I know there are a couple of topics about Verizon on this forum for Librem 5 phones, but none are conclusive in my opinion. I have tried my recently received phone with an already activated Verizon SIM card and I am sorry to report that data works on 4G LTE, but phone calls, SMS, and MMS messages do not work. When I have a spare 15 hours to spend on the phone with Verizon’s support I’ll give them a call and see if there’s anything they can do to ‘activate’ my service with my Librem 5.
Here is a rather foreboding screenshot from my account that shows calls, SMS, and MMS are disabled for my phone:
I have activated VoLTE on my BM818-A1 modem with the BM818 tool and rebooted to make sure the setting updated.
I have a Pinephone Pro with the Quectel EG25 modem that works well on Verizon. I have VoLTE enabled on that with the community firmware installed so hopefully Verizon will accept the Broadmobi in the L5 if I pester them enough.
Well I didn’t stay on with Verizon support for 15 hours, but 4 hours. I initially tried the chat, which was useless so don’t try that if you have this issue also. I called and after a while of going through the motions with tier 1 support she finally transferred me to tier 2.
This tier 2 person was great! She told me that (of course) the Librem 5 was an unknown device for Verizon’s network and saw that I had a pending activation. She tried to add it to their database but got an error that she needed to submit a ‘Form 6’, IIRC. She asked me a bunch of questions about the phone, I had to send her a screenshot with the modem details showing the IMEI and such. She filled out the form and sent it in and told me it could take 2-5 days to process. She needed a SKU for the form and so I looked at my invoice and gave her what was listed there: ‘L5V1’.
Guess we’ll see what happens next. I had her put the FCC ID (2AT9RLIBREM5) in the notes just in case.
I wonder if Verizon registers your phone, would it be for just your phone or for the entirety of L5 phones in the wild. Maybe Purism should contact Verizon, if it is just your phone that is registered.
I suppose that we have to wait and see what happens.
Well, I have some news that is highly disappointing. Surprisingly, I already have a resolution to my request. Unfortunately, this is the resolution:
ticket resolved: The device id submitted is for model BM818 and is not approved for the VZ network.
I have asked if this means I will never be able to use my phone on Verizon’s network. I’m sure that I already know that the answer is yes, I will not be able to use it with Verizon. I’m a 15 year customer and it is really a shame that this might end my long-running relationship. I’m sure Verizon only sees me as one account in millions so what do they care?
I already emailed Purism support and @mladen was kind enough to respond about this. Unfortunately, this is what he had to say in his response email:
Did you enable VoLTE? If that does not help, sadly we cannot do much when Verizon is in question. You can install app “bm818-tools” to enable the VoLTE (and also check your modem version).
I have already installed VoLTE using the bm818-tools package but I don’t think that’s the problem, given Verizon’s verdict on the BM818 modem.
I already got a response to this inquiry also and it is as I feared. The tier 2 Verizon rep I have been working with acknowledged I will not be able to use the Librem 5 on the Verizon network. I have followed up with Purism support to see if they can contact Verizon as the OEM and maybe have a little more sway; but I’m not optimistic that:
Thanks indeed for getting the definitive answer on this, as unfortunate as it is. I live in a semi-rural area where Verizon’s the only provider that reaches my house (and that pretty poorly). Tried my already-activated SIM on my new L5 a couple weeks ago and couldn’t use the phone functions. Didn’t have time to troubleshoot then or since, but I guess it’s a moot point. Boo to the corporate behemoth that can’t be bothered to work with a small player in the market!
Yeah I’m also very disappointed. I fail to see why they can’t just add it to the list but the request was acknowledged and outright denied. Can’t say I see the logic in them not wanting to keep me and my family as customers. Sorry to hear you may not be able to switch providers @DarkManiels.
This is really unfortunate. I’ve used US Cellular, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and basically, Verizon has been the most reliable service wherever in the country I go. Hands down. I lost thousands of dollars of income with the service issues on T-Mobile, Sprint, and was also lied to by them, and handled in an unprofessional and downright dishonest way beyond that.
I’m not a fanboy of Verizon. It’s just business, and I pay a little more, but I don’t lose money with the Verizon service, and they’ve never lied to me, nor played cute with my account.
I hope Purism manages to get approved with Verizon eventually. In the meantime, it appears the better solution is Graphene OS on a Pixel, if you have a Verizon account.
I’ve been watching the Librem development for years, have been waiting for it to be ready for prime time. I’m a basic consumer, with limited knowledge and ability to act as a consumer electronics technician, Linux programmer, etc. So, no, I don’t yet own a Librem 5.
I dearly wish the phone was in a better place by now. It’s clear much love, talent, money, and volunteer effort has gone into it. I’m just not in a position to take it on. It’s still not ready for prime time phone use, and I’m not able to work with it, but it looks so close, I was really hopeful that time was nearly here.
The fact I can’t run it on Verizon is just one more barrier/disappointment, and rules it out for me now.
CDMA is de facto gone, of course, but carriers still have their differences… and differing policies on which phones they certify for use on their networks, especially when it comes to their various VoLTE implementations.