sprint (CDMA):

  • Boom Mobile
  • Boost Mobile
  • CellNUVO
  • Charge Mobile
  • Chit Chat Mobile
  • EcoMobile
  • Expo Mobile
  • good2GO Mobile
  • Infinium Wireless
  • Kajeet
  • NetZero
  • Project Fi
  • Ready Mobile
  • Republic Wireless
  • Telcel America
  • Tello US
  • Tempo Telecom
  • TextNow
  • The People's Operator USA
  • Ting
  • Twigby
  • Virgin Mobile USA
  • ZingPCS

MVNO's compatible with T-Mobile (GSM):

  • Consumer Cellular
  • EcoMobile
  • GoSmart
  • Hayai Mobile
  • Jaguar Mobile
  • Jolt Mobile
  • KidsConnect
  • Liberty Wireless
  • Metro (formerly metroPCS)
  • Mint Mobile
  • Red Pocket Mobile
  • Republic Wireless
  • Simple Mobile
  • Speed Talk Mobile
  • Telcel America
  • Tempo Telecom
  • The People's Operator USA
  • Ting
  • Ultra Mobile
  • Univision Mobile
  • US Mobile
  • Walmart Family Mobile
  • ZingPCS
  • Zip SIM

MVNO's compatible with Verizon (CDMA):

  • Affinity Cellular
  • Armed Force Mobile
  • Boom Mobile
  • Credo
  • Eco Mobile
  • Expo Mobile
  • Net10 Wireless
  • Page Plus Cellular
  • Puppy WirelessRed Pocket Mobile
  • ROK Mobile
  • Selectel Wireless
  • Straight Talk
  • Total WirelessTracFone
  • Zing PCS