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Super Contributor
Posts: 511
Registered: ‎06-21-2011
My Device: Priv, Playbook
My Carrier: Bell
Accepted Solution

Q about Carriers

Why are some phones limited to some carriers?


I was asking because when the BB 10 comes out, of which there are about 3 different styles, there is one in particular I'd like to get and it occured to me that it might not be offered by my carrier.  I can't currently switch because of the contract period.  Will be totally bummed if I can't get the one I want.



Hall of Famer III
Posts: 59,058
Registered: ‎11-28-2008
My Device: DTEK50 (AAI82), PRIV (AAI795), Z10/Z30/Q10 (, Playbook (
My Carrier: TMobile USA

Re: Q about Carriers


There are several reasons...

Each carrier uses different radio technologies (e.g., 3G, 4G, EDGE, GSM, CDMA, etc.), and it's just impossible to build a device with the ability for ALL of those yet keep it within the physical size constraints that keep it comfortable to use. To accommodate all technologies would require multiple physical radios inside the device, and that would mean the physical case must enlarge to hold all of that, which would make it overly bulky for most users. If our technology world for mobile devices would settle down to just one or two technologies, then perhaps such radio(s) could fit, but it's not that way today. Hence, for each carrier, the radios included must accommodate that carrier, but would restrict the device from use on a different carrier (e.g., one that uses a different radio technology, which the device does not handle).

Another reason could be exclusivity arrangements...it's possible I think for a carrier to arrange for exclusive distribution of a specific device, which would then limit that one device to that one carrier only.

Yet another reason could be support challenges. When a carrier signs on to sell a particular model, they further sign on to providing all of the front line support for that model to their end users. The more models one carrier sells, the larger staff they must have in order to be able to provide that support.

There may be other reasons as well, but the authoritative source for information concerning what devices will be available from the carriers will be the carriers themselves...they are responsible for choosing what devices they desire to carry, and thereby provide support for.

Good luck!

Occam's Razor nearly always applies when troubleshooting technology issues!

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Super Contributor
Posts: 511
Registered: ‎06-21-2011
My Device: Priv, Playbook
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Q about Carriers

Thank you for all of that information!  I hope the one I want, isn't limited to another carrier... I'm sure with my luck, it will be. In which case, I won't be upgrading.


I guess in regards to the Bold 9900 white or black, it must have been due to exclusivity arrangements.  This, I don't understand!  You are fairly stuck with the carrier you have, for a number of yrs. so it's not possible to change just because one carrier had rights to the colour white, while the other one did not.   I suppose if you're switching carriers, it's an incentive but otherwise, it just means a regular customer can lose out for NO reason.