I don’t care if I have to carry a charger, I just want to know if I can use this device to make phone calls, and text my family. Is it possible to use the L5 as my only phone? I live in the United States (seems strange to call it that at the moment) and my carrier is T-Mobile. Thanks!
Should work, but you (could) lose calls eventually as T-Mobile is requiring phones in the near future (no recent news as of 2021) to have VoLTE and Purism is still working on it with the Librem 5.
I expect other users like Amarok to be chiming in with on-hand experience of calls/sms once they get around to it
And here for another source: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Cellular-Providers
Edit: MMS is still being worked on too so keep that in mind!
So, if VoLTE ain’t working for your carrier, will the AweSIM chip be a workaround?
(Just had a thought for marketing purposes. The Australian version should be called the AuSIM chip.)
I’m using it as my only phone (not in USA).
You can call, text, email and browse the web.
The main drawback at the moment are poor battery life and the inability to use an hands-free device to phone while driving.
Only inasmuch as Purism can switch you to another carrier on its AweSIM. (And hopefully the new one has coverage where you live.) It’s not like an MVNO has the ability to change an underlying network provider or re-farm its frequencies.
The best option is that the current modems somehow get firmware updates that enable VoLTE. Failing that, a new VoLTE-capable modem is made available for order.
Okay, thanks all. Looks like GrapheneOS for a while. Really didn’t want to drop cash on a Pixel or whatever, but making calls is kind of important. That said, I’m looking forward to getting a Librem5 in the future.
At 99 dollars per month Awesim is about ten times as expensive as my current phone/data plan. Even if it was available in Europe, it would not be a viable work-around.
I wonder what came first, the concept of the Awesim, or the realisation that a phone that is barred from major networks is a very hard sell…
At this point, people are reporting that they can still use the AT&T and T-Mobile networks with their existing SIM cards that have been activated on their previous phones.
Given how many people still have phones that aren’t on the whitelist of allowed VoLTE phones, I don’t think that there will be a hard block on all non-VoLTE phones on the T-Mobile network in Jan. 2021 and on the AT&T network in early 2022, as was reported.
A hard block on existing customers would cause a huge surge in customer complaints that cellular providers can’t handle in a short amount of time. I suspect that T-Mobile and AT&T are putting out these stories to get more people to switch to VoLTE phones, but the blocking of existing phones on the network that aren’t on the VoLTE whitelist probably won’t happen for a while. Basically, this gives the companies a canned response for customers who complain as the 2G and 3G networks are being gradually shut down: “you need to upgrade to a phone that supports VoLTE.”
Thanks, amosbatto. The volte matter has been nagging me since I heard about it. Your reply is something of a relief - if you are right, the L5 will at least be able to make calls. But it would be even better if the volte issue was solved entirely…
Wow that is news. Is the modem user replaceable? If not the phone could be non-working or crippled in la year or so, if it is not “whitelisted”. We need to know before we buy a phone. Please someone assure us that our phone will work for more that a couple of years.
I wonder if the “existing SIMs work” (and ability use non-VoLTE) could be related to:
So I have to admit that I’m finally disappointed.
I supported the campaign fairly early and have been pretty understanding of the delays and lack of functionality. I kind of enjoy that because it’s fun watching the technology mature.
But as I read through this, I see on the wiki that Purism won’t even try to get the Librem5 whitelisted on any major US carrier. I have to wonder why…
I get that they’re up to their eyeballs in just getting their product out the door, but at the same time, they’re basically locking their customers in to their own specialty cell service at a much higher rate.
Not that I mean to accuse Purism of acting like big tech, but at very least, they ought to try to ensure as broad a compatibility as possible with their hardware in their major markets, and if they can’t / won’t, at least explain why. It may be that no one saw this coming, but if I had known that this would be my option for cell service, I wouldn’t have supported the kickstarter - at least not at the level I did.
Well, yes, the modem is replaceable - this is one of the L5’s USP’s. Nevertheless, it would still be a bit of a bummer if one receives a phone that is not allowed on a network, or is banned within a few months.
We would be obliged to buy a new modem. If such a modem would be available. It isn’t at the moment.
Purism coming up with Awesim did nothing to ease my worries. On the contrary. It somehow feels like a stop-gap measure.
Since I did not want to come across overly critical or even suspicious, I gave it a rest. Weeks later, there is still no official response to the volte matter, and I am no less worried. So I couldn’t resist mentioning it after all.
I assume you’re talking about the non-official, community currated wiki?
I actually have not read of ONE AweSIM customer here yet.
They’re all using “normal” carriers, without too much problems.
(For a list customers who received their Evergreen, see here)
Maybe this would be a good time for Purism to ease our worries with a straightforward explanation of the current state of affairs(?)
(“I’ve decided to be an optimist from now on.”
“Then why do you look so worried?”
“What?! Do you think it is easy being an optimist?!”)
I am. If that’s not the official word from Purism, then it would be nice to know that. The language implied that this is Purism’s official position - though I see no citation for it, looking at it now.
That’s good to know, and that’s the impression I have currently. But I get the impression that making it run on Verizon is difficult, if not impossible and I have seen no evidence that it works at all at this point, unless I missed a thread somewhere? Verizon is the best carrier in my area, though I can use another if I must. Still, as I’m reading through this, it seems that there are two major issues for the Librem5: No access as the major carriers move to VoLTE-only networks and no access because of whitelisting requirements. The first case may be solvable in time with software / hardware upgrades, but the second case is troubling to me.
Honestly, just some clarity from Purism on how they’re looking ahead at these issues would go along way here, I think.
Exactly. Just tell us how it is…