6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Choose a wireless carrier

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Choose a wireless carrier

1:50 /

Not all cell phone carriers are created equal. Donald Bell shares some advice for sifting through your options if you're shopping for a new cell phone service provider.

-Hey, I??m Donald Bell and in this video we??re gonna talk about cellphone carriers and how to choose one that??s right for you. Maybe you already have a carrier that you like or maybe you??re shopping around. Either way, I??m here to give you a quick education on what you need to know. The major carriers in the U.S. include AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and Sprint. Each of them owns their own physical network, the tower, satellites and cables that are use to transmit your call around the country. There are also smaller carriers out there like Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile, but they actually leased their network from the big guys. So if you hate the idea of a big telco getting your money, you??ll just have to try messenger, pigeons or postcards. So you have the 4 major networks. Two of them, Verizon use a cellular standard called CDMA, the other two AT&T and T Mobile use a standard called GSM. You can think of this like diesel versus gasoline. Both of them get the job done but you can??t run a diesel car on regular gas. The thing goes for phones, you can??t take a CDMA phone that you bought on the Sprint and go use it on AT&T GSM network or vice-versa. There are few phones like the iPhone or some of the more popular Android smartphones that every carrier has a version of. But if you want to avoid some heartbreak, it can be helpful to choose a carrier before you shop around for that perfect phone. But the most important thing you should consider when choosing a carrier is what kind of reception you??re gonna get in your area. Like I said, each carrier has their own unique network so the coverage varies between each one. Check out the carrier??s coverage map to make sure you??re gonna have reception where you??re likely to use your phone. For more cellphone buying advice including how to pick the right phone and how to understand your cellphone plan, check out the other videos in the CNET buying guide. For cnet.com, I??m Donald Bell.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

LG Watch Urbane smartwatch snazzes up Android Wear with glossy metal
1:56 March 1, 2015
Take last year's LG G Watch R watch and give it a glossy metal finish, and you've got the LG Watch Urbane.
Play video
The LG Watch Urbane LTE a big, attractive and feature-stuffed LTE smartwatch
2:16 March 1, 2015
It looks like a very large man's fashion watch, but underneath it's an LTE phone and smartwatch with its own unique software and OS....
Play video
The LG Magna and Spirit strut subtle curves
1:13 March 1, 2015
Two of LG's newest handsets from MWC 2015 feature Android 5.0, 8-megapixel cameras, and barely-there curved displays.
Play video
LG's new Leon and Joy phones aim for the budget-conscious
0:58 March 1, 2015
LG showcases its Leon and Joy handsets at MWC 2015, which are geared towards budget consumers.
Play video
Hands on with the HP Spectre x360
1:50 March 1, 2015
This high-end hybrid promises all-day battery life.
Play video
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C: Anatomy of a mini supercar (CNET On Cars, Episode 60)
18:39 February 27, 2015
Alfa's undistilled little 4C isn't quite like anything else on the market, a look at the little-known bible that rules all cars in...
Play video
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250
4:07 February 27, 2015
Can Mercedes-Benz convince Americans its tri-star logo belongs on a compact SUV?
Play video
SousVant can sous vide très bien
2:22 February 27, 2015
A fancy cooker with a pleasingly simple appearance, the SousVant makes cooking to temp easy.
Play video