Verizon’s Global Phones Being Blocked from Accessing AT&T’s Network?


Ruh-roh! If you bought a Droid 2 Global or a Motorola Droid Pro expecting to use it on AT&T’s network, then you might want to go and get your money back as it sounds like Verizon is blocking access to the 850 and 1900 bands that AT&T uses. It’s said that the block is specific to AT&T here in the states, though, and that networks in other countries using these bands would be able to communicate with Verizon’s global phones just fine. The strangest thing is that we haven’t heard such a report for those trying to use the devices on T-Mobile yet.


Verizon blocking one and not the other wouldn’t make sense, but eh. Any number of variables can factor in to what’s going on here. Thankfully, it appears XDA is already moving toward a fix so be sure to follow developments there if you’d rather keep your new Droid and hope to use it on AT&T’s network some day. [via Droid-Life]

[Update]: As one commenter pointed out, AT&T could be the ones doing the blocking here. I never considered that possibility, and it would make a lot more sense than Verizon not granting access. (Their little advertising war not too long ago probably didn’t do much to help whatever friendship they may have had, and it would be easier for AT&T to block specific phones than Verizon to single out AT&T-controlled bands.)

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Samsung Continuum Video Unboxing

Previous article

Honeycomb to be out in February by way of Next-Gen Tablets?

Next article

You may also like


  1. AT&T is just pissed because they’ll no longer have exclusivity to the Iphone once Verizon starts offering them early next year.
    The real question is, why would you want to buy a Droid to use on AT&T anyways? Their network sucks unless you live in a large city, and even if you still get the occasional dropped call. No thank you.

  2. I didn’t even think about the possibility of AT&T doing the blockage. Hmmm… In fact, that would make more sense.

  3. if someone was stupid enough to really think verizon would actually make it that easy to use thier phone on att just becuase it has a sim slot, they should be slapped. why is this such a big suprise to everyone???!? Verizons global Blackberrys could be used on tmo/att same with the global Touch Pro 2. of course the hacking community made it possible in both cases for people to think that they would allow that out of the box is just plain retarded!

  4. ^^that should say Verizons bb’s an tp2 COULDNT be used…sorry

  5. AT&T blocks access for a lot of stuff. They block T-Mobile phones from accessing their network in the Arkansas area. I haven’t tried it again since. AT&T blocks just about everything that doesn’t have their sim card in it or no sim card.

  6. IIRC, no VZW global phone has worked on US GSM networks.

  7. With a dick move like this, it’s gotta be AT&T.

  8. A dick move? Since when do carriers sell you a phone to use on another network? I have to wonder what is wrong with people today. I can’t stand this sense of entitlement a lot of people have.

  9. Have you even considered the possibility that neither is “blocking”, and that maybe it’s just not working ? .. It’s not like the 3G is going to work.. we are just talking basic phone access… what benefit is to be had by either company blocking ?.. phone sales ?.. I think too much conspiracy theory here, and more likely something is missing in the software.. and besides this is nothing new in the US.. 4 major networks and for the most part they are all incompatible in some way.

  10. it truly boggles my mind that folks are number 1 suprised by this and number 2 think that either verizon or att is being unreasonable. put your pettiness and small thinking to the side for a second and think about it from their point of view. they make money on contracts not hardware. so someone could goto a verizon store, but a droid pro outright, slap their att sim in it, and be on their way without ponying up to verizon every month. you are truly unintelligent if you actually thought you would be able to do something like that!

  11. when i was on t-mobile i had a bladkberry storm from verizon that was unlocked it worked fine as far as edge goes.

  12. A world phone not working on any sim I want to use even after sim unlocking = retarded if you ask me.
    That’s kind of the point of a work phone ans sim unlocking in the first place…..
    Phone looks really nice tho.

  13. world not work. sorry.

  14. @tim242
    I will agree with you about a subsidized phone, but I will not agree with a phone that own. If you buy the phone outright, you should be able to use it as you see fit. Too bad too many people were too stupid to see what Google was trying to accomplish last year with selling unlocked phones not tied to carriers specifically. I think Google really needed to have their own brick and mortar stores or partnered with someone like Best Buy to have really accomplished this. The carriers have too much power in the United States (examples of this are the gimping of the Samsung Galaxy Tab by removing phone capabilities and Skype only being WiFi in the US)

  15. Wouldn’t one possibility for the blocking, regardless of who initiated it, that AT&T’s network is overburdened as is and hence they don’t want another network’s devices on their network sucking down even more bandwidth?

