1. jamie's Avatar
    I am just wondering why they do not make an unlocked CDMA Nexus 4?
    12-09-2012 09:13 PM
  2. boparunsxc's Avatar
    because CDMA is specific to each different carrier... you can't have an unlocked CDMA phone because activating said phone on whatever network you wanted would require flashing, which is pretty much illegal, requires a donor phone on whichever network, etc.... basically if the phone wasn't created specifically for the CDMA network it can't be put on said network with said networks permission, which you won't get.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Android Central Forums
    12-09-2012 09:20 PM
  3. Insp_Gadget's Avatar
    There is no such thing as an "unlocked" CDMA device. CDMA phones are managed by their built-in serial numbers. Each CDMA carrier has a database of those serial numbers, which it gets from the OEM when they buy the phones.

    When you buy a phone from a CDMA carrier and try to use it on another CDMA carrier, if the phone's serial number isn't in that carrier's database they won't activate it. It isn't a matter of the phone being "locked". It's that CDMA carriers can't activate phones that don't belong to them.

    As for why there is no CDMA version of the Nexus 4... That has more to do with the fact that the CDMA carriers interfered with the upgrade process, and pure Google Experience, of the previous Nexus phones... namely the Galaxy Nexus.

    The CDMA carriers wouldn't release the needed information for Google to incorporate the radio coding into Android updates. Google always had to wait for the CDMA carriers to do that part, which introduced delays into getting updates.

    Also, Verizon blocked Google Wallet and added some of their own apps to the Nexus. Google got fed up and decided not to be bothered with the CDMA-related headaches/interference.

    CDMA may be a large market in the U.S., but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the world, which is on GSM.
    yfan, Slender Troll and radiocycle like this.
    12-09-2012 09:39 PM
  4. 6tr6tr's Avatar
    Slight correction: there's no such thing as an unlocked USA CDMA phone. In other countries (Japan, China and I think a few in Europe) there are CDMA networks that allow unlocked phones.
    12-09-2012 10:59 PM
  5. Paul627g's Avatar
    Give it time... No one can say if this is dead in the water.. Maybe we will see a Nexus 4 down the road for Sprint... Verizon... That could be a different story after the mess they made of the GNex.
    12-09-2012 11:38 PM
  6. andr0idralphie's Avatar
    type *#*#4636#*#* in the dialer and select CDMA from the settings. WCDMA preferred is better though.
    12-09-2012 11:48 PM
  7. Insp_Gadget's Avatar
    Slight correction: there's no such thing as an unlocked USA CDMA phone. In other countries (Japan, China and I think a few in Europe) there are CDMA networks that allow unlocked phones.
    This may just be a matter of semantics, but by its very nature a CDMA phone can't be locked or unlocked in the way that GSM phones are. When a GSM phone is "locked" to a carrier it means that only that carrier's SIM cards will operate with the phone. Unlocked means that any carrier's SIM card will work in the phone.

    With GSM SIM cards, once the card is active, you can put it in any GSM phone and use it on that carrier... or put a SIM in the phone from any other GSM carrier and use the phone on their network. That is the nature of "unlocked" GSM. There is no need to get permission from a carrier to use a particular phone on their network. All the access to the network resides with the SIM, not the phone.

    Since CDMA phones (for the most part, LTE aside) don't use SIM cards, it isn't the phone that is locked or unlocked to the carrier. The control of whether or not a particular CDMA phone will work on a carrier rests with the carrier. That's why you have to have a CDMA phone "activated" by a CDMA carrier. Put another way, even if Sprint were willing to release one of their EVO's serial numbers to be used on another network, Verizon is under no obligation to allow it on their network. Verizon has to allow the phone to work by adding its serial number to their database.

    So having an "unlocked" CDMA phone is really analogous to having a phone that no carrier owns, because its serial number wouldn't be in anyone's database. Since CDMA carriers will only activate phones whose serial numbers they own, you wouldn't be able to just hop onto a carrier with that phone.

    Non-U.S. CDMA carriers may be more open to exchanging serial numbers in order to activate another carrier's phone, but again, it's not really an "unlocked" phone since you have to get permission to use the phone on said network.

    More information as to why the concept of an "unlocked' CDMA phone is completely different from what people consider unlocked with GSM: http://theunlockr.com/2010/09/15/unl...-cdma-and-gsm/
    12-10-2012 04:26 AM
  8. 6tr6tr's Avatar
    This may just be a matter of semantics, but by its very nature a CDMA phone can't be locked or unlocked in the way that GSM phones are. When a GSM phone is "locked" to a carrier it means that only that carrier's SIM cards will operate with the phone. Unlocked means that any carrier's SIM card will work in the phone.

    With GSM SIM cards, once the card is active, you can put it in any GSM phone and use it on that carrier... or put a SIM in the phone from any other GSM carrier and use the phone on their network. That is the nature of "unlocked" GSM. There is no need to get permission from a carrier to use a particular phone on their network. All the access to the network resides with the SIM, not the phone.

