Switching carriers? You may be able to take your iPhone 5S with you

carriersOne of the most frustrating things about switching wireless carriers is having to buy a new smartphone. At a full retail price of between $600 and $650, a smartphone is an investment for many consumers.

For years, it was standard practice that when you started service with a new mobile operator, you’d have to buy a phone specifically designed for that carrier. It was particularly true when switching from a carrier like AT&T to Verizon, and vice versa.

But those days may soon be coming to an end, as wireless operators start using the same network technology as well as common radio frequencies to build their next-generation networks. And the movement could gain momentum as handset makers, looking to reduce costs, limit the number of product models they manufacture by packing them with multiple technologies and wireless radios that can be used across a variety of operators.  More