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Thread: Can I put my 4G LTE SIM card in an unlocked 3G phone when travelling in Europe?

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    Can I put my 4G LTE SIM card in an unlocked 3G phone when travelling in Europe?

    Will this work?

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    No. LTE and GSM are completely different technologies. A GSM SIM card won't work in an LTE slot and vice versa.
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    What to buy a Verizon global plan? I'd say you'd have to have another SIM, but check with Verizon. It's definitely technically possible, whether Verizon has it set up that way in their system is hard to say. There are currently no global LTE phones, so they haven't had to deal with it yet, except for the iPads, which do have an LTE SIM that will work with Verizon global data plans.

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    Just buy a prepaid sim for data in Europe. I travel to the UK alot and T-Mobile has a 5gbp add on for unlimited hspa data for 30 days.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using HowardForums

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    Quote Originally Posted by tennvol22 View Post
    Just buy a prepaid sim for data in Europe. I travel to the UK alot and T-Mobile has a 5gbp add on for unlimited hspa data for 30 days.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using HowardForums
    If OP is traveling to one country for a while, that's the best way to go. If they are traveling through several countries quickly, Verizon global data will work a lot better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensnare View Post
    Will this work?
    Does the sim also say Vodafone? If so u should be able to. On my brothers blackberry it said Vodafone in conjunction with Verizon.

    ^HSPA+ 42mbps---------------------------------------------- ^LTE

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    Quote Originally Posted by OmegaWolf747 View Post
    No. LTE and GSM are completely different technologies. A GSM SIM card won't work in an LTE slot and vice versa.
    Completely and totally untrue. UMTS (3GSM) and LTE both use USIM.

    But, no, it won't work. Not for the reason you said. It won't work because Verizon is using CDMA voice/text which is authenticated by the CSIM (CDMA SIM) application. This will not work or be recognized by a GSM/UMTS phone.

    I don't know much about Verizon, but I believe the USIM (LTE) side of this card, while tied to your account, isn't tied to your phone number at all. Even if it was, Verizon doesn't have the necessary ANSI/GSM interoperability platform and roaming agreements to allow this to work overseas.

    Verizon "global phones" (such as the iPhone 4S) don't even use a Verizon SIM card. They use a Vodafone Netherlands SIM card with a Dutch number forwarded and spoofed to your number in the US.

    If Verizon had the roaming agreements in place, it MIGHT be possible to use your LTE card for DATA in a GSM/UMTS phone, but they don't. Also, I believe the cards themselves are locked in some way to Verizon devices (not sure on this). I've never actually heard of anyone who's tried a Verizon LTE SIM in an unlocked phone other than to say "it doesn't work" but I haven't heard if the phone complains about the SIM, or if it just doesn't recognize the network (it wouldn't, there's no network that SIM is authorized to connect to that the phone would be compatible with).

    So in summary, nope, it won't work at all. But the reason has nothing to do with an LTE SIM being different from a GSM/UMTS SIM. It's not.

    Now, what SHOULD you do - buy local prepaid SIMs in each country you travel to. BY FAR the cheapest option.

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    My Verizon old SIM card from my Incredible 2 (Global phone CDMA and GSM) actually had the Verizon logo on it. I can also confirm that in some countries, Verizon does have roaming agreements (in Japan, for example, I can jump on the GSM and CDMA networks)

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    It had a Verizon logo on it but it was not a Verizon SIM card. It was a Vodafone (NL or for very old ones UK) SIM card. Verizon does not have the necessary infrastructure in place to allow roaming onto GSM networks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Uhde View Post
    It had a Verizon logo on it but it was not a Verizon SIM card. It was a Vodafone (NL or for very old ones UK) SIM card. Verizon does not have the necessary infrastructure in place to allow roaming onto GSM networks.
    So you're saying the global SIMs for GSM are different from the US 4G SIMs? Because the SIM in the DROID 2 Global for example, will work on something like 450 carriers in 210 carriers.

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    Correct, the global SIM cards are Vodafone Netherlands SIM cards (SIM/USIM) with a Dutch number forwarded and spoofed to appear as your Verizon number. Originally these were Vodafone UK cards. I don't know why the change to NL was made, though it would seem a reasonable assumption the Dutch division pays less in roaming fees or something.

    The LTE SIM cards are actual Verizon SIM cards with both USIM (GSM world - UMTS/LTE) and CSIM (CDMA SIM formerly R-UIM) applications. I do not know if they standard 2G GSM SIM support, they wouldn't really need it since they don't support global roaming. I also don't know if the USIM component is tied to your Verizon phone number. Even if it is roaming on other 3GSM/UMTS networks isn't allowed and would not work with this card. The technical back end integration required to support GSM/ANSI interoperability is almost certainly not in place (if it is it'd be used and we'd see LTE global phones)

    Obviously this includes some well-educated speculation as Verizon isn't exactly public about what capabilities they do and do not support internally. All I KNOW is what is and isn't available and the likely technical reason. It could be there is no technical reason, they have all the interoperability infrastructure in place, and it's just business reasons they don't have LTE world phones. That seems highly doubtful though.

