T-Mobile Customers Can Find GSM Carrier Alternatives to ATandT
News Analysis: T-Mobile may be the fourth-largest national carrier, but there are other GSM carriers out there including national carriers that offer GSM-capable phones.If everything goes according to AT&T's grand plan, T-Mobile customers will be offered two choices in about a year. The first is go get sucked into AT&T with its dropped calls and legendary bad service, or they can find another carrier. Fortunately for T-Mobile customers who don't want to be part of AT&T, there are options-probably more options than you suspected. To find out just what those options are, I first looked for a list of every GSM carrier in the U.S. The closest I could find was a list on Wikipedia of U.S. wireless carriers. Using that list, I called every GSM carrier in the U.S., except for a few in Alaska (because of time-zone issues), and asked them if a T-Mobile customer would be welcome there. I didn't reach all of them, but of those I talked to, the answer was a resounding "yes." The GSM carriers out there that aren't T-Mobile or AT&T would be delighted to have your business.
But they're not the only ones. Verizon Wireless and Sprint are both eager to welcome T-Mobile customers, and both are willing to solve that thorny problem of international roaming. Verizon Wireless offers 14 phones that work with both CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM, and a Verizon Wireless spokesperson told me that the company is happy to unlock the SIM so that you can use foreign SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards while you travel, provided your account is up-to-date. Of the 14 Verizon Wireless phones, four are "certified pre-owned," which is a good way to get a refurbished international smart phone at a really cheap price. To find them, visit the Verizon Wireless site, shop for phones and click on "Global Ready."