1 2 3 Previous Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2013 12:00 AM by pao2
jonthndaniel724 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi

 

I've been looking to buy the iPhone 5 unlocked from the US store as I currently live in the UK but will be moving to the US soon.

 

I understand that the network I am with in the UK (Orange) are a GSM based network and that the GSM (AT&T) model of the iphone will work with my Orange sim card when I travel back to the uk.

 

However, looking at the iPhone 5 specs and I can see that the CDMA model (Verizon and Sprint) has GSM also built into it, and the GSM frequencies are the same as the UK unlocked iPhone 5. Here are the specs for the CDMA US unlocked iPhone 5:

 

CDMA model A1429*: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)

 

Also notice that the LTE bands are the same as the UK model, which makes me think that I'll be able to get 4G in the UK (When it comes out) and 4g on Verizon when I am in the US. Here are the specs for the UK unlocked iPhone 5:

 

GSM model A1429*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5)

 

You can tell the versions apart from this LTE Chart: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

Am I correct in all this?

 

My idea was to use an Orange nano sim when I am in the Uk and then a Verizon nano sim when I am in the US.

 

Can anyone shed light on the subject?

 


  • 1. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (37,765 points)

    The CDMA versions are permanently locked to their respective carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and can not be used with any other carrier when in the US. It is possible for the carriers to unlock the SIM slot for use with foreign carriers when roaming internationally. They will only do this for customers in good standing.

     

    It appears that you would be able to get LTE coverage while in the UK based on what you posted.

     

    Kep in mind though, that the CDMA phones will not support simultaneous voice and cellular data access on the networks in the US due to their single radio design.

     

    You might be better served to purchase an unlocked iPhone 5 in the UK. If that one will not use the AT&T LTE network, at least it would be able to access their HSPA+ network, which is substantially faster than 3G and allows for simultaneous voice and data.

  • 2. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    Peter Gillespie Level 6 Level 6 (11,750 points)

    The UK LTE can only use a A1429 GSM and the only carrier to be able to provide

    the suitable spectrum is EE (Orange and T-mobile)

     

    So in effect the iPhone 5 will only provide LTE on EE networks in  the UK .

    and the UK iP5 model is the A1429 GSM

  • 3. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    [MaccA] Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am wondering the same thing as Jon.

     

    If I wait until the US Apple Store is selling unlocked iPhone 5's then I could purchase a CDMA version and run it on Verizon when in the US and any carrier when in the UK (as they're all GSM).

     

    I could even use it on AT&T in the US as they're GSM, I just wouldn't be able to access their LTE bands.

  • 4. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (37,765 points)

    You would NEVER be able to use it on AT&T. It will not work on any US carrier other than the one it is locked to.

  • 5. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    [MaccA] Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It WONT be locked to a carrier, surely? I'll give apple $800 and buy an UNLOCKED CDMA version. I'd be very angry if it was then locked to a carrier.

     

    I know that unlocked iPhone 5's aren't available in the US yet, but they will

  • 6. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (37,765 points)

    There is no such thing as an unlocked CDMA iPhone. There never will be.

  • 7. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,850 points)

    [MaccA] wrote:

     

    It WONT be locked to a carrier, surely? I'll give apple $800 and buy an UNLOCKED CDMA version. I'd be very angry if it was then locked to a carrier.

     

    I know that unlocked iPhone 5's aren't available in the US yet, but they will

     

    There have never been unlocked CDMA iPhones, and there won't be.  CDMA's are locked in firmware to a specific network - the only way to unlock them is to reflash them with another networks firmware.  Since a CDMA phone has all the network connection settings in firmware, there is no such thing really as an unlocked CDMA phone.  They are all always effectively locked to one specific carrier as their firmware has that information encoded in it.

     

    So yes, a Verizon or Sprint CDMA phone is always going to be locked to Verizon or Sprint.  They can unlock the GSM SIM slot for international use while travelling, but the CDMA radio is never going to change.

  • 8. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    v_radhakrishnan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Its a little confusing. Can someone let me know that if I get a verizon iphone 5 and if I have to go to europe or Asia for business trip sometime in the future, can I get the sim slot unlocked to use it with the local provider in that country?

  • 9. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,850 points)

    v_radhakrishnan wrote:

     

    Its a little confusing. Can someone let me know that if I get a verizon iphone 5 and if I have to go to europe or Asia for business trip sometime in the future, can I get the sim slot unlocked to use it with the local provider in that country?

     

    Verizon has been known to unlock the international SIM slot on their world phones for people meeting certain conditions (usually some minimum time under contract with no late or missed payments).  Then you can put any GSM providers SIM in it when overseas and avoid roaming charges.  But in the USA, the only network it will work on is Verizon's CDMA network, and it will not work with any Foreign CDMA network (there are such things too, China for one has several CDMA carriers).

     

    So it is carrier locked for native network use, and it can/may be unlocked for foreign GSM use.  Of course, even when not unlocked, you can use the GSM side overseas with Verizon's roaming features (they have special world phone packages for people who travel a lot, but are not interestd in having to get a local SIM card everywhere they land).

  • 10. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (37,765 points)

    Verizon has traditionally been willing to unlock the SIM slot for customers in good standing to use for international roaming. There is no reason to believe they will ange that policy.

     

    Whether or not you can reasonably expect to be able to get a Nano-SIM from a local carrier is something else entirely.

  • 11. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    [MaccA] Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Michael, this was much more helpful having it explained rather than being told it just wont happen.

     

    I want an iPhone 5 that will work in the UK most of the time, but when I'm in the US for work (4-5 times per year) be able to take advantage of the LTE network. I can't get an AT&T phone as that won't work on UK LTE (if/when we ever get it). And similarly, a UK iPhone 5 won't work on LTE when I come to the US as its incompatible with AT&T's LTE bands and doesn't have the CDMA radio enabled for use on Verizon/Sprint.

     

    So, in the past, have Verizon sold "pay as you go" versions of the iPhone where I can pay a full upfront amount but not be bound to any monthly rental? Would this come with the GSM "international SIM tray" already unlocked as effectively you're buying it outright and could move to a different network (CDMA excluded) if you wished? I know I would have to use the Verizon network when in the US but this way still gives me more options than just taking an UK version.

     

    Many thanks for the help

  • 12. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    Nathan-D Level 3 Level 3 (840 points)

    MaccA, I think you are missing the point where you must maintain the Verizon/Sprint month to month contract to be able to use the GSM part of the phone outside of the US. You will be paying twice for the use of your phone.

  • 13. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    oslodude Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nathan-D, I think you are missing the point where he wants to buy an unsubsidized/unlocked phone. These are not tied to any carrier contracts.

  • 14. Re: iPhone 5 CDMA model A1429* Question
    stevejobsfan0123 Level 7 Level 7 (32,315 points)

    oslodude, I think you are missing the point where there is no such thing as an unlocked CDMA phone. Verizon/Sprint are CDMA carriers.

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