Verizon Leaving iPhone 5 SIM Slots Unlocked as Required by FCC Network Access Regulations

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    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):
    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
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2010
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2007
    Doesn't ATT use the 700MHz band as well? I guess there is something I am missing.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2008
    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.
  5. macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2008
    So hopefully next year's model will use Qualcomm's recently announced "worldwide" LTE band chip?
  6. macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    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?
  7. macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2009
    Boston, MA
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2010
    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.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    Long Awhlandddd, NY
    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.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Sweden & California
    Yup. I can't wait to leave them in the dust once my lady-friends' 4S contract is up.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 14, 2008
    The Republic of Texas
    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.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    so will the AT&T iPhone 5 work on Verizon's network?
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2007
    the 13 colonies
    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?
  14. macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    1 year, 7 months and my iP4s is no longer hostage to AT&T. Freedom at last!!!!

    Wait... that's a freaking long time. :eek:
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 14, 2008
    The Republic of Texas
    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.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    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.

  17. macrumors 68040


    Feb 5, 2009
    Beat me to it!

    I like these kinds of movements! GO FCC :D
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 14, 2008
    The Republic of Texas
    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.
  19. macrumors member

    Sep 25, 2008
    That's an iphone issue. The galaxy nexus and s3 support data/voice simultaneously.
  20. macrumors 68040

    Jul 28, 2007
    No. Verizon controls phones it allows on its network. Only Verizon certified devices are allowed. Which basically mean Verizon makes up the rules.
  21. macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2003
  22. macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2012
    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....
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    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

  24. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Dang I have Sprint, luckily I don't go abroad until January, so that will just be over 3 months.
  25. macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    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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