Is there any way to get an iPhone on the US Cellular network?

Episode 896 (58:45)

Estin from Kansas

Estin has a friend who lives in a rural area and cell service is spotty at best. The only provider that has any coverage is US Cellular, and he is wondering if it's possible to get an unlocked iPhone for use on that network. Leo says since that network is CDMA, it won't be possible to do it. If he was in a GSM carrier's area, he could get an unlocked iPhone, put in the SIM card for that carrier, and he could use the phone. But since CDMA phones don't take SIM cards, they need to be programmed for use with the carrier. It's not even possible to get an unlocked CDMA phone anyway.

US Cellular does have the Samsung Galaxy S III, so that could be an option. Otherwise, he could put a VOiP app such as Skype or Tango on the iPad and use that for calls. He'd have to have internet access though, and he may not have that either.

This is a big problem for rural areas. Leo believes that we need a Tennessee Valley Authority program for internet and cellular service.