Is Verizon CDMA Or GSM? (Your Full Guide)

Every cell phone network provider promises the same thing; fast, reliable coverage no matter where you are. Of the most popular networks is Verizon, but before you switch cell phone providers, you probably have some questions.

For example, you might be asking, is Verizon a CDMA or GSM network. Or is it both? I’ve researched the matter thoroughly to compile all the answers you need before switching networks! 

Is Verizon CDMA Or GSM In [currentyear]?

Verizon is a CDMA carrier; however, it has moved on from CDMA to the new HD Voice LTE technology used in newer phones as of [currentyear]. The LTE network runs 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G broadband. Most Verizon customers no longer use a device that utilizes CDMA technology, and Verizon is discontinuing CDMA.

Do you want to know more about Verizon and whether you can use a GSM phone on Verizon? I’ll give you the answer to that question and other common questions below!

Is Verizon A GSM Network?

No, Verizon is not a GSM network and instead is a CDMA network carrier, meaning that if you have a CDMA compatible cell phone, you’ll be able to use it with Verizon.

However, Verizon has been phasing out CDMA in recent years in favor of the HD Voice LTE network.

Most Verizon customers are on LTE networks, which support 4G and 5G technology, and not many people still have 3G smartphones that use the old CDMA technology. 

Why Is Verizon CDMA?

When CDMA and GSM first came out, Verizon chose to go with CDMA because it was the newest of the two technologies.

Additionally, Verizon chose CDMA because it was more powerful than GSM at the time and offered more flexibility.

Can I Use A GSM Phone On Verizon?

Yes, you can use a GSM phone on Verizon only if equipped with GSM and CDMA technology. However, it will not work if you have only a GSM phone.

Additionally, if you have a phone made within the last few years, it probably has both CDMA and GSM technology.

With that, several phone manufacturers have developed phones that are versatile to work with any carrier, such as Verizon.

Will A GSM Unlocked Phone Work With Verizon?

Unfortunately, even if you have a GSM unlocked phone, it will not work with Verizon, and most carriers don’t have a way to change the phone from GSM to CDMA.

Is Verizon Discontinuing CDMA?

Yes, Verizon will be shutting down the 3G CDMA network on December 31, 2022, meaning if you’re using a 3G smartphone, it will no longer work after that date.

However, less than 1% of customers on Verizon are using the 3G network since most people use a 4G, 4G LTE, or 5G device.

Further, the company wants 3G customers to move to the improved technology, so it’s forcing the issue by shutting it down altogether, which has been previously delayed several times. 

What Devices Are Impacted By Verizon Discontinuing CDMA?

What Devices Are Impacted By Verizon Discontinuing CDMA?

Verizon has a list of devices that will be impacted by the decision to discontinue the CDMA technology, which includes:

  • Any 3G phone, including 3G smartphones
  • 4G LTE Non-VoLTE smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S4 or prior or Apple iPhone 5 and below
  • 3G tablets such as the iPad 2
  • 3G Home Phone Connect
  • Hum + devices
  • GizmoGadget, GizmoPal, and GizmoPal 2

Additionally, if you’ve built any 3G equipment for your home, it’s no longer going to work as Verizon shuts down the CDMA network.

With that, you’ll no longer be able to send and receive texts, use data, or receive or make calls on any device that doesn’t use or support HD Voice.

How Do I Know If My Phone Is CDMA Or GSM?

It’s not difficult to know whether your phone is a CDMA or GSM phone and if you have an iPhone, you can check by following these steps:

  • Go to “Settings” and click on “General”
  • Click “About” and look for either an IMEI number, ESN, or MEID number
  • CDMA phones use MEID or ESN, whereas IMEI is GSM

In comparison, if you’re using an Android device, you can quickly check to see if your phone is CDMA or GSM by following these steps:

  • Go to “Settings” and then click “System”
  • Click on “About Phone”
  • Click “Status”
  • Look for either an IMEI, MEID, or ESN number

Further, if you see both numbers, your phone supports both the CDMA and GSM technology!

Also, you can locate your model number and then search for the model number online, but the above steps are quicker to find the answer.

Is Verizon 4G CDMA Or GSM?

Verizon 4G devices are not CDMA or GSM and instead use Long-Term Evolution, also known as LTE technology.

Furthermore, only 2G or 3G phones run on CDMA or GSM technology, and none of the 4G phones use the outdated technology.

So, since 2G has been discontinued for several years now, only 3G Verizon phones are using the old technology.

Is Verizon 5G CDMA Or GSM?

Verizon 5G is neither CDMA or GSM and instead uses OFDMA technology, which stands for Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access.

To know more, you can also see our posts on whether or not Verizon works in Puerto Rico, why is Verizon so slow, and if Verizon phones have sim cards.


Verizon is a CDMA network that runs 3G smartphones, but Verizon is discontinuing the 3G CDMA network after years of stalling on the shutdown.

Additionally, less than 1% of current Verizon customers own a device that runs on 3G as most people have moved onto LTE devices, including 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G broadband phones.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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