Librem 5 carrier compatibility thread


You would think that a modem variant for the American market would work with Amercian carriers. Is it just the modem that needs to be approved or does the device it’s attached to need to be approved as well?

The goal of my original post was to help people decide which modem to choose by showing which will have the best coverage. Any requests or suggestions on which regions I should add. I’m not sure what the biggest markets for the Librem 5 would be.


It should be both. Modem would determine if you can be connected in the first place and how , then the device,.to see if they will allow special features to use on the network.
This is just my “educated” guessing of course, based on my experiences w 2 major carriers and basic reading
My concern is even bigger for some carriers, once @nicole.faerber stated that there are no plans to certify devices. Why? Sony XZ1 compact had the same Qualcomm’s chipset (w modem) (covering 95% of all US LTE bands )as it’s counterparts from other OEMs and it never got to activate VoLTE on ATT, with all tricks tried. Similar situation with other devices as well.
On the other hand , there were numerous unlocked phones not on any list able to use that important feature.

The biggest market should be US. 700 is a lot of money and for US customers they offer 12 mos to pay off at no interest. And I assume that ppl US haels a higher % of ppl interested in protecting privacy at this price.


To my knowledge Purism is rather generous when you want to send it back.
But instead, I’d rather consider a different carrier.

But my main point was that you have at least 30 more days for Purism to release additional information. They delayed making the final specs public so they could test & add three or four additional modems. They deserve praise for this and some patience to finalize the additional information.
Nothing will be sent to you before you select your modem and you don’t need to select one unless you have sufficient info.
So relax. If they don’t list tested US carriers before asking for your modern choice, you can still write an email and ask whether they tested your carrier.
Seriously, dudes, cool down.
A few days ago the aussies thought they have been forgotten, but even for those 5 people :wink: the awesome Purism folks took the time to test an additional modem.


That isn’t an option for all of us.


There is no doubt , that purism is doing all in it’s power to make it work for all customers and indeed deserve the praise.
Still, the reason why many are not as calm is that some are were caught off guard (who already paid) and some who are interested to buy don’t have the clarity this late in the process.


And all 5 of us very much appreciate it. :wink:

Modems - again - Australia

If the phone works with ATT, will it work with ATT MVNO’s? Specifically Tracfone?


My problem is, Caliga, that I don’t know what you know. But anyways… I spoke to one of my nephews this afternoon. He owns and runs a small local communication store. He sales T-Mobile and Verizon services among other things. I asked him to look into this and he told me not to worry about it. He thinks it won’t be a problem. I’m counting on him now. The other thing is he is fed up with the privacy problem and wants to know more about L5. That’s a good thing for me :slight_smile:


Carrier: T-Mobile
Freq/Band: 700Mhz Band 12
Current Hardware: Motorola MotoE(4) unlocked.
Choice for Librem 5: most likely the BM818 - A1 (if this is in-fact a real option)
Region(s): Northeast United States, Arizona United States
Comment: Excellent connectivity in the areas above. I especially like the lower frequencies (like 700Mhz) because I find that I tend to have better signal that others around me that do not have the lower frequency bands (12, 13, 17).


My local tower only runs on B12


Added Japan info here:

Feel free to add it to the first post in this thread.


According to, “Starting 1/1/2020: No Longer Allowed: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), providing a CDMA device to activate on an existing line.” I hope that doesn’t affect Librem 5 users. Is there going to be something like a grandfather clause? I’m wondering if it’s time to switch carriers.


The way I read this is no new CDMA devices can be activated, you can still bring your own LTE devices.


As long as it’s 4G and supports VoLTE. Is how I understand it.


Oh, okay. That makes sense. Thank you.


I’m confused… if there are two modem options, at which point is the one to use picked? I haven’t seen any option to choose between them, so are they both just shipped with the phone?


No. Having more modem options is a very recent change that was not originally planned.
At some point, they’ll probably integrate it in the shop, but until then, everybody will be asked before shipment. They are probably preparing the mail / web interface to make that choice, and will announce it in the upcoming days or weeks.


yea I what Caliga said . I recently spoke to a Purism rep due to an email issue i was having and he said my email needs to work because at some point purism will contact me to ask which modem im going with before its shipped.


I have 1 family member who does not yet have a 700Mhz phone - it still works, but looses signal in many areas where my other 2 family members no longer do.


At some point also hopefully the shop would choose a sensible default modem too - so that if someone who doesn’t have a good handle on what bands are used where orders, they get something that is likely to be the best option in their country.

To be honest until I backed the Librem 5 I never really thought about bands. I have had a succession of phones and they all just worked, including in out-of-the-way locations.

The user should still be able to override the default and ideally also order without a modem at all and also order multiple make/model/variants of modem.