Librem 5 carrier compatibility thread


From what I understand of the US mobile phone system, your networks don’t like it because they can’t do much about locking down the phones, stuffing them with bloatware and charging extra for what should be normal features. Taking that in mind, I really do not see them favouring a system over which they have even less control.

Looking at it from the outside, I cannot understand how your system is so fragmented, so incompatible and how much excessive control your mobile phone providers have.


I think it is the modem inside the librem5 that might be compatible and require such a mark. And if the user replaces the modem with a new one, it has to have a mark to be legal.


The links you posted are not reflective of the real world use.
When I brought over 3 phones to Verizon, this very process on their website was showing them as “not supported” and “ineligible”. They were all factory unlocked. But, once I activated them with supported-whitelisted IMEIs they were perfectly fine and still in use.


Could you elaberate on this?

Where did the magic supported IMEIs come from when they were deemed not supported?


I saved most of them from before :slight_smile:
I had a list of the phones precisely because I knew I’m gonna need it at one point.
That’s what I did with ATT too.
Some were carrier branded , some unlocked but supported (Pixels)
Years ago , when I was short , I would ask a friend or family member for their IMEI :slight_smile:

And to add to my previous comment,
One if the IMEIs that belonged to Verizon branded phone (2013 Moto X) also showed as not supported, yet it worked from a get go without changing IMEI attached to the sim. So, I think it’s not about modem or whatever, but specific device list. Why? They wanna make sure that all features network provides work on your phone. For example WiFi calling is not available for this phone.


Many of them sell USB modems and hotspots. They have no control over the computer that they plug into, except maybe the drivers with USB modems. They cannot control what connects to a hotspot because the devices connect with WiFi. I would be fine with giving up the cell voice functionality and using a 3rd party VoIP service to provide me with voice service over the Internet. I can see them having an issue with this back in the 3G days, but 4G networks should have enough capacity where this should not be an issue.

The US market has more people spread out, and people hate seeing new cell towers. So that might be a reason. Also, regulatory capture. It’s like larger governments are less easy to hold accountable or something.


Clever, but unless Purism provides us with new IMEIs, or documents this process, then the IMEI checking website results will be relevant for most users.

Given your workaround, it makes sense to include in the results that just because the website rejects the built-in IMEI, that the phone might still be made to work with that carrier. However, the carrier might not like Purism if the workaround instructions came from Purism itself.


As per Todd Weaver response to my Q, Purism won’t submit the phone to US carriers for any sort of certification. Therefore, it’s extremely unlikely that we gonna see IMEIs associated with L5 whitelisted on these 2 major networks.
Though, my primary concern remains - will it be “black listed” , which won’t let it use VoLTE no matter what you try to do.


Somehow, customers who do not monitor this forum need to know the implications of this before selecting their modem. Maybe they will want to switch carriers after knowing their options, and changing carriers might mean selecting a different modem. Having a bunch of customers change modems after failing to activate the one that they chose during shipping will not be good for anyone.


I have no absolute idea that blacklisting is irreversible. Rather, I understand that a good deal of the time there is provision for restoration by services such as


Another thing being that IMEI numbers are a prime way of tracking you, so that the idea in general is to allow any phone that might be available to service to have an IMEI to track (assuming in most cases no hardware kill switch is present). This means that the presumption is that non-stollen phones will all have IMEI of functioning basis. Without this the phone is both undetectable to Uncle Sam and pretty much bricked.


I think you misunderstood what I said, or rather I said it wrong. I put it under the quotes - “black listed” , specifically to differentiate it from the actual blacklisting. I just don’t know how else to call it. What do I mean by it -
Carrier decides that a specific model won’t have access to VoLTE, despite the fact that it has a capable and compliant hardware. More time passes by, it’s even less likely to allow it.
My and other ppl experience on ATT
All Unlocked US version phones
Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Play, Moto XPE , Sony XZ1 Compact
No matter what trick is tried, they would never have VoLTE. I managed a few times and it worked for a brief second.
Though, these phones were getting phone calls on 3g and had a regular LTE connection for internet browsing.
On the other hand , Moto Z2 Play and Moto XPE had VoLTE on Verizon. Moto Z Play didn’t because it was competng with their own version “Droid Z Play”.
when I tested just recently ATT branded Moto Z2 force (had it sim unlocked) it was flat out denied any kind of connection. Nada. I tried all different ways and it just wouldn’t get the network signal. That one, I can tell was blacklisted for the reasons unknown to me. It had most of the LTE bands and wasn’t stolen since I bought it new months before that and used it on ATT. Maybe,it’s because of the fitmware or bc they had their own Z2 Force version.


Cricket user on the eastcoast. I used at&t and Verizon phones on the cricket network and heard sprint phones are used on it to. So my guess is, if you use cricket, you’ll be good. But if anyone has any words of wisdom, please share. I could use it before I buy the phone.


In “The very first Librem 5 to roll off the assembly line”, we see that they are using h2o Wireless for cell service. So at least we know that we can connect to the AT&T network.


I’ve added the BroadMobi T1 variant for reference.


Connected to network probably won’t be a problem. What we need to wait for is whether it will have VoLTE or not. For many it’s not a deal breaker. For me it would be , because the 3g towers around me are too weak to hold on the conversation and LTE is full bars. While using non whitelisted unlocked device , I was getting to many missed calls (straight to VM) or just dropped at very beginning.
With Verizon the problem would be on a completely different level. They only gonna have LTE for voice - shutting down CDMA completely by end of the year, so without that feature activated , L5 would turn into a fancy media streaming device :slight_smile:


“not supported or ineligible” was shown on Verizon’s web page after I entered IMEI for each phone I was going to bring over. It was for that BYOD program they have


Sorry, I did misunderstand.
Technology is supposed to make life easy for you, but the standards mismatches make things rather difficult. I suspect that a better world would see more uniformity of access.
5G will not likely get us there.


Can someone walk me through what kind of conversation I should have and what I should say to the carrier I switch to when I get the Librem 5? Do I walk into an AT&T and ask particular questions? Do I do it over the phone? I don’t know anything about modems…


They seem to be using h2o Wireless, which is AT&T’s network. If you like their plans, I would try them first. Look under “bring your own phone/device.” Hopefully, Purism chimes in if there are any special steps. The PLS8-US modem has AT&T’s approval.