June 30, 2021

TextNow CDMA, GSM, SIMs, and You

TextNow recently switched networks! Exciting, I know. But what does that mean for you, the TextNow user? Let's find out!We're switching from a CDMA network (Code Division Multiple Access) to a GSM network. GSM is the (Global System for Mobiles), which tells you one major difference: GSM is used pretty much everywhere outside North America, whereas CDMA is North America only.What that means for us is the number of phones and phone models that are now compatible with TextNow just grew a lot.For example, here's a small slice of the types of CDMA cards we used for CDMA devices. Each these only work with specific models of phones and devices.


Now let's look at all the SIM cards we need that work with the GSM network:

That's it. There's one card, not dozens. That "tri-cut" bit means the card comes with adapters to fit every size of GSM phoneWith CDMA, we were stuck with a fairly small portion of devices we could use from the total of all phones. Switching to GSM, and it's one-size-fits all SIM, there's a much higher chance we'll be able to use your phone.Ok,that's much more convenient for our shipping department and all, but how does moving to a GSM network benefit you right now_?_One word: Coverage. The GSM network in the US is very robust. Allow me to explain using visuals:

old network coverage

new network coverage. Check out all that purple! And since TextNow's whole thing is to provide free (or as close as we can get it) talking and texting to as many people as possible, the switch to GSM will help us make our mission statement into fact.So if you're currently a TextNow mobile user, either through one of our data plans, or through Nationwide Talk & Text, if you have a GSM phone, you'll need to grab a SIM from us to connect.But what if you're not a mobile customer? What changes?Literally nothing. Connecting via wifi, or using TextNow on your desktop or laptop browser, works exactly as it always did. Continue on as you have been, and enjoy that sweet wifi.So, to sum up:To use TextNow over mobile, you need a GSM card.To use TextNow for free over wifi, relax. Chill out and video call a friend. You don't need to do or get anything.And, of course, if you're just wondering how it all works, head on over to Textnow.com and download our app or try it right from your browser!