You might be worried about whether your phone will work with Verizon Wireless if you’re considering switching from the AT&T network to the Verizon one. Or you may be unsure whether you can keep your current phone number.
Do Verizon Phones Work with AT&T?
Depending on the type of AT&T device you have, your phone may or may not function on the Verizon network. Any phone purchased directly from AT&T will occasionally be accepted on Verizon, and most unlocked phones will work with Verizon.
Fortunately, you can check a few things right now to determine the compatibility of your AT & T devices with Verizon. You can tell what network the devices are designed to operate based on where you bought them.
There are still some other options available if you are unsure how you obtained the device, such as using the settings menu on your device.
Verizon Should Accept AT&T Unlocked Phones
You may have purchased an unlocked phone from a carrier other than AT&T or Verizon.
Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Amazon are some familiar places to buy unlocked phones. Phone makers like Samsung, Apple, and Google also frequently sell unlocked phones on their websites.
Your phone will likely work with AT&T and Verizon Wireless if you purchase it from one of these merchants or merchant websites. Due to their ability to support both GSM and CDMA connectivity, unlocked cell phones can work with any mobile service provider.
Although there are more nuanced distinctions between those two terms, the primary one is that CDMA phones do not use SIM cards, while GSM phones do.
Since Verizon and AT&T have historically used CDMA and GSM networks, respectively, and AT&T has only ever used GSM networks, unlocked phones that support both networks can almost always be used with AT&T and Verizon services.
Only unlocked cell phones purchased through a workplace or employer may experience issues switching from AT&T to Verizon.
This is due to the possibility that an employer entered into agreements with AT&T or Verizon to re-lock the phone and kept it restricted to one network only, even though it may have been purchased as an unlocked phone.
AT&T-Bought Phones That Probably Work With Verizon
Although AT&T occasionally offers unlocked devices that can be used on both the AT&T and Verizon networks, it can be challenging to determine whether the device you already own is one of them. Find the phone’s unique IMEI number in the setting menu of the AT&T-purchased phone to see if it is compatible with Verizon.
The IMEI number for iPhones can be found in the About section of the General settings menu. This number can be found in the About Phone section of the System settings menu on Android devices. From there, the settings sections may differ, but your IMEI is probably close to your IP address details. On your phone’s dial page, press #06# as if you were dialing that number to find your IMEI number.
To find out if AT&T has unlocked your phone so you can use it on Verizon, use an online IMEI blacklist checker.
On the Verizon website, you can also enter information about your phone. Verizon will determine whether it is compatible with its network by looking up your IMEI number and device type.
AT&T-Purchased Phones Are Most Likely Not Compatible With Verizon
While most AT&T-purchased unlocked phones are compatible with Verizon, AT&T has the right to lock some devices so they can only be used on their network.
Your phone is most likely locked to the AT&T contract if you purchased it there with a contract, making it difficult to use on other networks. You can get your phone unlocked and prepared to switch to another network, like Verizon, if your contract has expired and your phone has been fully paid for.
Call an AT&T support line or go to an AT&T store to see if there are any unlocking options available for your phone right now if you want to have it unlocked.
Because the IMEI number was generated by AT&T and is tied to only their network, locked phones by AT&T will have those numbers listed on blacklists. These numbers can still frequently be unlocked through the official AT&T website without paying an additional fee. Keep in mind that you should only unlock your phone through AT&T.
Once you try to activate the device onto the Verizon network, it may be easier to tell whether your unlocked phone, even if it was purchased through AT & T, is compatible with Verizon. This is because some phone manufacturers will create phones specifically for use on an AT&T network, for example, and then offer those phones to AT&T customers at a discount compared to other networks and retailers.
Remember that AT&T only uses GSM networks, so any phones designed for AT&T customers are likely to only work on GSM networks.
Phones designed for AT&T that only use GSM network technology may work on Verizon. Still, they may need help to fully utilize the Verizon network since Verizon uses both GSM and CDMA networks, whereas AT & T only uses GSM networks. For example, iPhone 8 was produced at a slightly reduced cost for AT&T customers.
This iPhone 8 model was designed to only work with GSM network technology, so anyone using one of these iPhones may still be able to connect to the Verizon network. However, they may have less network coverage since they can only access the GSM portion of Verizon’s entire network.
Some iPhones from AT&T are Verizon compatible, while others might be on a case-by-case basis. For the most part, if you purchased your phone from a source other than AT&T, it is likely compatible, and if you purchased your phone from AT&T, it would only be compatible if it is unlocked and not locked to an AT&T phone contract. For example, if your used iPhone XS from AT & T is locked, you can only take it to Verizon once unlocking it by AT & T.