National and Regional carriers are what most people think about when they are looking for a wireless phone service.These carriers have set up networks around the United States. Each carrier has their own network. When you buy a cell phone, it is tied to a particular carrier.
In addition to national and regional cell phone service providers, there are specialty carriers and pre-paid carriers. This article is not about these services. The purpose of this article is to give you a quick overview of the major cellular phone service providers. For more in-depth look, investigate the other resources found on this page.
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National and Regional Carriers
Alltell - Currently owned by Verizon, though they are still operating in certain markets. Uses CDMA 800 MHz with PCS 1900 MHz; some AMPS analog; 3G EvDO high speed data services.
AT&T - Formerly Cingular Wireless. Has a nationwide network cell towers based on GSM technologies. Roaming partners with T-Mobile, SunCom, and other several other providers operating GSM networks.
CellularOne - Has joined forces with AT&T. Cellular One customers can access to AT&T's GSM digital voice and data wireless network. Nextel - Part of the Sprint Nextel Corporation. Converted to Sprint's CDMA PCS network. Voice services include Push-to-Talk. High speed wireless data.
Sprint - Part of the Sprint Nextel Corporation. Uses CDMA PCS technology. Voice services include Push-to-Talk. High speed wireless data services. Sprint Power Vision streaming TV,radio content and music store. Limited Wi-Fi Internet service.
T-Mobile - U.S. operating entity of T-Mobile International AG & Co. which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG & Co. K.G. National network covers most of entire United States. International parent company with Worldwide presence provides opportunity fo international calling and roaming. Uses GSM/GPRS network. EDGE high speed data network. "T-Mobile HotSpots" wireless internet.
US Cellular - Regional wireless provider founded headquartered in Chicago, IL. Provides regional coverage in the Midwest, East, Northeast and Pacific Northwest. Uses CDMA 1xRTT network. Services include text and picture messaging, high-speed data services, and online photo albums.
Verizon Wireless - Largest wireless telecommunications network in the U.S. Now owns Alltel. Uses a CDMA Network and overlayed AMPS network. 3G EV-DO high speed data services provides wireless broadband with VCast video on demand. Other features include location-based services and push-to-talk.
The above list of cellular phone service providers represents the major players in the United States. It gives you a little bit of an idea of who they are and what technologies they use.