I work in a basement where the only incoming cellular reception is from a Verizon Network Extender for Enterprise.
Specs on the VZW NE suggest that the device broadcasts over bands 13 (LTE), 66 (AWS) and 46 (5 unlicensed GHz).
Specs on the Samsung S8 suggest that the phone supports bands 13, 66 and 46 too:
In theory if I find a phone that operates over those bands I can atleast see the signal from the NE. If the phone recognizes those bands for service I will be good to go.
As I research models it seems that there are many variations of the S8, some GSM, some CDMA and some hybrid or unlocked.
This phone (G950U) mentions that it is exclusively for the VZW Network:
This phone (G950V) mentions that it is unlocked and should work for any carrier:
GSMArena suggests that the G950U stands for "Unlocked USA", which I would think should be a safe choice. But the G950V stands for "USA Verizon" which would be the safest choice, assuming it is compatible with a 3rd party carrier. However, GSMArena also mentions that both of these versionse are GSM, there is no mention of CDMA support like I see for a different device like a Droid Turbo.
Would either of these phones versions work over a CDMA 3rd party Verizon provider and the VZW Network Extender?
Solved! Go to Correct Answer
Hi, John. Long time no see.
As the CDMA network is being retired by the end of 2019, it is more important to get a phone capable of HD Voice/VoLTE with the correct LTE frequencies then to get a phone with CDMA radios. Verizon Wireless actually won't activate a phone that handles voice calls only through the CDMA network.
If you are looking at unlocked models, you can check the model number against the certified BYOD list linked below. I would have to go digging a little deeper to verify the Verizon Wireless model number.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
If I am following the unlocked post correctly then the model number for the S8 should be the G965U1. But when I look up that model number on GSMArena it is tied to the S9. Might be a formatting issue on the table.
See the models/versions listed in the S9+ specs to confirm G965U:
See models/versions listed in the S8 specs to confirm G950U:
Assuming there is a minor formatting issue with the table then this confirms I need the G950U1 model number for the "USA Unlocked" version of the S8 to be compatible with VZW. Not sure what the "1" on the end of the model number is referring to but the G950U part matches up with my previous research. Atleast I know that the S8 does support the bands that I need to communicate with the Network Extender where I work (13, 66 and 46) so there is a chance it will work on a VZW account.
I'm not as concerned about HD voice or VoLTE at this time. Getting any kind of voice or data reception will be an improvement from having to walk up the stairs to answer phone calls or check voicemails.
You also mentioned that CDMA (3G) is going away at the end of 2019:
This should only impact CDMA phone activations. The Network Extender already offers LTE over band 13. The S8 is GSM/HSPA/LTE and see band 13 so I would think I would be fine. Though, I might have a problem if I choose a 3rd party VZW carrier who caps me at 2GB of LTE then bumps me down to 3G/2G for any overages. The Network Extender may not be able to provide the appropriate 3G/2G data connection after I get cut off from LTE.
All of the 3rd party VZW providers I have looked at list thier VZW network as CDMA right now. That must be for 3G reasons. I hope all that is important is that they are authorized VZW lines and that my extender will service them over whatever the phone supports at the time.
Let me know if you can think of any other snags with my plan.
I checked with EcoMobile.
The chat rep suggests that thier VZW/CDMA plans will be impacted by the CDMA retirement eventually, but the impact is still unknown. All they know for sure is that they are no longer be able to activate 3G/CDMA only phones.
They are accepting 4G LTE phones and can activate them over LTE. Service should continue to work with VZW as long as EcoMobile has a relationship with them. They already offer 4G LTE data on thier "CDMA" plan, they may need to update thier terms. I suppose if the relationship breaks down after CDMA goes away I can always try another 3rd party that has a relationship over LTE with VZW.
I think I have what I need to confidently move forward now. Atleast I know the Samsung S8 version G950U is the correct one to choose to be compatible with VZW.
Checked with VZW support on the Network Extender side.
The rep that I spoke with suggest that the VZW Network Extenders are not compatible with MVNO's at all. This has to do with the nature of the device and how it VPN connects direct to VZW before allowing anyone to use the device. I am under the impression that the Network Extender will only work with true VZW lines.
Bummer, a single phone line at my level of usage is not cost justifyable with Verizons current offerings. I'll keep searching for confirmation but I suspect what I want isnt going to work.
I rely on my network to work in the basement too John_Getzke. It is even more important for you because you are conducting business. We want to make sure that the Network Extender will work with the device you have. The Network Extender will work for our devices. You will need to have Advanced Calling turned on. If you get a device that is not Verizon Wireless then it will not have this feature. Does that make sense? AmberF_VZW
I ended up getting the USA unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Specs confirmed it was compatible with CDMA (for activation) and the correct LTE bands (for data and VoLTE). From there I found a Verizon MVNO that fit my budget.
After a little trouble porting my number over I completed the activation and confirmed everything works as expected. I now have VZW 4G LTE coverage in the basement where I work.
Thanks for the tips and info!
I appreciate the update you are sharing with us as it relates to you getting an unlocked Samsung S8 device. This is great and that the issue has been resolved. If you need any further, please feel free to use our support website https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/ .