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Switch to AT&T and BYO Phone

AT&T Logo It's easier than ever to bring your own phone and switch to AT&T, and with terrific nationwide coverage, AT&T isn't a bad carrier to have. Switching carriers can feel like a daunting task, however, it doesn't have to be. This guide will walk you through switching to AT&T, and make it a stress-free project.


If you’re looking to bring your own phone (BYOP) to AT&T, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will walk you through exactly how to switch to AT&T. Plus, we’ll show you some of the best plans from the carrier.

Check Your Phone’s Compatibility Unlock Your Phone Transfer Your Number
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Steps to Switch to AT&T

  1. Make sure your phone can be used on AT&T’s network by checking your phone’s IMEI.
  2. Check your current plan and see if there are stipulations that would keep you from moving to AT&T.
  3. Make sure your phone is paid off, then call your carrier to unlock it.
  4. Check AT&T’s coverage in your area.
  5. Research and compare the best AT&T Plans for you using the Let’s Talk search engine.
  6. Get a SIM card from AT&T.
  7. Activate your plan and port your number.
  8. AT&T will cancel your current plan for you.

Phone Compatibility with AT&T

Although most newer cell phones are now compatible across carriers, you may have some difficulty with bringing older phones over to AT&T.

Switch to AT&T From Verizon

verizon logoMoving to AT&T from Verizon is a tricky one. The two companies use two different types of networks: AT&T runs on GSM while Verizon runs on CDMA. This means older Verizon phones may be incompatible with the AT&T network. However, newer phones are most likely compatible; for example, the iPhone 5S or newer is likely good to go.

Switch to AT&T From Sprint

sprint logo

Moving from Sprint to AT&T is similar to moving from Verizon to AT&T since Sprint also runs on a CDMA network. AT&T does say on their site that most Sprint phones are compatible with their network, but can’t make any promises.

Switch To AT&T from T-Mobile

t-mobile logoTaking your T-Mobile phone to AT&T is simple. T-Mobile and AT&T both run on the GSM network, so phones should transfer over just fine. Still, you’ll need to make sure your phone is fully paid off on T-Mobile. If you still have payments left, T-Mobile won’t unlock your phone and let you transfer.

Double Check Phone Compatibility

If you’re not sure if your phone is compatible with AT&T, don’t worry. AT&T has made it super easy to check, and all you need is your phone’s identification number or IMEI. Simply go on AT&T’s website and type in your device serial number. The carrier’s phone compatibility checker will tell you straight away if your phone is compatible or not. If it is, all you’ll need to do is order a free SIM to get started.

Make Sure Your Phone is Unlocked

Regardless of which network you’re moving from, you will need to request an unlock from your carrier. You can unlock your phone by calling your current carrier. Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be able to unlock your phone unless it is fully paid off and you meet any other phone unlocking requirements.

Some carriers require that you have an account with them for a certain period of time before they will unlock your phone

Usually, if you don’t owe anything on your phone, you’ll be able to get your phone unlocked. However, some carriers have other requirements you have to meet before they will unlock your phone. For example, Boost Mobile requires that you have an active phone number with them for at least 12 months before they will unlock your phone.

Double check your carrier’s device unlocking policy before signing up for a new AT&T phone plan.

Transfer Your Phone Number

IMPORTANT: Do not cancel your current cell phone account before the porting process is complete or you may lose your phone number.

Porting your current number to a new network is generally hassle-free, but it may take some time. AT&T says porting a number can take 5-7 business days, so plan accordingly when you make the switch.

To make sure AT&T can transfer your number, check their website and type in your 10 digit number. If your number is eligible, AT&T will do the heavy lifting and do the transferring for you. They will even cancel your current service for you.

How Does AT&T’s Coverage Compare?

At this point, you’re probably certain that transferring to the AT&T network is what you want to do. But just to be sure, compare the carrier’s coverage to the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. You can toggle between the four major carriers and see what coverage is like in your state and area. AT&T offers great coverage throughout the United States, though they trail perennial king Verizon by a significant margin.

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Compare AT&T Cell Phone Plans

There are many AT&T plans to choose from including family plans, military plans, and individual plans. When you switch to AT&T and BYOP, your monthly bill will be cheaper because you won’t be paying for a new device with monthly installments and AT&T often has deals and other discounts for those who switch over to them.

The Most Popular AT&T Plans

Although AT&T is a household brand name, there are dozens of other carriers (known as MVNOs) that operate on the AT&T network and offer the same coverage (usually for a cheaper price).

Enjoy the same great AT&T coverage but on a cheaper plan by choosing a smaller carrier (MVNO)

You can decide which AT&T MVNO or AT&T plan is best for you by using the Let’s Talk comparison engine. There you can customize the perfect plan for you, and compare a multitude of plans that fit your needs.

Best AT&T Plans Best AT&T Phone Deals Best AT&T Family Plans

MVNO Cell Phone Plans

Switch to Another Network

Not sold on AT&T’s network? Read our other guides to learn how to switch to another carrier: