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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default GSM/CDMA confusion

    Hi everyone,

    I've had a look around the forums and I haven't seen my exact question asked yet, so here goes:

    Does the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have GSM capabilities?

    I ask because I've gotten some conflicting info. I called Verizon's global department to ask about upgrading to a phone which can be unlocked (I'm moving to Korea for a year, and will be using my phone on a Korean carrier. In Korea, the majority of carriers seem to use GSM networks). The Verizon rep told me that Verizon's Galaxy Nexus will work on a GSM network, due to a recent (or upcoming) software update. This seems to contradict everything I've read on forums online. But she said it again, definitively.

    Does this sound accurate to all of you?

    Many thanks to any of you who can clear up my confusion here,

    Jedi
  2. #2  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    LTE uses SIM for subscriber info, which, theoretically will work as long as there are LTE networks using the same frequency bands as the Gnex from Verizon.

    But as was said in my LTE & Europe thread, such a thing is practically non-existant. LTE networks using the 700MHz block simply don't exist outside of the US.

    VZW Gnex and European LTE
    jhtheking likes this.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAssailant View Post
    LTE uses SIM for subscriber info, which, theoretically will work as long as there are LTE networks using the same frequency bands as the Gnex from Verizon.]
    Thanks for the reply, Assailant. I'll admit I'm not up-to-speed on how all these technologies work, but the thread you linked to was helpful.

    I'm not needing 4G, and I could certainly get by with 3G. Is there a GSM radio in the device that will work with 3G networks outside the US?

    Many thanks.
  4. #4  

    Default

    As for GSM, no. Verizon uses CDMA for 2G/3G and there aren't any GSM radios on the CDMA Galaxy Nexus.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAssailant View Post
    As for GSM, no. Verizon uses CDMA for 2G/3G and there aren't any GSM radios on the CDMA Galaxy Nexus.
    That's what I thought as well. I wonder why she was saying that the Nexus did have a GSM radio. Misinformed, I suppose. Looks like I'll have to go with the Razr if I want to use a Verizon phone in Korea. Bummer.
  6. #6  
    Jeenyus's Avatar

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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi Knight View Post
    That's what I thought as well. I wonder why she was saying that the Nexus did have a GSM radio. Misinformed, I suppose. Looks like I'll have to go with the Razr if I want to use a Verizon phone in Korea. Bummer.
    There is a separate Nexus that has GSM radios, but I'm pretty sure the Verizon one only has CDMA capabilities at lower speeds.

    4G/LTE and 3G/2G are just names for ranges of frequencies. Verizon's 4G/LTE might differ from at&t's 4G/LTE. A smartphone transmit/receive data in frequency [Hertz] within a given bandwidth (frequency range).

    Example: T-Mobile and at&t 3G phones cannot be used interchangeably because TMo and at&t have different bandwidth. That is why at&t smartphone cannot use TMo's 3G for this reason. However their 2G/EDGE bandwidths are close so they can be used interchangeably. So an at&t unlocked smartphone will be able to use Tmo's 2G/EDGE network but not its 3G network due to different bandwidths.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    I believe the Rezound has a GSM radio as well.

    If that helps...
  8. #8  
    byrds8's Avatar

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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    So does the Razr. And if you listen to Verizons commercial their 4G phones are global.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    I think the rep may be confusing The Galazy Nexus with the Galaxy S3. The verizon Galaxy S3 has a GSM radio as well as LTE and CDMA. Obviously here in the states you are using Ev-do(CDMA) for 3G and LTE for 4G. The GSM on the S3 isn't active yet and Verizon says that they are going to send a software update soon to make it usable. I have heard no such things about the Gnex though and as far as I know Gnex will not work on GSM carriers. I believe Korea has CDMA carriers though. Anyway why don't you just buy the HSPA+ version. It's only a little over $300 right now.
  10. #10  
    Danv1369's Avatar

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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Technically your phone will work in South Korea.
    Countries Where Any Verizon Wireless Phone Will Work
    But it is locked into Verizon so you will have to pay the international roaming charges. You will not be able to use your Verizon Gnex to sign up with a carrier in Korea.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Thanks for the replies everyone (I've been traveling, and am just now getting to most of these). As expected, the Galaxy Nexus won't work in Korea. I'm leaving in a few days, and I just got off the phone with Verizon regarding the Galaxy S3. Yes, it's globally-capable. No, it can't be unlocked yet until the software update - and no one I spoke with knows when that update is coming. Frustrating, to say the least.
  12. #12  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi Knight View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone (I've been traveling, and am just now getting to most of these). As expected, the Galaxy Nexus won't work in Korea. I'm leaving in a few days, and I just got off the phone with Verizon regarding the Galaxy S3. Yes, it's globally-capable. No, it can't be unlocked yet until the software update - and no one I spoke with knows when that update is coming. Frustrating, to say the least.
    Thought there were at least some CDMA carriers in Korea?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Android Central Forums
  13. #13  
    bigdaddytee's Avatar

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    Have you looked into the unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus from Google Play? It's $350 upfront, but it's my understanding you can use it on any GSM network worldwide. You just need to purchase a SIM from a Korean carrier. Unless you WANT to pay Verizon's international prices for the entire year in Korea...you don't, do you?

