Is Verizon CDMA or GSM? What You Need To Know

By Phillip Adcock
Last updated: Apr 2, 2023
Is Verizon GSM or CDMA

Verizon is currently one of the most widely used carriers in the US.

If you’re looking to use this wireless carrier, you need to be able to answer the question, “does Verizon use GSM phones or not?”

Don’t worry when you don’t know the answer, as our article will help you out. Additionally, we will also show ways for you to check if your device works on Verizon or not.

Is Verizon GSM or CDMA?

Verizon is CDMA network for devices that use 3G networks. Verizon chose CDMA over GSM because CDMA provides users with a stronger and more flexible transmission line.

For now, you can still use Verizon if your device is CDMA compatible.

However, as of December 2022, Verizon will completely transform to more advanced technology- LTE Technology.

How To Check if your phone is GSM or CDMA?

The Carrier

Different carriers will support different network bands. Hence, to use the high-performance network band, you need to buy compatible equipment provided by the same carrier.

While AT&T and T-Mobile smartphones both use GSM technology, Verizon supports CDMA.

However, Verizon stands out because this carrier sells devices that support both GSM and CDMA, which means you can use your unlocked Verizon phone on the GSM network without any problems.

Or, if you buy the device directly from the manufacturer, you can have a smartphone that uses both GSM and CDMA technologies.

Phone’s Settings

If your phone shows MEID or ESN, it requires CDMA. On the contrary, you’re using GMS in case it has IMEI.

To check this information, refer to the following steps.

GSM and CDMA iphone imei

For iPhone: 

  • Open Settings
  • Tap General
  • Select About
  • Scroll down to find your IMEI or MEID (or ESN) number

For Android: 

  • Click Settings
  • Tap System (only suitable for Android Oreo) 
  • Tap About phone, then select Status
  • Check the IMEI or MEID (or ESN) number

Note, if you see both types of numbers showing, your device supports both GSM and CDMA.

The Phone’s Model Number

Look at the model number if you still can’t determine if your device is CDMA or GSM.

The model number is in your phone’s manual, or you can check it in the About settings. Then, with this information, you can search online for the type of network integrated with the device.

On iPhone, go to Settings > General > About and look at the number to the right of the “Model” heading.

Meanwhile, go to Settings > System (Oreo version only) > About phone and find the name and model number in this section for Android users.

Besides, the iPhone’s model number is on the back of the phone’s case; however, it can be hard to see if you’re using the black or gray version.

In case you can’t find such numbers, go to the manufacturer’s website and look up your phone model (E.g., iPhone 7, jet black, 128 GB). Here, you can narrow down your search.

SIM Card Slot

While GSM and LTE phones both require a SIM card, you can use a CDMA device without a SIM inserted.

Unfortunately, with the rapid development of today’s networks, many phones extensively use SIM cards, including those following CDMA technology.

Hence, this solution is no longer ideal for checking if your phone is GSM or CDMA. That said, if you can use your phone without a SIM card, it’s certainly CDMA.

Manufacturer’s Information

The documentation that comes with your device purchase also includes specific information about which networks your device supports.

However, you can skip this step if you know your phone model. You only have to search for that model on the manufacturer’s website.


Can I Use GSM Phones On Verizon?

The answer is yes. You can fully use GSM technology networks on Verizon as long as your device integrates GSM and CDMA.

Plus, if you own recently launched phones, it’s bound to have both types of technology.

Several phone manufacturers have also been developing devices that are highly compatible with all carriers, including Verizon.

Will Verizon Discontinue CDMA?

Yes, it will. After multiple delays, Verizon has planned to shut down its CDMA network on December 31, 2022.

Currently, the number of customers using 3G networks accounts for only 1% because people have almost switched to more advanced technologies, such as 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G.

Verizon’s shutdown is intended to encourage customers to completely switch to devices using more modern technology, thereby improving the user experience.

What Types Of Devices Will Be Affected When Verizon Discontinues CDMA?

Verizon has released a list of devices that will be affected when it stops CDMA. These include:

  • Any device that uses a 3G network (smartphone, tablet, home appliance, etc.)
  • Non-VoLTE 4G LTE devices
  • Hum+ devices

Is Verizon 4G/Verizon 5G GSM or CDMA?

Verizon 4G and 5G no longer use CDMA or GSM technology. Instead, 4G and 5G networks use new technologies, namely LTE and OFDMA.


Verizon is still using CDMA technology until the end of the year. However, it would be best to consider choosing Verizon’s more advanced technologies to better experience using this carrier.

We hope the information above will help you make an informed decision. Thanks for reading!

To learn more about Verizon you can also read our articles on:

* Disclaimer: We do not buy, sell or provide service, we only share with you our trusted sources, and experience. In case of any changes in the products or services of the companies, all the information below is supposed to change at any time.

Phillip Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of the research agency Shopping Behaviour Xplained (SBXL), a shopping research organization using psychological consumer insight to explain and help consumers answer their questions about stores and services.

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