I *hate* the carrier setup in the US! I want a truly unlocked iPhone! /rant

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by aforty, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. aforty macrumors 65816

    aforty

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #1
    I'm so sick of this!

    I'm sick of carrier contracts and I'm even more sick of not being able to buy a phone that I can't take from one carrier to another (and overseas)! :mad:

    I thought LTE would finally solve this for us. I thought with LTE it would support every carrier and I could finally get an unlocked one, shop around and switch on a whim. Nope! Now I have to choose between a model that will work with Verizon or Sprints LTE or one that works with AT&T. No word on whether the unlocked one for AT&T will work overseas and I presume the one for Verizon/Sprint will NOT work overseas with GSM providers. What about T-Mobile? No idea.

    **** these carriers! Why doesn't the FTC step in and regulate these guys to all work in an interoperable way? Every other country in the worlds seems to be able to do this, why can't this country get it together? :mad:

    /rant


    Anyone have any advice or articles with good technical explanation on why this is so, frequency specs, etc?
     
  2. AttilaTheHun macrumors 6502a

    AttilaTheHun

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    The good new is that I really can't use LTE
    in connecticut NO LTE (ATT)
    over sea the ATT LTE don't work so why to be upset?
     
  3. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #3
    You're out of luck. There are three different models and the AT&T model only works with LTE in the USA & Canada...

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
     
  4. farawaybrothers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Wait can't you just buy an unlocked iPhone? That's what I did, I used it in two different countries with two different carriers.
     
  5. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #5
    You can but LTE won't work in all countries. See the link in my post above.
     
  6. aforty thread starter macrumors 65816

    aforty

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #6
    Yeah the LTE is annoying. Even if the LTE doesn't work overseas I'd be ok with that, as long as I can get basic 3G/HSPA+. But my major sticking point are these different bands for LTE. Why can't I buy one phone that works on ALL carriers in the US?


    http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
    Looking at that, can anyone tell me if the GSM model A1428 works in Europe with 3G/HSPA+?
     
  7. vbtwo31984 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #7
    You can, but you have to choose between a version that works with AT&T LTE and a version that works with Verizon/Sprint LTE. There is no version that works on all carriers with LTE.

    It looks like the Verizon/Sprint version would be better for worldwide use though. It supports all the GSM frequencies that the AT&T one does, it supports CDMA, and it supports LTE bands 1, 3, 5 that are in use in Europe. The only thing that it doesn't support is AT&T LTE (or LTE in Canada that runs on same frequencies as AT&T).
     
  8. farawaybrothers macrumors member

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    Sep 12, 2012
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    Canada
    #8
    Yeah I thought of that right after I posted that reply. I agree it definitely sucks.
     
  9. aforty thread starter macrumors 65816

    aforty

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    Interesting. Do you know of a list of countries/carriers by LTE band/frequency/type?
     
  10. farawaybrothers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I'm glad I bought a 4S and don't have to deal with this LTE nonsense, I want my iPhone to be mine, not on a contract for a few years.
     
  11. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #11
    Buy a full price phone with no carrier subsidy and use it anywhere you wish. That's what I do, and it works great.
     
  12. aforty thread starter macrumors 65816

    aforty

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #12
    Duh, why didn't I think of that? :rolleyes:

    That's exactly what I want to do. I'm ranting about the fact that it won't work with LTE around the world, or even with all carriers in this country.
     
  13. duction macrumors 6502a

    duction

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    U to the K
    #13
    im the same,
     
  14. SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #14
    The iPhone 5 GSM phone will work on ANY GSM network if the phone is unlocked.
     
  15. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    We have a similar thread going on over here.

    But I think you've answered the question that's most important to me. I understand (now) that no phone will have LTE on a global scale but I really just need to be sure the AT&T iP5 will work on any other GSM carrier w/ HSPA+/3G if I just pop a nano-sim in there from a local provider, given it's available in said country. Yes, I have every intention of purchasing the iP5 factory unlocked as soon as it's available.

