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Verizon iPhone 5 Confirmed to Be Unlocked on GSM 3G Networks

iDownloadBlog has confirmed that the Verizon iPhone 5 being sold on contract does arrive unlocked for use on GSM networks, allowing users with a nano-SIM or a trimmed micro-SIM from a GSM carrier such as AT&T to use the device on their networks.
I can confirm that the Verizon iPhone 5 is indeed GSM unlocked. Even though I bought an iPhone 5 from Verizon under contract, I was able to cut down my AT&T Micro SIM, and use it in my Verizon iPhone 5 to pick up an AT&T signal. By doing so, I was able to hop onto AT&T’s HPSA+ network, or “4G” as they so ridiculously name it.

As the report notes, users attempting to use a Verizon iPhone 5 on AT&T in the United States will not have access to AT&T's LTE network, due to hardware differences that leave the Verizon iPhone 5 (which is essentially a single CDMA/GSM world-mode phone for 3G purposes) incompatible with LTE frequency bands 4 and 17 used by AT&T and Canadian carriers.

For other international GSM carriers, Verizon iPhone 5 owners should simply be able to obtain a nano-SIM card from the international carrier and use it in their phone.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
Correct me if I am wrong but this is awesome!
Rating: 17 Votes
29 months ago
That's the way it should have always been!! You're still under contract anyway which means you'll still have to pay your monthly bill even if you wanna use any other sim.
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago
Finally!! Verizon users can talk and surf at the same time!! :p
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago
Soooo that's including T-Mobile? I'm sure this will help with resell value!
Rating: 8 Votes
29 months ago
Screw AT&T....... :cool:
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago
that would have been useful information to have before i pre-ordered. bummer.
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

I used my Mom's upgrade who is on another account. I was under the impression I could just bring the phone to the Verizon store and activate it on my account. She was up for renewal and I wasn't so I used her upgrade and paid for the phone. When I brought it to the store they said I'm not up for renewal so I won't be able to use the phone on my account.

Is there a way I can get the phone on my account? I'm going to give her my 4S and I've already signed her up for a data plan on her account.

Any ideas? Can I cut down the SIM card from my 4S and stick it in the Iphone 5 and have it be on my account?


Call Verizon on the phone and they'll help you. Just make sure to activate the iPhone 5 on her account first. After that, you should be good to go on your account.

Yes, you can cut down the SIM but I wouldn't recommend that. Verizon should give a nano SIM for free.
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

It's beyond me why anyone goes with Verizon or AT&T. Both offer the same service as T-Mobile or Virgin, at almost double the price.

But hey, you get a subsidized phone.... :rolleyes:

I was thinking about switching to Virgin until I learnt that it does not let you use its phones outside the US. Not only does it not offer its own international data or voice plan, but it also does not let its phones be used with a local SIM cards.
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

I don't see how this is a surprise to anyone. The FCC mandated no locked phones when Verizon purchased C block spectrum.


More info/discussion on this: http://www.howardforum.com/showthread.php/1777112-Verizon-iPhone-5-s-must-be-unlocked!-FCC
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago
This is not a glitch or a result of Verizon "Being Nice" The reason it is unlocked is due to an FCC Mandate.

When Verizon licensed the rights to the 700C Block of LTE spectrum, they agreed to a very specific set of rules. One of these would be that they "Cannot configure devices to be locked against use on another network" This means that Verizon would be violating Federal law if the iPhone 5's sim slot is even partially locked.
Rating: 3 Votes

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