CDMA vs GSM in my location

OK, I know this subject has been beat to death on here but I’m still confused…how can I tell which would give me better service in my location?

Currently have MotoX 1st gen…coverage is just ok in my current location.

Thanks in advance.

Best thing to do is use the Coverage checker here:

Check the zip codes where you plan on using/needing cell coverage.

This will tell you what RW shows as what has the best coverage for the zip code(s).

If you want to compare the GSM map vs the CDMA map, you can use these links:

GSM: Coverage Check | Republic Wireless

CDMA: Coverage Check | Republic Wireless

However, the only way to really tell is to try out what RW checker recommends is the best option, then (if needed) work with support. They can send you a SIM card for the other option to try (if your phone suports both GSM & CDMA).

UPDATE: I would also ask around (family, friends, co-workes) that have cell phones in your area. See if any use Sprint (CDMA) or T-Moble (GSM). Find out from them what they think might be best in your area.

For me, I work, live and play in different zip codes. At first, looking at coverage I thought the GSM option would be my best option. However, after getting the GSM SIM, I found that I didn’t have coverage in areas where the GSM map showed. I’ve since found out T-Mobile’s coverage map is very optimistic in our area. I worked with RW Support and they sent me a CDMA SIM. Since then, I’ve had great coverage!


I do agree with this but one should also make sure the phone they are picking can use both CDMA and GSM
of current phones the Alcatel A30 , Samsung Galaxy J3 , and Samsung Galaxy J7 are GSM only phones
BYOD will always be GSM at first but most CDMA compatible phones can be converted via a support ticket (table here will say which phones are CDMA compatible Detailed Supported Phone Features)


I would recommend that you consult the coverage maps provided by RootMetrics … the ones that the carriers provide are based off of engineering maps which don’t adequately reflect actual experience.
Root Metrics actually drive the routes shown with a bank of phones continuously making calls on the various carriers. This data is then analyzed to drive the map generation … you can select the carrier (Sprint for CDMA and T-Mobile for GSM) … additionally if you use their app from Google Play you add your data to their source
Example of how coverage is reported.


Thank you for pointing that out @drm186! I updated my reply.

1 Like

Hi @rickr,

Unless you’re thinking about upgrading, there is no “CDMA vs. GSM” choice to be had. The Moto X 1st gen is not compatible with our GSM carrier partner.


Yea, sorry I should have said that I’m thinking of upgrading.


What phone are you looking at getting?

Not sure…just beginning to think about it…but for sure one that will work on either GSM or CDMA…just from looking at RootMetrics that jben recommended looks like GSM (T-Mobile) is better in my area.

You can continue doing your own research or provide us a zip(s) and several members would be glad to offer their opinions.

I’ll add the map subject to the beatings list. My map recommendations are in this coverage related topic. Spotty signal no signal

We often see recommendations to use RootMetrics or crowd sourced coverage maps. It’s been my experience living in smaller population metro areas such as Savannah, GA these type of maps can be worthless and a waste of time because of the lack of available data. If you want to check coverage for many of the large metro areas or zoom in on a smaller city’s mobile dense areas they are probably useful.

One of the things I really like about the GSM provider map is it sometimes shows hexagonal boxes which indicate “Verified By Customer Data” when zoomed in to local streets level. Their map has data for some street addresses and in areas RootMetrics may never venture to.



I agree! I’m in the Omaha Metro area and looking at RootMatrics, it appeared GSM had almost the same coverage as CDMA. Another map site actually showed GSM having better coverage (ie. more towers). In the end, this was not true.

I’d look at the data with a grain of salt. The GSM provider’s map is what convinced me we’d be okay with GSM. However, I now wonder how things are“Verified By Customer Data”. Places that were “verified” to have good 4G coverage, I couldn’t even make a call over cell service. Personally (YMMV), the GSM coverage needs a lot more improvement in my area.

Another option you might have is to go to a Big Box store that sells cellphones from different providers in your area. Like Best Buy, Walmart or Target. As long as you are speaking with a Big Box store employee (not a cell provider employee - check name tag), then ask them for their thoughts who has better coverage. Just an idea.

didn’t think of adding zip…it’s 67152…south central kansas…thanks

Both networks may provide adequate coverage depending upon your exact locations of use. Sprint has fewer dead spots when zooming out on the maps.

If your not satisfied with the current coverage you might want to try the GSM network. You can zoom in the the GSM map mentioned in my earlier response link to see if the coverage is at least fair where you’ll be using your phone. As long as you choose a CDMA/GSM compatible phone you could later change back to Sprint.


1 Like

Thanks…appreciate your help.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

Message an
Expert customer