What kind of phone can I use with my SIM card?
If you bought a FreedomPop SIM card, please make sure the device you choose to use with it, is compatible. Your phone or tablet has to be an Android or iPhone device, and it has to be GSM Unlocked.
What does GSM Unlocked mean?
GSM is a special kind of phone technology. It works by putting account information (like your phone number, contact list and more) onto a SIM card. Then, you put that SIM card into a device, and you can use the device to make calls, send text messages and download apps.
If the phone is not the right kind of phone, it will not be able to access the information that is on the SIM card.
Sometimes, companies that sell phones, only want you to use that phone with their SIM cards. So they will LOCK the phone. For example, if you buy a phone that is locked to the T-Mobile network, you will not be able to use it with a FreedomPop SIM card. You can only use it with a T-Mobile SIM card.
However, if you buy a phone that is UNLOCKED, you can use it with any SIM card, including FreedomPop’s SIM cards.
Buying a phone directly from the company that makes the phones, instead of buying it from a carrier, is one way to get an UNLOCKED device. For example, if you buy an iPhone directly from the Apple store, instead of buying it from a carrier like AT&T, you can get it Unlocked.
But, you can also get UNLOCKED phones from retailers like Amazon or eBay, or even physical stores like Fry's Electronics and Best Buy. FreedomPop, also sells GSM unlocked phones at shop.freedompop.com.
*Amazon listing for a GSM Unlocked phone
Is GSM the only phone technology?
No! There are other types of phones called CDMA phones. With these phones, the account information (like your phone number, contact list and more) is attached to the device instead of a SIM card.
FreedomPop sells both CDMA phones and GSM phones. You can see which is which from our shopping website, shop.freedompop.com. It will state, in parenthesis, if the phone is GSM or CDMA.
I bought a CDMA phone, but it has a SIM card in it. Why?
Some CDMA phones that are using LTE, use a SIM card. But not the same way GSM phones use a SIM card.
The only reason a CDMA phone has a SIM card in it is that that SIM gives it access to the LTE network. It may seem a bit confusing, but LTE towers can only communicate with your phone and send a signal, through a SIM card.
However, the SIM card in your CDMA phone does not contain any of your account information (like your phone number, contact list, etc.). That information is implanted onto the phone itself. If you take the SIM card out of your CDMA phone, you may still be able to make and receive calls. But there may be some problems with the call quality because LTE is unavailable. Of course, we do not recommend that you remove your SIM card from your CDMA device at any time, because it can interfere with functionality.
By comparison, if you remove the SIM card from your GSM phone, the phone will no longer work at all.
Do you have additional questions about your phone? Want to know more about our service? Please reach out to us.