Does the L5 work with Verizon in the US?

Hello,

I’ve looked through the FAQ, and some posts about compatibility and i’m getting mixed messages. Some places say it works, others say it doesn’t. I want to preorder the phone, can anyone definitively say if Talk, Text, and Data work with Verizon in the US? Also, I am hearing about an alternate cellular chip which has different band support. Will that be required?

Sorry about the repetitive question, I just want to be 100% sure before I order.

Edit: Please don’t link me here, there is no listing for normal Verizon.

Edit 2: I just found the FAQ and Frequency Check, but that just makes things more confusing. It looks like 2 of the bands are supported under Gemalto PLS8, PLS8-US, but it also says that verizon requires phones to be allowed/approved (although I don’t think this is true, since I have used “unapproved” phones on their network before without an issue).

Thanks!

There is a listing for Verizon there, “PagePlus on Verizon”.
So there it’s verified that in at least one region neither calls or data works, only texting for the BM818-A1 chip. But maybe the APN settings were wrong.
Maybe it’s something that will be fixed before release, maybe it won’t. Maybe it will work with some other modem chip, maybe it won’t.

So even if there is one listing for it, it’s not enough to make a conclusion.

Yeah, I don’t know. It looks like PLS8-US has the best Verizon support (although I think this may be wrong) based on Frequency Check, but I am fine using my old phone for a while if it takes time to work out the issues or if I need a new chip. Luckily, it seems that I will be able to switch cellular modems if necessary.

I would find it hard to imagine that they would ship a phone that doesn’t work on all 4 major US carriers, so i’m just going to preorder and hope for the best.

Rumour has it that, without voLTE support, the L5 will not be allowed on any of the big networks (or will be banned in the near future).

What is the official word on this from Purism?

That rumor seems to conflict with the AweSIM chip thread, which appearss to have a deal with AT&T and T-Mobile.

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Someone will have to test it to make sure, and at this point only the BM818 modems have been shipped the test batches (Birch-Dogwood). The BM818-A1 is not compatible with the two CDMA bands used by Verizon [BC0 (800) and BC1 (1900 PCS)], but it is compatible with its 3 LTE bands [B2 (1900 PCS), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B13 (700 c)]. What this means is that when you have a cellular phone call, the Librem 5 will drop your internet access during the call, because it doesn’t support VoLTE and Verizon doesn’t have any 2G or 3G networks that it can switch to.

Verizon is known to have a strict policy about what phones it allows. If you have another phone which is on Verizon’s approved list, then you can use its IMEI to activate your Verizon account, but don’t expect to be able to activate your account using the IMEI in the Librem 5.

It may be possible to find a 3rd party M.2 3042 B-key card (with USB 2.0 interface) that supports Verizon’s CDMA bands, but that will require testing.

More or less this yes. Verizon has a policy of only allowing in their network devices that they pre approved. And this is valid for all projects.

However there have been some reports that if the card is already previously active before being used in the Librem 5 it can work.
In the two reports I am referring mobile data worked in one case, and at least SMS and mobile data worked in the second.

The other issue is this. Verizon uses CDMA as a backup in areas with low coverage. And this does require testing

Ok, i’m probably going to be the guinea pig then…what model looks like it has the best support for Verizon, so I can at least order the one with the best odds of working? I would rather just buy one modem.

You don’t have to choose the modem at the time of ordering. Indeed, it may be that you cannot choose the modem at the time of ordering.

I don’t know if I can pick a modem right now, but I do know that multiple modems are available, and I would imagine that even if I can’t select at the time of ordering, contacting support would allow me to pick what modem I want. Why would they make multiple SKUs and not even let users purchase one or more of them?

You get to choose at the time of shipment.

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There is no more CDMA Network in use.
Verizon killed it after the new year’s
Announced over a year ago and delivered on Jan 1st this year.
https://www.verizon.com/support/knowledge-base-218813/

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Would it work if using a different modem that has been certified by Verizon? Isn’t that where the IMIE is anyway? Or would the carrier need to certify the device its being used in? EM06-A from Quectel for example is an example of a modem that is certified.
Have any other modems not supplied by Purism been tested by anyone?

I purchased an unlocked OnePlus phone a while back, and Verizon did not have it on it’s supported device list at the time, and it worked anyways, because I just moved my pre-activated sim from my old phone to my new one. If you already have a phone on Verizon with a sim, you should be able to move it to the L5 and have it work without any issues.

I think Verizon certifies the device and the modem, although I may be wrong.

I don’t think anyone has tested any other modems as of yet. Hopefully by the end of the year when most of the early L5s have been shipped we can get an idea of hardware/software support.

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With non-voLTE connections on the way out, is the Broadmobi modem still a viable option for anyone?

Impossible to know at this point, because we don’t know if BroadMobi will release a firmware update that enables VoLTE. It seems VoLTE is becoming a sine qua non now that 2G/3G networks are being shutdown worldwide, so it seems to me like BroadMobi will have to enable VoLTE support, but we as normal people can’t ask the company what are its plans.

However, Verizon is known for being a company that makes it difficult to connect non-approved devices that aren’t on their whitelist.

Yeah, I think you can get around this with a pre-activated sim. Worst case, I can just switch providers. I’m don’t have an attachment to any particular carrier, and I hear AT&T has reasonable coverage here and has good compatibility, so that is my backup plan if my SIM doesn’t work.

I don’t know how far Verizon will go in the name of customer retention, but they may consider doing an exception or something, I know they were willing to let me use a OnePlus phone before it was on their list, but that was a while ago.

I guess I could call them and ask, but i’m not really in the mood to spend 2h on the phone trying to find someone who is familiar with Linux phones and can help me, their support structure is (similarly to many other carriers) very good at making sure that no one talks to anyone above level 1, regardless of how knowledgeable they are. As always, there is an xkcd comic that applies to the situation.

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Shibboleet? Must remember that. :slight_smile:

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the magic words…

That’s paraphrased from the old Bible story about the pronunciation of the password Shibboleth. It weeds out the users they don’t want.

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