    Thank you!!!
     
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    Supposedly Amazon designed its own chip for the Kindle Fire HD that addresses all LTE bands. Apple likely can't do that since it has to buy the chips from Qualcomm (I'm guessing Samsung is in no hurry to license its standards essential patents to Apple to build their own LTE chips). Also, Amazon has the luxury of a larger device so it probably doesn't care how big the chip is or how much power it draws.

    LTE is nice, but unfortunately, carriers the world over have scattered the frequencies all over the spectrum because there isn't much free radio space left.

    For us in the US, we need to choose between AT&T (which also works in Canada), and Verizon/Sprint (which also works with European LTE networks). Unfortunately, putting all the LTE bands along with all the 2G and 3GB bands just isn't feasible right now. It could be why Apple is delaying formally announcing the unlocked iPhone 5 in the US (though T-Mobile is scheduled to begin rolling out LTE on the same bands as AT&T in 2013).
     
  17. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #17
    It will, just not with LTE. The problem is that the available spectrum within the usable frequency ranges has historically been used for different purposes in different countries, so there was no single band that was available everywhere when the LTE bands where allocated. You can't really fault the carriers for that. It makes things a lot more complicated and expensive for them too.
     
  18. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    I have no problem waiting until the unlocked version is out. I waited a few months for the unlocked 4S version to come out. Again, I just want to make sure it'll be compatible w/ HSPA+/3G speeds at least. I have an AT&T unlimited data plan and don't want to have to give that up here in the US.
     
  19. aforty thread starter macrumors 65816

    aforty

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #19
    Wait, so the unlocked U.S. GSM won't even be available for a few months? Geez..
     
  20. Mr Hill macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #20
    With an unlocked iPhone in the US you are pretty much limited to AT&T and T-Mobile and their MVNOs.

    Sprint and Verizon aren't letting go of their CDMA crap anytime soon.
     
  21. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
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    #21
    Any of the US models will work on GSM/HPDA worldwide. LTE is a different story - LTE is a mess, not just in the US but everywhere. Multiple different frequency bands used by different carriers (even carriers in the same country). And due to other factors, it's not even guaranteed that a US LTE phone that supports, say, band 5 will work in Europe or elsewhere on their band 5.

    And there is no single phone from any manufacturer that supports all possible LTE configurations. At present, there are too many different frequencies and configurations.

    Bottom line is that while GSM/HPDA is a "worldwide" standard, LTE is not. Do not expect LTE to work anywhere but your home carrier.

    Do be aware that a US Verizon phone will support 3G GSM worldwide (and if you're in good standing at Verizon, they WILL unlock your SIM slot for foreign - but not domestic - GSM carriers). I can use any overseas GSM carrier on my (now retired) Verizon iPhone 4S. One call to Verizon worldwide support and they unlocked my phone. Does NOT work on AT&T or T-Mobile but will work on Canadian or overseas SIMs.

    ----------

    CDMA is fine for voice. Data is carried by LTE. No reason to change at this point. And Verizon (and presumably Sprint) will eventually go to VoLTE).
     
  22. aforty thread starter macrumors 65816

    aforty

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #22
    Good info all around, thanks for the insight. I'm leaning towards AT&T/T-Mo for the US (I have a friend who works at T-Mo who cna get me on his employee plan) and then if it works in Europe over 3G that would probably be enough for me.
     
  23. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #23
    Both the AT&T and Verizon versions will be able to use overseas carriers if they're unlocked. They both support UMTS and GSM bands for all the major carriers.

    Based on the bands on the device, the Verizon version may also work with international LTE carriers, but the AT&T version won't. The Verizon version has all the same bands as the international version in addition to the Verizon specific bands. I'm really hoping Apple sells this version as a factory unlocked model
     
  24. stuffradio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 17, 2009
    #24
    At least your contracts are decent. Us Canadians have to put up with 3 year contracts.
     
  25. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #25
    It will support HSPA+ overseas.
     

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