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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:54 PM   #1
MacRumors
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Verizon Leaving iPhone 5 SIM Slots Unlocked as Required by FCC Network Access Regulations






Last week it was reported that the Verizon iPhone 5 is being sold with an unlocked SIM slot, allowing users with a nano-SIM or a trimmed micro-SIM from a GSM carrier such as AT&T to use the device on their networks. The Associated Press confirmed with Verizon that it will not remotely relock their iPhone 5 models. Last year, Verizon would only unlock their iPhone 4S models after 60 days.

It's worth noting that though the Verizon iPhone 5 will work on AT&T and T-Mobile's 3G network for voice and data, the phone will not work on AT&T's LTE data network. It will work on a number of international LTE networks. Apple's LTE information page details the bands that each specific model of iPhone 5 supports.

The main reason for the unlocked SIM card slot appears to be FCC network access requirements for Block C, the 700 MHz spectrum that Verizon uses for its LTE network. According to the FCC's CFR Title 47 Part 27.16 paragraph (e):
Quote:
(e) Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks.
Sprint iPhone 5 models are SIM-locked, but customers can request unlocking after three months for international use. AT&T's existing unlock policy -- to unlock off-contract phones only -- remains in effect for the iPhone 5.

Article Link: Verizon Leaving iPhone 5 SIM Slots Unlocked as Required by FCC Network Access Regulations
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:57 PM   #2
unlimitedx
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Way to go, FCC!
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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Doesn't ATT use the 700MHz band as well? I guess there is something I am missing.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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This is bunch of garbage...They should unlock it and let people do whatever the hell they want to do once they pay the ETF......I hate the way this all runs.If have paid your dues then let me do whatever the hell I want to do with my stuff.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:59 PM   #5
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So hopefully next year's model will use Qualcomm's recently announced "worldwide" LTE band chip?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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How can that rule apply to all Smart Phones and yet Verizon is the only carrier that has it fully unlocked pretty much? Shouldn't it be this way for all carriers then? Is Sprint only unlocking for international use? Or does the Sprint model also work on AT&T out of the box?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:00 PM   #8
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So AT&T and Sprint don't use the 700MHz band as well? That's disappointing that only certain frequencies have unlock requirements. I hope this is a step in the right direction of moving away from carrier locks.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Although I am happy that I have moved to Sprint ( Still waiting on my IP5 Tracking number! ) from AT&T - this is nice thing from Verizon. I will never join AT&T again. I have been with them for 5 years too damn long! Never again.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:01 PM   #10
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Bottom line: AT&T still sucks
Yup. I can't wait to leave them in the dust once my lady-friends' 4S contract is up.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syedrizvi21 View Post
This is bunch of garbage...They should unlock it and let people do whatever the hell they want to do once they pay the ETF......I hate the way this all runs.If have paid your dues then let me do whatever the hell I want to do with my stuff.
That's the way it is. If you fulfill your contract obligations, they will unlock it.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craiger View Post
Doesn't ATT use the 700MHz band as well? I guess there is something I am missing.
Verizon use 13 (700c MHz)
AT&T use 17 (700b MHz)

FCC requires the C block to be unlocked.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:04 PM   #12
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so will the AT&T iPhone 5 work on Verizon's network?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:06 PM   #13
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Hmm...why didn't the FCC force the other carriers to do the same thing when they purchased their LTE spectra? Is there something special about this 700Mhz band that Verizon acquired? Don't get me wrong, I think this pro-consumer regulation (for a change!) is downright fabulous--but ALL carriers should be forced to do the same thing.

And also--does that mean that all the other LTE handsets with GSM capabilities are also unlocked by Verizon? Or is the iPhone the only LTE smartphone that includes GSM radios in addition to the CDMA+LTE bands in the case of Verizon?
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:07 PM   #14
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1 year, 7 months and my iP4s is no longer hostage to AT&T. Freedom at last!!!!

Wait... that's a freaking long time.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jtrenda33 View Post
so will the AT&T iPhone 5 work on Verizon's network?
No. LTE doesn't work. The Verizon phone works on AT&T's HSPA+ network, but AT&T can't go the opposite way since it doesn't have a CDMA chip.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:08 PM   #16
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Glad the FCC is stepping in. I wish they would make AT&T unlock their devices as well, tired of AT&T's unlock rules and regulations. The moment Verizon offers an LTE network that supports simultaneous voice/data I will jump ship. Tired of AT&T's rules and poor customer service.


-Mike
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i-John View Post
That's the way it is. If you fulfill your contract obligations, they will unlock it.

----------



Verizon use 13 (700c MHz)
AT&T use 17 (700b MHz)

FCC requires the C block to be unlocked.
Beat me to it!

I like these kinds of movements! GO FCC
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarlboroLite View Post
Hmm...why didn't the FCC force the other carriers to do the same thing when they purchased their LTE spectra? Is there something special about this 700Mhz band that Verizon acquired? Don't get me wrong, I think this pro-consumer regulation (for a change!) is downright fabulous--but ALL carriers should be forced to do the same thing.

And also--does that mean that all the other LTE handsets with GSM capabilities are also unlocked by Verizon? Or is the iPhone the only LTE smartphone that includes GSM radios in addition to the CDMA+LTE bands in the case of Verizon?
There is probably a reason. The FCC don't like giving too much spectrum to one carrier, and it depends on how they wanted to acquire it and for what reasons. It's possible the FCC has some use for it also.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefla View Post
Glad the FCC is stepping in. I wish they would make AT&T unlock their devices as well, tired of AT&T's unlock rules and regulations. The moment Verizon offers an LTE network that supports simultaneous voice/data I will jump ship. Tired of AT&T's rules and poor customer service.


-Mike
That's an iphone issue. The galaxy nexus and s3 support data/voice simultaneously.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:10 PM   #20
aneftp
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Originally Posted by jtrenda33 View Post
so will the AT&T iPhone 5 work on Verizon's network?
No. Verizon controls phones it allows on its network. Only Verizon certified devices are allowed. Which basically mean Verizon makes up the rules.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPNarwhal View Post
How can that rule apply to all Smart Phones and yet Verizon is the only carrier that has it fully unlocked pretty much? Shouldn't it be this way for all carriers then? Is Sprint only unlocking for international use? Or does the Sprint model also work on AT&T out of the box?
Because Verizon's the only carrier on Block C which has the open access caveat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...of_the_auction
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:15 PM   #22
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FCC needs to expand on this further so it encompasses things like using all your phones features despite what plan you have. **** like facetime only for shared data plans? WTF....
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:16 PM   #23
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Great, So a Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked to work on any GSM network ( out of the box unlocked) but no LTE support, CDMA Phones are always cheaper so might score a verizon i5 soon, no need to purchase IMEI Unlocks

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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:24 PM   #24
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Dang I have Sprint, luckily I don't go abroad until January, so that will just be over 3 months.
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 02:32 PM   #25
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Well this makes me happy. Was leaning towards a Lumia 920 but this tidbit might push me back towards the iPhone 5.
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