Is MetroPCS GSM or CDMA Carrier – Answer With A Guideline

GSM and CDMA are the standard network technologies incorporated in most phones. One of them has been in existence for decades and was primarily used in flip telephones and in the early days of smartphones. The debate on which is better between GSM and CDMA has also been common among tech enthusiasts suggesting how important they are regarding telecommunication services. If you are in the US and have used MetroPCS, you may be wondering whether MetroPCS uses GSM or CDMA network technologies.

CDMA was invented earlier than GSM, but they both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the recent past, circa 2010-2019, most service providers used CDMA network technology, and it served people efficiently despite few complaints of unreliability during network congestion. However, over the past few years, we have seen service providers transition from using CDMA to the GSM network, which is more of a modern and improved version of CDMA, and this applies to MetroPCS phone upgrades.

MetroPCS happens to be a Mobile virtual network operator meaning it obtains its network services from a standard service provider. You may be wondering which network it uses, right? This article aims to provide all the insights around MetroPCS network type, the areas covered within the US, reliability of the network, cons of the web, and so much more. Let’s get started!

Which network does MetroPCS use?

MetroPCS relies on T-Mobile’s network to offer coverage. T-Mobile is one of the largest standard service providers in the US. They have network coverage to around 99% of the US population, making them one of the most reliable service providers. As for MetroPCS, it leases the network offered by T-Mobile and then offers affordable prepaid plans to consumers who find T-Mobile to be an expensive option.

However, the only downfall is that during network congestion, customers on post-paid plans on T-Mobile will be given high priority. By doing so, they get faster internet speeds, reduced dropped calls, and other benefits you may miss out on a prepaid network like MetroPCS.

Is MetroPCS GSM or CDMA?


MetroPCS falls under the GSM network. It utilizes the services from T-Mobile, which is a GSM network carrier. GSM offers MetroPCS users a vast array of benefits and is more efficient compared to CDMA. It was designed to fix the flaws present in CDMA. Some of the critical benefits of GSM on MetroPCS include:

1) Many phone manufacturers support GSM network capabilities

Currently, it’s rare to find a phone manufacturer who will build phones that use CDMA network technology. Although some may incorporate both networks on the smartphone, most of them still consider using GSM only since it is cost-effective and has fewer design/engineering flaws than CDMA.

2) HIgh-quality voice calls

The voice calls on MetroPCS through GSM tend to be more transparent and efficient than CDMA. Also, you will get a better signal on a GSM network during network congestion compared to a CDMA network.

3) International Roaming is supported

With CDMA, you can only use your phone within the area in which your service provider supports it. However, with GSM, the network is global, meaning you can easily switch different networks in any country with their sim card.

4) Lower cost of equipment

With the lower price of equipment, MetroPCS users can enjoy affordable cell phone plans and other services.

So, by Metro using the GSM network, you get many benefits.

Can you get a free phone from MetroPCS?

Sadly no. MetroPCS does not offer free phones and plans since they are not an authorized service provider. However, if you wish to get a free phone, you will need to get it from a lifeline service provider.

You will also have to meet some eligibility requirements, including participation in Federal Assistance programs or if your income is below 135% of the federal poverty level.

However, you can get some discounted offers on selected phones. They also have payment plans for phones which you can’t pay all at once. You may need to have a good credit score to get the phones on credit.

MetroPCS has some affordable plans too on their MetroPCS phone deals for existing and new customers. The plans start from as low as $30/mo, and it’s all prepaid, meaning you are not tied to the service provider; hence you can easily switch service providers.

Which phones are compatible with MetroPCS?

There are several MetroPCS compatible phones in the market. However, it all comes down to whether they are using GSM or CDMA network technology.

Some phones run on both GSM and CDMA network technology. These phones are likely to be compatible with MetroPCS. However, some may have issues using both GSM and CDMA networks.

To know if your phone is compatible with MetroPCS, you will need to use an IMEI checker. The IMEI checker can see if the device is compatible or not. You will need to obtain your IMEI number through the code *#06#. Once you have the IMEI number, head over to MetroPCS’s website and check on compatibility.

If the phone is compatible, you will be redirected to create an account, after which you will be able to choose some phone plans and purchase a sim card toolkit.

If your phone comes from the following brands, it is likely to be compatible with MetroPCS: Samsung, Nokia, LG, Motorola, Blackberry, ZTE, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Apple.

Bottom line

MetroPCS uses GSM network technology which is regarded to be fast and secure. GSM is reliable when it comes to voice calls and even internet speeds. Despite being slow during network congestion, MetroPCS prides itself in using an advanced cellular network courtesy of GSM. Also, if you wish to bring your phone to MetroPCS and operate a GSM network, the process is easy and fast.