    I believe that we will see LTE world phones when we see VoLTE phones. Once the infrastructure to roam between LTE And CDMA voice is in place this will be easy. LTE uses Diameter instead of the old SS7/GSM MAP and ANSI-41 standards. This is all designed to be relatively interoperable. Especially Diameter and SS7 GSM MAP

    I do have a few questions of my own I'm curious if anyone has any insider info on:

    1. CSIM and ANSI-41 in the VoLTE world - will CDMA still be supported or will Verizon go pure LTE (with GSM/UMTS roaming) for simplicity? If so how are they prepared to sell VoLTE phones that will have worse voice coverage than their old CDMA counterparts did?

    2. SIM cards - will today's LTE SIM cards need replaced with new ones for VoLTE with more memory and possibly a modified USIM entry, or will Verizon simply able to do an OTA update of this info? In either case, will SIM cards used for VoLTE be compatible with non-VoLTE phones? (that kinda returns to question one - if CDMA will still work then obviously CSIM must still be present; and if CDMA doesn't still work then CSIM for older phones almost certainly won't be present)

    Honestly, as you can see this isn't a simple transition and frankly I expect Verizon's initial VoLTE subscribers (especially if there is no CDMA compatibility but even if there is as there almost certainly won't be handoffs between CDMA and VoLTE) to be ticked off with reduced coverage and more dropped calls than ever before. Can Verizon pull off this transition, and be the first in the world to do so, without destroying their reputation?

    Personally, I think they can because like Apple, Verizon maintains a healthy "reality distortion field" - AT&T blows away Verizon in my area and I know many people who will swear up and down Verizon is better.

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    Why didn't they use real Verizon SIMs. Also what are they going to do when they do global LTE phones (LTE in the US and HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS abroad)? They have to support CDMA somehow.

    Isn't VoLTE software on top of the existing LTE system? Once you have access to the network, why do you need SIM access to it? They don't need handoffs to CDMA, but they do need the ability to use CDMA 1x.

    I think Verizon will do it right, as they usually do. I don't think that the perception of their network as the most reliable is completely accurate, but it's basically right, as it is the most consistent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Why didn't they use real Verizon SIMs. Also what are they going to do when they do global LTE phones (LTE in the US and HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS abroad)? They have to support CDMA somehow.

    Isn't VoLTE software on top of the existing LTE system? Once you have access to the network, why do you need SIM access to it? They don't need handoffs to CDMA, but they do need the ability to use CDMA 1x.

    I think Verizon will do it right, as they usually do. I don't think that the perception of their network as the most reliable is completely accurate, but it's basically right, as it is the most consistent.
    Didn't you read what I wrote at all? It has to do with the backend switching. GSM and UMTS use SS7/GSM MAP. CDMA, AMPS, and D-AMPS use ANSI-41. LTE uses Diameter. VoLTE is designed to interoperate with GSM MAP networks and is authenticated via your SIM card, yes. GSM/ANSI interopertability for roaming is, theoretically, possible, but it's not how Verizon's world phones work (also, I believe if the number is on an ANSI carrier it requires the cooperation of all the roaming carriers but I'm not positive about that).

    There are major complexities to simply introducing a Verizon SIM card in the CDMA environment. Verizon LTE phones currently use a Verizon SIM card but do not support roaming into the mainstream GSM world. CSIM is used for voice/text on CDMA and a separate USIM application is used for LTE.

    With GSM/ANSI interoperability, in theory this same SIM could be used in Verizon global phones (programmed to read CSIM so it behaved like a normal SIM card here in the States) and potentially even plain Verizon CDMA phones (that potential is actually here today there's no technical reason the current 4G SIM cards couldn't be used as CSIMs in a capable non-4G phone).

    But the Vodafone SIM hack was a whole lot easier and potentially works better, depending on how much carrier cooperation is required for interoperability.

    VoLTE changes this game. It'll be interesting to see what Verizon does. To be honest, it wouldn't shock me if their VoLTE phones do NOT support CDMA...

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    That's extremely confusing, but you're basically saying they're not cross-compatible? They have to retain CDMA roaming for US-based roaming partners. What I'm still not getting is you're saying LTE is not compatible with CDMA, then how are the current phones working that use the SIM for both CDMA and LTE identification? Also, if TDMA and GSM are two separate systems, how was AT&T selling phones that roamed across both systems while they were transitioning to GSM?

    Also, what is the iPad doing now? I know it doesn't need to do voice/text, but it can data roam from Verizon LTE to global GSM, being the first device of it's kind.

    Or could the just make phones with two SIM slots, one for LTE and one for global?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Or could the just make phones with two SIM slots, one for LTE and one for global?
    Not likely because the GSM SIM is going to be phased out in the not too distant future.
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