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Thread: Can iPhone 12 use CDMA?

  1. #1
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    Can iPhone 12 use CDMA?

    Just upgraded to an iPhone 12 and got the phone directly from Verizon. I travelled on a road today that is only covered by CDMA for a portion and my phone dropped to No Service, and I couldn’t force it down to 3G (no option in settings and toggling Airplane Mode didn’t help)

    Is Verizon registering iPhone 12s as CDMA-less? Apple’s website says it supports it so I assume it should be able to drop to CDMA like my iPhone 8 used to

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanko987 View Post
    Just upgraded to an iPhone 12 and got the phone directly from Verizon. I travelled on a road today that is only covered by CDMA for a portion and my phone dropped to No Service, and I couldn’t force it down to 3G (no option in settings and toggling Airplane Mode didn’t help)

    Is Verizon registering iPhone 12s as CDMA-less? Apple’s website says it supports it so I assume it should be able to drop to CDMA like my iPhone 8 used to
    It shows up as CDMA-Less for Verizon on activation. CDMA is dead in the water soon anyway.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fgpalm View Post
    It shows up as CDMA-Less for Verizon on activation. CDMA is dead in the water soon anyway.


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    That makes sense. Do you know if there’s a way to get Verizon to enable CDMA on it? It’d be nice to at least text and call because I have a lot of LTE dead zones around me that CDMA fills in

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    Verizon has not activated any CDMA-only devices since 2019. While the iPhone may support CDMA, it won't be activated as anything but 4G (VOLTE/LTE) or 5G in the US. CDMA is essentially a dead horse, stop beating it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    Verizon has not activated any CDMA-only devices since 2019. While the iPhone may support CDMA, it won't be activated as anything but 4G (VOLTE/LTE) or 5G in the US. CDMA is essentially a dead horse, stop beating it.
    Well if they still got towers broadcasting it and my phone is dropping to no service I figure it’s better than nothing..hopefully they fill in the gaps with LTE


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    Quote Originally Posted by vanko987 View Post
    Is Verizon registering iPhone 12s as CDMA-less? Apple’s website says it supports it so I assume it should be able to drop to CDMA like my iPhone 8 used to
    The carriers can limit features of service on otherwise capable phones. They do this often on the MVNO providers like with HD Voice, WIFi Calling, etc. I am sure Verizon knows there are areas that still have no LTE, but when they will upgrade is another story.

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    Can iPhone 12 use CDMA?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanko987 View Post
    That makes sense. Do you know if there’s a way to get Verizon to enable CDMA on it? It’d be nice to at least text and call because I have a lot of LTE dead zones around me that CDMA fills in
    Nope, unfortunately. Not only has Verizon started moving towards to CDMA-less on non-5G devices, all 5G devices on Verizon are preactivated as CDMA-less at the SIM/provisioning level. (That is becoming the norm across all carriers, limited to no backup from VoLTE)

    The only thing you could do is downgrade devices to one that isn’t 5G, like an 11 or SE2. Those might still have CDMA enabled on the provisioning side.

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    I understand the rationale, but I still resent being denied access to CDMA when it's still up and running. I used to love manually switching to 3G when in areas with severe LTE congestion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VVivian View Post
    I understand the rationale, but I still resent being denied access to CDMA when it's still up and running. I used to love manually switching to 3G when in areas with severe LTE congestion.
    Kind of like asking a major airline to fly you to Europe in a prop driven plane vs a jet plane.

    Time to let CDMA go away instead of trying to keep it alive. Verizon's latest response was that CDMA would be shut down in early 2022. They don't service the CDMA towers any longer, only the 4G/5G towers/network, the only keep the older towers/network active until those are upgraded to the newer technology. CDMA (3G) networks are only getting smaller day by day. Wishing for things not to change is not going to help.

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    I have a Pixel 4a 5G on Xfinity Mobile (still on the old $12 per GB plan). I wonder if that had been activated as CDMA-less?

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    Uh if the equipment is still operational, why deny customers access to it? That’s just wasteful. And it’s not like leaving the toggle intact prevents a gradual sunsetting. I was in Japan for the EDGE sunset, and SoftBank didn’t block the “Enable 3G” toggle. You just went to No Service if you disabled it in an area with 3G but without EDGE. They didn’t treat customers like they were too stupid to figure out that coverage areas differ between network generations.

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    The iPhone 12 supports CDMA but the Verizon 5G SIM cards do not support CDMA.


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    Based on a similar situation in another thread, I don't believe it's only 5G. Appears even a 4G/VoLte cdma phone that was "activated" after Verizon stopped allowing cdma/Non-VoLte activations is in the same boat. If you're using a cdma/VoLte phone that was activated before that, you'll still get cdma where it's still up and running.

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    No, I activated my 2018 iPad Pro back in 2018, have been using it on Verizon ever since, used to have an "Enable LTE" toggle, and no longer have the toggle. Seems like Verizon pushed a mandatory carrier settings update to disable the ability to manually connect to 3G.

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    Just the "price of progress". Doesn't make sense to run 3 different network technologies simultaneously in the long run (3G "CDMA", 4G "VOLTE/LTE", 5G). It is redundant and expensive to operate/maintain.

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