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Verizon 4G LTE Phones Won’t Be Compatible With AT&T’s Network

If your 4G LTE plans included buying one of Verizon’s current phones and then ditching their service for AT&T’s soon-to-be-launched LTE network (or vice versa), you may be out of luck according to word that PCMag received this week.  Big Red spokesperson Brenda Raney, confirmed that their LTE phones won’t “be compatible on other LTE networks in the U.S.” because “the phones will be on different frequencies.”

Not that we’re surprised by any of this, but it’s slightly disappointing.  Since we’re seeing each carrier adopt a different set of impressive phones these days, it would have been nice to have more options than just the one lineup that a specific carrier is offering.  Clearly, operating their LTE networks on the same frequency would only benefit customers though and our slight hopes for some sort of openness between carriers have now been crushed.  I’m sure that shopping for the carrier with the best plan that fits your needs and then activating a phone from another is not their idea of awesome.

Via:  PCMag

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  • Scea67

    Who in there right mind would never leave Verizon to go to 3rd rate AT&T?????

  • i could have told u this when they auctioned off spectrums 2 years ago… nothing new here

  • Anonymous

    This really disappoints me, as I was hoping with LTE we would get back to one standard like the AMPS days, where one phone would work on any cellular network.  Digital came along and gave us a puzzle of incompatible pieces, and it’s sad to see these companies ruining a great opportunity to make tech accessible and workable for EVERYONE.

  • Freygrimrod

    THIS WAS THE FING POINT OF LTE!!!!!! EPIC EPIC EPIC FAIL No World Phone equals no more cash outta my wallet!

  • Guest

    Wow. This was news a year ago when articles were being written about the different 4G network technologies being used by the different carriers and how they were still incompatible even though they were all referred to as “4G.”

    I can’t believe all the time the Android sites are spending writing about this today.

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  • Anonymous

    This is funny. I wonder what sanctions would these carriers suffer if they were in Europe, and tried to pull off the same trick.

  • Anonymous

    I have a contact who works at Alcatel-Lucent that explained to me how they are working on a means for the ability to switch between different bands so your phone can connect to any LTE network you wish. Supporting the 700, 800, and 1900 ranges would cover most US carriers, so as long as the hardware can operate on all 3 ranges then all it requires is an LTE SIM or this firmware switch (sort of like a software SIM) to be able to switch between AT&T, VZW, MetroPCS, Sprint, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I used to like Verizon, but today I left them as my cellular provider. I did keep a data plan on a Mi-Fi device. Why? No more upgrades. tiered data plans, change in warranty policy to penalize you if your phone has a scratch on it even if thats not the cause of phone failure.
    Mostly I left because since the release of tablets, I no longer have a need for data on my phone. I’m using the phone for voice only. I had a T-bolt and was using it for voice only. So I sold the Bolt for $50.00 more than I paid. Bought out the remainder of my contract and good riddance to Verizon. I’m now saving $80.00 per month.
    The point is, I would not have even considered this if Verizon didn’t start to act so heavy handed. I used to be proud to be a Verizon customer, now they can f.ck off as far as I’m concerned.

    • Anonymous

      if u can tell it again w a copy & paste & print sent to vzw’s corporate, vzw’s FB wall, vzw’s reviews whereever you find them online.

    • Freygrimrod

      The service from Verizon in the northeast at least has gotten PATHETIC in the last few months since the iphone and 4g rollout. Where I used to have strong 3G signal and pull 300k/s data connection I can’t even make a call 2/3rds of the time if I am in the exact right spot outside not behind a glass windowpane I can make a garbled call and maybe pull 80ks if I really twink at it…. I spent the last week roaming in the back country of yosemite park and had better signal than verizon offers in large swaths of populated northeast now it’s def time to BAIL. Contract was up today I’m looking

  • Anonymous

    I am pretty sure someone in our “Droid Community” will be able to unlock it for any network..SO screw you Verizon and AT&T

    • The phones are unlocked. That’s not the problem. They’re incompatible and don’t work on the same spectrum.

      Newer phones will though.

