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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    FYI.

    Take care,

    Jay

    Verizon LTE Phones Probably Incompatible With AT&T
    By Sascha Segan

    Verizon LTE Phones Probably Incompatible With AT&T | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

    Thinking of unlocking a Verizon Wireless LTE phone for use on AT&T's network, or vice versa? Think again. Verizon Wireless confirmed today that its LTE phones will not "be compatible on other LTE networks in the U.S." because "the phones will be on different frequencies," according to Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney.

    The new 4G LTE system used by Verizon, MetroPCS, and soon AT&T runs on SIM cards much like the ones for GSM networks, and GSM phone owners are used to being able to switch phones from network to network, as long as they're unlocked.

    But Verizon may be designing its phones to only run on Verizon's very specific wireless frequency, locking out all other possible carriers. Verizon and AT&T both run their LTE networks in the 700-MHz band. But Verizon's network is mostly in 746-787MHz, while AT&T's will be primarily in 704-746MHz. Some Verizon and AT&T spectrum overlaps in an area called the "lower B block," but not much. Verizon could build its phones to exclude AT&T's frequencies, and vice versa.

    MetroPCS runs an LTE network in the 1700-MHz band, where AT&T has said it intends to also set up LTE in the future. Verizon owns some 1700Mhz spectrum, but hasn't announced any plans for it. Cricket's future LTE network will also be in the 1700-MHz band. LightSquared, another LTE entrant, has proposed a network in yet another band, at 1500MHz.

    Complicating things, Verizon and MetroPCS use CDMA for their 2G/3G system while AT&T uses the incompatible GSM/HSPA technology. For now, all phone calls run over 2G/3G networks, although Verizon and MetroPCS are both working on transitioning calling to LTE over the next year or so.

    The result is an incompatible welter of devices, likely to continue long into the future. If you're dreaming that LTE would allow one device to work on several U.S. networks, dream on. And when we get out of the U.S., things only get worse. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has approved many different bands for LTE, including 700, 800, 850, 900, 1500, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2300, and 2600MHz. That may make it impossible for LTE phones built with current antenna technologies to roam truly globally. There are just too many bands.

    Verizon and AT&T creating incompatibilities within 700MHz is something rural wireless carriers have been complaining about for a while. The smaller carriers don't want to be locked into roaming with only one major partner depending on their choice of phones, as SouthernLINC CEO Robert Dawson explained to me a few months ago.

    I asked several AT&T execs at a recent event whether their devices would roam onto Verizon's frequencies, but none of them knew; in any case, AT&T's LTE phones aren't out yet.

    Of course, it's physically possible to build phones that cover both Verizon's and AT&T's frequencies, so that may be a matter of the two companies coming to a business arrangement. For now, though, expect the era of incompatible phones to continue.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    All I can say is that consumers here (as opposed to the rest of the world) have rewarded the development of proprietary systems.

    If your version of mobile Nirvana assumed a single Nationwide LTE network... well... too bad!

    Have they screwed things up to the point where what the rest of the planet will implement as "LTE" is using an entirely different set of frequencies...???

    It's like ground hog day all over again!!!

    Oh, well...

    russ
  3. #3  
    Europe--despite what they would like to believe--is not the "rest of the world," and Europe is the only place to enforce a standard on its cellular carriers. And I would not make the argument that they are better off for it.

    BTW I am surprised that this warranted a news article. I read the headline, and thought to myself, "yeah, no duh."
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    And I would not make the argument that they are better off for it.
    I would. Carriers over here (America) suck! All of them.

    Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk
  5. #5  
    Compelling.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  6. ieko's Avatar
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    #6  
    Seems to me that the future of global roaming is in interchangeable back covers with an antenna embedded in them (see HTC Thunderbolt).

    There's no real reason why an LTE AT&T phone and Verizon phone couldn't be compatible -- we all know that it's easy to make a 700mhz antenna that covers a wide range (rabbit ears for TVs!) -- so it's all purely artificial.
    Last edited by ieko; 07/17/2011 at 06:34 AM.
  7. Targon's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Europe--despite what they would like to believe--is not the "rest of the world," and Europe is the only place to enforce a standard on its cellular carriers. And I would not make the argument that they are better off for it.

    BTW I am surprised that this warranted a news article. I read the headline, and thought to myself, "yeah, no duh."
    If you look at where people travel to, you will see the "South of the Border" set due to how many people have come into the USA and go back home from time to tome, and you also see people who travel from Europe to the USA and from the USA to Europe.

