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Traveling to the UK - GSM/CDMA Confusion

Everything I've read online tells me that the Droid Bionic isn't capable of using the GSM network in the UK (where I am traveling). This includes the VZW Trip Planner, which tells me my phone won't work in the UK. However, when I called Verizon's Global Services, the representative I spoke with told me that my phone would indeed work. I'd like to get this figured out before my trip as it's one less thing to worry about while there. Was she mistaken, or has something changed? Thanks for any insight you can provide...

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Re: Traveling to the UK - GSM/CDMA Confusion
Sr. Member

I'm surprised someone at VZW Global Services told you a CDMA phone would work in the UK. In general, Verizon's phones don't work on GSM networks. I don't know anything specifically about the Bionic, though. Perhaps it could get EVDO service in the UK?

I recently traveled to the UK, and found it very easy to use Verizon's global services, which will basically give you a loaner to use while you're out of the country. It looks like you've found them already. What they will do is send you a replacement phone to use on your trip. You can activate it before you leave (which will deactivate the Bionic) and sync your contacts and calendar, either with Backup Assistant or via Google. When you get back, you just reactivate the Bionic and send back the loaner (FedEx prepaid by VZW).

They'll charge you about $20 to ship the global-usable phone back and forth. To my surprise, after I'd been back for a week or two I got an e-mail saying they were then refunding the $20! You'll need to look into signing up for a global voice plan and a global data plan, whose monthly fees are prorated for the actual time you have them on your account. The global voice plan will bring the cost of calls down from $1.29 to $.99/minute, still not cheap, but texts are fairly inexpensive.

On the whole I found this to be a pretty simple process, and the Global Services people I spoke with were knowledgeable. The only downside was that at the relatively late date I called to reserve my phone, they had no Androids available and I had to take a Blackberry. You should definitely contact them again, and if they still say the Bionic will work in the UK, nail down the exact details of what kind of network it will connect to and how speedy the data service will be. It won't be 4G, I guarantee. The Blackberry got 3G most of the time, but I will say that it was surprisingly spotty for being in the middle of London.

Re: Traveling to the UK - GSM/CDMA Confusion

Verizon has numerous CDMA phones which have a SIM card which will allow them to work overseas in a GSM environment (but not in the USA - i.e. not on the ATT network).

If you have a "Global" phone, then you need to contact Verizon and get set up with an international plan.

Up until the end of June, there were no Verizon 4G phones that were Global, although a number were "Global Ready" with SIM cards already installed.  With the recent release of the Ice Cream Sandwich software on several 4G phone, some "Global Ready" phones such as the RAZR and RAZR MAX became truly "Global".  This was great for me as I left for the UK 2 days after the update, and my RAZR Maxx worked great over there.  Phone, text and e-mail.  $25 for each 100 mg of on-line plus about $1.25/minute to make or receive calls.

Previously, I used a Droid Pro overseas.  It was a Global 3G phone.

I don't know where the Bionic stands on this subject. If it is a 4G phone and has a SIM card, then it probably needs to run ICS to be Global. 

Hope this helps.

Re: Traveling to the UK - GSM/CDMA Confusion
Asistencia al cliente

Hola islatron,

I apologize for the conflicting information you received and I am here to help alleviate the confusion! Your Bionic is not GSM capable and will not work via a GSM network.  The good news is that we offer a Global Travel Program, where we loan you a global device for up to 3 weeks. For more information visit:http://bit.ly/xaey0L . I hope this information is helpful and that you havea safe trip. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Thank you for your contribution to our community forums,


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