Will The Verizon iPhone Work Internationally?

The Verizon iPhone 4 doesn’t have a SIM slot. BusinessInsider asked Phil Schiller at the Verizon event if the Verizon iPhone 4 will work internationally:

The Verizon iPhone will not be an international phone, Phil Schiller just confirmed…at the Verizon iPhone event.

To make the Verizon iPhone international it would have to have a GSM chip and a CDMA chip. The rest of the world runs on GSM, which Verizon uses CDMA.

So, if you’re doing a lot of overseas travel for business, you probably want to go with the AT&T iPhone.

However, if you read the official Verizon iPhone FAQ, it says otherwise:

Can I use my iPhone 4 while traveling abroad?

Yes, customers can use iPhone for voice and text in over 40 countries with data service in over 20 countries. For service availability and rate information, visit International Roaming Rates and Coverage. When travelling outside of these 40 destinations, the Global Travel program is the perfect short-term solution for the occasional or infrequent global traveler who needs to stay in touch when travelling internationally.

How very odd. I wonder who’s right?

  • Hawk

    I’ll side with Paul on this one. With no way to access a GSM network in another country, how exactly are you going to use the phone outside the US?
    I think Verizon’s info is pre-maturely stated, citing information that would be true when the LTE version of the phone is launched- possibly later this year. But it’s pretty obvious that this phone will not be able to go abroad.
    Speaking of, if any of you were lucky enough to see the vid or pics that were posted (and later pulled) showing the differences between the iPhone 4 frame and the speculated iPhone 5 frame, you would know that nearly all of the frame antenna differences are exhibited on the new Verizon iPhone with one very important difference. No Sim card slot. Does that mean that the ’11 summer release is going to be the new frame, or was it a verizon LTE phone frame? Time will tell.

    • MJ

      It will work abroad in countries that use CDMA and when Verizon says it will work in 40 countires, it is referring to places like Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, India, Dominican Republic etc. It will not work in Europe, Middle East and any other other parts of the world. Therefore, it renders useless outside the USA & Canada in short.

  • http://larrysalibra.com Larry Salibra

    Other countries besides the USA have CDMA networks. China, Korea, Japan, etc. Just not as many as have GSM/WCDMA.

  • italgal

    Those 40 countries do not include any in Europe! I’m hoping to be patient and wait until they do come up with an iphone on verizon that does work on GSM.

  • joe carter

    You are correct, Verizon allows roaming on other carriers that use CDMA, not GSM. The 40 countries is quite a bit less than a GSM product. There are also other limitations, go to the Verizon website and read through it.

    Phil is often times wrong, talks from his ass and really just rides the coat tails of SJ, but you can’t argue with a man who has made millions even if he is 4’10”. Verizon is correct, but don’t confuse it with the much better international roaming from AT&T.

  • http://suckymodernlife.blogspot.com/ MLS

    Verizon has international roaming in Europe with their global devices. I have a Droid 2 Global and just got back from France. The D2G has both a CDMA and GSM chipset and works on both networks. The iPhone probably could go the same way, but they’d have to do a bigger redesign, so Apple/Verizon decided not to go that route. Since Verizon is going to LTE for 4G, any Verizon 4G device is going to need a SIM card. iPhone 5 anyone?

  • Tim

    As a long term Verizon customer, I was glad to hear the Iphone was coming. However since I travel worldwide I called Verizon support to find out exactly what the issues would be internationally. The support person confirmed that the Iphone will not support GSM. Ouch! This means that I will have to wait for a newer version of the Iphone as there is no getting around that without GSM, you can’t use it it most countries

  • Humphrey

    Obviously, the iPhone 4 in it’s compact form has space for 2 antennas only, the Blue Tooth and a cellular unit – in either a CDMA or a GSM, but not both.

    ” [ .... ] When travelling outside of these 40 destinations, the Global Travel program is the perfect short-term solution for the occasional or infrequent global traveler [ ... ] ”

    This is the dead giveaway. Global Travel program is Verizon wireless’s rent a GSM phone program. If one is to read this after understanding how VZW’s entire operating methodology, it is clear that they are referring to CDMA voice in over 40 countries, CDMA data in 20+ (I’ll bet / Albeit expensive data) and you can always rent a GSM handset for anything other than these 40 Countries . . . . If you want to be on VZW’s network and do a lot of Int’l travel, check out the BB World series or the Droid Int’l. VZW’s iPhone won’t be able to because of the CDMA vs GSM issue.

  • Sarah GoLightly

    I have Verizon’s new iPhone and I love it but called them before leaving and 4 Verizon staff read the script and promised it would work in Europe and even sold me a discounted global calling and data plan for UK and France. Guess I was hoping for magic. I’m in London now and of course my Verizon iPhone does not work here! Luckily I brought my old Blackberry and will have to activate it. I miss the times when people were smarter than the script they were reading!

  • Tom

    Can I use the Wi Fi feature to access the internet and therefore yahoo email etc on the Verizon I phone 4 in europe?

  • Magic

    I bought the Verizon Iphone on ebay, I am from Australia. I didn’t know about the fact that it has no slot 4 the sim card :(…… what can I do ? any advice?

  • Raul

    While GSM is the predominant network choice around the world, many other countries use CDMA or a variation of CDMA (WCDMA). In Japan for example, NTT DoComo, one of their largest carriers, uses CDMA technology. In China a few of their carriers also use CDMA technology. The Verizon iphone will work in select countries where the frequency is the same and where Verizon has roaming agreements established with other carriers. There are different frequencies. For example, a dual-band GSM phone purchased in the US will not work in Europe because while most Euro networks use GSM, the frequency is different (800mhz/900mhz/1800mhz/1900mhz). That’s why every GSM carrier in the US now only sells Quad Band phones. I’m sure you guys get my drift.

  • Jim Habel

    I just read about all the problems using Verizon i phones in Europe. Does this hold true for making calls from US to Europe ? I have been receiving calls from Europe but can not get through to them on my i phone.

  • Kenna Nevill

    I have a friend travelling in France with a Verizon iPhone4. She is having trouble connecting to both the voice and WiFi networks but she was able to call me on my AT&T iPhone4. Given what I’ve read above, how was she able to call me?

  • Dave

    Verizon cell phones work perfectly in both South Korea and mainland China. I am sure about this because I was just there and tried all of it.
    The cost is $1.99 per minute for voice, .50 cents per outgoing text and .05 cents for each incoming text, no matter what plan you are on.. To make voice calls from China or South Korea be sure to contact Verizon customer service in the USA and have them enable International calling on your line. For text only this is not required.