    Sent from my (pretty awesome) SCH-i515
    Edwill86 likes this.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    I'm here, and according to the guys at the local mobile shop, everything's CDMA. So I'm completely confused at this point. I brought along a Droid 2 Global, for which I got an unlock code from Verizon, and unlocked it successfully when I put in the Korean SIM at the shop - but they can't get it to work on the network.

    To address the issue of the GSM Galaxy Nexus, I could buy it and have it sent here - but will it work here?
  15. #15  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi Knight View Post
    I'm here, and according to the guys at the local mobile shop, everything's CDMA. So I'm completely confused at this point. I brought along a Droid 2 Global, for which I got an unlock code from Verizon, and unlocked it successfully when I put in the Korean SIM at the shop - but they can't get it to work on the network.

    To address the issue of the GSM Galaxy Nexus, I could buy it and have it sent here - but will it work here?
    Hey JK..
    were you able to figure out a way?
    I'm gonna be heading over to korea for about a month (oct-nov) and was hoping my unlocked galaxy nexus (gsm from the play store) would work out there. from what I gather from this discussion over at macrumor: iPhone 3G works great in South Korea - Page 5 - MacRumors Forums
    i feel like it should work as long as I go with KT (korea telecom).. since they are the only provider that would sell a prepaid sim card to a non resident. But i'm just not sure if my phone will work there or not.
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    I am going to Ireland for a vacation in November so I called Verizon. The rep told me the Nexus is not a world phone but that it will work in Ireland. Then said if I pay 3.99 a month I get a fantastic call rate of .99 a minute. So I told the rep I had an old Droid 3 and that is a world phone. She agreed and said yes an it to would work in Ireland and be .99 a minute. WHAT!!!! SO world phones and non world phones work in Ireland and both have the same rate???
    Atomic Monkey likes this.
  17. #17  
    Edwill86's Avatar

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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    i believe the difference is the world phones you can use data over seas. My mom just went to Italy (still there) she has a Tbolt and thats not a world phone. so she got a Dinc2 from vzw's travelers plan (costs 20 for shipping) so she would have all here stuff when she was there we paid an extra 20 bucks for 1gb of world data. its a rip off but what are you going to do, all the Internationale calling and texting is an extra charge as well.

    so for what they said I gathered normal non world phones will work for calling on international roaming. you might end up paying roaming charges on top of the 99 cents a min? and you wont have any data access at all.
    this is just my understanding from what the rep i spoke to was saying.
    good luck!
  18. #18  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    The Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot work by using a GSM network SIM in the US or anywhere else in the world.

    It can however be used to roam on Verizon's international partners abroad - where the voice and data rates are ridiculously high.

    So unless someone can afford those roaming rates, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is entirely useless abroad where GSM networks abound but not CDMA.

    Question: if I want to use this phone on a 3G CDMA network abroad, can I? Do I first have to get it unlocked? How do I do that? Once unlocked if necessary, do I simply go to a CDMA provider abroad and ask for a SIM card, remove the 4G LTE VZW SIM card and put in that carrier's?
    mike drake likes this.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    I am at this very moment using a Verizon SGS3 on a GSM network. I have made calls, sent/received SMS and connected to the Internet, albeit with their Edge network.
    This thread over at XDA Develepers is a good resource:
    [GUIDE] Set up Verizon Galaxy S3 as World GSM Phone (confirmed working) - Page 11 - xda-developers
    rcali001 likes this.
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckG73 View Post
    I am going to Ireland for a vacation in November so I called Verizon. The rep told me the Nexus is not a world phone but that it will work in Ireland. Then said if I pay 3.99 a month I get a fantastic call rate of .99 a minute. So I told the rep I had an old Droid 3 and that is a world phone. She agreed and said yes an it to would work in Ireland and be .99 a minute. WHAT!!!! SO world phones and non world phones work in Ireland and both have the same rate???
    I sold my Galaxy Nexus and purchased the razr maxx hd and threw an O2 sim card in it when I got to Ireland. Made making calls in Ireland a breeze and I used Google Voice to and the unlimited data plan and wifi hotspots to call home.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: GSM/CDMA confusion

    Thanks for the tip, I am trying to find out if my galaxy S3 LTE i-9305 version will work on the verizon network in the US. I am trying to match up the frequencies but have been reading around that it may not work? I am hoping because I will be a returning customer to verizon from Germany. I bought my phone here just a little over 4 months and would like to use it more than just a wifi device? Hope anyone has any input from using phones bought from europe and being used in american mobile networks. I am sure it will work on Tmo or Att, but I am not planning on switching networks because I will still have the same plan I had when I left 3 years ago. Thanks for any future input!

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