Before I take the $250 plunge, I thought I'd check to see if anyone had ever tried what I'm envisaging.
Over the course of a year, I spend about 4-5 weeks spread out over the year in Canada. I use the Verizon Canada plan, but the added cost each month has me wondering if it's worth it for the time I'm there. Also, now that I use a Blackberry, I get hit hard with data roaming charges in Canada even though my calls/SMS are treated as domestic under the plan.
Because I can't stand non-American internet, I subscribe to a commercial VPN service that gives me a U.S. IP address no matter where in the world I am. The router at my parents' place in Canada is permanently logged into this VPN service, so while there I can still surf the web as if I was State-side.
On the Verizon Network Extender FAQ, they are explicit about the NE only working in the USA. But that's the same for Hulu, etc., which all work fine with my U.S. VPN. If I bought the NE, brought it to Canada, set it up with the VPN, would I get "domestic" Verizon service at my parent's house?
A concern is that I already get 4 full bars of CDMA service at my parent's house, so I hope that wouldn't crowd out the NE's signal. I assume the phone is programmed to prefer Verizon over Canada's "Extended Network" for those folks in border towns, although even if not you could always turn off roaming, although that'd be a pain.
Uh, that's what the GPS is for. It will know it's not in the USA and you won't be able to use it. That's one reason I think this device is semi-useless. It's only good for people in open areas where there aren't towers. If you want to use it on the interior of a building (as I was going to do), it's totally useless, as there's no way to get the GPS to work. '20 foot' cord or not, that's not useful.
Now, if you could expose it to the outside, have it 'accept the location', and then have it re-power up within, say, 10 minutes, and be okay, fine, But they aren't that smart.
Why are you so sure about that leesweet? From what I've read, the "The GPS is required to maintain network-timing updates plus to provide E911 services." http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-and-smart/verizon-wireless-network-extender/4505-6448_7-33522854....
Geo-blocking is always done via IP addresses. There's no way VZ's satellite broadcast of network-timing updates cuts off at the border, satellite signals never do. This has been a major problem for satellite content providers. Millions - yes, millions - of Canadians stole DirecTV with impunity for years because DirecTV couldn't legally sell their signal in Canada but nor could they stop the signal from blanketing the whole country. It wasn't until Canada got its own DTV Satellite services that Canada decided to make it illegal to decrypt foreign signals. XM Radio was available for years in the U.S. before Canada, and yet whenever I would drive up north my service would continue completely uninterrupted, even though XM did not have the right to broadcast in Canada. Once again, there was nothing the company or Canada could do to stop it.
Given that the GPS signal is certainly available in Canada (the satellite has to blanket Alaska after all!) I'd be surprised if VZ had gone to the effort of trying to program the Network Extender to not work if it doesn't find itself within certain GPS coordinates.
The GPS signal requirement would preclude bringing it to Europe though, so I'll give you that!