Last updated by Ray Pineau
CDMA and GSM networks are two types of cellular phone networks, and generally, if you have a phone made for one, it can't be used on the other. In the US, Sprint®* and Verizon run on the CDMA networks while AT&T and T-Mobile run on the GSM networks. Ting runs on both.
If you are transferring your number into Ting, we would suggest first confirming which network your number can move to before researching further. There are no restrictions on moving your phone number, but some networks are unable to take certain numbers, so it's always best to check.
Next, we would recommend using our compatibility checker to see which network will work with your phone if you plan on bringing over your phone. If you have a multi-network phone or plan on picking up a new phone through our Ting shop or from a third party, we offer some great tips on what to look for while shopping.
What’s the difference between the two Ting networks?
There are slight differences in coverage depending on which network you choose to use. Our CDMA network has a larger footprint in rural areas, although a lot of the coverage is roaming which limits it to talk and text, so if this is a factor for you CDMA may be the network for you. In larger cities, both networks are pretty close to equal. The best way to know for sure, though, is to check our coverage maps.
We recommend checking several areas, like home, work and school, as well as any place that you regularly go. Be sure to zoom in and out to get a more accurate view of what the coverage is like in that area before deciding on which network fits your coverage best.
To be sure that a new device will work with at least one of our networks or even better, be able to work with either of our networks, we would recommend buying from the Ting shop. If you don't find what you're looking for on our shop, we have some tips on what to look for when buying or bringing your phone to Ting.
Just about any unlocked GSM phone can be used on our GSM network with varying levels of compatibility, but for a phone to work optimally on our CDMA network, it's currently best that it's a Sprint-branded phone, with a few exceptions, like some multi-network phones.
GSM does offer a wider variety of phone options, but it can sometimes take a bit of research to see if the device that you're looking to buy will work on our network. CDMA takes most of that guesswork out of your decision.
What's the same?
Your Ting account
On Ting, CDMA and GSM devices coexist under a single account and share a single pool of minutes, messages and megabytes. At the end of the billing cycle, they appear on a single monthly bill.
Plus, wherever we have both native Ting CDMA and GSM network coverage (and phone numbers available), you can move your number from a CDMA device to a compatible GSM SIM/device or vice versa.
On all domestic and roaming services, Ting service costs the same whether you're using the CDMA or the GSM network. You pay the same $6 plus taxes for each active line/device on your account, regardless of whether it's a CDMA or a GSM line.
We do offer Wi-Fi Calling on both the CDMA and GSM networks on supported devices. Some supported phones include iPhone 5c and higher on both networks and select Android devices.