Can someone clarify this whole GSM vs CDMA thing?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by guccigucci88, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. guccigucci88 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2010
    So all the info I've found on gsm vs cdma concerns Verizon and AT&T in the States. I'm in Canada, we have Bell, Rogers, Fido, Telus.

    Out of curiosity, which of those companies carry CDMA iphone 4 and which carry GSM? Does CDMA have sim card slot or not for iphone 4?

    And I have a iphone 4s from Bell. Is it GSM or CDMA?

  2. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    CDMA phones do not use SIM cards.

    The iPhone 4S has both a CDMA and GSM radio, so it is able to be used on both types of networks.

    For CDMA, the carrier must have an arrangement with Apple in advance so they can program the phone to be used on their network.

    CDMA carriers can chose to SIM lock the phone to work only on specific GSM networks as well, preventing "local" GSM competitors from being used, or limiting the GSM network to only international partners.

    GSM carriers can SIM lock the phone to their own network, or network partners only.
  3. guccigucci88 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2010
  4. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Your 4S supports GSM, CDMA2000 and WCDMA (aka UMTS, also referred to as HSPA+ in that Wikipedia article). You're using WCDMA with Bell.

    In the US (I'm not sure about Canada) it seems to be common to refer to WCDMA as "GSM" even though GSM is technically the older 2G technology.

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