People often wonder if they can switch their wireless service while keeping the phone they’re currently using. After all, if you’ve already got everything the way you like it, why start over with a new phone if you don’t have to?
Every device manufacturer is slightly different, so we can’t guarantee that every phone will work with our service. But in many cases, it is possible to switch your current phone to Consumer Cellular simply by inserting one of our SIM cards.
The SIM card is like the brain of your mobile phone—it’s the tiny chip that carries all the important information that allows your phone to connect to a provider’s wireless network. Best of all, if your phone is compatible with our service, we provide you with the SIM card for free!
For the switch to work properly, you’ll need to have what’s called “an unlocked GSM phone.” Consumer Cellular’s service operates via GSM network technology. It’s the same type of network used by AT&T and T-Mobile, so you’ll have the best chance of successfully switching if your phone is from one of those carriers. Other carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, operate on a different type, called a CDMA network. Most CDMA phones use different technology, so they can’t be switched to our service, though some newer smartphones with a SIM card slot can accommodate both types of networks.
Before you can use your GSM phone with our SIM card, your current carrier has to “unlock” your phone to allow it to work with another carrier’s network. In most cases, a carrier will unlock your phone only if you’ve already paid for the device in full. In many cases, this is not done automatically, so you’ll need to make a request to begin the unlocking process. They may also provide you with a code to enter into your phone, which will unlock it to work with a different carrier.
Once your GSM phone is unlocked, the process of bringing it to Consumer Cellular’s service is pretty straightforward. Just choose a monthly plan, and we ship our SIM card to you absolutely free! You can also pick one up your local Target store, or order online here. Once the SIM card is inserted into your phone, you can connect to Consumer Cellular and start using your phone on our network, and enjoy all of the terrific benefits that we offer!