Network Checker IMEI: There are two mobile technologies used in 2G and 3G networks, and they are GSM (Global System for Mobiles) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). The newer technology uses LTE so GSM and CDMA don’t matter but they are still around for backward compatibility reasons. In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile are using GSM while Sprint and Verizon are using CDMA. All US carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon) switched to 4G LTE, but some voice calls were still going through 2G and 3G networks. With US carriers supporting Voice over 4G, the distinction will go away and every service will be delivered over 4G and 5G technologies.
One notable difference between GSM and CDMA is the use of SIM cards. GSM uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card to identify the subscriber (i.e. phone number), while CDMA does not use a SIM card because the information is integrated into the phone. CDMA carriers such as Verizon do not require a SIM card, but they use it to enable LTE, so phones that operate in CDMA technology may have a SIM card slot.
How to unlock your mobile phone and check network compatibility?
When you buy a phone from T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T; They offer you a discounted phone deal in exchange for a 2-year (or 30-month) contract. They also lock your phone so you can’t move the phone to another carrier. To use a phone purchased from Verizon on the AT&T network (or vice versa), you must have your phone unlocked. US carriers used to lock your phone for years, but with the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act”, you have the right to unlock your phone if you meet their “Unlocking Policy”.
The easiest way to unlock your phone is to contact your phone carrier. Each carrier has a different unlock policy, but you must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Your phone must be paid for.
- You must have an account in good standing with your carrier.
- Your phone has not been reported lost or stolen.
- Your phone Moob will be active on the network for X days.
- Carriers cannot lock prepaid phone plans for more than 12 months.
To unlock your phone, your carrier will verify your identity by asking you for your account number, phone number, last 4 digits of SSN, and your phone’s IMEI, MEID, or ESN number. The following is the carrier-specific unlock policy.
- AT&T requires that your phone is with them for 60 days before they can unlock it. You can place an online unlock request by visiting the Unlock Your Device page. It usually takes about 2 days to process your request. Prepaid phone plans require 6 months of service before your phone can be unlocked.
- Verizon doesn’t lock your 4G LTE devices, so they must already be unlocked. Some older 3G iPhones may be locked, but you can either use the unlock code “000000” or “123456”, or call their customer service for assistance.
- T-Mobile requires that you have 40 days of service with them. For prepaid phones, you can unlock them after 12 months or after refilling your plan with $100. You can request to unlock the device using their Device Unlock app.
- Sprint will automatically unlock your phone once payment is made. Otherwise, you’ll need 50 days of service before you can request an unlock.
- Active duty military people can call the carrier’s customer service, and have their phones unlocked without any restrictions. However, you must prove your active deployment in the US military.
How to know if my phone is locked or not?
You can check if your phone is unlocked by going to your phone settings.
On iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> About. If your phone is unlocked then there is a “Carrier Locked” value showing “No SIM restrictions”.
On Android, go to Settings -> Connections -> Mobile networks -> Mobile operator. If you uncheck “Select automatically,” and see other operators like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon; Your phone is unlocked.
Is it legal to pay a third-party company to unlock your phone?
Each phone has an unlock code that removes restrictions on where it can be serviced, and they are available from manufacturers. Carriers keep unlock codes in their databases and unlock phones when they are eligible to be unlocked. Some of those unlock codes get stolen and sold on the black market (or dark web) and monetized by unauthorized individuals (or companies). And it is illegal for them to sell “stolen” unlock codes. While it is not illegal for you to buy the code, it may break the term of your contract with your carrier. It’s always best to use your carrier to unlock your phone, and never buy an unlock code from a third party.
How can I tell if my phone will work on Carrier A?
For a phone to work with a particular carrier, the following 3 things must be compatible.
- Radio Technology: GSM or CDMA. With 4G and 5G, everyone will be on the same technology but older technologies are still supported.
- Frequency bands: Each carrier uses a particular frequency band, and the phone must support that band.
- Radio channels: Carriers operate in different radio channels, and the phone must support the carrier channel used in its network.
- Most new phones support both GSM and CDMA, as well as the newer LTE, but the frequency bands and radio channels may not be compatible across international borders. Your Samsung Galaxy S20 used with Sprint in the USA may not work with the SKT operator in Korea. Thus, Samsung produces 6 different models of the Galaxy S20 that cater to different frequency bands and channels.
How can I tell whether my phone uses GSM or CDMA?
There are a few ways to explore its mobile technology.
- Check your “About” settings. On iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> About. On Android, go to Settings -> About phone. If your setting shows an IMEI number, it’s GSM, and if it shows a MEID or ESN number, it’s CDMA. If it has both, it supports both GSM and CDMA.
- Look up your phone’s model number on Google.
- How can I tell if my phone will work with a particular carrier? The next thing you need to check is the frequency band and channels being used. If you look at the phone’s model and carrier’s specifications, you’ll be able to find out if your phone is compatible with the carrier. Or, you can check with your IMEI or MEID with the compatibility check test.
- T-Mobile: Enter your IMEI number (GSM), and it will tell you if your phone is compatible. Sprint is now T-Mobile, so new customers will be offered through T-Mobile GSM plans. Existing Sprint customers can remain on the CDMA network.
- AT&T: Enter your device type and IMEI, and AT&T will let you know if it’s compatible.
- Verizon: Verizon supports both IMEI (GSM) and ESN or MEID (CDMA) numbers.
- Compatibility checking is one piece of the puzzle, and the other piece of the puzzle is the “unlocked” status of your phone. Your phone must be unlocked in order to use it in a network other than the carrier that locked it.
Does your phone support dual sim cards?
There are some phone models that support dual SIM cards. Dual SIM cards allow you to have two separate phone lines with two phone numbers. You can use one for work and the other for personal use, and no need to carry 2 phones. You can even take your phone to other countries, and use another SIM slot for local carrier service. And you can choose to use one SIM as the primary and the other as the secondary so that if you make calls it will use your primary phone line. You can also selectively choose a secondary phone line to make phone calls. You will receive a call and SMS from both phone lines.
iPhone XS, 11 and 12 models support dual sim. The primary one is integrated into your phone (eSIM or Digital SIM), and the secondary one is stuffed into a Nano-SIM slot. With iOS 13 and later, both phone numbers can send and receive Voice, FaceTime, SMS, MMS, and iMessage. On the iPhone 12 used in Dual SIM mode, 5G is currently not supported and will fall back to 4G LTE.
Some models of the Samsung Galaxy S(20, 20+, Ultra), Z Flip, Note (10, 10+), S(10, 10+) and Galaxy Fold have dual SIM slots depending on the country and carrier.
FAQs on Network Checker IMEI
Can you check the carrier with IMEI?
Using this unique IMEI number you can know such data as the network and country your device originally comes from, warranty information of purchase, carrier information, system version, device specification and more details information.
On which network will my IMEI work?
On Android, go to Settings -> About phone. If your setting shows an IMEI number, it’s GSM, and if it shows a MEID or ESN number, it’s CDMA. If it has both, it supports both GSM and CDMA. Look up your phone’s model number on Google
Do police track IMEI?
In theory, cellular carriers can track any device on their network using the IMEI number, however, they will not do so without a court order. Unless there is a serious crime involved (child abduction, etc.), the police will do nothing more than note and file it.
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