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International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
chicago29
Member

Hello,

Can anybody that's roamed to a country that has both GSM and CDMA comment on if they were able to connect to the GSM network(s)?  I have tried to use the iPhone 4S in New Zealand, and there is no way that I see where you can choose the Network/Carrier.  It automatically locks on to Vodafone NZ which is the CDMA carrier.  That's fine for voice, but you cannot use data on the international CDMA carriers.

I've seen some chatter out there that the Verizon iPhone 4S has a critical flaw in that it cannot roam on a GSM network if there is also a CDMA network present.  This, therefore, makes any of the International Data packages useless in countries with both GSM and CDMA as there is no way to use it.

Can anybody else confirm this?  I have been meaning to call the Verizon International Help Desk to see if we can work through this problem, but I haven't yet.


FYI, I was able to get my 4S unlocked for international roaming because of this issue before I had been a customer for 60 days, so if anybody else is in this predicament as them to unlock and then purchase a local SIM.  The only weird this is now when I come home to the US and I don't have the Verizon SIM in the phone (i.e., there is no SIM), the 4S will only connect on AT&T or T-Mobile!  I don't know if you can actually use the phone on those networks but I found this bizarre.  I had to do the *228 to get it to latch back on to Verizon.

Seems to me there is definitely an issue out there that I haven't seen much information about.

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
budone
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

What you stated about dual systems, the device will choose the CDMA Vodaphone system seems correct. I mena Vodaphone owns nearly 50% of VZW

As for the comment about international data plan not working in this scenario, why not??? It will just be on Vodaphone's system.

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
chicago29
Member

If you look at New Zealand on the Verizon Int'l Roaming page, you will see that there are options for CDMA (Vodafone) and GSM).  For CDMA, it is voice only.  I don't really know why this is, but I can validate you CANNOT get data when connected to Vodafone in New Zealand.

I believe the way this SHOULD work is that you get an option to choose the network once you are in New Zealand (assuming you have the Verizon SIM installed).  This option is nowhere to be found and it simply locks on to Vodafone.

So, you're locked out of international data, which is why I say that the international data pack would be useless.

I'm curious what others have found that have been in countries with both CDMA and GSM using the Verizon provided SIM card. 

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International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
fokrab
Member

Recently in Curaçao. Had similar issue. Unlike the Blackberry I was unable to select the network. The phone initially picked up the CDMA signal and later depending on my location switched to the stronger GSM network. Would get welcome notices on the switch from the local carrier. In any event I had data on both networks. And no question I was protected by the data plan. Reviewed my usage online and data is covered under the plan

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
ArnettH_VZW
Verizon Employee

Hello happy forum members,

International service is almost always a tricky subject. There are a lot of variables that play a role in cellular connectivity while traveling abroad. The iPhone does work in New Zealand for voice and data but the device does not have the option to select what network technology to use in the settings menu. This option is commonly found in most global blackberries, as fokrab stated.

The smart antenna that's on the iPhone is designed to pick up the network with the strongest signal. In most countries the hand-off between the two technologies is seamless to the user. The only instance where I can see this being an issue is if you are trying to use voice and data at the same time without the use of wifi. If this is the case then please advise so I can research some options for you.

Thank you...

ArnettH_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @vzwsupport

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
chicago29
Member

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  However, I think you're missing the real concern here.  VZ offers an International Data Pack you can purchase prior to going overseas.  I'm sure this works fine if you go to a country where it picks up GSM.  For example, if I took my VZ iPhone 4S to England, my expectation would be that it connects to a GSM network and I could use my International Data Pack.

However, in the case of New Zealand, this "smart antenna" feature is a terrible thing.  If this is truly what happens, it sounds like I will latch on to Vodafone since they are the strongest signal.  Vodafone is CDMA in New Zealand.  Your website indicates (and I have proven) that you cannot access data while roaming on Vodafone.  Therefore, I ended up in a situation where I purchased an International Data Pack, arrived in New Zealand, and had no way to access data because my iPhone 4S would latch on to only Vodafone.  Your site indicates that I can roam on 3G GSM data in New Zealand, but the iPhone 4S doesn't seem to allow a way to force this.  The "smart antenna" seems to be blocking me.

Anyway, I'm not sure who can fix this.  If it can't be fixed, then the iPhone 4S is NOT a world phone despite how it is being advertised.  I'm hoping that this is something VZ could fix but I'm not so sure that's the case.

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
fokrab
Member

Thanks for follow up.

Sent from my iPhone

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Re: International Roaming with Countries with GSM & CDMA
fokrab
Member

I had data when I was on the CDMA network

In Curaçao.

Sent from my iPhone

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