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Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Deekes
Member

Prior to relocating to Australia, I spoke with VZW support about taking my Note 4 with me and using it on one of the Australian carriers networks.  They assured me it was already unlocked and this would be as simple as swapping the SIM card.  It turns out my phone isn't unlocked after all.  I currently cannot use mobile hotspot due to a verification error.  Voice, WiFi, data and GPS seem to be working correctly now that some initial quirkiness has cleared up.  What do I need to do to regain full access to all the features of my phone?  I rely on my mobile hotspot heavily and currently cannot use it.  The local carrier (Optus) has already investigated the issue and are pointing the finger at you, VZW.  Your help is much needed.

Regards

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
deloused
Sr. Member

'Unlocked' in this case means that the phone will allow foreign sims to utilize its abilities to connect to foreign networks that are available in the phone's hardware. In this case, the mobile hotspot connection is driven by the software version configured to Verizon, and they cannot assist you in changing that. You could try your carrier, or a facility in your country that may be able to alter the software to one of their versions, or sell the device and buy another to get the feature to work.

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
deloused
Sr. Member

'Unlocked' in this case means that the phone will allow foreign sims to utilize its abilities to connect to foreign networks that are available in the phone's hardware. In this case, the mobile hotspot connection is driven by the software version configured to Verizon, and they cannot assist you in changing that. You could try your carrier, or a facility in your country that may be able to alter the software to one of their versions, or sell the device and buy another to get the feature to work.

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Deekes
Member

Thanks deloused, that is exactly the point I was making.  In spite of what VZW have said, the phone is not unlocked and is still tied to their network, either directly or indirectly, by the VZW software loaded on the phone.  I've bought and paid for this phone and now I find out it still 'belongs' to VZW.  After many years of great service with VZW, this is a very disappointing way to find out they've been less than honest about some things.  It also leaves me in a position where I need to rethink my carrier choice for when I return to the USA in 12 months.

I don't understand your comment about VZW not being able to assist with altering their own software to at least allow this one feature (mobile hotspot) to work.  You suggest other carriers or facilities may be able to do so but VZW cannot?

This is both frustrating and disappointing.  I've come to expect much more of VZW and this is not at all in line with my past experiences with them.

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
deloused
Sr. Member

You are misunderstanding what 'unlocked' means in this case. Per FCC definition unlocking the device affects only the usage of the SIM card accessing the cellular frequencies built into the phones hardware. What you are asking for Verizon to do is to install Optus software configurations on your device in place of theirs to be able to allow your device to connect using their hotspot service. That would be impossible. Optus does not provide Verizon with their software versions to do so, therefore what you're asking for here is not possible. Even if Optus did provide their software it is not Verizon's responsibility legally to do anything but ensure the SIM card slot is unlocked. This is between you and your new carrier to alter the software to use their version and specific features. You are free as you mention to choose another carrier upon return, however there would be no different outcome in such a situation. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile etc also do not have software versions of either domestic or the hundreds of other international carriers out there, so you would be in the same boat with any US carrier when using a foreign SIM, and vice versa. Imagine if you moved to Belgium, and wanted your hotspot to connect to their carrier Proximus, you would need their software, or Germany and choose Telekom as your provider etc. Each carrier has their own version (some may be similar however) and they do update them frequently. What you're expecting is for US carriers to have the software versions available for each carrier for each device to install on your phone, which won't happen. That is not their job, it's the job of the foreign carrier and customer to configure.

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
j238
Member

Just use FoxFi

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Deekes
Member

J238, thanks I'll check it out.

Deloused, that makes much more sense but I still believe the problem is less a matter of the mobile hotspot being denied by the new carrier and more a problem of the embedded software looking for the original carrier to authenticate.  I have no real knowledge in this area and readily admit this is something of a guess, but I base it on the fact non-carrier phones don't suffer this issue when switching providers.  It just seems like the hotspot is searching for VZW to authenticate, which it cannot do in another country.

I'm at the point I want to wipe my phone clean and just do a basic level reinstall but, as I understand it, doing so would leave me with all the original VZW apps and configs.  Is this correct?  If so, this would be an example of system on a chip, no?

Thanks

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Deekes
Member

Curious that no one from VZW has weighed in here.  It seems like unlocking my phone ought to be a simple thing, other phones and other carriers do it all the time.  I'm getting more than just a little annoyed about the situation, too, as it also occurs to me I cannot update the Android OS to benefit from the various security patches etc.  I'm still on 5.0.1 and although I've tried checking for updates I receive none.  I'm certain VZW has pushed at least ONE update over the past year???

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
j238
Member

Verizon will not do anything for you as your only one former customer .

These things take a mass uproar for real changes to happen.

They haven't upgraded to 5.1.1 like the other carriers in the US. they may

in the future. It is really sad that they do not care about their former

flagship phone.

For the future I would recommend.

Using Foxfi

Using Kies to upgrade as needed. As you are overseas you will not get ota

updates but you can via kies. Just download it from Samsung's website and

sync your phone it'll show if there are any updates.

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Deekes
Member

Many thanks for the intel, I'll grab Kies and try that route.  Per your previous msg I also got FoxFi.  It's a little clunky but gets the job done and I appreciate the tip.

Don't ever get a job with VZW.  You're much too helpful

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Re: Mobile Hotspot still locked to Verizon
Snn5
Sr. Leader

Hotspot is a Verizon feature, so it's not a matter of a locked phone, which all Verizon 4G phones are unlocked stock.  A carrier can lock a feature to its network though, considering the Verizon hotspot uses the Verizon network.  The actual hotspot hardware is not locked, it only requires a separate app to open it, or like in some cases, just go to the Network Settings in the phone and toggle the feature on instead of going through an app.

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