Can Verizon Use AT&T Phones?
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If you’re thinking about switching from using the AT&T network to the Verizon one, you may have concerns about whether or not your phone will be compatible with Verizon Wireless.
Or, perhaps, you are wondering if you can still keep your same phone number or not.
Can Verizon Use AT&T Phones?
whether or not your AT&T phone will work on the Verizon network depends on what type of AT&T device you have. Any phone bought directly through AT&T will be accepted on Verizon on a case-by-case basis and Most unlocked phones will be compatible with Verizon.
If you are wondering if your own AT&T devices may work with Verizon, there are luckily some things you can check right now to figure out their compatibility.
Depending on where you purchased the devices from, you can tell what network they are made to work on.
And, if you are unsure of where you got the device from, there are still some other ways to figure out that compatibly, such as through your device’s settings menu.
Unlocked Phones from AT&T Should Work with Verizon
Unlocked phones are ones you may have bought from a cell phone retailer that isn’t AT&T or Verizon.
Some common retailers that sell unlocked phones include Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and Amazon, and phone manufacturers often sell unlocked phones themselves directly through their brand websites, like Samsung, Apple, and Google.
If you happened to get your phone through one of these retailers or retailer websites, it will more than likely be compatible with both AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Unlocked cell phones are able to be compatible with any cell phone service provider because they are made with options for both GSM and CDMA connectivity.
And, while there are some more complicated differences between those two terms, the main difference is that GSM phones rely on SIM cards while CDMA phones do not.
Historically, AT&T has only used GSM networks while Verizon has used CDMA and GSM networks, so unlocked phones that work with both types of networks are almost always able to work with both AT&T and Verizon services.
Perhaps the only unlocked cell phones that may have trouble switching from AT&T to Verizon are phones that were acquired through a workplace or employer.
This is because, though the phone itself may have been purchased as an unlocked phone, an employer may have made contracts with either AT&T or Verizon to re-lock the phone and keep it compatible only with one network or the other.
Phones Purchased from AT&T that Will Likely Work with Verizon
AT&T does occasionally sell unlocked phones that will work on both AT&T and Verizon networks, but it can be difficult to know whether or not the phone you already have is one of them or not.
To check the phone you bought from AT&T for compatibly with Verizon, navigate to the phone’s setting menu, and then find the phone’s unique IMEI number.
For iPhones, the IMEI number can be found under General settings, then under the About section.
For Android phones, this number can be found under System settings, then under the About Phone section.
From there, the setting sections may vary, but you’ll likely find your IMEI near your IP address information.
You can also sometimes find your IMEI number easily by #06# on your phone’s dial page as if you were calling that number.
You can use an online IMEI blacklist checker to see if your phone is unlocked by AT&T, and, if it is, you will be able to use it on Verizon.
You can also enter information about your phone on the Verizon website and Verizon will check your IMEI number and device type to see if it will be compatible with its network.
Phones Purchased from AT&T that Will Likely Not Work with Verizon
While unlocked phones bought from AT&T usually do work with Verizon, there are some phones that will be locked by AT&T and cannot be switched to another network.
If you bought your phone through AT&T with a contract, your phone is probably locked into that contract and will not be easily compatible with any other network.
However, if your contract has expired and your phone has been completely paid off, you may be eligible to have your phone unlocked and ready to switch to another network, like Verizon.
To have your phone unlocked, you can call an AT&T support line or visit an AT&T store to see if there are any unlocking options available for your phone right now.
Locked phones by AT&T will have IMEI numbers that appear on blacklists because that number was issued by AT&T and ties you to only their network.
However, these numbers can still often be unlocked through the official AT&T website with no added fee.
Remember to only go directly through AT&T to unlock your phone.
Even if you have an unlocked phone that was purchased through AT&T, the phone itself may not be compatible with Verizon, and this can be difficult to tell until you actually try to activate the device onto the Verizon network.
This is because phone manufacturers sometimes make phones specifically to work on one retailer’s network, like AT&T, and then offer those phones to customers of AT&T at prices lower than at other retailers and networks.
Remember, AT&T only uses GSM networks, so phones made like this for AT&T customers probably are only compatible with GSM networks.
Since AT&T uses GSM networks only and Verizon uses a mixture of GSM and CDMA networks, phones built specifically for AT&T that only use GSM network technology may work on Verizon, but they may not be able to take full advantage of the entire Verizon network.
One example of this is the iPhone 8 which was made for AT&T customers at a slightly reduced price.
This iPhone 8 model was made to work on GSM network technology only, so anyone with one of these iPhones may be able to switch onto the Verizon network still, although they may experience less network coverage because they are only able to access the GSM half of Verizon’s total network.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use an AT&T phone on Verizon?
You can use almost any unlocked AT&T phone on Verizon. To see if your phone is unlocked and compatible with Verizon, find your phone’s IMEI number, and then run that number and/or your device’s information through Verizon’s IMEI checker.
Are AT&T iPhones compatible with Verizon?
Some AT&T iPhones are compatible with Verizon while some may be compatible on a case-by-case basis.
Generally, if you bought your phone from a retailer other than AT&T, it is probably compatible, and if you bought your phone from AT&T, it will only be compatible if it is unlocked and not tied down with an AT&T phone contract.
Can you put a Verizon SIM card in an AT&T phone?
Yes, you can use a Verizon Wireless SIM card in a phone originally purchased from AT&T so long as the SIM card is currently activated on a Verizon plan.
To activate an existing Verizon SIM card on this kind of phone, you may either activate the phone at a Verizon store or through your Verizon online account.
Can I use a Verizon SIM card in an unlocked AT&T phone?
Yes, you can use a Verizon SIM card in any unlocked phone from AT&T.
Just be sure to activate the SIM card and phone by either visiting a Verizon Wireless store or by using the phone activation tool online through your Verizon account portal.