  16. I wonder if AT&T will allow access once the Droid 2/Pro are allowed to be sold through AT&T. After all these phones where built to allow different sim cards so it’s only fair they allow other carriers to sell them as well.

  17. uh, wouldn’t these blockages raise questionable legal issues/FCC issues?

  18. i doubt it. verizon has sold many differnt “global” phones in the past 5 or so years and all have worked the exact same way. this is not something new people!!!

  19. Should this be a competition thing? People should be allowed to buy at full price their phones and use it on any network that they wish. Otherwise, you are handing a monopoly to telecommunications companies.

  20. Quote from tim242:
    “A dick move? Since when do carriers sell you a phone to use on another network? I have to wonder what is wrong with people today. I can’t stand this sense of entitlement a lot of people have.”

    Are you a spokesperson for the telecom industry? That probably violates some form on independence.

    This is not about entitlement – this is about competition. In Europe, you can buy phones unlocked and on any network – it provides healthy competition. Refuting your statement, I can’t stand the entitlement of telecoms.

  21. Dude, are you serious?

    Verizon wants you to use their network. The reason they even HAVE “global phones” is because they have no network in many places outside the US and Canada and by putting both CDMA and GSM chips into their global phones they get to keep customers who otherwise would defect to AT&T.

    In other words . . . in the US you use the Verizon CDMA network. Period.

    This has always been the deal. You sure you’re a tech geek of some sort?

    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO
    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP Computer Support, Business Change Coaching and Virtual Assistant Services

    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP on Twitter

  22. @Jeff that’s fine, except I also questioned why Verizon wouldn’t block T-Mobile if that were the case? At least, we haven’t gotten any reports on T-Mobile customers having any issues, while we’ve seen at least half a dozen about AT&T.

  23. It seems that the block is in the radio firmware. Verizon has done this before with WinMo phones. AT&T has no reason to do this — if they block these phones, a user will just switch to Verizon. Also, people are seeing no signal — so that’s an indication that the bands are just blocked internally in the phone. I’m sure this will be cracked by end of next week. Considering that all probability this is a Verizon move — I’ll never sign up with them and hope people will get a class action lawsuit against them for advertising the phone as having quad band GSM and tri band HSDPA, and cripling it internally. Can we get anti-trust to look into this and slap Verizon with a huge fine for this BS.

  24. @Quentyn Kennemer
    Do you know if anyone has tried this with T-Mobile?

  25. VZW and AT&T are so busy trying to outdo each other that they are missing T-Mo sneaking up on them. T-Mo is going to have the first working nationwide LTE system and a bunch of neat phones and will blow them both out of the water if they aren’t careful. Everyone thinks of T-Mo as a little company, forgetting that they have a huge international conglomerate behind them.

  26. PLEASE!! T-Mo will NEVER be as big (both network wise or customer size) as AT&T or Verizon. As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet Big Red or AT&T will end up buying out T-Mobile within the next couple of years. TMo is the red headed stepchild of the cell phone world.

  27. Let me clarify what I meant. It’s a dick move if they’re not going to let you use your phone the way you want to after buying it off contract. I can understand not wanting people to use the phone on another network if you buy it on contract (Not sure why you’d do that anyways. You still have to pay a monthly fee to Verizon). But if you buy the phone off contract, who cares what you do with it? It’s yours. As Chris said, in Europe, you can buy a phone unlocked and use it on any network. You can even import some phones from Europe and use it on AT&T like the Galaxy S. Why NOT give consumers more choice? Why take away the consumer’s FREEDOM to do what they want with their phones?

  28. This is something new. I personally have used a Storm 9530 on both AT&T and TMO. It takes a lot of work with service books, but it can be done. Same goes for the Tour. Those saying this has always been the case with global VZW phones are not totally correct.

  29. What, Alex?? A lot of work, getting a Storm to work on GSM? Just unlock it & slide SIM in, hope that helps, lol. After that, is tweaking. Regardless, this like other “world phones” will be hacked by the community & will function on GSM.

  30. Att needs better phones! also att still thinks 3g is faster than 4g. time to change my friend.

  31. If you were going to pay full retail price for an unlocked version, then you should be allowed to use whichever network you choose. However, if you’re buying a subsidized phone, there is no way that VZ is going to let you use someone else’s network within the US. Period. They would lose money on that deal.

