A reliable and efficient network is a strong foundation through which you can build an informed society. That is why many network providers in the United States strive to connect residents with reliable connectivity. Boost Mobile is among the country’s most outstanding wireless service providers. It is owned by Dishes Wireless but uses T-Mobile network towers to offer wireless services to its clients countrywide. It prides itself on its excellent network coverage of 99% across the country. In some places, Boost Mobile uses AT&T network towers where T-Mobile services are unavailable.
With that good network coverage and affordable monthly plans, one would ask if Boost Mobile is a GSM or CDMA. This is because most network carriers in the United States run on GSM or CDMA network standards for signal transmission. It is good to know which technology a network carrier runs on before subscribing to its services. So, is Boost Mobile GSM or CDMA? Before knowing if Boost is CDMA or GSM, it is good to know what these two terms mean. This will help you understand when reading about the technology Boost Mobile is running on.
What are GSM and CDMA?
GSM and CDMA are very popular words in the telecommunication industry across the world. To understand the meaning of these two words, let us handle it per term. For instance, to know what GSM is, we will need first to look at the meaning of GSM technology. GSM is an abbreviation for Global System Mobile. It is a communication that usually breaks the signal transmission into separate time slots for every gadget in that specific network. This technology was primarily created to give a bigger room for advancing wireless networks. That is why through GSM, we have had a massive growth to 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G network.
You can identify a GSM phone by looking at the build model number of that specific phone. All phones in the United States and worldwide have a build number that identifies a particular phone on a network. GSM phones usually use IMEI, a 15-digit number used as the phone’s build number.
All phones that are GSM enabled are usually characterized by the use of SIM cards. These SIM cards are responsible for creating the link between two customers through the network towers of the services provider. You can use an unlocked GSM phone with another SIM card from another network provider as long as it is compatible with the network. This is impossible with all CDMA phones that are usually locked to a specific network.
So, what is CDMA? Just like we did with GSM, let us first know what CDMA technology is to help us understand CDMA in depth. CDMA is an abbreviation of Code Division Multiple Access, defined as a radio system that supports all phones in that specific network spectrum. Unlike GSM, CDMA allows all users to connect to the network simultaneously, which prevents throttling.
Before the introduction of LTE technology, CDMA phones did not use SIM cards. However, nowadays, manufacturers are making CDMA phones that can now use a SIM card to enable them to support LTE. CDMA phones usually use ESN or MEID numbers as serial numbers to uniquely identify the phone. This is usually a 14-digit number that you can find by going to your phone’s Settings. We can conclude that the CDMA band is a network standard that allows phones to connect to the network carrier towers using a chip mounted in the phone’s hardware.
Is Boost Mobile GSM or CDMA?
Now that you know what the CDMA and GSM are, can you tell which of the two network standards Boost Mobile uses? Do not worry; we got you sorted in this section if you cannot. As we have seen above, we have two primary network bands that network carriers use, CDMA and GSM. To determine whether Boost is GSM or CDMA, we must look at the network towers it is using. Boost Mobile previously used Sprint network towers to provide wireless services to its customers. However, in April 2020, Sprint merged with T-Mobile, making Boost Mobile start using the T-Mobile network towers.
T-Mobile uses GSM technology which means that Boost Mobile is GSM. However, the users using Boost before its merger with T-Mobile are still allowed to continue using their CDMA phones. Kindly note that Sprint was using CDMA network standards. It is good to know that you can now use a GSM phone if you subscribe to Boost Mobile after Sprint’s merger with T-Mobile.
Which Network does Boost Mobile Use?
Boost Mobile uses the T-Mobile network towers to provide services to all its customers across the country. T-Mobile is one of the network carriers with the most extensive network coverage in the United States. This means that Boost Mobile, an MVNO carrier, enjoys network coverage to all places where T-Mobile is available.
As of 2022, T-Mobile has 62% 4G LTE coverage putting it third after AT&T and Verizon, which are topping the list. Boost Mobile users also enjoy the 5G network coverage in all the areas where T-Mobile has network coverage. T-Mobile has got 5G network coverage of 40% of the country’s coverage, making it first among all network providers in the United States.
Additionally, Boost Mobile has a deal with AT&T to use its towers to provide the network to the places where the T-Mobile network is unavailable. This is despite Boost Mobile entirely relying on T-Mobile network towers. This is an advantage to all Boost users because they now have extensive network coverage compared to other MVNO carriers across the country. Search boostmobile.com/coveragemap_xp.html and determine whether your area is 3G, 4G LTE, or 5G covered before you subscribe. The entrance of AT&T gives Boost Mobile a boost on 4G LTE network coverage, considering it is ranked second after Verizon.
Pros and Cons of Boost Mobile Network
After subscribing to Boost Mobile, you will likely get more merits than demerits regarding its services and availability. Compared to other MVNOs, Boost Mobile is one of the country’s best GSM and LTE service providers. Here are some of the pros and cons of Boost Mobile.