  • Song To

     Verizon kinda sucks… unless you have been their customer

  • Jason Rayner

    “If your 4G LTE plans included buying one of Verizon’s current phones and then ditching their service for AT&T’s”
    people dont leave Verizon for AT&T’s lol  AT&T’s service is horrible!

  • urgh

    They(Verizon and AT&T) bend us over on capped data plans, phone prices and nickel and dime you to death on fees, activation fees, overages, etc. Why would anyone expect anything less?

  • Mr.Joe

    Who in Gods name would buy a verizon LTE phone (assuming that most LTE customers on verizon have unlimited data+unlimited tethering option) and then throw it all away for limited data on AT&T?

  • Just wait til AT&T launches their LTE network, I’m sure some phones will come out that can handle the different frequencies. Like how some T-Mo phones can also be used on AT&T’s 3G.

  • Anonymous

    If that’s the case, the goal for us (consumers) would be to have a multiple band LTE device, somewhat similar to current GSM phones that operate on different frequencies. Worldwide GSM bands, CDMA, LTE that works on different frequencies = one thick phone. 
    I’m sure it is possible, the reluctance of manufacturers to make such a phone at the providers request will be a hurdle. 

  • Max

    no one wants to be on at & t

  • Anonymous

    Verizon spent millions of dollars buying the fastest frequencies so no matter what Verizon is always going to be fastest.

  • Anonymous

    Verizon spent millions of dollars buying the fastest frequencies so no matter what Verizon is always going to be fastest.

  • Chrisosmos

    But will it work overseas, for example in Europe? For that matter, will either of AT&T’s or VZW’s LTE phones work in Europe?

  • kruglovus

    I am not surprised that Verizon will do their best to lock their phones to their network. But I was greatly surprised to see in the AT&T’s press release on July 12 that both AT&T LTE devices will be working on 700MHz, the same as Verizon. So, how different will the frequencies be?

  • Anonymous

    Slow day

  • It’s like GSM. I bet in the future we’ll see multiband LTE phones.

  • J_bannach

    Operators in the same frequencies/spectrum doesn’t make sense. How can you plan your network when your competitor can interfere with your signal?
    We can hope for dual freq unlocked phones though.

    • J_bannach

      That’s also why spectrum cost billions of dollars…it’s exclusive.

    • Yeah, I don’t see how this statement makes sense:

      “Clearly, operating their LTE networks on the same frequency would only benefit customers”.
      Clearly, I’m missing something. If they share frequencies, then that means sharing bandwidth. That means that 30MB/s that I get as a VZW customer would turn into 10MB/s while AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mo customers share the other 20MB/s.

      I think Kellex was a little confused here when he wrote this…

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised, but disappointed.  I remember when people were hoping moving to LTE would make phones more compatible with multiple networks and I was laughing thinking that they haven’t been paying attention to the U.S. market.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see how this comes a surprise to anyone. Its only been this way since I can remember…

  • Joshua Granville

    Not sure why anyone would make the assumption they would be compatible..

    • SIMCards

      If you’re coming from the world of GSM (non-Verizon people) and multi-band capable devices then it’s normal to think phones that use SIM cards would work on many carriers.

      I have a GSM/HSPA phone and I swap SIM cards from AT&T, T-Mobile and European carriers just fine.

      • Hunts

        I’m hoping for manufacturers to release devices capable of using multiple bands like existing GSM phones. I love buying unlocked GSM phones from Europe (I go there often) and using them here on AT&T. Hopefully I can do the same for future unlocked LTE phones and use them on Verizon. Too bad Verizon is likely to block phones they don’t sell directly.

        • Joshua Granville

          Even if you could get your verizon 4g phone to work on other 4g networks, why would you bother going to at&ts shitty network?

          • Bert

            Rigggghhttt… I’ll go with whoever is better at any given point in time and you can’t exactly say AT&T’s LTE network is shitty yet. I’m not grandfathered into anything that’ll make me stay with a particular carrier (got the Charge a little late). If AT&T makes a better LTE network then I’ll go with them otherwise I’ll go with Verizon or any other carrier. That’s the benefit of SIM cards, unlocked multiple band phones and hopefully carriers that don’t block phones from their networks (looking at you Verizon).

