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

Share videos on Twitter
0:56 January 28, 2015
Learn how to share videos on Twitter up to 30 seconds long.
Play video
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless: A terrific but pricey Bluetooth headphone
2:45 January 28, 2015
If you can afford the Momentum Wireless' $500 price tag, you're getting a great sounding and comfortable Bluetooth headphone with premium...
Play video
Is data privacy just a dream?
2:57 January 28, 2015
Data Privacy Day brings reflection on our security sins, but it's hard to find a perfect protector of data. Even Blackphone's extra-encrypted...
Play video
Marantz's slim NR1605 receiver has fat sound
1:26 January 28, 2015
The slim, compact Marantz NR1605 provides excellent sound quality and thoroughly up to date features, making it one of our favorites...
Play video
Better than a sharp stick in the eye, but barely
0:54 January 28, 2015
Sure, they may be convenient, but selfie sticks have got to go. Now. #Nerdrage
Play video
See who's playing whom in the new Steve Jobs movie
1:30 January 28, 2015
See who'll star in Danny Boyle's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and whom they'll be portraying.
Play video
Logic Pro X music app gets a free upgrade
3:12 January 28, 2015
Apple adds new drummers, plug-ins and editing tools to its professional music creation tool.
Play video
Tech to make your Super Bowl-watching experience even better
1:03 January 28, 2015
Super Bowl 49 pits the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots on February 1. Whether you're a die-hard football fan or just...
Play video