Embracing my inner Fred
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pretty far west of Alpe d'Huez
Bikes: Early 90s Specialized Epic Pro carbon/DA
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There are two technologies in the US: GSM and CDMA. Most of the rest of the world has standardized on GSM, though on different frequencies than in the US.
Sprint is CDMA. Verizon is CDMA.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and all other GSM carriers use the same frequencies in the same countries. In the US, that's 850 and 1900 MHz.
Most vendors 'lock' the phones they sell or give away to SIM cards for their network only, and do not allow 'unlocking' so that you can then use that phone with another carrier that uses the same technology (CDMA, GSM). I'm not talking about roaming here, I'm talking about taking a phone that you got, for example, with T-Mobile and then switching your service to AT&T with the same phone.
You can buy unlocked phones from independent resellers.