    Since CDMA phones (for the most part, LTE aside) don't use SIM cards,
    Sorry, but in a number of those other countries, the CDMA phones do use SIM cards.

    CDMA Sim Card Manufacturers, CDMA Sim Card Suppliers

    TATA india to offer SIM cards on its CDMA network | Wireless Federation
    12-10-2012 07:22 AM
  9. Insp_Gadget's Avatar
    Sorry, but in a number of those other countries, the CDMA phones do use SIM cards.

    CDMA Sim Card Manufacturers, CDMA Sim Card Suppliers

    TATA india to offer SIM cards on its CDMA network | Wireless Federation
    Ah, you're quite correct. I stand corrected. They use R-UIM (Removable User Identity Module) or CSIM (CDMA Subscriber Identity Module) cards, which basically gives them the same portability/functionality of GSM phones. U.S. carriers don't use them and CDMA phones made to operate in the U.S. don't have the slots for those modules. That's unfortunate for consumers.

    It will probably take an act of Congress to force CDMA carriers in the U.S. to switch to that technology. They are banking on the fact that CDMA phones in the U.S. have to be physically reprogrammed/flashed to operate on a different carrier. What was originally supposed to be a "security" feature to protect consumers from phone theft by preventing the phone from working anywhere else, turned out to be a method of lock-in for the U.S. CDMA carriers. They have no incentive to switch from that way of doing business.
    12-10-2012 08:01 AM
  10. Insp_Gadget's Avatar
    Give it time... No one can say if this is dead in the water.. Maybe we will see a Nexus 4 down the road for Sprint... Verizon... That could be a different story after the mess they made of the GNex.
    One can hope, but don't hold your breath. After the way Verizon treated the Galaxy Nexus, I don't see Google going back to them for more abuse. Maybe, and this is a big "maybe", they'll trust Sprint not to screw it up.

    We'll see.
    12-10-2012 08:07 AM
  11. Paul627g's Avatar
    One can hope, but don't hold your breath. After the way Verizon treated the Galaxy Nexus, I don't see Google going back to them for more abuse. Maybe, and this is a big "maybe", they'll trust Sprint not to screw it up.

    We'll see.
    That's what I'm hoping for with Sprint.



    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
    12-10-2012 08:44 AM
  12. Mellimel22's Avatar
    It's a chance. Google voice and wallet could help

    Sent from my Sprint Galaxy Nexus Rockin 4.2.1 using Tapatalk 2
    12-10-2012 09:51 AM
  13. Ry's Avatar
    12-10-2012 12:33 PM
  14. DirkBelig's Avatar
    There is no such thing as an "unlocked" CDMA device. CDMA phones are managed by their built-in serial numbers. Each CDMA carrier has a database of those serial numbers, which it gets from the OEM when they buy the phones.
    This is why I can't give my girlfriend my Sprint GS2 to use with her Virgin Mobile account despite VM running on Sprint's towers. Sucks that my old phone goes to waste and she's stuck with a dinky Optimus V.
    12-10-2012 01:52 PM
  15. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    CDMA is just a network technology. Just like GSM is just a network technology. The carrier can decide how to manage which devices will work on their network. Sprint and Verizon CHOOSE to manage their network that way, and a lot of it is tied in to their billing system, just like a SIM card is for GSM. GSM carriers could choose to not have as open of a network, but it would probably take some radical changes to how they do billing.
    Ry likes this.
    12-10-2012 04:56 PM
  16. ragnarokx's Avatar
    GSM carriers could choose to not have as open of a network, but it would probably take some radical changes to how they do billing.
    I don't believe this is the case. To use the GSM standard, a carrier must accept any phone on its network. A quick Google search turned up this. If GSM carriers could control what phones got on their networks, I'm sure they would do it no matter how many hoops they had to jump through.
    Kevin OQuinn likes this.
    12-10-2012 08:01 PM
  17. jamie's Avatar
    Thanks for all of the great input guys! I love Android Central forums and I learn a lot from them. It sounds like I need to let my Sprint contract run out and switch carriers to take advantage of the unlocked Nexus line. Do you guys feel the Nexus line is headed to GSM phone only for the near future?
    12-10-2012 08:43 PM
  18. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    I don't believe this is the case. To use the GSM standard, a carrier must accept any phone on its network. A quick Google search turned up this. If GSM carriers could control what phones got on their networks, I'm sure they would do it no matter how many hoops they had to jump through.
    AT&T is for LTE devices. :-( the They'll still accept unlocked GSM phones, but switching back and forth between 3G and LTE phones is dicey.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    12-10-2012 08:47 PM
  19. Joshua Campbell1's Avatar
    Your response is completely incorrect. It is NOT illegal to flash a phone. It is illegal to change the IMEI.
    08-06-2014 06:17 PM

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