          • Jeff

            +1 for not being blindly brand loyal. I too hope easy carrier and phone swapping comes to the US. It’ll be great to choose the phone and carrier that best fits your needs.

            Having to travel often for work, no one carrier is best. Some places Verizon is better while AT&T or some other carrier is in other places.

          • Jeff

            +1 for not being blindly brand loyal. I too hope easy carrier and phone swapping comes to the US. It’ll be great to choose the phone and carrier that best fits your needs.

            Having to travel often for work, no one carrier is best. Some places Verizon is better while AT&T or some other carrier is in other places.

          • u got the charge a little late? u must be stupid or not frequent this blog which issued plenty of warnings

          • u got the charge a little late? u must be stupid or not frequent this blog which issued plenty of warnings

          • Bert

            Sorry for not having enough disposable income to pay full price for my first smartphone. Forced to wait till my upgrade date. Maybe after I graduate and pay off my loans, I could be as rich as you and buy new smartphones at will. Hopefully I’m not too stupid since you pointed it out.

        • They can’t block phones on their LTE network. Due to rules that were put on their 700MHz spectrum.

          They’re an open network anyway, if its compatible they’ll activate it.

        • Kburton264

          Verizon sell to many other vender’s other  than just from themselves such as Amazon, Ebay, Wirefire etc

          I just bought an Apple IPhone 4 off Ebay, move chip from android to the apple with no problem

    • jason6g

      As the other posts said it was assumed. and i vaguely remember a verizon lte training document gloating that you could activate any lte phone on their network.

      just imagine a company making a “milestone phone” (motorola droid, iphone) that is able to be used on any carrier worldwide – imagine the impact that would have on sales!

      as for carriers – they wouldnt have to bother with sales of handsets, just lines. im happy with my service, just not my handset.

  • AllynKC

    The only hope for this ability has been a multi-frequency VoLTE phone – which I just can’t see any carrier in this county signing a deal for such a device with any OEM … maybe one day via some future Nexus device, but that seems the only possible way.

  • I think it’s kind of funny that at this point companies take the approach of the best way to “lock you in” and remove your choice, rather than actually providing a good product or service to attract your business.  Good old US of A at it finest as usual!

    • Anonymous

      Sad. Instead of working together to better humanity, they work for themselves to better the stockholder value…

      • Frank


  • Jack Sanchez

    nothings impossible once xda hackers get their hands on the phone

    • android_dev

      Xda won’t be able to do anything about it. Verizon owns the 700mhz band while att is going to use a different one. You would physically have to hardwire a new radio into the phone to even have a chance of getting it to work. Good luck att, verizon has been working on LTE for a very long time.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        Uhh…. AT&T owns nationwide 700 mhz as well…. and they’re deploying LTE to it… starting this year.   AT&T 704-746, Verizon 746-787… all that would be required would be a radio covering those frequencies in full.  And then it’d be like hitting the channel button on the portable phone at your house…   This is the entire reason why the T-Mobile purchase needs to be approved… AWS in this nation is being wasted by them on HSPA… AWS is the key to not just US, but global LTE compatibility… Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have AWS spectrum, and after the forced sale of redundant AWS spectrum to Verizon… all 3 would have nationwide coverage.

    • Guest

      actually, you’re WRONG

  • Anonymous

    Why not “AT&T’s Network Won’t Be Compatible With Verizon 4G LTE Phones”? 🙂

    • John

      Because people already own 4G Verizon phones!  So, this is directed at people who already own phones, not people who will own phones in the future.

      • Anonymous

        That’s my point… Verizon came first, so technically it’s AT&T who’s not compatible; not Verizon.

        • Anonymous

          It heavily depends on the frequencies used.

          If, say, AT&T uses the European LTE band, then it’s clearly Verizon that is incompatible.

          And I somehow think that European LTE phones will be compatible with both AT&T and VZW.

  • Long hair, don’t care.

    I’d think I’d rather have a cdma backup radio, rather than a gsm one.  It will be a few years before we stop using 3G networks. 

    • Anonymous

      Longer in many areas…

  • Trooper

    No surprise really.  Bummer though in a way.

  • All my plans are ruined!!!