Frequent Contributor
Posts: 116
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Really confused about Tracfone Coverage: CDMA vs GSM and HSN TS

I have been searching high and low to figure out whether or not (too late now) I would have cell coverage in my rural town if I purchased the HSN TS yesterday which is on the AT&T/T-Mobile network. My zip showed coverage. But, when I actually went to AT&T and T-Mobile sites and viewed their coverage maps, coverage is very iffy in my area so I passed on the deal. Verizon is definitely the provider in my area. Everyone's cell phone provider is Verizon where I live. Any time my sister is here, she has a very hard time using her T-Mobile phone.

From what I understand Tracfone has two types of phones. The first type is referred to as a CDMA phone. These phones use network coverage provided by Verizon (in most cases) as well as Alltel, US Cellular, and sometimes other smaller, regional carriers.

The other type of technology used in Tracfone handsets is referred to as GSM. This type of phone will be charged the same airtime rate regardless of where you are when you make or receive a call – as long as you have service. I point this out because, as I noted above, the coverage of GSM networks is not as comprehensive in certain areas. Coverage for these models is provided by AT&T and T-Mobile.

The TS on HSN was GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile). I wonder how many people actually understand this.

Here are links to the maps of coverage provided by CDMA and GSM, respectively:

So, am I right in thinking that since Verizon has the monopoly on coverage in my area, that if I had purchased the TS on HSN yesterday, I would not have very good coverage in my rural community?

Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy post.

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