Librem 5 carrier compatibility thread

Thanks, that’s good to know. I didn’t realise it was that long! Oh is there a limit on how long you can update it? That’s unfortunate…

I think this is fine. I just came to the Sprint section which is what is relevant to me and I hope we can talk about it in the “Replay” tab.
This is what’s going on with me and I hope Purism read this: According to the sources you cite here, my option goes to BroadMobil 818-A1. Now… What worries me is that I asked a customer representative in my local Sprint store about the possibility of me using my Librem5 with them. The guy had no idea what Librem5 is or anything about Linux or a cellphone using something different than iOS or Android. His answer was to bring the phone to the store. Later on when I had the information about the modem (by that time it was only PLS8) I went back to the store and tried again, this time mentioning the modem I would be using. The answer was the same (from a different person not knowing anything about Linux, Linux phones or Librem5): “You have to bring the device for us to be able to tell if you could use it with Sprint”.
I don’t know how Purism is going to play it but I hope I can opt for the BM818-A1 BEFORE I get the phone. This is what I wanted to address here. I hope Purism plays it right and I don’t have to buy a second modem and deal with installation.

Yes, that modem would give you full coverage for LTE. says that Sprint only accept approved devices. I have no idea if it is approved but I am sure Purism are well aware of that. If it isn’t, I’m sure they will be working on it.

I presumed they would ask before sending them out, but here is confirmation.

I feel better now. Thanks. She probably meant to say “census” instead of “survey”.

No problem. Glad I could help.

Just one more or less minor addition to that - we (as in Purism) currently have no plans to get additional carrier approvals. Getting carrier approvals is a PITA and in most cases bound to very high restrictions on the device and a very expensive qualification process. Especially the restrictions carriers in many cases impose on handsets and their features or access of the carrier onto the handset (for remote configuration etc.) are “features” we do not want to have on our device. We want the users to have the maximum freedom on their device and not being forced to have locked down parts.

So if Sprint is not supporting our modem, I am sorry, the Sprint is not an option. In the US I know that e.g. T-Mobile is very open, in Europe it is the law that carriers must accept all 3GPP compliant devices.



I’d like to know what US carriers support the Broadmobi modem. Looking on their website I’ve found no references to any carrier support information. Really hoping I ordered something that’s actually usable as a phone.

1 Like


Can you (in time before shipping starts) make sure that you guys provide us with details on which carriers approved modems you offer to choose from?
As you see all over the forum here, ppl have a hard time finding certifications for BroadMobi modem. For many of us in US, Gemalto doesn’t cover all LTE bands and Chinese modem looks like a great alternative. But, if not certified by Verizon for VoLTE , we won’t be able make a call on the phone.

Yes, we will work on this.

But why do you think that if Verizon would switch to VoLTE only calling? AFAIK VoLTE is an option at most carriers and many even do not support this yet.



Ack, sorry for advising with an assumption like that. I should have chosen my words more carefully. Thank you for clarifying!

This might be related.
Important bit I think some people are worried about is that if the baseband is not certified for Verizon 4G and VoLTE then you won’t even be able to activate the device on their network at all. Thats one of the big reasons I was interested in the Quectel EM06, in the specifications they at least make it clear that certification for Verizon along with other major US carriers was in progress. The check mark for certifications on the broadmobi site doesn’t seem very specific.

Verizon doesn’t have a GSM fallback for voice calls - Only cdma, which is getting completely shut down in December this year.
I know that based on the experience with them , using different unlocked devices. And in many cases where the phone had CDMA , if I had a poor coverage, calls wouldn’t go through, even though I had 4 bars on LTE and perfect internet connection.

1 Like

So should pressure be put on Purism to get certified on Verizon’s network which may include allowing Verizon to control certain aspects of the software on the phone and absolutely will increase the cost to everyone to distribute that cost? Or should pressure be put on Verizon to support all capable devices and not have a costly and intrusive certification process?

The US needs a law like that…


Personally I’d rather it not be a law but rather people chose what they used in a more reasonable way… It may not be feasible at this point to resolve without a law, but I do think that should be near the last resort

1 Like

US has the most corrupt government in developed world. Basically, corporations write the laws, here. Bribery is legalized - lobbying, campaign contributions, etc.

1 Like

I don’t see we have the power to make Verizon or Sprint to certify Purism. It would need a lot of customers in their network to complaint and threat leaving them to create that kind of pressure. We have power on Purism. “I am sorry” is not good enough. Purism said: “Yes, you will be able to make regular unencrypted phone calls to any phone number.” in their FAQ promoting sales. I still think they need to clarify that (making clear they’re talking maybe to Europe) since it is obvious they have no control on the communication chain in USA and to make it worse, according to what Nicole is saying, they “have no plans to get additional carrier approval.” Our solution to the matter is to go from carrier to carrier to see if we can make the phone work.
Purism needs to tell us where to go as Tatatirci is requesting. As soon as possible. If I don’t see this problem solved soon I’m pulling out this project. It makes no sense to me to go on the street trying to find where to make my phone work. This was supposed to be resolved way before yesterday. I don’t understand how can they promise me I will be able to make regular phone calls from my phone if at the same time they couldn’t make the proper arrangements so I can get the phone approved with a given carrier? T-Mobile is very open? How open? Is Nicole saying we can go to T-Mobile for sure or is a place to try? We need to know where to go ASAP. The other thing about this: I hate T-Mobile for good reasons and if I have to go there to be able to use my L5 where is the freedom we’re talking about?
I’ll be waiting for a better answer to this problem from Purism. I hope we’ll get it soon and before shipping.

1 Like

Everybody will hate at least one carrier.

This phone is about freedom. It doesn’t make any sense for Purism to shove millions into corporations that restrict your freedom by requiring an approval process for every device type.

I’m pretty certain most carriers will work and you will know soon enough. Don’t expect shipment in August.


I appreciate your faith, Caliga, but I am not a believer.
I also understand your point about not bringing customers to business who’d take advantage of them, but this is USA, not Europe. Over there there’re laws in countries where carriers have to serve the customer when they bring their own device. Here they need to see if you qualify to get sheared. They have control.
Now… Sprint and the others may approve my L5 since I am probably the only customer in my area and they would prefer to keep me as a good customer and loose the collateral profit from selling the data they collect from me. To know if that’s the case with Sprint and everybody else I have to have the phone in my hands (IMEI). If they decide not to let L5 participate do I go to ebay to sell my phone? Do I send it back to Purism for a refund? Is there any information about what should I do in this scenario in Faith is not my strength.

Not for the same reasons.
Some are hated for terrible customers service, some for the pricing and some for the poor coverage.
Verizon CS and coverage have no match.

And no, I doubt that it would cost that much to make sure the phone works on their network or that they require to manipulate with phone’s software.
Plenty of unlocked phones which are not on “certified devices” list work just fine and have VoLTE - after asking CS to update IMEI in the account. Only things they don’t do is WiFi calling, for which you need a patch. So, it’s mostly about modem’s compatibility in cases where the phone is not “blacklisted” for whatever reason.
installing hardware like baseband modem without making sure it passed certification with major carriers is a bad business move.