- It has extensive network coverage: Boost Mobile enjoys 99% network coverage across the country, as they have listed on their official website. As mentioned above, Boost uses T-Mobile network towers to provide wireless services to customers. Additionally, despite being tied to T-Mobile network towers, Boost Mobile has agreed with AT&T to use its towers in places where T-Mobile services are unavailable. So, by subscribing to Boost Mobile, you will enjoy nationwide 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G network coverage.
- More devices are compatible with it: Boost Mobile uses a GSM network. Most phone manufacturers are making GSM-compatible phones compared to previous years. Even the manufacturers making CDMA-compatible phones nowadays make phones with SIM card slots to support LTE. The users still using Boost when it was relying on Sprint are still allowed to use CDMA phones with Boost. This has increased the variety of phones you use with the Boost Mobile network without compatibility issues. Additionally, nowadays, we have CDMA phones that support GSM technology which has increased the number of devices you can use.
- Unlimited data, text, and talk: Boost offers monthly plans with unlimited text, talk, and data to all its users at affordable prices. Besides, all new subscribers are usually eligible for a welcome offer of $10 per month for unlimited data, text, and talk. So, you will enjoy an affordable monthly package once you subscribe to the Boost Mobile network.
- No annual service contracts: Boost Mobile does not require users to sign contracts when migrating to its services. This pictures a services provider who allows its customers to be free when using its services, unlike the ones that tie you with contracts. This allows you to freely change to any other service provider without fear of contract breach.
- Enjoy fast browsing speeds: Boost Mobile enjoys 4G LTE and 5G networks from T-Mobile across the country. 5G is believed to be 100 times faster than 4G LTE, offering speeds of up to 20 Gbps which is suitable for Virtual Reality. In areas with 4G coverage, you will enjoy internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Therefore, subscribing to Boost Mobile will give you the browsing experiences that few service providers offer.
- Poor customer service: There are some complaints that Boost Mobile customer services may take time before they respond to your problem. This is a disadvantage to users compared to other service providers with reliable customer service.
- There are cases of throttling: This occurs when there is network congestion, which is usually a common problem for GSM network providers. GSM does not allow many devices to connect to the network spectrum simultaneously, like CDMA. This, in most cases, will lead to network congestion hence throttling.
Can I Use a GSM Phone on Boost Mobile?
Yes, Boost Mobile uses T-Mobile network towers that use GSM technology, meaning you can use a GSM phone with Boost. Before April 2020, it was impossible to use a GSM phone on Boost Mobile. However, the use of GSM phones by Boost customers came after the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. As a result, Boost Mobile started using T-Mobile network towers which use GSM network standards.
Is Boost Mobile GSM 2022?
Boost Mobile is using T-Mobile to offer services, which means it operates under GSM standards, as mentioned above. However, as seen above, the customers who had subscribed to Boost Mobile before Sprint merged with T-Mobile are still allowed to use CDMA phones. It is expected that it will be impossible to use CDMA phones with Boost Mobile network after some years.
What Carriers Are Compatible with Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile supports both T-Mobile and Sprint networks. Only customers using CDMA phones before its merger with T-Mobile can use Sprint network towers. In other places, Boost Mobile will allow users to utilize the network towers from AT&T mobile. This has increased the number of carriers that are compatible with Boost Mobile. Additionally, as earlier mentioned, most unlocked devices are usually compatible with the Boost Mobile network. However, you must check its compatibility if you bring your own phone under the BYOP program. Kindly open Chrome or Mozilla browser, and search the URL boostmobile.com/bring-your-phone.html to confirm if your phone is compatible. Remember that you must have your phone’s IMEI for you to confirm. Unfortunately, most phones compatible with Sprint may not work with the Boost Mobile network after 2022.
Does LTE Use GSM or CDMA?
LTE is a different technology that provides a 4G migration path from 3G UMTS and 3G CDMA networks. So, LTE does not fall in either GSM or CDMA standards. Additionally, for the 4G LTE network to migrate to 5G, it uses the NR technology, an abbreviation for New Radio. You will also use the NR technology for carriers who use 3G UMTS or CDMA2000 for 3G and would like to migrate to 5G.
Is Boost Mobile Compatible with any Phone?
Boost Mobile is not compatible with any other phone, but it is compatible with most unlocked phones. In most cases, locked phones are usually unlocked automatically after six months of using the current carrier. So, if you plan to bring your phone to Boost Mobile, you can request your current carrier to unlock it if it is still locked. Besides, before you bring your phone to Boost under the BYOP program, kindly check its compatibility to avoid disappointment. You can search the URL boostmobile.com/bring-your-phone.html, scroll down to find the field asking for IMEI, and input it to confirm.