updated 05:20 pm EDT, Fri September 21, 2012
Discovery brings US iPhone 5 more flexibility for travelers
According to reports, the Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked out of the box, as per requirements imposed on Verizon. In addition, using a cut-down AT&T micro-SIM to roughly conform with the nano-SIM standard, the Verizon iPhone 5 is able to acquire an AT&T signal, and connect to the HPSA+ network, AT&T's 4G-equivalent network.
The iDownload Blog shows that preliminary, and limited, observations show similar speeds on AT&T's HPSA+ network to Verizon's LTE implementation. The phone being GSM unlocked on Verizon has implications for global travelers with the iPhone 5, depending on country, frequency range, and protocols embraced by the telecommunication companies.
The installation involves a piece of tape and a paper clip to hold the card in place, as it does not conform to Apple's new SIM standard, but T-Mobile and AT&T nano-SIM chips should fit without case modification. MacNN spoke with a FCC representative regarding the phone's unlock, and they confirmed that Verizon is required to sell new handsets unlocked on the GSM network as part of the terms of a deal allowing the telecommunications company to acquire more bandwidth.