How to Make Calls Without a SIM Card

By April Khan

Although a large amount of the wireless phone companies in the U.S. are Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) carriers that require SIM cards for service, there are other companies such as Verizon, Sprint, MetroPCS or Cricket that do not. These companies are Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) carriers that supply handsets that are programmed from the inside so they do not require a SIM chip for service. They do supply some phones that are dual-technology such as BlackBerry, which work both with and without SIM cards. These phones work overseas where GSM networks are the majority, so they are supplied with a SIM card.

Step 1

Choose a CDMA wireless provider. According to, there are more than 10 companies that offer this service, both exclusively and electively.

Step 2

Choose postpay or prepaid. If you do not plan on traveling overseas where GSM is the leading phone service type, you can go with a CDMA-only provider.

Step 3

Sign up for service. You may have to go through a credit check with some companies. To go through this check you must supply your current address (if you've lived there less than two years, supply the previous one as well), your Social Security number and date of birth along with your full name. Companies that offer regional-only service such as Cricket or MetroPCS do not require credit checks.

Step 4

Fully charge the handset once you receive it. Your phone company will supply you with a phone and various booklets and account information. If you have ordered a BlackBerry, your phone company may send you a SIM card along with the handset.

Step 5

Power on your handset. If you have prepaid, add your minutes to the phone, according to the instructions printed on the top-up card. If you have a monthly phone, activate your service, if required. If not, just dial the number you want to call.

Tips & Warnings

  • You cannot use an unlocked phone with a CDMA carrier.