    The number of people who travel to/from Asian countries is relatively small, though Japanese tourists are not uncommon in some larger cities.

    This is the reason why Europe is what most people look at here in the USA, because you don't see a LOT of people who travel from the USA to Asia, but there are a fair number who go to Europe.

    I won't even mention Australia here, because while it is a great country, you don't see a lot of people who travel there from the USA.
  8. Targon's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ieko View Post
    Seems to me that the future of global roaming is in interchangeable back covers with antenna's embedded in them (see HTC Thunderbolt).

    There's no real reason why an LTE AT&T phone and Verizon phone couldn't be compatible -- we all know that it's easy to make a 700mhz antenna that covers a wide range (rabbit ears for TV's!) -- so it's all purely artificial.
    I was thinking that having comm boards that can be easily swapped would be the future for this. If they make it so the comm board goes into a keyed slot(to make sure it is easily done by end users and can't be put in the wrong way), you could just pop the back cover, unplug the antenna, pop out the comm board, plug the new one in, and then re-connect the antenna again...or the antenna could connect to the main board for the phone since the slot for the comm board could be used for antenna connection at that point, without the risk of damage.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Europe--despite what they would like to believe--is not the "rest of the world," and Europe is the only place to enforce a standard on its cellular carriers. And I would not make the argument that they are better off for it.

    BTW I am surprised that this warranted a news article. I read the headline, and thought to myself, "yeah, no duh."
    Well, Europeans certainly get better cell phone service than Americans, by any reasonable measure. Yes, they actually pay for their handsets. I'd happily make that trade-off.
  10. #10  
    Not looking to confuse Radio Frequencies & technologies with SIM cards, but....

    When I was consulting in Europe, my colleagues were from all over the planet - EU, Eastern Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Asia... yes, even Australia!

    Everyone, whether they were in Europe for a 6-week engagement or had been there for months/years, had their own ell phone with them. Change country - change SIM (if necessary).

    My first cell phone experience in the US was AFTER that (we're talking mid-to-late-90's here) involved a fair amount of incredulity on my part... "What do you mean this phone does not work on that network", etc, etc, etc...

    While there will probably be workarounds for the proprietary LTE phones to come, just think how much easier it would be for phone manufacturers if they did not need 4 variations on every phone? And it would definitely be to the benefit of the smaller phone manufacturers (and our Pre's fit in that description right now), and simplify carrier negotiations...

    Anyways, just my $.02...

    russ
  11. #11  
    Sure, why allow carriers to compete in the marketplace, with technologies of their own choosing? Too inconvenient for me, as it means I have to then make a decision and stick with it. I'd rather force everyone to use the exact same technology, rather than allow innovation and free-market competition.

    [/sarcasm]

    If you want what Europe has, you can buy unlocked GSM phones here in the states and pay a mint for them just like they do in Europe, and then use them on any GSM carrier in the US, just like they do in Europe. You want less choice like they have in Europe, then just forget that Sprint and Verizon even exist, buy your unlocked phone off-contract, and you can have exactly what Europe has.

    Me? I like competition and choice, and since CDMA is superior to GSM in every measurable way (scientifically measurable, not subjectively measurable) other than having the convenience of SIM swapping, I'm glad we have CDMA.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  12. #12  
    I thought the reason the Verizon iPhone couldn't use phone and web simultaneously had something to do with limitations of CDMA? And portable SIMs are a HUGE advantage.

    That being said, I own both an unlocked GSM device and a (locked) CDMA device, and I mostly use the CDMA device (my Pre) since Sprint is a much better carrier for my needs than AT&T. But given my druthers, I would buy the device I wanted for an unsubsidized price, and buy the service I wanted at a price that didn't include a tax to pay for the phone.
  13. #13  
    Frequency probably won't be the problem, they'll probably lock the handsets in the same way the carriers do with GSM devices today.

    Unless it's AWS bands and the 700 bands, then we're talking incompatibilities.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    I thought the reason the Verizon iPhone couldn't use phone and web simultaneously had something to do with limitations of CDMA?
    SVDO addresses that. Besides, I said scientifically measurable differences. I'm talking about sound quality, call retention (less dropped calls), etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    And portable SIMs are a HUGE advantage.
    Again, matter of preference. The vast majority of people that have that capability never use it. Same with simultaneous data/voice. The only time I have ever seen a need for that is in hypothetical situations that occur only in AT&T commercials. I prefer sound quality and call retention over convenience features that I don't miss and would likely never use. YMMV.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Syndil View Post
    Sure, why allow carriers to compete in the marketplace, with technologies of their own choosing? Too inconvenient for me, as it means I have to then make a decision and stick with it. I'd rather force everyone to use the exact same technology, rather than allow innovation and free-market competition.