  32. First of all I am not interested in trying this myself but I do think that if you pay the higher price for a phone that is NOT under contract (that is why you pay the higher price-so you can walk to the carrier of choice) then you should be allowed to take that phone to compatible networks worldwide (including those inside the US). This is how it works with GSM phones sold elsewhere in the world. Buy the phone and pick your carrier. Swap in the SIM for your carrier of choice. Subsidized phones (and the locking that goes with it) are a US thing and I am not complaining since I can’t afford to shell out $600.00 for a phone without the contract). However, that said, if you buy a phone without the contract, or if you finish out your contract terms then you should be allowed to take that phone to another compatible carrier. If it supports their frequencies it would work provided the carrier isn’t doing something sneaky to block it. Good thing for the dev community who often steps in to help in these situations by finding a workaround.

  33. i like…chicken

  34. AT&T real could care less what phone you’re using, used many unlocked phones, including TMO and vice versa. This phone was crippled for US carriers by VZW. And to the retard who said about the added bandwidth, I doubt many people would even bother to unlock the phone and add the proper apn’s (which is the issue). Seeing its looked as if its blocked VZW and Sprint have a long history of not allowing each others phones on their systems. So point the finger in the direction of the Red Check of Satan’s corner.

    I’m also sure, if one really wants this phone and it does seem decent enough, our friends over at xda-dev’s will have this issue solved sooner rather then later.

  35. It’s called competition. Carriers get exclusivity on phones for a reason, like it or not. If the phone were allowed to be used on any carrier, then exclusivity means nothing. If the iphone was able to work on any network in the US, where would att be right now? The companies are in business for a reason…to make money.

  36. Actually it is new because Verzon made these two global phones so they COULD work on AT&T. previous Verizon global phones didn’t have sim slots specifically made to use AT&Ts sim card. I happen to think these phones will soon be up and running on AT&Ts network. Remember you heard it here first. Or at least heard it here again.

  37. If this is a dick move, it must be Verizon doing it, as they’re major dicks.

  38. Verizon is a major dick! They bill me for services I use every month and are trying to run a business and make money. For shame verizon, for shame.

  39. It doesn’t matter if you buy on contract or off. What matters is locked or unlocked. If you buy a phone from AT&T or T-mobile, it is likely locked and you can’t put in any SIM card. Heck, when I went to Europe, my T-Mobile phone would only work with their European counter parts. Verizon may be using a different mechanism, but the end result is that they aren’t doing anything new. Apparently people like this situation in the US..because I don’t see very many people lined up to buy $700 unlocked phones like they do in Europe.

  40. If I buy an off contract phone at retail — first — it should not even be sim-locked, apparently it is. Second once the sim lock is removed. The other garbage VZ is pulling of crippling the radio firmware of not letting it get onto the US GSM carriers is anti competitive and should be illegal (probably is). I don’t owe anything to VZ. I paid RETAIL. It’s my phone!!! This is equivalent of Best Buy selling you a full price DVD player that can only play DVDs purchased at best buy. Who would stand for that garbage?

  41. Verizon is well known for their anti-competitive acts and FCC net neutrality violations. With T-Mobile, you just call them up and they’ll unlock your phone free of charge, even if you’re under a contract. You’re allowed to unlock one phone every 30 days. For a phone under contract, I believe you need to wait 30 days to unlock, but if you buy it outright, you can unlock it right away. Done it many times. Verizon, on the other hand, sucks.

  42. Really, guys? Verizon’s “Global Phones” simply are supplied with a co-branded Verizon Wireless/Vodaphone SIM card for use when roaming internationally on Vodaphone’s network, or a partner network, and are locked to those SIMs. This is because the VAST majority of carriers around the world adhere to the GSM standard, and Verizon’s aging CDMA technology is nowhere to be found. HOWEVER, you can UNLOCK these phones, put in an AT&T/T-mo/whoever SIM card and have the phones work domestically on any GSM carrier. The only ways to keep the phones off a network would be software-related. VZW could mandate that future handsets be “programmed” to reject SIM card ICCID numbers in AT&T’s range, or simply block the phone from connecting to AT&T’s MNC’s. As far as I can see it, there’d be no value in AT&T putting the effort into blocking specific handsets. After all, if someone is so dead set on a specific handset that they’d go through the trouble to purchase (without subsidy discount) and unlock it, they’ll clearly do anthing to get THAT handset. When push comes to shove, do you really think they’d sacrifice customers? I don’t think so…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets