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***Announcement: Early next week, we’ll be merging the current Fios and Wireless Communities into the all new Verizon Community! Beginning the evening of Sunday 12/4, both Communities will be placed in read-only mode. You’ll still be able to visit the Communities and browse content, but login will be disabled. On the afternoon of Monday 12/5, all users will be able to log into the new Verizon Community. We expect the new Community to be fully functional the morning of Friday 12/9. Additional details can be found in the Announcements board and under Featured Topics!
Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
jlsoaz
Member

I have been holding out for an HTC Incredible 4G LTE device because an authorized Verizon dealer (but not a Verizon-owned store) told me a couple of months ago that it looked like it would be Verizon's first "tri-mode" (for want of better words) phone - i.e.: it will work on GSM, 4G-LTE and older 3g/CDMA (or whatever I should call them) networks.

However,Verizon is taking its sweet time about bringing this phone out and in the meantime Verizon support will not confirm for me this capability.


In the meantime, a Verizon customer service person recently told me that Verizon will be modifying the software side of the Rezound, RAZR and Bionic so they can do GSM, but that there was no timetable.  I was disappointed not to get a timetable. 

The net effect is that I keep checking my hardware upgrade path and filters and if I check off both 4G and Global Ready then I get no phones

So, I came here to write this out for two reasons. 

First I'd like to hear from any fellow Verizon customers who may use this to see what their thoughts are, particularly if you regularly travel outside the US and have considered different options of what to do.  For example, in the past I have maintained a Verizon Escapade that I own for travel outside the US, but this is just not a good solution to me any more.  It's hard to make blanket statements about whether it's worth it for another user to stay with Verizon, but for you is Verizon worth it, given their failures on this front?  Even if I get a GSM capable phone, the cost of holding a conversation when receiving a call at my number in London, for example, will be so absurdly high that I will just use it to ask the caller if I can call them back, and then I will have to figure out a wifi or skype or vonage or other solution.  For me Verizon has so far been sort of worth it for reception and maybe one or two other reasons, but they tend to kind of "intensely dissatisfy" me on some points.

The other reason I came here was to see if anyone (Verizon CS or otherwise) could offer insight on my expectations for the GSM capability of the Incredible 4g LTE or some of the Android 4g LTE phones I've mentioned.  I've been checking that filter for one or two months and every day it has turned up blank (plenty of selection at ATT Wireless though).  However, today it shows that the RAZR and RAZR MAXX will offer me both "4G" (is this the same thing as 4G LTE) and "Global Ready" capability.  So, maybe  Verizon has finally officially made this possible?  Can anyone confirm?  If so, does it work properly, out of the box?  Would rather not be walking along on some expensive call on some street outside the US and have the call dropped due to poor glitchy early tech implementation.

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Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
n8sail
Member

Thank you jlsoaz for the well-written question asking precisely the same thing myself and my boss have been wondering for a long time.  My boss also noticed the change on the website today.  He called the trusty Verizon store and the guy did some research for us.

Verizon is releasing a software update to the Droid Razr and Razr Max.  This update rolls out to 10,000 devices at a time, so when it reaches you or the phones currently in stock is variable, but the process will end around the end of next month.

Supposedly this software update will allow a 4G Razr or RM to work on 3G GSM networks in most countries.  Not sure whether this is Quad-band GSM or not.  You will probably not be able to use a third-party sims overseas, though as most places don't have 4G sim cards yet.  Also, not even sure what the unlocking deal is for the sim slot on these 4G phones.  3G phones are pretty easy to unlock from VZ as long as you don't try it more than every 6 months.  I'd be interested to see if a 3G sim card would work in these phones, but I'm doubting it will work.  Please reply if you've tried, or even have the opportunity to try this.

So if you travel overseas and don't mind the exorbitant fees Verizon enjoys for using their international-roaming network, you can now have 4G at home and constant use of the same device.  If you want to change sim cards to gain access to the MUCH cheaper data plans available for travelers when you arrive to your overseas destination, you will probably still be stuck with the Droid 3 or other 3G CDMA/GSM capable phone.

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Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
jlsoaz
Member

Thanks for this reply.  I don't have any of these phones yet, so I'm still wondering if I hold out for a Verizon HTC Incredible 4g LTE if that will be the smart play - if it will give me some added capability over one of the RAZR's.  Also, it was interesting to read some alllusion to Verizon's extremely high overseas rates and using other sim cards when overseas.  I'll have to read through some other threads to see if there is added information on workarounds for that.

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Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
PJNC284
Sr. Member

The Rezound may be another device to look into. Verizon claims an update will be needed to enable it but some have reported that AT&T/Tmobile sim cards work out of the box.

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Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
jlsoaz
Member

Thanks.  It was Rezound, RAZR and Bionic which Verizon told me would have this updated capability issued.   So, we have had folks weigh in and indicate both RAZR and Rezound, from what they knpow.

I have to say I don't think customers should have to spend quite so much time trying to figure out the pathway for getting reception to our phone numbers when traveling abroad, and it is disappointing that Verizon has not made clear whether the HTC 4G lte Incredible will have the ability to function on GSM.

Yes, each of us has had some good responsiveness from CS agents, but the information still seems to be trickling in.   It is certainly an excellent thing to learn that apparently some of the 4g phones are (to what degree?) being issued with some travel-abroad capabilities.  But: which ones?

This is apart from the nasty-bad (to the point of being disrespectful of customers) rates that we have to pay abroad even when we achieve a Verizon connection, ...   but let's assume some of us are willing to pay those rates sometimes while waiting for Verizon (circa 2027 I predict) to get rates more in-line with reality. 

This is also apart from the discussion of unlocking (I don't think they're so terrible about it, but it all seems to be sort of half-soto-voce, and there should be an official policy if there is not already.)

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Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
jlsoaz
Member

Hello everyone:

Has anyone made any further progress on trying suss out where Verizon is going with this overall matter of 4G LTE phones that are also global ready?  We can see from their website that they came out (finally) with the HTC Incredible 4G LTE, but that it is not listed as Global Ready.  The only options we have (still) are the RAZR and the RAZR MAXX.  I was considering buying the MAXX, despite the lack of battery interchangeability, but a few of the reviews online seem to indicate a possible problem with dropped calls (3G?), and so I have held off (i.e.: if I am going to pay close to $700 for a phone, I'd prefer that it actually work for that phone-call type stuff, though these may have just been isolated and not representative reviews?).

Regarding the discussion we were having about the possibility that other 4G LTE phones may or may not get enabled to work in GSM territory abroad, Verizon's website and other outlets for information appear to be silent on providing a clear and official answer.  I'm reluctant to buy an expensive (for me) phone just going by non-official non-OEM statements of what features might be enabled in the future, but this discussion seems to be so far the only place I've been able to develop further information, along with a couple of Verizon customer service representatives who seemed a bit more knowledgeable than others on this matter.

The timing for me is bad.  I feel like I have held off for as long as I can.

Re: Combining 4G LTE & global ready capability?
jlsoaz
Member

This article seemed somewhat helpful:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-HTC-DROID-Incredible-4G-LTE-will-eventually-get-Global-Roaming-su...

The HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE will eventually get Global Roaming support

Posted: 3 days ago, 12:11, by FAUguy

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