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October 2, 2017

T-Mobile Advertises: Ditch Verizon, Keep Your Phone ???

Filed under: Retail,Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:43 am

Over the past few months, T-Mobile has been advertising that you can bring your Verizon cellphone to T-Mobile if you switch to them. Here’s one commercial with the offer:

If you know anything about how cellphones transmit your calls and data, their offer might sound impossible because the two companies use two different and incompatible technologies to accomplish those tasks. Verizon uses CDMA and T-Mobile relies on GSM radio waves to work.

So how can T-Mobile make this claim?


Ditch Verizon, Keep Your Phone

Certain phones are dual-network capable. They have both technologies built-in so they can work on either network. But the number of Verizon-branded phones that can be brought from that CDMA provider to a GSM provider is very limited — Google Pixel and iPhone 6S or newer only — as noted in the fine print of the T-Mobile ad.

Apple iPhones account for only about one-third of the market and newer models can be used on both Verizon and T-Mobile. But market-leading Android phones generally cannot. AT&T phones, incidentally, are generally interchangeable with T-Mobile phones because they are both on the GSM system.

So, if you think you can take your old Verizon phone to T-Mobile, chances are you cannot.

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  1. Sprint had/has a similar offer to bring your Verizon phone over (with free service + paid taxes and fees for year!) as with this offer it had to be newer iPhones and specific old iPhones. With Verizon its a bit easier because for the longest time they were not locking their phones per some merger agreements, but these days they are locking their phones. FYI: the offer was to expire end of July but as of September they keep pushing forward date. It was a great offer with taxes and fees in the $3-20 range depending on the jurisdiction.

    In the Sprint offer they were very clear providing a model list of what could be brought over, and it seems like T-Mobile also disclosed the compatible phones fairly well, at least it was in the red area for a bit so it was readable.

    Comment by Iolaire McFadden — October 2, 2017 @ 11:47 am
  2. T-mobile is usually one of the more consumer favorable advertisers, but lately they have started to mislead consumers with some of their ads.

    Comment by Wayne — October 3, 2017 @ 10:39 pm
  3. That’s odd that iPhone 6s is the oldest listed iPhone. I went the other way with an iPhone 6. I have a T-Mobile version on a Verizon plan.

    Comment by Marc K — October 4, 2017 @ 7:49 am
  4. Verizon hasn’t completely dumped CDMA, but it will happen soon enough. Other countries have dropped it already. For instance, I wasn’t able to use my Verizon CDMA phone in Mexico this past winter because TelMex had gone all GSM.

    Comment by JJ — October 12, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

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