buy an incred 2, droid 2, blackberry..
If I am reading their descriptions right, none of those phones are 4G/LTE. I've read that LTE is backwards compatible with GSM, so those phones should be sold as international, right? That is the puzzle I'm trying to figure out. Will LTE phones in fact work on GSM networks (let's say in Europe)?
Europe (and most of the world) uses the GSM frequency bands of 900 & 1800 Mhz. Verizon's LTE operates using the 700 Mhz frequency band. That is why Verizon's LTE phones (at least the two that are currently for sale) are not listed as 'global' phones. In the future when (and if) Europe converts to the 700 Mhz band these phones may be useable there, but not now.
LTE, the standard, is backwards-compatible with HSPA/UMTS, which are prior GSM-based standards. However, VzW's implementation of LTE is a limited one, implementing ONLY the LTE data part of the GSM standard and using their existing 1xRTT/EVDO technology for voice and non-4g data. That's why the LTE phones they have now are non-global.
Presumably, whenever they get their LTE to the point where they're carrying all transmissions over just LTE (voice, text, and data), this restriction will no longer apply...
Almost a year since the original post in this thread and we are still waiting. Moreover, Verizon has discontinued nearly all "global-ready" android phones. It really is time for an update from Verizon on the subject.
It is beginning to appear that if you want a global phone, look for some service provider other than Verizon.
I would be pleased to have a cell phone that did 4g in the US but only 3g overseas, but Verizon cannot even do that.
The ONLY time they are backwards compatible is IF the frequencies are there. Verizon runs 700mhz spectrum and is NOT used anywhere as GSM or UMTS/AWS therefor it is NOT a global ready device. Verizon also uses CDMA for voice/text and there are limited places around the world that run CDMA. When Verizon goes VoLTE then there is a chance if Europe decides the run 700mhz spectrum(high chance since Vodaphone has been lobbying for it hard) then Verizon will NOT have a global LTE device as the radio doesn't support anything but 700mhz.
Some modern chipsets include software-defined radios that can change
their frequency and even their technology. They change mode depending
on the firmware loaded at startup. It would be really helpful if we had
a list of such chipsets and the phones that use them. At least we'd
know which ones stood some chance of being global-compatible in the
future, if and when Verizon decides to enable the capability. As it is,
they stand a very good chance of losing an increasing number of their
most lucrative customers.
Global users are the least lucrative...