    [/sarcasm]

    If you want what Europe has, you can buy unlocked GSM phones here in the states and pay a mint for them just like they do in Europe, and then use them on any GSM carrier in the US, just like they do in Europe. You want less choice like they have in Europe, then just forget that Sprint and Verizon even exist, buy your unlocked phone off-contract, and you can have exactly what Europe has.

    Me? I like competition and choice, and since CDMA is superior to GSM in every measurable way (scientifically measurable, not subjectively measurable) other than having the convenience of SIM swapping, I'm glad we have CDMA.
    Well, lets look at how CDMA could be better if the carriers were forced to make it better. They COULD have implemented EVDO Rev. B a while ago and given us faster data speeds as well as simultaneous voice and data connections, they didn't. They COULD have implemented a universal "SIM" card model for CDMA hand sets, the spec has existed for a long time, they didn't.

    There are times when the "free-market" fails to push companies into providing better offerings and that's when they need a good regulator kick in the pants.
  16. #16  
    If the demand was there, they would have met the demand, or someone else would have. That's how free-market competition works. You might want UICC cards, but would the market bear the cost of transitioning over? Seeing as how most users that have SIM cards never swap them, the demand isn't there.

    The free market hasn't failed to push anything. But as your parents used to tell you, money doesn't grow on trees. You can't stamp your feet and demand EVDO Rev B and expect it to happen right damn now. The carriers are all competing to roll out 4G as fast as they can.
    Touchscreens are a fad.
  17. #17  
    That's actually not the only way free-market competition works. The other way free-market competition works is when a force within the market pushes something out because they have more capital to yield against it. I'm relatively sure that the regional carriers would have liked the UICC cards, Verizon and Sprint on the other hand, not so much since they are large enough to pull in exclusive deals where the regional are stuck on scraps or backroom reflashes as we've heard some metroPCS people have been willing to do with certain devices. This LTE thing could make things just as bad for the regionals because the national carriers and try to force them into exclusivity agreements for roaming.

    It's hard not to remember that money doesn't grow on trees when you keep seeing the telecomms try to remain a relevant market force by raising rates and capping data usage rather than allowing themselves to end as "dumb-pipes" for consumers and other companies.
  18. #18  
    The free market only works perfectly in a world with free information and no transaction costs. We don't live in that world. There are lots of things that would be good but we just don't get there from here if we rely on the free market. (There are other things that break from regulation, of course.) It simply isn't true to claim that "the free market would have met demand if it were there", however.

    Anyhow, I'm surprised to hear that people don't swap SIM cards, everyone that I know does that, but perhaps my friends aren't average.

    As for dropped calls and sound quality, that it not just a question of the underlying technology, but also of how close you are to a tower. That is to say, it's really about money, not about technology. If people really demanded cleaner more reliable calls, we would have it -- and if it's cheaper to provide that with CDMA everyone would have switched to CDMA. But of course, many people haven't, even though here in the USA we have both available, and the "transaction cost" of switching is fairly low -- mostly it's the cost of re-entering your contact info into a new phone, and secondarily it's the cost of researching what some other carrier has to offer.

    Me, I plan to stick with Sprint due to their better customer service and lower fees, even though they don't have data coverage in some places I go where both AT&T and Verizon do have data coverage. But I might get a "world phone" so I can swap in a different SIM when I travel to Europe.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion Antares View Post
    It's hard not to remember that money doesn't grow on trees when you keep seeing the telecomms try to remain a relevant market force by raising rates and capping data usage rather than allowing themselves to end as "dumb-pipes" for consumers and other companies.
    Supply and demand. In this case, the carriers would not be upping their rates if there was not a definite need to do so, or they would risk losing their customers to another carrier that did not up their rates. But the market is demanding 4G, so the carriers have find a way to pay for it, or if they don't roll out 4G, they risk losing their customers to another carrier that does.

    I am not 100% against regulation, but regulation should exist to keep the playing field level and fair, not to force the market to go in a direction it would not have otherwise.
    Touchscreens are a fad.

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