Explaining carriers versus phones

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This page is to develop an explanation to help people who are confused by the separation between carriers and phones, and the different technologies involved.

Contents

The question

Some questions being asked:

  • "Which service do we provide"
  • "Which plan do I need"

Carrier/phone separation

The Neo 1973 is only a phone. It's not tied to any specific carrier, nor to any specific plans. If your carrier uses the GSM technology, you can take any GSM phone which uses the same frequencies as your carrier and use it.

Different technologies: CDMA versus GSM

There are several different technologies used in the cellular world. The two most important are known as CDMA and GSM. These technologies are not compatible; a phone designed for one of them will not work on a cellular network which uses the other technology. Unless your carrier is one of the few who use both technologies, you must chose a phone with the same technology your carrier uses. You could also do the opposite—chose a carrier who uses the technology of the phone you have or intend to buy.

The Neo 1973 works only on GSM networks.

Technical details: cell phone frequencies

There are several different radio frequency bands allocated for cell phone use. Each carrier uses one or more of them; which frequency bands are available depends on the country the carrier is in. A phone will only work with a carrier if it can use the frequency bands the carrier uses. Most phones can use more than one frequency band; dual band, tri band or quad band phones are very common. A quad band phone will work with almost any GSM network in the world.

The Neo 1973 is a quad-band GSM phone, so you do not have to worry about this.

Technical details: SIM

Technical details: subsidy lock

Footnotes

Personal tools

This page is to develop an explanation to help people who are confused by the separation between carriers and phones, and the different technologies involved.

The question

Some questions being asked:

  • "Which service do we provide"
  • "Which plan do I need"

Carrier/phone separation

The Neo 1973 is only a phone. It's not tied to any specific carrier, nor to any specific plans. If your carrier uses the GSM technology, you can take any GSM phone which uses the same frequencies as your carrier and use it.

Different technologies: CDMA versus GSM

There are several different technologies used in the cellular world. The two most important are known as CDMA and GSM. These technologies are not compatible; a phone designed for one of them will not work on a cellular network which uses the other technology. Unless your carrier is one of the few who use both technologies, you must chose a phone with the same technology your carrier uses. You could also do the opposite—chose a carrier who uses the technology of the phone you have or intend to buy.

The Neo 1973 works only on GSM networks.

Technical details: cell phone frequencies

There are several different radio frequency bands allocated for cell phone use. Each carrier uses one or more of them; which frequency bands are available depends on the country the carrier is in. A phone will only work with a carrier if it can use the frequency bands the carrier uses. Most phones can use more than one frequency band; dual band, tri band or quad band phones are very common. A quad band phone will work with almost any GSM network in the world.

The Neo 1973 is a quad-band GSM phone, so you do not have to worry about this.

Technical details: SIM

Technical details: subsidy lock

Footnotes