Verizon has the largest mobile network in the United States but it runs on a different technology than most of the world. It runs on CDMA which was part of the reason why you could never bring an early generation iPhone to Verizon even if it was unlocked. AT&T and T-Mobile both work on the LTE network which means devices can be swapped between networks with the simple change of a SIM card from the carriers.

Up until the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6, mobile phones were manufactured specifically for LTE or CDMA. Many Chinese phones like Huawei, operate on LTE and are not compatible with Verizon. But now that the iPhone 6 and S6 are manufactured with both CDMA and LTE functionality, Verizon has now made it easier to bring your own unlocked device. Big Red will now activate compatible devices rather than forcing you to buy one of their phones. This certainly bodes well for people who like to buy used phones from Craigslist, eBay, or similar sites.

You can check out the process on if you’re interested in Big Red’s new business practice.

The activation process is easy!

  • Locate and enter your Device ID to see if your device is compatible for service
  • Customize your Verizon Plan
  • Activate your device and start using America’s largest 4G LTE Network


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  1. Wow, so much misinformation. Verizon and Sprint have had LTE for basically as long as AT&T and T-Mobile have. The only reason why you could never bring an unlocked device over before was because it needed to be compatible with their 1X voice networks. Now with VoLTE being used on Verizon, they can allow any device that supports it to be activated without losing the ability to make calls. You’d be missing out on all of their 3G coverage though.

    “Up until the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6, mobile phones were manufactured specifically for LTE or CDMA.”
    Not true. EVERY LTE device ever made for Sprint and Verizon has supported both LTE and CDMA. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have been able to make calls.

    • I would also add that Verizon’s device policy was applied to compatible CDMA devices too (e.g. from Sprint). They are the last carrier to keep the old policy requiring you to use an approved phone which invariably was a “Verizon” device.

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