Does both Verizon & AT&T work on the same phone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by imacericg, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. imacericg macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #1
    I originally choose AT&T, but now I am thinking of switching to Verizon. Can I do this without preordering another phone?
     
  2. aquadisiac macrumors 6502

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    #3
    no
     
  3. eneisch macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    No. You would have to pre-order another phone. The AT&T version uses GSM radio while the Verizon and Sprint versions use CDMA radio. I also think they use different frequencies.

    Would have been nice if Apple could have designed a single phone that worked on all carriers, but I guess that still isn't practical. I also think the carriers would be against it.
     
  4. Eallan macrumors 6502

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    #5
    The 4S was that phone. There was only the one model.

    Any blocking is strictly the carriers being jerks, as usual.
     
  5. Mrfatboy macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I have a Verizon iPhone 4s. It was factory unlocked by Verizon. The unlock only pertained to international use NOT domestic (US). While in the US it locked to Verizon CDMA. While travelling internationally I could use a different gsm sim.

    Is this not the same case for the iPhone 5 Verizon model?
     
  6. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #7
    No, Verizon is CDMA, and more than likely the SIM Slot is locked to Verizon's Lte
     
  7. imazu macrumors regular

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    #8
    i ordered unlocked 4s online and picked it up in store. because when i went to verizon, they told me it's cheaper at apple at the moment. then i called tech support and no way we can have the iphone activated. went back to apple store... there explanation is right that both has gsm and cdma but they don't know that verizon only uses certain imeid to work. they checked the imeid for me and made sure it is going to work.. and it did...
     
  8. b24pgg macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Wait...the Verizon iPhone 5 won't be like the 4S where you can use the GSM functionality while traveling abroad?

    LOL. I can't understand why anyone would buy this phone.
     
  9. AnionicStrength macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2010
    #10
    Yes, the Verizon iPhone 5 has a GSM radio. See this page for confirmation.

    I expect Verizon will unlock the phone for international SIM use, just like the 4S. Of course, they could do anything they want...
     
  10. nostresshere macrumors 68030

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #11
    return one, cancel

    Then go buy the other.


    Then, a week later, realize you made a 2nd mistake - LOL!
     
  11. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #12
    You can if VZW will unlock it. Phones from US carriers are always locked by default. You can call VZW to unlock it though.
     
  12. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

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    #13
    No, Verizon won't activate a phone that's not Verizon branded. Verizon phones will not operate with another US carriers SIM card. Even more important though is that they use different LTE frequencies and each phone only has the ones for that carrier. So even if you did get it to work you would be locked out of LTE.
     
  13. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #14
    Take a look at VZW's Open Access policy for LTE Networks now. As long as someone would actually build a phone that works on Verizon (or cared to) and the SIM fits, they'll let you use it.
     
  14. boomhower macrumors 68000

    boomhower

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    #15
    Good luck with that. It's been tried, pretty much any Sprint phone will work on Verizon but they will not activate it.
     
  15. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #16
    Hey I did say LTE ;-)
     
  16. shox2k2 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Theoretically it will but the phone carriers will lock the sim. There are different models but they all have CDMA and gsm technology in them they just deal with different frequencies. Watch their promo video it talks about being a world phone. Which it is but if they paid the subsidized price they want you to use their service.
     
  17. shannonbrooke macrumors member

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    #18
    No, it's not a "world phone" like the 4S. Sorry!
     
  18. dontwalkhand, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012

    dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #19
    It is, you just can't use LTE, HSPA+ will work just fine, and should be more than sufficient for your Facebooking and Twittering from abroad....(AT&T Model)

    For the Verizon Model, we will get LTE pretty much anywhere else but Canada where it's supported. (In Canada, you'd still get HSPA+) VZW and Sprint are getting the A1429 model, which is the international model. AT&T and Canada are getting A1428, which will only work on US and Canada on LTE, and on T-Mobile's future LTE.
     
  19. Mliii macrumors 65816

    Mliii

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    #20
    Isn't it a bit more complicated than this?
    According to Apple, the GSM version of the 1428 model will work in the US on AT&T and in Canada on Bell, Telus & Rogers.
    The CDMA 1429 version will work in the US on Verizon and Sprint, and in Japan on KDDI.
    The GSM version of the 1429 model will work on Deutsche Telekom in Germany and on EE in the UK.
     
  20. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #21
    GSM and CDMA 1429 are the same phone. The GSM one just has CDMA disabled
     
  21. stevedusa macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #22
    In THEORY, YES.

    In PRACTICE? No.

    Let me explain.

    Still remember that slide during the announcement where Apple said it's utilizing only one physical chip for ALL the cellular radios?

    That's where the theory comes in.

    In theory all the phone has to do is operate whatever it needs, i.e. voice, data on the particular mode (GSM vs CDMA) and their corresponding frequencies (850, 900, 1800, 1900, 1700, 700, blah blah blah).

    In practice they won't simply because carriers has their policies to limiting what type of device can be activated on their network.

    GSM carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile) on one hand is a lot more forgiven. Reason being that all you need is a SIM card plus a GSM phone equals an operable phone.

    CDMA carriers (Verizon, Sprint) on the other hand is not as forgiven as GSM carriers, at least in the States because we use a burnt-in ESN to identify the phone on the carrier. In certain parts of the world such as Korea and China, CDMA carriers do have a SIM-card-like device called RIM. It's just like a SIM card but it's for CDMA device.

    CDMA carriers have a database of all the devices' ESN codes that were made and designed for their network. When a new CDMA device needs to be activated and used on the network, the carrier checks against their database with the ESN number. If it passes all the requirements then it'll be allowed and activated on the network.

    The biggest difference here is LTE... LTE is an GSM extension. Reason being the CDMA devices that supports LTE HAS to use a SIM card is due to that reason. For CDMA carriers with LTE network (VZW & Sprint), the SIM card's ONLY purpose is to make the device to work on a GSM-technology system.

    Also it can be used for automatic provisioning. For example, when I was swapping from one VZW LTE device to another, all I had to do is swap that SIM card and the devices provisions (programming) itself without manually initiate it.

    As for different models of iPhone 5, even though Apple states that single chip multiple bands, is due to the frequency the LTE carriers in the world uses.

    I quote an article copied from "Wired"

    (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/09/iphone5-lte-model/)

    Hope that answers your question, and why.
     
  22. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

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    #23
    THANK YOU! It is hard explaining to other's how Verizon and Sprint's CDMA SIM Cards work, and you did it easiest. Pretty much all the SIM Card does on a CDMA network is replace *228 as it makes it automatic. But it doesn't mean your phone is all of a sudden GSM like some people think. It is still a CDMA phone, just a CDMA phone with a SIM card for activation. Verizon pretty much uses "R-UIM cards" which got renamed the C-SIM for their CDMA/LTE phones (since all of their future phones are LTE anyway, you can pretty much expect the same type of swap-ability as GSM between Verizon phones. Keyword though, it is only between Verizon phones, you still can't take a Sprint LTE phone and put it on Verizon, and vice-versa.

    Also with my experience with CDMA based LTE phones, if you remove the SIM card, just like a GSM phone, you just see a message "No SIM Card Inserted, Emergency Calls Only" contrary to popular belief that you can still use the CDMA portion of the phone without the SIM.
     

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