Librem 5 for Verizon network?

I saw another post but still cannot find what carriers the librem 5 will be compatible with. Need to know before preorder. Thanks in advance!

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if I had to answer your question I would say it will be compatible with all the networks being a problem of frequencies … or I did not understand the question:hushed::hushed::hushed:

Yeah I too asked this question a while back too but the answer I got wasn’t very satisfactory. I hope it has verizon support as well(I already pre-ordered). If not I’ll probably connect my Librem to my Nexus 5X’s hotspot. I really hope I don’t have to do that though seeing as that defeats some of the privacy aspects of the Librem 5. I don’t believe the Librem has CDMA but one of the responses I got on my post said Verizon is moving to a pure LTE network by 2020 but that still doesn’t answer the question about LTE bands and such.


As you know, Verizon uses the so-called CDMA standards for its 2G and 3G network, but for 4G it is using LTE, bringing it in line with GSM networks. However, LTE relies on either VoLTE or 2G and 3G standards for voice calls and SMS.

I have seen no indication that the Librem 5 will support either VoLTE or cdmaOne/CDMA2000. So, my guess is that, on Verizon, the Librem 5 would be data-only and restricted to areas where Verizon has 4G coverage. So, you could use it with Internet-based services over the cellular network, but you wouldn’t be able to make or take network-native calls or send and receive SMS messages.

That’s assuming that Verizon doesn’t have any policies for whitelisting models of phones, or anything of that nature.

With any luck, VoLTE (and WiFi calling) can be added to the phone in a software upgrade somewhere down the line, in which case, in principle, voice calls and SMS could be supported on Verizon, in areas with 4G coverage, assuming Verizon doesn’t whitelist VoLTE implementations.

It’s all speculation at this point though.

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I hope for all the people who relly on cdma that purism will provide an out of the box sulution, but even if not so, with the librem 5 you will be in a much better position then with any other phone. The modem in the librem will be an M.2 card. So one can easily change it. So you can just by a cdma compatiuble modem and put it. I found this Huawei ME906V
I’m not 100% shure if it will fit because as far as i know the final dimension for the m.2 card are not yet there (there are different length for m.2 slots).
The other thing would be that one needs proper linux driver for the modem. These could be closed source or not available at all. So CDMA user might be lacking behind with an alternative solution to the stock purism one. But still much better than the nexus5 tethering. :wink:

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I am also on Verizon. I will definitely be getting a librem 5. It’s going to be a few months before I can afford the phone but I will be buying one as soon as my trust account is built (as well as a Librem 13).

What network should I be using if Verizon is broken? I don’t mind getting a different network but I want to know what I will need to change to that will work. I also use a Nexus 5X and I do not plan to use a hotspot off it. I want one phone and to hand off my N5X. I just moved to a good city so most major networks should be available but T-Mobile is broken in my old city which I intend to visit frequently so not that network ideally. Neither AT&T nor Sprint are systems I like for various reason but it look like I’ll be stuck there unless someone knows a better way to take the system with the Librem 5.


If the pricing structure, billing system or customer service is the main problem with using AT&T or Sprint, you could look at MVNOs that ‘piggyback’ on AT&T or Sprint and support GSM or UMTS. Wikipedia has a list. (I’m in the UK so not well placed to advise.)


Check the librem 5 site see if there is a list of carriers some where.

The section about frequency bands might be useful. :slight_smile:

Sprint like Verizon uses CDMA/EVDO for 3G. I wouldn’t expect Sprint to be a good option. The major GSM/UMTS networks in the US are AT&T and T-Mobile

The link posted by @david.boddie suggests that the modem specs have been published (I’m not sure if it was the case when @patch answered). Unfortunately, I lack the knowledge to translate these bands into specific features compatibility. Can anyone help me make sense of it? Will the phone be compatible with 4G only or also call + SMS?

From what I gathered it sounds like it won’t be compatible with Verizon at all unless you replace the modem which should be replaceable in theory. However the model that works on verizon seems to be 4G LTE only which means calling will only work over VoLTE and I’m not sure if the phone supports this. To be honest though this is just what I’ve gathered from all the info, I’m not actually sure about it, it’d be really nice if purism gave a definitive answer.

As has been said, the Librem will use modems of the GSM-variety, which means it supports GSM (2G), UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G).
Verizon uses the CDMA-Family, which means cdmaOne (2G), CDMA/1xEV-DO (3G) but also LTE for 4G.

In turn this means, that the Librem will not support 2G and 3G on Verizon, but will work in their LTE network.
In LTE there is no legacy call or SMS function, which are therefore not usable with the Librem.
However, there is VoLTE, which is offered by Verizon, but we have no confirmation, that the Librem will support it (and personally I expect it won’t at launch, but maybe at a later point).

It basically depends on the modem vendor. If they ship a VoLTE client in the modem, it will just work; if they don’t it gets complicated because it has to be implemented on the CPU side, which has quite some complexity.

Also, the Gemalto modem (nor the SIMcom one) does not support LTE Band 13 (700 MHz), which I expect will be used by Verizon to provide rural coverage, so the device might be only usable in more populated areas like cities.

I would advice to use a carrier with a GSM network for the Librem.