Verizon LTE SIM-lock potential could dampen 4G fun

Chris Davies - Dec 21, 2010
Verizon LTE SIM-lock potential could dampen 4G fun

Verizon’s LTE smartphones may not have the same SIM flexibility as many GSM handset users are familiar with, according to SIM specialist Gemalto, with the potential for cards to only work in Verizon-provided devices or only function if a certain service plan is in operation. Gemalto’s VP of business development, Jean-Louis Carrara, told PCMag that while the new SIMs should permit swapping between Verizon handsets, it’s up to the carrier to decide whether to use the optional lock-down features.

Unlike most GSM SIMs, Carrara says, cards for use with LTE service support greater two-way communication with the network and thus can lock themselves if certain criteria is not met. That could include trying to use a non-Verizon LTE phone on the network (assuming the 4G frequency bands were compatible).

Gemalto is more positive about the advanced SIMs – unsurprising, perhaps, given their position in the market – and would rather we look at the potential flexibility to use a single card with GSM, UMTS, CDMA and LTE network subscriber data in multiple devices. The first Verizon 4G LTE phones are expected to be unveiled at CES 2011 next month; for more on the sort of speeds the network is capable of, check out our data card review.

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